Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Thursday, December 24, 2020

A Mrs. Christmas

My annual Christmas Eve poem.

Again with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore . . .



On the night before Christmas, long hours ahead
My babe still awake, I’d just got her to bed.
The stockings were hung in a haphazard row,
While Mama assembled new toys just below.

The kids were asleep. Well, except for that last,
Just waiting for morning to get downstairs fast.
I toiled on alone, ‘cause there wasn’t a dad.
I had broken a nail and my language was bad.

From out on the lawn came a very loud sound,
It brought me to my feet, had me looking around.
I flew to the window, and thought as I ran,
‘Are my neighbour’s cats rifling through my garbage can?!’

It was bright (as can only the moon on snow be),
And I narrowed my eyes to be able to see.
And what did I glimpse, coming over the way?
But some deer, all in harness, and a stout little sleigh.

With someone in a coat that looked comfy and soft,
And clearly, some magic to keep them aloft.
They flew like a Michael Schumacher on course,
While the driver attempted some will to enforce.

"Now Baby! Now, Jazzi! Now, Frolic and Jolly!
On, Cherub! On, Angel! On, Kitten and Folly!
I need you to get to the rooftop this time!
And a fine, gentle landing would be so sublime!"

To say that they flew like some leaves past the attic,
Would be perfectly true, it was quite that erratic.
I was holding my breath as they shot toward the sky,
And prayed that my windows and roof would survive.

Then finally (thankfully) up on the roof,
The unmistakable sound of thirty-two hoofs.
Then some noise in the chimney I’d not heard before,
And someone emerged, on their knees, on the floor.

The figure was dressed in a warm, sooty coat,
With some Uggs on their feet and scarf 'round their throat.
With toys, books and clothes in a gi-normous sack,
Which they dropped to the floor with the words, “Oh, my back!”.

And then sparkling eyes were directed at me!
From under a hat that was worn with esprit.
I surprisingly saw, not a lad, but a lass,
Was I scared? Well at first, but soon it would pass.

In white teeth, she had clutched a short pencil end,
And a notebook, she held in one mittened hand.
Her round, wrinkled face shone with laughter and fun,
Her laugh was contagious, could not be outdone!

She was joyful and glad, and just a bit round,
Her smile made me smile, 'twas so friendly and sound!
She gave me a grin and then winked an eye,
And I knew I was right to bid my fears goodbye.

She didn’t say much, simply nodded my way,
And I watched as she worked – like a pudgy ballet.
She finished her job, made a note in her book,
Then nodded and smiled and her exit she took!

I heard her footsteps as she ran to her sleigh,
Heard her call to her team as they all flew away.
Then this sweet woman cried, as she flew o’er the town,
"Happy Christmas to all, don’t let life get you down!"

Merry Christmas, my friends! 
And a very, very Happy New Year! 2021 will be great!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Blue Christmas

I apologize for the somber tone.
It's been a hard year for all of us.
And for Santa...


You have to know that Santa has been very sad this year,

He hasn’t had his kiddie cuddles and ensuing cheer,

Not a single three-year-old has dived into his lap,

No precious, screaming babies and few gifts to make and wrap!

He misses all the bustle and the ‘hurry up and go’,

He’s trying to make do with lots of tinsel, lights and snow,

But sitting in his chair and gazing at a festooned tree,

Just is not the same without a child upon his knee,

This 2020 has been tough for everyone, it’s true,

But it’s robbed Santa of his kids. That makes him really blue,

When normally, he’d be enclosed by laughter and by love,

The screaming of excitement and the hi-jinks made thereof,

This gentle man who lives to make all children’s eyes shine bright

Just sits beside his tree and reads through these long winter nights,

There’s just one thing that’s positive and doesn’t make him weep,

For the first time in a ‘hundred’ years, he’s catching up on sleep!

I know the kids are missing him as much as he does them,

Missing parties, missing friends (and seasonal mayhem),

So could you pass along his wish for these ensuing days?

That they be happy, safe and well. That’s all that Santa prays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from
Santa and Mrs.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

When Santa Retires

It's time for my annual Christmas Poems!
This year, this poem takes on an extra significance as Santa has been in self-imposed 'retirement'!
“I’m too old for this,” sighed Santa, as he finished work that day,
“I have a pain here in my back that will not go away.
My eyes are tired, my feet are sore, my head is pounding so,
I fear the noises that it makes are heard in…Mexico!”

He sank into his easy chair, he closed his eyes and sighed,
He placed his feet upon a stool and very nearly cried.
“The miles and miles of snow up here are quite a sight to see,
But now I think that Florida should be the place for me.”

His wife brought in hot chocolate as he finished this remark.
“You silly man.” She chuckled. “You’ll be eaten by a shark!”
She looked into his troubled eyes and smoothed his soft, white hair.
“Now what’s the real problem, Dear? You know how much I care!”

He lifted up his chocolate cup and slowly took a sip,
Then in a thoughtful way, he pulled upon his lower lip.
He looked into her loving eyes, then down into the fire.
“The elves brought in a foreman elf they wanted me to hire.”

“With someone else to run the show, they won’t need me at all,
They said they could replace me with a schedule on the wall.
And someone kind of young would want to tackle greater things.
I feel the changes in the air this foreman’s presence brings.”

“He says he has a dozen plans to make our business grow,
He’s going to pay the elves much more and keep their hours low.
He says they’ll work much faster if they get more rest each day,
And all will go much better if I simply go away.”

“On his schedule, all is listed from the dawn to setting sun,
And if he’s right, by June the first, the toys will all be done.
The elves will then have time for play and do what they like best,
Or simply lie down in the sun and take a good long rest.”

He turned to look at her and wiped a tear from off his cheek.
“I’d time to think, they said, and gave me nearly half a week.
I said I’d answer right away, they didn’t need to wait,
I told them you and I would leave tomorrow night at eight.”

So Santa packed his things and sadly climbed into his sleigh,
And he and Mrs. Santa very slowly flew away.
In Florida, they found themselves a house down by the sea,
And soon they had a garden full of carrots, corn and peas.

They swam and fished and talked and laughed and laid out in the sun,
And no knew that Santa wasn’t really having fun,
For though they had so much to do—were always on the go,
He never could forget the snow. And work that he loved so.

One day while they were on the beach just lying in the sun,
They noticed someone coming toward their beach house on the run.
“It’s Ralph,” Said Mrs. Santa as they scrambled to their feet.
Ralph Elf was the last person that they thought they’d ever meet!

“You must come back!” Ralph panted as he sank into a chair,
“The schedule simply doesn’t work. We need someone who cares!
Eight months, we’ve worked for Foreman and, by rights, we should be done,
But to tell the truth, my friend, the work has barely been begun!”

“Come with me now, I beg you, for there is so much to do,
We tried hard to do without you for we thought that you were through.
We thought you were too old to really help us anymore,
But now we know it’s love, not age is all that we ask for!”

“We need you so the children won’t be sad on Christmas day,
And the elves all say they’ll work for you without a speck of pay.
Come with me, please. We need you. Could you try forgiveness now?
If you can’t forgive, just help us help the children anyhow.”

Santa’s eyes were dimmed with tears as he looked at Mrs. Claus,
He smiled at Ralph. “We’ll get our things.” Then suddenly, he paused.
 “My friend,” he said as he looked at Ralph, “Do the elves all want me too?
“Or do they just want someone who will work as hard as you?”

Ralph smiled and said, “Dear Santa, we have found it’s you we love,
We couldn’t work for someone else for all the stars above!”
We are a team, or better yet, a father, girls and boys,
Most families have a hobby. And ours is making toys.”

“We work so well together and together, we should be,
We’ll make the toys for everyone for all eternity.
Come with me now. We need you so. We each would like to say
If you’re with us, we’ll have more fun with each and every day!”

So Santa went with Ralph that day and started with a will,
By Christmas Eve the work was done and every package filled.
They worked so hard throughout those weeks, that on that happy day,
The children never knew how Santa had been sent away.

So now on Christmas morning when you see that he’s been there,
Remember that it’s love that brings your presents through the air.
And if we work together, loving as a family,
Love can accomplish anything that’s good. Take it from me!

Yes. Santa does recycle...
Merry Christmas, my friends!
And I hope that 2021 is the Best. Year. Ever!!!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Soul-stice

 

They call it ‘Winter Solstice’. It’s a fancy name for sure,

It has all sort of meanings—some are common, some obscure,

Occurs when one of Earth’s two poles is furthest from the sun,

Which causes light at one end: darkness for the other one.

 

The march of days leads to or from. It happens once a year,

In late June for those living South, December for us here,

Though it truly lasts a moment, people celebrate all day,

With festivals and parties (and a chance to go astray?).

 

There’s some believed this solstice was the sign of sun’s rebirth,

Cause from that moment on, the days grew longer here on earth.

A very special moment, something major, a benchmark,

It doesn’t matter what they say…to me, it means it’s dark!



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 JennyCharlotteMimi, Me

Have crafted poems for you to see.

And now you’ve read what we have wrought…

Did we help?

Or did we not?


Next week's the last one of the year!

It has been one of dread and fear,

Sooo...

Ignore the chaos 'fore us spread,

Let's hear all our 'RESOLVES' instead.

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A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on Amazon.com and .ca!

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My novel, Carving Angels

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Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

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What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

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Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

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I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

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

Be Courageous!


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