Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Saturday, April 14, 2018

Flying Boots

Mom and kids at the 'front' entrance.


Dad and kids at the 'back'.
Behind that door? The Stairway.
New, still-unfinished house.
Large family.
Little kids.
What could possibly go wrong . . .?
The House-in-Town was nearing completion.
Now you have to know that the Mark and Enes Stringam family had always been ranch dwellers. And that said ranch was 20 miles from town.
The older kids were in school, necessitating much driving back and forth along that always-adventurous 20 miles of—depending on the day—gravel, mud, ruts and/or dust.
99 % of it driven by Mom with four little kids in her car.
My parents came up with a unique solution: Build a house in town and move the family there. Thus, instead of Mom driving to the town and back, Dad would be driving to the ranch and back.
Less people in the car.
And no little kids.
Perfect.
Back at the house, there were a few things that still needed doing—floor coverings. Doors to be hung. Cosmetics, really.
In mid-1956, the family moved in just in time for school.
Things started out well.
Dad off to the ranch each morning.
Older two kids off to school.
Mom, toddler and very mobile baby at home.
Now one of Mom’s biggest worries was the long stairway to the basement. Bare, wooden steps.
And no door at the top.
She barricaded it as best she could with a wooden child’s gate at the top.
But with workers and other family members going up and down, keeping said gate where it should be was . . . difficult.
Now George, nearing three years old, was fascinated by boots. Particularly his mother's, which he found easy to slip on and off. And Mom, neatness person that she was, insisted that all boots be removed and stored just inside the ‘back’ entrance.
I should probably point out that this entrance was ‘back’ only because it was secondary, not because of location. In reality, it opened into the house only a few yards from the ‘front’ entrance.
Directly onto the stairway going down.
That same stairway that didn’t have a door.
Thus George playing with the Boots was, by necessity, near the Stairway.
I take a long way to get where I’m going, don’t I . . .?
Suddenly, Mom heard the unmistakable sound of a small body thumping and bumping down the stairs.
In an instant, she knew what had happened—toddler, boots, stairs—and went into ‘flight’ mode. Reaching the bottom just shortly after her son.
It could have been far worse with those rough, unfinished steps. But George emerged with only bumps, bruises and fear.
The remarkable thing?
The little soldier kept his boots on.
Both of them.
Right through the scuffle. 
I guess we all hang onto what's important.
Well done, little soldier. Well done.

10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I think he was just blessed with a hard head! ;)

      Delete
  2. Well that was a lucky tumble. When I was just a little tyke, I fell down the stairs in my old house and split my head open. One of many trips to the ER for my mom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yowch! So glad you are still with us! :)

      Delete
  3. Oh dear. George was lucky. It could have turned out differently. And imagine, those boots staying on!

    Our two year old stepped off the top stair intentionally "to see if he could fly" . . . I knew I couldn't get to him in time and it was a horrible feeling. Fortunately it was a half-staircase and was carpeted, and he was okay. I feel your mom's heart-stopping pain, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no feeling quite like it. Then that split second after the final thump . . . and the scream. Yikes!

      Delete
  4. So very glad it ended better than it could have done.
    My partner broke his arm as a small thing - walking backwards along a narrow wall. When asked why his response was 'walking the same way all the time is booooring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see great potential for adventure in that little boy. Did he realize it?

      Delete
  5. I'm reading this thinking that at any minute George was going to start tossing everyone's boots down the stairwell, little did I know he would toss himself first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. George. He never did things like everyone else!

      Delete

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