Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



All of My Friends

Monday, May 27, 2013

Someone's Uncle


That head was learning things. Who could have guessed?!

I learned a few things as I was growing up.
Okay, I know that comes as a surprise to many, but it's true.
Some lessons were fairly severe, but a few, and even some of the most life-changing were quite (for want of a better term) painless.
I was staying with my best friend and nearest neighbour at her parent's ranch, fifteen miles from my own.
We had had a glorious week, riding, playing, getting into her father's hair.
Oh, yes, a glorious week.
It was time to go home. Her Dad needed the break.
It was a fairly easy trip when one was merely negotiating the fifteen miles of dirt roads between our ranches.
But my parents had moved, for the winter, to our town home in Milk River a further twenty miles away.
A trip of approximately an hour, if the road conditions were favourable. Which they often weren't.
Originally, my Dad had planned to pick me up when he came out to do a vet call.
His plans had changed.
And now, so had mine.
Sigh.
I would be riding with my best friend's uncle.
The scary one.
For an hour.
Just the two of us.
I suddenly didn't care if I ever saw my parents again. I wanted to stay with my friend.
Or die.
Neither choice was given to me, however.
Amidst much hugging and goodbye-ing, I was pushed out the door and parked in the uncle's truck.
Doomed.
I curled into a little ball in my corner and tried to pretend I didn't exist.
We started out, the silence thick about us.
After a while, the uncle reached out and turned on the radio. A short time later, he turned it up.
Now, at least, we had music to fill the emptiness.
But I found myself getting more and more uncomfortable. My parents always claimed that visiting made the time go by faster. I definitely wanted that to happen.
Finally, I thought of a question about his ranching. I asked it.
He answered. Quite politely, I might add.
I asked another.
Again, he answered. With even more detail than the last.
This went on for some time. He turned the radio down. Then down again.
Then finally shut it off completely.
And it was then I realized that we were . . . visiting. And that he was funny. And not nearly as scary as when we got into the truck.
Huh. Who knew?
The trip turned out to be infinitely shorter than I had anticipated. In fact, we got so animated in our conversation that we were parked in my family's driveway before I even realized that we had reached the town.
And I learned that all you need to do to get a conversation going is to ask a question about whoever you're with. If you are genuinely interested, they like to talk about themselves.
I also learned that, when you are visiting, no one is as scary as they first appear.
Even someone else's uncle.

11 comments:

  1. Well...there still is the odd scary one out there. May we never be taken for a ride by one of those.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A beautiful thing that you learned. I like the word "severe" at the beginning. A great choice in words, because it's true. Lessons can sometimes seem so severe as a child that we forget about the ones that were more painless! Another beautiful post, Diane. I really enjoy your writing. You are a great storyteller.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Rachel! At the time, I thought it was going to be very 'severe'. But it turned out . . . umm . . . less so. :)

      Delete
  3. It's interesting how kids can become so intimidated by a grownup. Brian (Chris) made super strange with me until I had to watch him one Saturday night. We became buddies, especially after I gave him some ice cream and a handful of peanuts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ice cream and peanuts would make a friend out of me, too! :)

      Delete
  4. Sometimes grownups are the shy ones, too. So ... on goes the radio.

    Sometimes even if they're not shy, nothing they say will draw out a shy child, and, thus ... on goes the radio :)

    I love this lesson! It's hard to imagine that you never had anything to say at one point, though :) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. My family can't believe it, either!

      Delete
  5. Isn't it funny how once you open your mind to something, it's not so bad after all? I'm curious as to how your relationship went with your uncle from then on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We entered a whole new phase! From then on, we were friends. I think it was the first 'big person' I was ever friends with . . .

      Delete
  6. Oh gosh, I was so painfully shy as a kid that I may have died upon learning that I had to take a one-hour car trip with the scary uncle! I'm so glad to read that the trip ended up being not only fine, but enjoyable. What an awesome memory - the way that you told it was captivating. Wonderful story!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

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 . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?