Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gopher Tail

When we were little my grandma would tell us stories about when she was growing up on the Canadian prairie. My favorite involved a string, my great aunt and a gopher.

Grandma would always start with,
"Walt and I, would sneak up to the prairie dog town with a ball of twine. We'd lay out our snare then slip behind a little hill and wait. One day Ruth decided she wanted to go to. So we all crept up and put the snare around a prairie dog's hole. Then we slid behind a little hill and waited. After a while a prairie dog popped up his head. Walt pulled the string and that prairie dog started running back and forth."
"We all jumped up. The gopher ran toward Ruth. We yelled "Run! Ruth! He's after you!' Ruth screaned and ran. The prairie dog was running back and forth trying to get out of the snare and Ruth was running back and forth tryin to get away from the prairie dog. Ruth ran all the way back to the house. She never went out to catch gophers with us again."

In 1972, Grandma and Grandpa took my oldest brother and me for a long road trip to Alaska. On the way across Canada, we stopped at a campground out on the prairie. Rick and I decided we would try to catch a prairie dog like Grandma.

We talked Grandma out of a ball of string and headed out. After carefully positioning our little string snare in a likely spot, we waited. Grandma and Uncle Walt must have been a whole lot more patient and faster with a snare than we were. We never even came close to catching a prairie dog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A labor of love or temporary insanity

It all started when I inherited my grandmother's recipe box. I started thinking about all the stories she had told me about her childhood. I wished I had thought to record her words before Alzheimer's took her memories. I thought about how those stories would soon be lost if no one wrote them down. I though about my grandfather and the cracked nursery rhymes he taught us when we were little. About my dad telling his three littlest grandsons the story of the "3 Billy Goats Gruff".

It made me sad to think that all these stories were lost when they passed away. So here I am trying in my own inept way to record these family memories to pass on to my children and my grandchildren and hopefully all the generations to come.

Don't ask me who said it but someone once said, "You can't know where you are going if you don't know where you've been."

I invite you to join me as I explore where we've been.