Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Friday, July 28, 2017

That Summer: Part Six

More of the story, as told by my Mom, Enes. From her journals . . .

Quonset and nearly completed house.
There's a garden in that yard somewhere!
I thought I would have so much time for various projects as the lazy summer stretched out before me, but as the days lengthened, so did our stride!
There was no grass to cut or watering got do, but there was a garden to hoe and we discovered we had planted it in the original garden of Adam and Eve. The one they had when Heavenly Father punished them for being disobedient by sending them weeds so they could 'work by the sweat of their brows all the days of their lives'.
I decided that Adam hadn't tended his garden very well because there were a great many prolific varieties there that had undoubtedly sprouted from seeds of plants he had not pulled.
I crawled on my hands and knees trying to sort out my tender green vegetables from all the other abundant growth.
And then there was the rain.
It seemed like every time I thought I had a few minutes for my garden, it would rain.
All summer we alternated between a cold drizzle or a down pour. (The word COLD became part of us like our arms and legs. We had cold noses, cold toes, cold fingers, cold ears, cold tongues. Our whole internal tract must have been COLD.)
Rain sounded like several million marbles on the ribs of the quonset.
The first time I heard it, I thought it was hail. I ran anxiously to the door and discovered that it was only a light rain falling softly on the pasture grass.
When it became a downpour, the sound really rattled your brain.
One evening, we had just settled into our beds for the night when we heard the sound of thunder in the distance.
Would it come this way or would it pass?
Faint flashes of lightning lit the sky light and seconds passed before we heard the thunder.
I began to count the time between the flash and the crash. When the flash and crash came close together, I hid under the covers.
Unfortunately, it didn't shut out the sound.
We had given our children some instruction on what to do if there was lightening - stay away from fences or puddles or trees.
Just lately, we had added 'don't touch the side of the quonset'.
So when there was lightening, even in mild form, our children would pull their beds away from the walls.
We must have spread the alarm very impressively because they moved their beds about 16 feet from the wall!
This storm moving in on us sounded like a particularly violent one.
We could hear a roaring sound with the approaching rain.
When the pellets hit the shed, we knew it must be hail.
We covered our ears trying to cut out the awful sound.
It was like being inside a barrel with a million hammers pounding on its side.
Just when we thought we would surely go mad, the storm quit and we found the quiet almost as hard to adjust to as the noise.
This was our first experience with a hail strike in the middle of the night.
We felt we had been punished in a strange way and we fell into a restless sleep as the moon again lit the skylight.

17 comments:

  1. Yikes, you'd think hail would be the worst in a quonset structure, but then you bring up lightning. Now that's scary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Living inside a giant lightning rod. Didn't think that one through! :)

      Delete
  2. Hi Diane! Just joining "your story" and agree that a hail and lighting storm in a Quonset Hut would be really dramatic! I'll have to check out the rest of your story because I've just done my DNA test and started on a family tree. That's told me some of my grandparents came to the US by way of Canadian. So who knows? We might be related :-) ~Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh! That would be SO exciting! Let me know if you connect to any Stringams, Williams or Bergs!

      Delete
  3. Oh wow.....I feel like I was in the midst of that terrible storm right along with your family. I was as glad it was over as you were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was in a cold sweat reading this. And I don't remember being frightened as a child . . .

      Delete
  4. Memories and you truly know how to save them. Makes me think of Laura Ingalls Wilder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the best compliment you could have given me, Beth!

      Delete
  5. I like the sound of rain on a tin roof. Hail is a whole new equation.
    I am so glad that your mother wrote her story (and struggles) down, and that you are sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, EC. I'm enjoying reliving it from her point of view!

      Delete
  6. That was quite the experience.
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Were you there for that one? I remember pulling the beds out from the walls . . .

      Delete
  7. Reminds me of how I've heard an MRI described ... and I'd prefer not to experience either one, if possible. Who'd have thought about all the way-out ways a quonset hut could frighten its occupants?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm . . . You are right! We were all simply sitting in a vast MRI!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Living in a quonset seemed to be such a great solution . . .

      Delete

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