Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Friday, May 4, 2018

Life's Elixir

Cool, clear water.
The Stringam ranch had plenty of it.
Soft.
Pure.
Clean.
There was only one thing distinctive about it.
And I do mean 'stinc'.
Let me illustrate with a little aside . . .
My Husby's Gramma used to give her kids a dose of 'spring tonic' every year.
It consisted of sulphur mixed in lard.
Eaten from a spoon.
Ick.
But she maintained that it kept them healthy . . .
Well, on the Stringam ranch, we never had to be dosed with this old wives remedy.
Because we got it merely by living there.
Yes, our water was right full of sulphur.
I am not making this up.
Our water was plentiful and healthful.
But reeked like rotten eggs.
The smell of it permeated everything and everyone.
And, oddly enough, we loved it.
We drank it.
Bathed in it.
Cleaned with it.
Offered it, chilled, to anyone who happened to drop by.
And snickered silently when they would hold their noses to drink it.
Poor, unenlightened visitors.
Our animals happily drank it, too.
In fact, when we took our cattle to show, we always had to take time to get them accustomed to the water in the new place.
Most places added chlorine. Now THAT really stank (Stinked? Stunk?).
And tasted worse.
These days, I'm missing our good old sulphur water.
That elixir that kept us healthy and strong.
There is an addendum . . .
The people who bought the old ranch from us hauled their drinking water.
And finally drilled a new well.
I can only shake my head.
Strange, weird people.

7 comments:

  1. That smelly water had a soothing effect for conditions like arthritis. Grandpa used to make a special trip down to the ranch just to soak in the tub.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guess it's all in what you're used to. I'm afraid I'd be one of those guests who tried to politely hold my nose while drinking your stinky water, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't know if I could drunk sulphur water----horrible smell, but I agree that the chlorine is just as bed. Our water here is heavily chlorinated. I only drink the bottle stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We have sulphurous water at our cottage. I'll send you some if you like, because I can't say I'd miss it :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not a fan of sulphur or chlorine. Our water is chlorinated but it is rarely strong smelling. And how I miss tank water. Rain water is THE best as far as I am concerned.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We got our sulphur by breathing, it was in the air from the town's smelting works when we moved up there (I was five) and it didn't take long to get used to it.

    ReplyDelete
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