Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Friday, April 11, 2014

Holiday Monsters

Lake Okanagan. It only LOOKS peaceful and serene...
The Ogopogo was going to get me!
Ahem . . .
I have a vivid imagination.
I admit it.
It’s carried me to places near and far.
Most of which simply don’t exist.
But that doesn’t stop me from visiting them.
The problem with a vivid imagination is that it can cause you a lot of needless worry and some amazing heart gymnastics.
On with my story . . .
My family was visiting Penticton on the south shore of Lake Okanagan in the beautiful interior of British Columbia.
We had been having a marvelous time.
Picking fruit.
Eating fruit.
And stopping at any and all tourist sites.
Heaven.
We were camped just feet away from the shore of the lake.
A beautiful, peaceful body of water approximately 80 miles long and with an average depth of about 250 feet.
Now, I should mention here that I loved swimming.
I had learned in the muddy waters of the Milk River that flowed past our ranch.
We spent our entire summer in that river.
So, murky-ness didn’t scare me.
Nope.
What scared me were the tales of the great Ogopogo that supposedly inhabited that serene-looking body of water. The Ogopogo with its horse-shaped head and great undulating, serpent-like body that had been known to swallow native canoeists whole.
I stood on the beach and stared long and hard at the water, looking for anything that might betray the presence of the beast. Because I knew that, if I slid even one foot into that water, the monster would immediately sense the presence of a ten-year-old gleamingly white-skinned, skinny, tow-headed girl and think, “Oooh! My favourite meal!”
And pop to the top.
I knew it.
I would rather have watched my feet break through the scummy surface of some smelly municipal sewer than to disappear beneath the clear water of Lake Okanagan.
Except that sewers have been known to harbour their own monsters.
Sigh.
Finally, with much cajoling and some really pointed teasing, I waded in.
And I do mean waded – the water never reached my knees.
I wasn’t happy about it.
Every splash made me jump.
And I had a nagging, persistent feeling that great, piercing, bloodshot eyes were watching my every move, deciding where would be the tastiest place to sink sharp, ragged teeth.
I spent the entire ‘swim’ continually glancing behind me, certain I’d see a line of ripples leading in my direction. Or worse, a great, hulking form rising up out of the water, slavering jaws wide open and  . . . eww . . . dripping.
And where would my holiday be then?
Finally, I parked my little self on the beach.
Safely back from the monster-filled water.
Under a lovely, toasty sun.
I watched my brothers and sisters and scores of other foolish people as they tempted fate.
Silly people.
Obviously, not everyone can be as smart - and safe - as me.
Tourist view in Kelowna.

You decide . . .
Every week, my good friend, Delores of Under the Porch Light, hands out a challenge. 
A six-word challenge.
This week's words?
piercing, persistentmunicipalsewersglancing and bloodshot
What else would that suggest but a visit with the scourge of Lake Okanagan, the Ogopogo?!

19 comments:

  1. I'd be with you...on the shore. Missing out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great article Diane! We use to have a houseboat on Lake Cumberland in southern KY and under the water were abandoned cities and grave yards. This use to scare me to death as a child. One day while dangling my feet off the side of the boat my older brother decided to scare me and jumped off the back of the boat, swam underneath and came up to the front of the boat and grabbed my leg! Scared me so bad I kicked him in the face and broke his nose! Served him right, he had a broken nose that he had to explain was given to him by his baby sister!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brothers! Great story, Rena!

      Delete
    2. Bwahahaha! Oh, that is a classic! I'd be telling that story over . . . and over . . . :)

      Delete
  3. Love the label!! And wonderful use of Delores's words, as usual!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always try to wow you with the label, Jenny! :)

      Delete
  4. LOL...as a native British Columbian, I have a healthy fear of deep water. Lake monsters, though, not so much! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You wade in first. I'm right behind you . . .

      Delete
  5. Sometimes we get thoughts in our heads and we just can't get them out. And if those circumstances presented themselves to us again as adults we'd probably still be limited by those thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right,Karen! I know I'd still be staring at that water if I went there today!

      Delete
  6. I was blithely reading your story when Dolores' words kept appearing in my mind.

    You clever lady.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another mesmerizing (oooh, good word) story Diane. You never seem to run out of great stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uh-oh! Are we getting a peek into next week?!

      Delete
  8. Ogopogo has always fascinated me and scared me at the same time. Nice use of words Delores will be impressed I was:) B

    ReplyDelete
  9. There's a healthy dose of fascination in my fear as well! And thank you, Buttons!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Slavering jaws, piercing bloodshot eyes...I LOVE this!
    You have thoroughly delighted me.
    The Ogopogo must be a cousin to the Loch Ness Monster.
    Down here we have the Bunyip, who inhabits Billabongs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh! The Bunyip! Sounds deliciously scary. Going to look that one up! :)

      Delete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

All of My Friends

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael
A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on Amazon.com and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

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

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

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?