Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Seasonal Dressing


Clockwise from right: Aly (Hired man's son),
Anita, Blair, and Me - in my little gold beauty.
It wasn't often that we kids were able to go on a field trip with my Dad.
When it happened, we were eager.
When it happened at Christmas, we were beyond excited.
Ecstatic!
Exuberant!
Exhilarated!
Elated!
Euphoric!
Electrified!
That's all of the 'E' words I can think of.
Except that 'energetic' should be stuck in there somewhere.
And, for me, usually immediately followed by, "Empty all tanks!"
When I think about it, I guess it's not surprising that we didn't go on field trips with my Dad very often.
Back to my story . . .
Dad was taking us four oldest kids to the Sweetgrass Hills to cut down our family's Christmas tree.
It was the 60's.
Families did things like that back then.
But we had to make a quick stop in Milk River at the Robinson's store to get me a winter coat.
I had outgrown my old one and Dad wasn't excited about trailing me through the forest wrapped in my blanket.
Go figure.
So the excitement level for this trip had just been dialed way up.
In fact, I was so elated, that Dad didn't even wait for the 'announcement' (see above), but sat me in the car with a bucket already in my lap.
Smart man.
We made the 20 miles to Milk River without incident. (see above . . . again.)
And entered the store.
I should explain here that the Robinson's Store was the only shop in Milk River that featured clothing.
There were neat piles of everything wearable.
And the wood plank floors creaked delightfully.
And if you were really lucky, you got to watch Theo Barrows gift wrap packages at her counter in the middle of the store.
The curling of the ribbons was especially fascinating.
Where was I  . . .?
Oh, yes.
New coat.
Dad asked the manager where we could find coats in my size and was conducted, with me tagging eagerly behind, to a rack at one side of the store.
My eyes were immediately drawn to a gold, furry, wonderful garment.
I reached out a hand and brushed the soft fur.
Oooooh!
"This one, Daddy! This one!"
"Okay, we'll try this one," Dad said.
I dropped my blanket and slipped my arms into the sleeves.
Perfect!
"I guess we'll take it," Dad said.
Good thing, too, because there was no way they were ever going to pry me out of that coat.
Dad paid and we trooped back out to the car.
The other kids excited now to get to the real reason for this trip.
Me brushing and brushing the soft fur on my arms and chest.
We had fun finding the tree.
I think.
We did end up with one.
I really don't remember much about it.
Me and my coat were happy, sitting in the car together.
And watching through the windshield.
Because, after all - one couldn't wear one's new coat out into nature!
What if it got soiled?
Dad later said something about 'waste of time and money'.
But who listened?
Later:
Blair (in my now-outgrown coat which he hated), and Anita
The original recycling program

6 comments:

  1. We had one of those stores that sold everything and had creaky wooden floors, too, and it was always special - and more so when we were buying clothing for me, me, me ... it didn't happen often, but I think I remember every single thing we bought there. Much, much later, my wedding gown came from that store, too - the upstairs, fancy-schmancy ladies wear department ... anyway, I can see why you loved your jacket! I bet it was so cozy :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Creaky wooden floors and flat tables piled high with goods. The places dreams are made of. And that coat....oh my.....no wonder you fell in love with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. My dreams certainly are! Priceless!

      Delete
  3. We had one of those stores too. I suspect they bought those delightfully creaky floors from the same outlet.
    And the staff knew everyone, and knew their stock.
    I miss them still.

    ReplyDelete

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