Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Friday, October 3, 2014

Punch Line

The Stringam kids loved a scary story.
Okay, yes, it usually meant that one of us (ie. me) 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 . . .
My older sister, Chris was a master at it.
Scaring, that is.
She 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. She had it down . . .
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.
Chris was building to her usual grand finish.
Bloody boots!”
Blair and I were completely absorbed.
Bloody boots!”
We barely breathed.
Bloody boots!”
Hands started twisting.
"Bloody Boots!"
Hearts were starting to pound.
Mom stuck her head through the window. Bloody boots!
Her timing and delivery were perfect.
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.
Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Yep. Mom got it.

14 comments:

  1. Haha! Good for your mum--sounds like something I'd pull on my kids. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're definitely our kind of folks, Karen!

      Delete
  2. Okay, NOW I want to hear the first part of that story!!!

    Great timing by your mom :) How did Christine like being the scare-ee instead of the scare-er for a change?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't even remember the rest of the story! Must call my sister. She shrieked even louder than I did! Heehee! Payback . . .

      Delete
  3. What a fun story and a great ending; loved it. I would say your whole family must be great at writing and or telling stories. You certainly have a gift.
    Blessings for this fun one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, LeAnn! Yeah. Our whole family got hit with the story-telling bug. You never recover . . .

      Delete
  4. Oh that's good....she made a lasting memory there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoo, boy! We check windows and doors before we start a story now . . .

      Delete
  5. Your mom must not have valued her sleep as much as mine. That night, if all her kids crawled into bed with her, it would have been her own fault! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. My next brother in line is 6 years older and I thought he knew everything! He used to scare me all the time!

    ReplyDelete

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