Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Holiday Lunch

Guest Post by Little Brother, Blair

Blair on Holiday.
There was never a lack for work on the ranch.  I emphasize the word “never”.  Whenever there was a school holiday, I would initially think, 'Oh great then I can go biking with my friends or go hiking or tinker in the shop!' 
Then I would get home and dad would have a list of things that we needed to get done that day.  In my final years of high school I really didn’t care if there was a holiday, it was just  another work day for me. 

It seemed that many of these “holiday work” days were windy and cold.  Hey, it was Canada.  Most school holidays were in the fall, winter and spring.  We had lots of blustery days in the fall, winter, and spring.

Our school holiday would usually begin with getting up early and doing chores.  No sleeping in even on a holiday.  Then we would eat breakfast and talk with dad about what he wanted to do that day.  We would then go out to deal with whatever needed to be done.  If we were lucky, we got to work in the barn. Or the corrals where we had the fence to shelter us from the wind. 

The tasks were not usually difficult, just time consuming and cold.  We would work for a few hours in the morning. I learned to wear heavy coats and coveralls becausehe wind would blow dust into our eyes, ears, nose, down our backs.  

When it felt like I could not take any more cold, dad would say that it was time for lunch.  That was a very welcome part of the day.  

We would walk down to the house where mom had created many delicious things to eat. Usually it was a stew or something similar with other yummy stuff.  Whatever the delicious meal was, it had three important components.  It was warm, it tasted good and there was plenty to eat.  However we had to wash first (see above).  Mom made sure we washed before she fed us.  I didn’t argue, I just wanted to fill the void that was called a stomach. 

Mom also served plenty of homemade bread.  This was a wonderful complement to the tasty meal.  It seemed to make the main course taste so much better.  There was usually some homemade treat as well such as cinnamon buns or tarts or pie.  I realize that the cold weather and hard work enhanced the tastiness of the meal.

Now there was another benefit to having plenty to eat.  I could take a little longer and delay going back out to the cold blustery day.  However, all good things need to come to an end and we would put on our coat, coveralls, gloves, and hat and head back to complete our task.  Finally, we would finish, complete our evening chores then go back to the house where mom would have another wonderful meal.  Usually, I could go tinker in the shop after supper.

At least I was able to spend a little time and do something that I liked on my “school holiday”.

The following day, I would be back at school where I would hear about all of the fun things that my friends had done on the “holiday”.  I didn’t have much to say about my day.  If I tried to tell them what I did, they would look at me strangely.  

But hey, I got the fed the best.


10 comments:

  1. The hubs has much the same story as he also grew up on a farm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey we were brother's working on holidays.

      Delete
  2. You still got to do the most important thing we all do on holidays, Blair, spend time with our families and eat great homemade meals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its the times that I spent working with family that a remember best.

      Delete
  3. I can almost taste your mom's cooking from your description. And all that character-building had to have something to balance it out! I didn't grow up on a farm although there were lots of kids at our school who did. They were the steady, dependable ones who didn't get in trouble. Good friends to have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't get me started on my mom's cooking. It sure made my days brighter as a teenager.

      Delete
  4. Your education continued where-ever you were.
    And it certainly sounds as if you were VERY well fed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I learned a great deal from my parents, but I liked being fed at the time.

      Delete
  5. You definitely got fed the best, and stayed out of trouble too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was probably good for me that I had more work to do

      Delete

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