Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2020


Catching Sunbeams

The afternoon sun spilled through the living room window like golden honey.
Making the air glow and creating a cozy pool of warm delicious-ness.
I watched my three-year-old granddaughter, her face alight, white-blonde hair a shining halo about her, as she tried to capture the floating dust-motes in the beam of light.
“Gramma, look!” she said excitedly. “They’re dancing!”
And suddenly, I was remembering another time.
And another little girl . . .
I had just graduated from Nursery. The place, in our church, of food, toys, warm hugs, and sitting on the floor. Also the room in the basement. With the least amount of windows.
My fellow three-years-olds and I had been guided upstairs and into the sunlit chapel. Then given the gi-normous (expressive/made-up word) front pew to sit on.
Don’t get me wrong, we were used to those pews.
But normally we sat on them with our parents/families.
Suddenly that great expanse was ours. Alone.
We were ‘big kids’ now.  
My classmates alternated between sliding about on the polished, golden oak surface and staring at the women in charge of this meeting.
I was seated furthest from those women. And nearest the tall window next to our pew.
The late afternoon sunshine was streaming through.
On me.
For a while, that was amazing enough.
Then, I discovered that there were floating . . . things . . . in that golden beam of light.
Things that danced and swirled about when I waved my hand.
Things that gently, but effectively, eluded capture. No matter how quickly I moved. Or how hard I tried.
While the rest of the kids in the room sang or listened to stories, I concentrated on the little ‘floaties’ so tantalizingly close and so difficult to actually grasp.
Suddenly, the girl seated next to me slid to her feet. I looked around, startled. Our little group was following Auntie Grace and filing out of the room. I glanced one last time at my golden beam of magic and reluctantly followed.
We were led to a tiny classroom that opened directly off the chapel.
And set down on chairs.
Real, our-size chairs.
Auntie Grace smiled at us and welcomed us warmly.
Then she said something I’ll never forget. “Diane was playing in the sunbeam during opening exercises.”
I stared at her. Was I going to get into trouble?
She looked at me and smiled again. “Diane, that’s what you are! That’s what this class is! Sunbeams! You’re not in Nursery any more. You’re all Sunbeams now!”
I blinked at her, not quite certain what she was telling us.
But I never have forgotten.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


Here is my Mimi,
            Who wears a bikini
It’s painted, there's nothing at all can be done.
Over that, in a pair
            I put pink underwear,
(You have to admit that they're cute and they're fun.)

                                                So now my sweet Mimi
in her pinkish bikini
                                                Has pink underwear
Always found in a pair.

I think she’ll look pert
            In a white undershirt
That I dig out from under the bed.
Then what would look better
            Than a warm and soft sweater
In a pattern that’s yellow and red.

                                                Now look at Mimi,
her covered bikini.
                                                Still with underwear
That is there in a pair,
                                                And her white undershirt
that made her look pert,
                                                Till I hunted to get her
a warm and soft sweater.

Now what would be sweet?
            Why, some socks for her feet
And I think these bright green ones will fit,
Then to cover her knees
I need pants, I’ll try these:
They’re a truly remarkable shade of scar-let.

                                                Oh my little Mimi,
somewhere is her bikini,
                                                And then pink underwear,
Always there in a pair.
                                                And likewise her pert,
little white undershirt.
                                                Now she’s put together
with a cuddly sweater,
                                                And some awfully sweet,
bright green socks for her feet
                                                And where are her knees?
Under pants, if you please.

Now what’s left to do?
            Why a jacket of blue,
Yes! I found it right here on the door.
And some shoes that don’t match
            Notice, one has a patch,
They were under the chair on the floor.

                                                Wow, look at Mimi,
not a trace of bikini,
                                                Can't see underwear
Even though it's a pair.
                                                Or a peek of the white undershirt
which is pert,
                                                And now see her better,
 bright-colored, warm sweater,
                                                And even her sweet,
green, sock-covered small feet,
                                                And those pants, if you please,
that hide both of her knees,
                                                Are all covered - It’s true!
- by her jacket of blue,
                                                And the shoe with the patch
and the mate that won’t match.

Now with infinite care,
            I will cover her hair
With a hat so amazingly cute,
That it matches her clothes
            From her head to her toes,
While just nicely completing her suit.

                                                Now she’s finished, my Mimi,
with no sign of bikini,
                                                Beneath pink underwear,
That is there, in a pair.
                                                Also hidden’s her pert,
Nice and white undershirt,
                                                And her very much better,
Cuddly soft, knitted sweater,
                                                And also the sweet,
bright green socks on her feet,
                                                And her tiny, cute knees,
still in pants, if you please,
                                                With her jacket of blue,
and her shoes that aren’t true,
                                                And a hat, (it is said),
like a crown for her head.

But what did Mom say?
            Let’s go swimming today?
Why, the two of us better get set.
We must start right away,
            There’s no time for delay,
I can’t wait till we’re both getting wet!

                                                So off with the hat.
Make it sail, just like that,
                                                And the jacket of blue,
it can hit the wall, too.
                                                Then her shoes, so mismatched,
will be quickly dispatched,
                                                And now we see knees
as her pants hit the breeze,
                                                And discover her feet
as her socks meet the street.
                                                Soon we’re going to be wetter,
so let’s ditch the sweater,
                                                Then toss with our might,
the pert undershirt, white,
                                                And follow it there,
with the underwear pair,
                                                Till I just have my Mimi,
in her pinkish bikini.

Today is National Pink Day.
Let's celebrate!

Karen of Baking In A Tornado: Celebrate Pink with Pineapple Raspberry Sheet Cake
Dawn of Spatulas On Parade: Celebrate Pink with A Pink No Churn Ice Cream
Tamara of Par-time working Hockey Mom: Pink is the new Black

Monday, June 22, 2020

Stepping Forward

The first day of grade one, she’d been excited for a week,
But now the day was here and she was feeling rather bleak,
Her mama knelt beside her and she kissed the little cheek,
“Just step forward, dear, you’ll find the wonders that you seek!”

Her first time on the stage, again was frightened as could be,
Again, her mama hugged her tight, said,”Darling look at me!”
“You’ve practiced all your lines, you know them to the ‘nth’ degree,
“So just step forward, dear, and your success, I’ll guarantee!”

A few years on, once more she has to face a great unknown,
Marriage to her love and for the first time, leaving home,
Her mama smiled and took her hand and said, “My girl, you’re grown,
“So just step forward, dear. Be glad! You’ll never be alone.”

The years have passed, some good, some bad, and always, when there’s fear,
She hears her mama’s voice a’whispering softly in her ear,
“When there’s nowhere else to go, and you simply can’t stay here,
“Just step forward, dear, you’ll find your problems disappear.”

And now there’s a pandemic. Fear for all around her there,
She sees the ones who act with thought and those who simply glare,
She’s frightened. Sudden hears her mom say, “Darling, let them stare.
“And just step forward, dear. But wear a mask and be aware!”

Cause Mondays do get knocked a lot,
With Poetry, we all besought,
To try to make the week begin 
With pleasant thoughts,
Perhaps a grin?
So all of us, together, we
Have crafted poems for you to see.
And now you’ve read what we have wrought…
Did we help? 
Or did we not?

From Baili and I, we’ve our topic today,
Pandemic, disturbing in ev-er-y way!
Next week (I think I’ll need a hug)
Cause we’ll all be discussing ‘Bugs’!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Happy Fathers...Day

Today is Father's Day.

A little tribute to the most special father in my life...
My Hero
For most of his career, my Husby has worked for the Culture department in our province.
He enjoys it.
Building museums.
Refurbishing older exhibits.
It has been a constant adventure.
But he learned, as a civil servant, that gratitude was an accepted part of the job and very, very rarely expressed.
Case in point . . .
He and his team had been refitting an interpretive center.
They had been at it for three years.
Their job was finally drawing to a close.
Which allowed the center to open.
Ironic but true.
A grand gala was planned for the opening night.
With speeches by pertinent politicians.
And food.
Myself and our three younger children made the trip and were seated in the audience, happily anticipating hearing from our husby/father.
The evening wore on.
Speeches by many, many people. None of whom had even stepped foot in the building until that night.
Then, finally, just at the end of the evening, the MC announced my Husby.
The man who had organized and directed the entire operation.
The whole three years.
I was so proud of him.
He had worked hard, spending weeks and weeks on a project that took him far from home and family.
And he had done well.
I glanced around. I was surrounded by evidence of his careful, thoughtful, precise planning and execution.
We were now seated in a world-class center with the best and most advanced displays found anywhere.
The crowd had clapped politely as he stepped to the podium. Most of them had no idea of the part he had played.
But his family did.
My daughter suddenly whispered, "Come on! Let's do it!"
My children and I surged to our feet, cheering and clapping wildly.
The rest of the audience stared at us in stunned silence for a moment.
Then the smiles began.
And the applause.
No one else got up, but everyone there knew that this man was special. Deserving of what little praise we could give him.
He smiled at us, then, in his usual calm fashion said, "I have no idea who those people are."
Then, "And I didn't have to pay them much to do that!"
Much laughter and the tone of the entire evening was changed completely.
Later, one of the people with whom he had worked closely stopped me.
"We were so happy when your family did that," she said. "We would all have joined you, if we weren't already standing at the back!"
Dads get very little recognition for good deeds done in this life.
My daughter's advice? 'Let's do it!'

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Available from

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My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

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