Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Friday, July 12, 2019

Job Expedition



Our little group straggled across the courtyard after our (hopefully) future boss, Steven.
He turned and looked behind at us. “Forward all!” he said. “And please try and keep together, people. This is a big place and for the first while especially, it’s pretty easy to find oneself lost.”
Sally and I snickered a bit at that. Well, she did. I was trying to make a good impression.
“Now over here, we have the pub. Notice how it’s situated just inside the great city gates. This is largely for convenience. People stopping briefly for refreshment didn’t have to navigate the entire town to call in for a pint. And didn’t further clog up the streets thereby.” He pointed. “You can see how narrow and twisting they are.”
“Like our drains,” Sally said.
“Beg pardon?” She had his attention.
“Well, you know. They’re all narrow and twisting and when you put things . . . well . . . things other than . . . you know. . . water down the drain and they plug up. And nothing is getting down there. And you have to get the plunger. And your mom has a fit and starts quoting plumbing costs. Like that.”
Everyone had stopped and were staring at her.
“Erm. Yes,” our guide said, doubtfully. “Mayhap that could happen.” He turned slowly and, his eyes still glancing back from time to time at Sally, pointed upward. “Now if you were to follow my finger, thus, you will notice . . .”
“He talks funny,” Sally said.
 “Shhh!” I whispered elbowing her.
For the next few minutes he led us past barracks, shops, tiny stone houses and at least one church. Sally was, thankfully, silent.
Finally, he steered us through a wide, stone archway and up a steep set of stairs. “Please stay close for this next part, people.” He gave Sally a particularly direct stare. “It will be even easier to get disoriented. From here on in, we have an extra dimension to concern ourselves with.”
“Huh?” Sally hadn’t followed.
“You know. Lose your orientation . . .” I began.
“We don’t just have around and around to think about,” Steven clarified. “We have up and down, as well.”
Oops. Need I point out just how good Sally is with ‘down’?
“Now through this corridor, we come to the entryway to the battlements.”
“Oooh! Cannons and stuff!” Sally exclaimed.
I shivered. I’m not sure why. I suppose because . . . Sally.
“Erm. Yes. We have a particularly fine collection of old cannon here at Bonemeade Castle.”
I smiled a little. Poor Steven didn’t know that we had just added one more to the collection because Sally was a bit of a ‘loose cannon’ herself.
We walked out onto an open area. Around the edges were low stone walls, each divided by several openings. From every opening protruded a large, gleaming cannon.
Of course all we could see were their backsides. But it was enough to elicit an enthusiastic “Cool!” from Sally.
Again, I shivered.
To one side was a long, stone ramp and at the top of that ramp, two more huge cannon.
My eyes were drawn there for some reason. Probably because that was the direction Sally had taken.
My sister bounded up the slope and I watched in dreadful fascination. Have you known you were about to witness a disaster, and that you simply had no chance to do anything about it?
Yeah. That.
Why, oh why did I imagine I could bring my sister to a job interview and hope to succeed?
Inevitably, only a few seconds later, one of the cannon started sliding backward down the slope. Because of course it would.
Huh. Loose Cannon meets loose cannon. Who’da thought?
People scrambled out of the way as the 4-ton behemoth rumbled along, picking up speed.
It hit the flat surface with a great thump, then slowly rolled to a stop.
Sally was staring at it. “I don’t know what happened. I just touched it!”
I released the breath I didn’t know I’d been holding.
Steven, ashen-faced, started walking slowly toward it. “That’s been up there, safely anchored for two centuries,” he gasped out. He wiped a suddenly beaded brow. “Thank the Lord no one was hurt!”
He pulled out his radio with shaking hands and spoke into it. “Martha? Yeah, Steven here with the job applicants. There’s been a bit of an incident on the battlement tower. No one injured, thankfully, but . . . ummm . . . could you track down someone with a crane? Oh, and Martha? Could you please send someone to replace me? I need to find a laundry.”
He turned to us. “Someone else will finish your tour. Please excuse me.”
As he started to walk away, he turned suddenly to me. “Gwen, isn’t it?”
I nodded.
“Do you and your sister come as a package deal? Yes or no.”
I stared at him. “Ummm . . . Which answer will get me the job?”




Use Your Words is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers pick 4 - 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All the words must be used at least once and all the posts are unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That's the challenge, here's a fun twist; no one who's participating knows who got their words and in what directions the writer will take them until the day and time that we all simultaneously publish our work.
My words this month: pint ~ call ~ forward ~ loose cannon ~ orientation ~ laundry came to me from my friend Jenniy at Climaxed.

Want some more fun? Go and see what the other challengers have wrought!

Wandering Web Designer
Cognitive Script
The Bergham Chronicles
Bookworm in the Kitchen
Part-time Working Hockey Mom
Follow me home
Climaxed

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Some R Bashed


I had the grandkids here today,
I thought ‘twould be a time for play,
The water slide enticed them first,
Until the garden hose just…burst,
They roamed about the pirate ship,
Then Willow fell and split her lip.
Foam swords in hand they crossed the 'heath',
Till William got one in the teeth,
Then Lizbeth missed the climbing frame,
And Leah got all of the blame,
Hazel, Bronwyn, Linney, too,
Lost the tug-o-war, got soaked through,
Emma stood and watched, amazed,
While all her cousins acted crazed…
Quincy, thankfully too small,
To get her small self smashed at all,
And all the older cousins, too,
Too wise to wade into the zoo!
It’s peaceful now, they’ve all gone home,
No more as pirates do they roam,
Some were bruised, some bloodied, too,
With all the antics they got through,
And I've learned with all this balderdash,
Just what is meant by ‘Summer Bash’!

We friends of Karen happ'ly meet,
To rhyme with words. A challenge greet,
So while you're on the 'net today,
Stop by and see what our friends say! 

Karen of Baking In A Tornado: Summer Bash
Dawn of Spatulas On Parade: Summer Bash Pizza Style
Lydia of Cluttered Genius: Summer’s a Bash


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