Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Friday, August 29, 2014

Insignificant. Part Three.

By request, a repost of my award-winning story.
If you missed Part One, it's here.
Part Two? Here.
We'll proceed slowly so you can catch up . . .

What would you do?
If you could . . .
Part Three

“It is with great pleasure that we present this award to the team of Dr. Lucy Snow and Dr. Lawrence McGovern.”
The applause was thunderous as Lucy and Larry made their way to the podium. Breathless and smiling, they stood there in the spotlight and waved to the crowd.
“Dr. Snow? Dr. McGovern?”
They turned.
“The Scintell Company is proud to present you with this award of astounding achievement,” Dr. Rogers said, holding out a large, silver plate. “In recognition for your amazing contributions this year.”
Lucy reached for the heavy trophy. “Thank you, Dr. Rogers,” she said.
“We are honoured,” Larry added.
Dr. Rogers laughed. “It's so nice to be able to come out from behind the president's desk once in a while and mix with the people who do the real work in this company.” He put a hand on each doctor's shoulder. “And especially when it is for something this momentous.”
“Well, Dr. Rogers, we have to return the thanks,” Lucy said. “If it weren't for the support and the faith of this company, Dr. McGovern and I would never have been able to achieve this milestone.” She looked out at the crowd. “And thanks to all of you!” She held up the trophy. “This is for all of us!”
The applause and cheering were deafening.
Dr. Rogers was back at the mike. “So, what's next?” he asked.
“Oh, we have many plans,” Lucy said, her eyes glowing. “Many, many plans.”
* * *
“Is that what you're going to wear?” Larry asked.
“Lare, this is all about functionality, not fashion,” Lucy said.
“Okay,” Larry grinned. “If you say so.”
“Oh, shuddup and get on with it,” Lucy said, grinning.
Larry laughed. He twisted a couple of dials. “Okay, I'm ready,” he said.
Lucy pulled the strap of a small bag over her shoulder and buttoned her heavy, cotton jacket. “Me, too,” she said.
“You're sure you've got it right this time?”
“Lare, haven't we done this enough times that you can stop asking me that?”
Larry shrugged. “You keep looking and looking,” he said, “and you haven't hit paydirt yet.”
“I'm feeling lucky this time,” Lucy said. “My research was just a trifle off before. I'm sure I've got it right now.”
“So . . . how long do you want me to give you?”
“Oh, say . . . two days?”
“You think you can finish the job in that short amount of time?”
“Lare. I told you. I've done my research this time.”
Larry shrugged. “You're the boss.”
“I am,” Lucy grinned. “And don't you forget it.”
“Well, I guess we should get on with it.”
“Wish me luck,” Lucy said, stepping into the booth.
“You don't need it,” Larry said. “You've got research!”
Lucy stuck her tongue out at him.
“But, good luck!” Larry pushed the brown button.
An orange glow filled the booth. With a slight 'pop', Lucy disappeared.
Larry set some controls and glanced at the clock. He pressed a button. “Trial 238, proceeding,” he said. “Time: 2:59 PM.” Then he left the room.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bucket Wars

Not just for food storage any more.

Son Two is tall.

In his stocking feet, six-foot-eight. Put shoes on the lad and . . . well, you get the picture.
I have a close family friend.
I don't want to say that she is short, but . . . okay, she is short.
Her head reaches somewhere between our son's chest and his belt buckle.
She makes up for lack of quantity with excess of quality.
In fact, the word 'feisty' might describe her perfectly.
ST used to tease her about her height.
Or lack thereof.
I should point out that this woman has six children of her own. She could give it right back.
One day, she and ST had been exchanging insults.
After a particularly pointed comment which ended with his pretending to put an elbow on the top of her head and using her as a fence post, she tried something a little more proactive.
“Oh!” she said. Nearby was a bucket of honey.
Okay, yes. When one has six children, plus foster kids, one buys honey by the bucketful.
Moving on . . .
She pushed the bucket close and stood up on it.
I should point out that it only increased her height by about ten inches. Not nearly enough.
“Ha!” she said, looking up into his face. “What are you going to do now?”
ST merely stepped backwards.
“Oh!” She said again. She jumped off her bucket and kicked it over beside him.
Then she stepped up once more.
“Ha!” she said a second time.
He stepped back once more.
“Oh!”
This went on for some time.
She pushed that bucket of honey all over the kitchen.
Somehow, confrontation is a bit less . . . confrontational . . . when one partner has to keep moving their honey bucket to continue with the . . . confrontation.
Hmm.
I wonder if we could market this idea on a global scale . . .

Monday, August 25, 2014

Boy's Toys

It's time for our family's annual trek to beautiful Banff, Alberta.
Hiking. Swimming. Climbing. Games. Reading.
Family.
We are staying at a beautiful hotel. Comfortable.
Even luxurious.
The only thing it lacks is a steady connection to the internet.
Sigh.
Posts for the next few days may be spotty.
Inconsistent.
Or completely absent.
Sorry!
You know I love you!
Picture it green. And nickel-plated.

When my Husby was a teenager, he bought an old truck.

Which he painted green.
Forever after, it was known as The Frog. And became a common sight on the streets of Fort MacLeod, Alberta.
The Frog was Husby's pride and joy.
He loved tinkering with it.
Often, his father commented on the amount of time spent with that old truck.
And the dollars.
“What are you doing now?” he asked one day. “Nickle-plating it?”
Husby laughed, but an idea was born.
He bought a small tin of aluminium paint.
Then crawled under the truck.
Scraped the rust and dirt off the chassis.
And painted it.
Shortly thereafter (oooh! good word) his father took the truck down to the local shop to have the oil changed.
The mechanic slid underneath to begin proceedings.
“Hey!” he shouted. “It's chrome-plated under here!”
Husby's dad had to see it. Then shook his head and snickered.
Yes. Snickered.
“I knew it!”
Later, Husby and many, many friends were heading to a youth activity down near the river in Lethbridge.
The cab of the truck was stuffed with young bodies.
And the back with many more.
A policeman pulled them over.
“Have you been drinking?” he asked my Husby.
“No, officer,” came the respectful reply. (It's my story, I'll tell it how I want.) 
Moving on . . .
“No officer. We are just heading to a youth activity.”
“Well you have a taillight out,” the officer said. “While we're at it, let's give this truck the once-over.”
“Okay,” Husby said.
The officer and his trusty flashlight began a systematic search for 'things wrong'.
Lights.
Brake lights.
High/low beams.
Horn. Husby pulled out the ashtray.
The horn honked loudly.
The officer swung his flashlight back to the console.
“Do that again!” he said.
Husby pulled out the ashtray.
HONK!
“This thing belongs in a museum!”
He was right.
I never got to meet The Frog.
It had been sold long before I came on the scene.
It's definitely my loss.

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