Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

Giveaway ends April 08, 2017.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Scaring the Scare-er

Blarney Manor House and Tree
My friend, Susan at The Contemplative Cat, posted this deliciously scary picture for Photo Prompt Monday.
It reminded me of something . . .


The Stringam kids loved a scary story.
Okay, yes, it usually meant that Diane couldn't sleep afterwards.
And needed to leave a light on.
Or, better yet, crawl in with my parents.
But still, I loved to be scared.
And my older sister, Chris was a master at scaring.
One who knew dozens of deliciously frightening tales.
It was a perfect partnership.
The scare-er and the easily - and very vocally - scared.
Chris would gather whatever siblings were near by.
And, with them cuddled close, launch into her current favourite.
Her soft voice would wind through the story, slowly spiralling up in volume and suspense . . .
Or suspenders, as my dad used to call it.
. . . to the end.
Her reward? Several squeaks of alarm as she loudly barked out the climactic line.
“I've got you!”
Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!
“Bloody boots!”
Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!
“Ivory soap floats!”
“Eeeeeeeeeeeee!”
Okay. I admit it. We were easily scared.
My parents were building a cabin on St. Mary's Lake.
The fact that it wasn't quite finished didn't deter us from actually using it.
In fact, our summer was usually spent . . . finishing.
We had finally gotten to the painting. Had actually spent most of yet another glorious summer morning doing just that.
Lunch was finished.
Chris had gathered my younger brother and I on our parent's bed.
For a few delightfully shivery minutes, we could have story time.
I should mention that, unbeknownst (Oooh, good word!) to us, Mom had finished the lunch dishes and returned to her painting.
Right outside the window of the room we were gathered in.
But I digress . . .
Chris was building to her usual grand finish.
Bloody boots!”
Blair and I were completely absorbed.
Bloody boots!”
We barely breathed.
Bloody boots!”
Mom stuck her head through the window. “Bloody boots!”
Her timing and delivery were perfect.
Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Our story teller proved that she was as capable as any of us of being startled.
And Mom was rewarded with three squeaks of alarm.
A reward indeed.

22 comments:

  1. Diane, I'm back! I still have loads of dirty laundry, suitcases to unpack (still!) and Roxy to take to the vet, but I'm back! I have missed you! And I love scary stories! This post reminds me of how my sisters and I would make forts in our living room made of old sheets and hover around a flashlight, while taking turns telling scary stories. Like you, we couldn't sleep for days afterward, but it sure got our adrenalin going! hee hee! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Bella, I can't tell you how happy I am you're back! Anxious to hear about your adventures! I remember the old flashlight under the chin tactic! Ahhh . . . adrenalin!

      Delete
  2. Fun memory! I love that you had to refer to yourself in third person in the beginning. Still a little scared maybe? Lol.

    I've missed your stories. Glad I stopped by today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are still times when I have to leave a light on. Sigh. Some things never change . . .

      Delete
  3. Diane,
    I had all but forgotten this! Thanks for reminding me! Love your writing style!
    Love,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were the best, Chris. Except when you were out-gunned by Mom . . .

      Delete
  4. Oh, the terror of ivory soap floats. I look at little children and hope they will grow up to be as wise as they are now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm not that good a scary-storyteller, but no one can beat my sound effects! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I so agree! Bwee-boop. Bip. Bip. Bip. Boop!

      Delete
  6. The whispers in the dark, the shivering at each word--great memories of my own. Your mother was a saint. Glad you liked the scary tree! My own take will post on Friday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loved the scary tree! But now I'll have to sleep with the light on. Again. Sigh. Looking forward to your post!

      Delete
  7. Haha, how cute... perfect timing for your mother:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, she had many talents. Timing was her best!

      Delete
  8. What fun! We used to visit an aunt, and all of the kids, plus our moms and aunt, would play "murder in the dark!" fun memories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We played 'murder in the dark'! Such fun memories!

      Delete
  9. I've never heard of bloody boots or Ivory soap floats, but we used to get all the kids and aunts, and play murder in the dark... Fun times!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you must hear 'Bloody Boots' and 'It Floats'! Your childhood won't be complete until you do!!! :)

      Delete
  10. I really loved your story. My brothers loved to scare me with stories and other kinds of terror. You are so talented in bringing the experiences to life.
    A fun read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, LeAnn! Why do we love to scare each other? Weird, isn't it?!
      I tried to get onto your Living Waters site, but got a Malware warning. Just FYI!

      Delete

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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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