Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Saturday, August 4, 2018

When Cool Isn't . . .

Yep. That's me. Heart-breaker extraordinary.
I had just realized that boys didn't have cooties.
I also discovered that I was capable of being a two-faced non-friend.
The two went together.
Perhaps I should explain . . .
Grade five.
The year when math problems became more . . . problematic.
Times tables proved important.
Story writing, more intense and personal.
Mrs. Herbst officially turned into Oh-Teacher-of-the-Blue-Hair.
And boys became . . . interesting.
The latter started with a note, passed to me during free reading.
“Will you go to the movie with me on Saturday?”
It was signed, 'Paul'.
A boy?!
Wanted to go to a movie with me?!
What should I say?
What should I do?
What should I wear?!
Shakily I wrote, “okay” on the note and passed it back.
He unfolded it, read it and smiled at me.
And that was it.
My feet didn't touch the ground for the rest of the day.
For the rest of the week, actually.
Saturday was a long time coming.
I should mention, here, that Paul was one of the cool boys.
The popular, cool boys.
And way out of my league.
But his group adopted me as one of their own.
For the first time in my life, I was hanging with the cool crowd.
Back to my story . . .
I don't remember much about the movie, other than it was an Audie Murphy and involved something called 'cactus torture' which made me, quite literally, sick to my stomach.
And that Paul held my hand through the whole thing.
After that, we met every day on the playground and on Saturday afternoons at the movies.
For about a month.
Suddenly, Paul had his eye on someone else.
And I was no longer one of the cool crowd.
Bitter and angry, I rejoined my old group.
Who took me back in without so much as a frown.
For half a morning, I complained bitingly.
Making acid comments about 'the cool kids' and how fickle they were. And mean. And nasty. And . . .
You can see where this is going.
“Well, you're with your old friends now and that's all that matters,” one of my group said.
“Yes,” I said. “I wouldn't go back with them if they begged me!”
Just then, three of the cool girls came over to us. “Diane. Lloyd likes you. Do you want to come back to our group?”
I sprinted to join them.
Didn't even look back.
Now I met Lloyd every day on the playground and held hands with him at the Saturday afternoon movies.
I know what you are thinking.
Fickle non-friend.
And you're not wrong.
Ahem . . .
This went on for some time.
Throughout the rest of Grade five in fact.
Then my popularity waned.
And died.
And do you know what?
My old group again took me back.
Without even a sideways glance.
This time, I stayed.
We went through grade six together.
Then Junior High.
Then Senior high.
And we had fun.
I discovered that it all comes back to math.
♀ + ♀♀♀ = ☼♥♫.
♀+  = brain-dead non-friend.
I learned my lesson.

P.S. At our class reunions, I've discovered that we are no longer divided into the 'cool' kids and the 'dweebs'. The 'cool' kids have had just as many challenges in life as me and my group. The same heartaches. The same joys and reasons to celebrate.
Life is the true leveler.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Home again!
I've missed you. I thought I'd share just a peek of what we've been up to for the past two-plus weeks.
It's been glorious!

Husby and I packed up the car and our two eldest granddaughters (Hereinafter known as GD1 and GD2) and headed for the west coast.
Our goal? Visiting our middle son in his home in Courtenay, BC.
First a stop-off in Lake Louise for a visit with youngest son and his family . . .

Then a night in Hope, BC, followed by two (count 'em, two!) ferry rides from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale (followed by booting it across the peninsula to Earls Cove) then a second ride to Saltery Bay and another stunningly beautiful drive to Powell River.
P.S. GD's 1 and 2 LOVED the ferries!

The Granada Restaurant, Powell River.
Where GD's 1 and 2 discovered a love for Greek Food!
The Rodmay Hotel in Powell River. The first building built in the town.
History with a capital 'H'! (And the diner is uber amazing!)

Off to Comox and thus to our destination, Courtenay, BC.

Nymph Falls. Jo Klassens, Seal Beach, Miracle Beach, Coombs Candy Store, Port Alberni. We did them all.
Up on the mountain with Uncle Duff.


And back down the mountain with same.

Nymphs in the woods at Cathedral Grove.

They really liked . . . perching.

And so did their uncle!

Trying to find shade in Port Alberni.

And Old Sea Salt (grampa) tells tales.
 Then we said goodbye to Uncle Duffy and headed back to the mainland.

With stops in Kelowna.
And Sky Trek.
And The Enchanted Forest (which enchanted me when I was a kid!)
Yes that me on the left.
Making a fashion statement.

 Back to Lake Louise and another short stay with family!
Up the Lake Louise Gondola.


Relaxing by the churning stream.

My two cute little bears.

Local Police.

And from there, home.
Glad to be back. But missing our travel companions already!

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