Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Friday, December 15, 2017

Coming Home

“Turn up the stereo, Hun! Let’s bake up a storm! Then we can go get our tree and really fill this place with good smells. Mmmmm . . . Baking and pine!”
“Okay, Sis.” Obediently, I hit the button on the remote and strains of ‘Christmas in Killarney’ in the Crosby’s magical voice drifted through the room.
Now you have to know that, normally, this song can totally get my holiday gears running. Within seconds I’ve been known to be dancing along to the tune and kicking up my heels.
So to speak.
But, let’s face it. This year was . . . different.
Oh, the season had arrived, right on time. As always.
And all through the neighbourhood, lights and assorted decorations had appeared, magically bedecking otherwise unremarkable homes and making them . . . magical.
Nope. The difference this year was me.
And my sister, Norma.
Or rather, the absence of my sister, Norma.
For any of you who have been following our story, you know that, in typical I’m-Norma-and-I-suffer-from-a-complete-lack-of-forethought fashion, my elder sister had gone to the ‘other side’. For a visit.
And by the other side, I mean the OTHER side.
Oh, I have no doubt that she is still living. She just isn’t doing it in the same room—or on the same plane—as I am. You who know Norma also know that last isn’t unusual. The ‘same plane’ thing. But now the plane she is on isn’t visible to the naked eye.
Or any other eye for that matter.
Moving on . . .
I hear from her often. A little too often in fact.
In the living room when I’m attempting to meet the needs of Reggie, her certifiably mad macaw. (In my defense, he has never really taken a like to me. The feeling’s mutual.)
In the kitchen when I’m trying, once again, to make something edible out of one of her recipes. (Again, I will cite justifiable confusion here. Her writing is illegible and her instructions . . . well, the word ‘nutty’ comes to mind.)
In the bathroom when I’m . . . powdering my nose.
On the stairway when I’m vacuuming. (Now that’s a story!)
In fact, she seems to pop up (in a manner of speaking) at the most inconvenient times.
But I’m finding that now, as Christmas approaches, I’m . . . missing her. Her physical presence. The goofy things she does—appearing in the doorway carrying who-knows-what and completely oblivious to why she’s doing so.
Finding her atop a ladder, a new addition to the ‘I’ve-quite-lost-my-mind’ contingent.
Toting suitcases.
I sat down as this last thought struck me. She was toting a suitcase the last time I saw her. I turned to look through the front room into the hallway. Right there. She had been pulling it . . . and talking . . .
I sighed and got back to my feet. Better to keep on moving. I picked up the recipe I had set out before my sister’s voice told me to turn on the stereo. ‘Swedish Meatballs’. A family favourite since there was a family.
“Norma,” I said, pointing at one of the ingredients. “Is this a pinch of pepper? Or a pound?”
“Have you never made anything?!” my sister’s exasperated voice came from somewhere near the corner of the ceiling above the stove.
I shrugged. “You know I don’t cook. I explore the freezer.” I set the recipe down and turned toward the door. “I tell you what. I’ll go over to Costco. They have it all. And I won’t have to do anything more than open and reheat!”
“Pah!”
I sat down again and folded my arms. “Well I don’t know what else to do!” I shouted at the corner.
“I’m over here.”
I swiveled my head. Sure enough, the voice now emanated from the small patch of peeling paint in that corner of the room. “Stop doing that! I’m getting whiplash!”
Norma laughed. “You can’t get whiplash from turning your head from side to side. If that was so, tennis audiences would be in a lot of trouble.”
I rolled my eyes and reached once more for the recipe. “I’m just so . . . lost, Sis.” A tear blotched the ink on the card, effectively erasing the oven temperature and baking times. “I . . . miss you.”
A hand gripped my shoulder and I spun around.

Use Your Words is a challenge issued by Karen of Baking in a Tornado.
Each of her followers submit a series of words which are then re-distributed among the group.
One doesn’t know what words one will get or who they will be from.
It’s fun!
My words this month?
addition ~ stereo ~ bake ~ pine ~ freezer
They were submitted by: http://www.southernbellecharm.com         
Thank you, my friend!
    
Got a minute?
See what the others have crafted!

             



9 comments:

  1. Oh I hope Norma's's back and it's not someone from the funny farm there to take away.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is Norma there in the flesh? I am intrigued by this story. Hope you continue.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You left us hanging!! Don't do that!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Although I love a good cliffhanger, I don't like how long I end up having to wait for the next installment. You've got me hooked.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I do hope that Norma reappears. For the holidays at least.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've come to love these sisters as if they were a part of my own family. Could sister be making an appearance soon?

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's been a while since I last heard a Norma tale. Hope she visits from the Other Side again sooner.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for providing good information,Thanks for your sharing.

    แตกใน xxx

    ReplyDelete

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