Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mattress(ed)

In Pat's part of Vancouver, BC of the late fifties, there were two options for attending school.
St. Helen, where she attended. And Seton Academy, for the well-heeled, which she didn’t. The nun sister teachers moved back and forth between the two.
Once a year, she and her fellow St. Helen(ians) were allowed to enter the hallowed Seton halls. On cleaning day. At the behest of a combination of parents/nuns/church.
Willingly—or slightly less willingly—these kids appeared at the gates of Seton Academy and awaited their assignments.
Pat and her crew were sent to the dorms to remove the light mattresses to the courtyard for airing/sun.
Now I should probably point out that said mattresses were currently residing in rooms at the top of a lengthy set of stairs. And that these mattresses had to be lugged. Both up and down.
Now, Pat, she of the quick mind surveyed the situation and, in a burst of inventiveness (inspired by a desire to do less, not more) suggested that, rather than lug, the girls should simply suspend.
And drop.
The stairwell was perfectly situated.
What’s the worst that could happen?
What indeed.
The first mattress or two made the drop with no problems.
And surprising accuracy.
Then, just as Pat released the next in a large pile, visiting Mother Superior opened the doorway halfway down the stairway and stepped to the landing.
Remember when I mentioned ‘surprising accuracy’?
Well, that becomes more important here.
The mattress met headmistress . . . ummm . . . head on.
The mattress won.
Wimple askew and senses rather scattered, the Sister was rescued from the landing by a colleague and whisked inside out of danger.
While Pat and her fellow mattress(ians) stood there, mouths agape in horror.
They were so dead.
In absolute silence, they continued with their job, abandoning their earlier cost-saving actions and creeping down the stairs, mattresses in hand.
Job finished, and using the same ninja-like stealth, they crossed back through the building toward the exit.
A path which led through the academy kitchens.
Two nuns were busy in the great room, stirring up lunch.
As the girls approached, one of them whipped around.
Many things went through Pat’s mind. Not the least of which was a reprise of: We are so dead!
But word of her latest escapade had not yet reached the kitchen. Rather, in the hands of the sister was a tray of cookies.
Cookies?
The girls partook. And then took themselves out of there.
Much to Pat’s surprise and delight, there were no repercussions.

However, a few years later, that same Mother Superior walked into Pat’s classroom on a visit. She looked around at the bright faces and smiled. Then she saw Pat. “Ah,” she said. “Pat. I remember you.”

9 comments:

  1. Eeek! Let us hope that Mother Superior remembered Pat for other reasons!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Everyone wants to be remembered, right? Right?

      Delete
  3. I found myself wondering whether the kitchen nuns had heard and the cookies were a silent reward...
    I may have read too many books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought the same thing, EC! Was that a tiny bit of rebellion there?

      Delete
  4. I thought for a minute the girls were going to "body surf" down the stairs on those mattresses. That would have been fun, except for having to walk up again to get the next one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was telling this story to my granddaughters and that was their solution as well. Certainly it would have been their solution!

      Delete
  5. This is a really good idea that you have going on. manufacturing
    หนังผี

    ReplyDelete

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