Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



All of My Friends

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Hole in the Ice


Mom was in a panic.
She had looked away for an instant.
An instant.
And her toddler had disappeared.
Christine, dressed in her warm, little woollen snowsuit had been playing happily in the front yard.
Mom had zipped into the house to check on her new baby.
Happily, rosily asleep in his cradle.
And now, seconds later, her eldest child was gone.
Frantically, Mom called and cast about for her little daughter's footprints in the snow.
There!
Leading . . . toward the river.
Mom was off at a run.
A few seconds later, she was standing on the bank.
The little tracks meandered out onto the snow-covered ice.
To a large hole.
Mom stared at the patch of dark, swiftly-moving water.
Her entire life crashing about her ears.
She stepped out . . .
Then she realized that the little footprints didn't end there.
No.
The trail turned and continued back to the bank.
Her heart beginning to beat again, Mom scrambled back up the bank.
And there was her little daughter, heading toward the barnyard.
Mom scooped up her baby and carried her back to the house.
Then spent the rest of the day alternately crying and hugging Christine.
Infinitely grateful for the divine intervention that had protected her daughter.
Mom raised all of her six children to adulthood on that ranch.
Rescuing them from such things as:
Altercations with the local livestock.
Wrangles with barbed-wire.
Numerous falls.
Differences of opinion with power tools.
An infinite number of scrapes and bruises.
And, yes, plucking them from the muddy jaws of death in a capricious river.
But she never forgot that moment of stark and frozen terror.
Standing on the bank of the river, looking at the trail of little tracks that ended at the great hole in the ice.
And how differently it could have ended.
Her very worst . . . and very best of moments.

18 comments:

  1. I can feel the ice in the pit of my stomach for her...picture her standing there, not breathing. Lord the things we mothers live through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When she would tell that story, my heart would just stop. And I knew the ending . . .

      Delete
  2. Och! A Mothers' night mare.
    Kids turn your hair gray before its' time.lol

    ReplyDelete
  3. Holy Criminy! I've had some heart-stopping moments in my time looking after my imps, but never quite like that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With your girls, I'm always afraid of the balcony!

      Delete
    2. Kinda hard to enjoy the balcnoy right now, though... ;)

      Delete
  4. My heart was pounding just reading it. I once decided to show my little friend how a gopher trap worked. I did too good of a job and mom had to come running out to pry it off my thumb. Fortunately, my thumb was in the grove and not the blade. It's amazing most of us make it to adulthood really...moms and angels working hard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ouch! Those moms and guardian angles sure do put in extra time!

      Delete
  5. Just like Delores, I had a lump in the pit of my stomach reading this. What a nightmare and I am sure she never forgot that moment when she found her baby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She always said that was her single worst moment. I can believe it.

      Delete
  6. Wow, that had me on the edge of my seat. Almost didn't want to continue reading for fear of what the ending may be.

    Thanks for sharing with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party :)

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even knowing that my sister is now a grandmother, that story still gets me!

      Delete
  7. Wow, you had me holding my breath for a moment there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't tell you how many times I heard Mom tell that story, and still, it gets me!

      Delete
  8. Wow Diane, that had to be sooo scary, I am so happy to hear it turned out wonderful:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello! Found you VIA Paula's Blog Hop...i'm excited to keep reading your blog...new follower :)

    lolalucy09.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I honestly cannot even remember how I got to your blog, but I'm so glad I did. I love connecting with other readers and writers. I've really been enjoying reading through your posts. You have a great talent!

    Your newest follower,
    Denise @ Learning 2 Walk Again

    ReplyDelete

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