Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Blackboard Education

School is memorable for so many reasons.
Friends. Enemies. Sports.
Life lessons.
The occasional chance bit of education that slips in and the teacher(s) who accidentally accomplish it . . .
In Lethbridge, Alberta in the early ‘40s, there a great teacher.
Young and energetic, he was one of those inspiring men with the enthusiasm and determination needed to pour knowledge into thirty-plus mostly-resistant heads.
One of which was my dad’s.
Every day, this teacher would painstakingly write out his lessons—filling the blackboard.
Then, just before the end of the period arrived, just as painstakingly review everything he had struggled so hard to put down.
And, every day, he would begin said review with these words: “Class? Watch the board while I go through it.”
Now, admittedly, to him, these words were supposed to suggest exactly what he said. The review was about to begin.
To his students, something far different was understood.
And they waited, day after day, for it to happen.
But never, in all the years this man taught my dad did he actually go through the board.
Because that would have been an education.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Home Again. Home Again...

This says it all...
Two years in the planning. Check.
Savings gone. Check.
Cruisewear purchased. Check.
Flight to Sant Maartin. Check.
Luggage sent to Miami. Check.
Luggage found and returned. Check.
Ship boarded. Check.
The occasional bout of mild seasickness (remember, I am a child of the prairies.) Check.
Own weight in food consumed. Check.
Sunscreen applied. Check.
Sand waded through. Check.
Islands of the sea explored. Check.
Shopping on said islands of the sea. Check.
Sting Rays fed. Check.
Blue, Caribbean waves floated on. Check.
Afternoon naps in the sun. Check.
New, forever friends found. Check.
Long, starlit evenings under a Caribbean moon. Check.
Laughter and singing and dancing and visiting and reading and writing and quiet times. Check.
Wonderful, marvellous, stupendous once-in-a-lifetime experience. Check.
Planning underway for the next time. Check.

And: Won't forget important foundation garments next time. Check.
First glimpse of the Caribbean
First selfie on the beach

First glimpse of the Star Clipper.

Canadian hits the beach.
Sailing with our sister ship! The Royal Clipper.

Steering the ship. Sorta.
Iles de Saintes. I wanna live there!

Lifeboat drill. Expressions of terror optional.

Moonrise over Saba Rock.
Where they paved paradise and put up a restaurant . . .
New wonderful friends, Staci and David.
The only time these guys stood still.
Watching the Batik happen.
The last bell tower.
View from Brimstone Hill fortress on St. Kitts.
The view from our bedroom. Sigh

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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