Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Trading Cockroaches for Cold

I love Alberta. 
It's beautiful.
Wide, grassy prairies.
High, majestic mountains.
Blue skies.
Clear air.
Warm temperatures.
Okay, I know that it gets cold in Alberta.
And yes, -40 (C or F) is not uncommon.
But, probably because of the extreme temperatures, Alberta is missing a couple of very important things.
And I'm not complaining.
1. Alberta is the only place on earth that has no rats.
None. They are stopped at the borders, asked to produce a current passport, then turned away.
Let's face it, have you ever seen a rat with any passport, let alone a current one?
There is even a designated rat un-welcome committee stationed at every border.
An effective one.
Equipped with guns and traps.
And lots of cheese.
I don't know about you, but that would certainly indicate to me that I wasn't wanted.
Moving on . . .
So . . . no rats.
2. Alberta also has no big bugs.
Okay, we have bugs.
Just not big ones.
I've seen the pictures of people holding cockroaches that reach to their elbows and spiders that could easily carry off small children.
I know what big bugs look like.
And we don't have them.
That makes me happy.
We know how blessed we are.
Case in point:
Our son was preparing to go out to milk.
It was cold.
Alberta cold.
He was layering up at the back door.
Long johns.
Jeans.
Cotton socks.
Wool socks over cotton ones.
Heavy shirt.
Sweater.
Jacket.
Scarf.
Heavy coat.
Touque. (Warm Canadian winter hat)
Gloves.
Mittens.
Boots.
Yep. In Canada, we pretty much invented layering.
And going outside isn't something you do at the spur of the moment.
It takes thought.
And time.
I was preparing breakfast and I could hear my son moving around at the back door.
And mumbling to himself.
I dried my hands and walked over to him.
What I heard was, " . . . cockroaches."
I moved closer.
"We don't get cockroaches," he said.
As he pulled on one sock.
"We don't get cockroaches."
Second sock.
"We don't get cockroches."
Shirt.
"We don't get cockroaches."
Jacket.
And so it went.
The same refrain with each and every layer.
Psyching himself up to open that door and get the blast of cold air in the face.
We live in Alberta.
It is beautiful.
And cold.
But we don't have rats.
Or get big bugs.
Sometimes it takes the one to appreciate the other.

14 comments:

  1. Always look on the bright side of life...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We should write a song! Oh, wait . . .

      Delete
  2. Now I wonder who told him that there are no cockroaches which is something to be grateful for.....hmmmmm.....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great sense of humor on this one!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You're lucky about the rats and the big bugs. I just moved and when I was cleaning out a bathroom door at my old house, I found a dead mouse underneath it. Yuck! But we don't get that kind of cold here in LA. I guess it's a trade off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh. The only thing worse than a live mouse is a months-dead one.

      Delete
  5. I know some guys who would put out little bits of bate on the kitchen floor of a run down London appartment put on their shoes stomp around the kitchen in the dark and the see how many cockroaches they'd killed when lights come on.Yuck

    ReplyDelete
  6. I layer up in similar fashion in our "winter" when I have to get to the shop for any reason during August and September, which are are frosty months. By which I mean our air remains a little frosty even after the sun comes up.
    We don't get many cockroaches here either, although I've seen a few in warmer months. There are several colonies of blue-tongue lizards living around here and they eat them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm . . . perhaps you need to start exporting those little blue-tongued miracle workers!

      Delete
  7. I'll be reminding myself of this next winter when the mercury is in the bottom of the thermometer!

    ReplyDelete

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