Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



All of My Friends

Enter to win a copy of Daughter of Ishmael!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

Giveaway ends April 08, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Unexpected Answers

Daddy on Heinrich.
(With my eldest sister who doesn't appear in this story...)
The Stringam ranch covered a lot of ground.
A lot.
Going out to check the cows was an event.
Usually requiring hours. If not a whole day.
And prairie weather is—ummm---let’s go with capricious.
It sounds a whole lot better than unpredictable. Or just downright volatile.
On to my story . . .
Daddy had gone to ride through the herd, checking that no one was AWOL.
Or hurting.
Or dead. It was nature, after all.
It had been a beautiful day when he left. With no weather channel or satellite imaging, there was no way of knowing that this could change. Dramatically.
Sigh.
About five miles from the ranch, a storm blew up.
Now you have to know that the prairies are known for their endless stretches of grasses.
And notable absence of trees.
When a storm starts, it can get a really good run.
In a matter of seconds, one can go from happily basking in the winter sunlight to being mercilessly buffeted by cutting winds and blinding snow.
That’s what happened here.
Daddy’s world was instantly blotted out.
No landmarks. No solar guide.
Up and down were even difficult to differentiate. 
Daddy stopped his horse. There was only one thing left to do.
Have you ever heard the phrase: “There are no atheists in foxholes”?
Well that would apply equally to ranchers stuck in snowstorms.
Daddy needed to pray.
He did.
Then he waited.
All at once, he felt the distinct impression to let go of the reins.
Yep. Cross them over the horse’s neck and leave them there.
I expect you realize that this is a tall order for a rancher. You let go of the reins, you lose control of the situation.
Again, the impression came.
Sighing, Daddy did as he felt impressed to do. Then hunkered down in his coat and tried to pretend he was somewhere warm and sunny.
The horse started to walk.
Slowly. And steadily.
Occasionally, Daddy would poke his head out to stare at the great featureless wall of snow that hemmed he and his horse on every side.
Then, as his mount kept moving, he would slide back into the comparative warmth of his coat and start praying again.
All at once, the storm seemed to lessen. Daddy frowned. Yes. There was a definite break in the wind.
The horse stopped moving.
Daddy poked his head out.
They were standing in front of the barn.
I believe in answered prayers.
And in the Guardian Angels sent to our aid.
They appear in all sorts of ways.
Sometimes with four legs and a mane and tail. 

12 comments:

  1. That is amazing. I was caught out on the 'ridge' in the middle of nowhere in the dead of winter and encountered situations similar to that. Only difference was that I was in the truck and I had a radio. I remember one time out in the sand hills at the north end of the ranch; I was scattering range pellets to the cows. It was chinooking when I loaded the truck but I saw that masssive gray mass coming in from the north. It dropped from 40 above to 0 in less than an hour. The snow started and soon it was ZERO visibility. I was able to follow the wind and blowing snow until I saw the fence, and I would've plowed right through that if it wasn't for the headlights reflecting off the barbed wire. I turned east at the fence and followed it to the gate. From there on we had a built-up trail and it was fairly easy getting back to the ranch and then on the main road to town. I don't know if I really prayed or not but I'm sure the thought went through my mind a time or two....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Super scary! You sure have to have a healthy respect for the forces of nature!

      Delete
  2. We ask for guidance but we have to be willing to follow it....and therein lies the problem for most of us. So glad your Dad both listened and obeyed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amazing story. Animals have what we would consider superpowers in a human, and they don't get nearly enough credit!

    George's story is amazing too. As someone who gets sinus headaches with an abrupt change in air pressure or temperature, the thought of the temperature falling that fast makes me wince!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a story.
    I'm sure animals can and do sense more than we often credit them for.
    I'm so pleased that your dad listened and followed the impression ...

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The story sure could have ended differently!

      Delete
  5. This is beautiful. My inner voice most often tells me to take a nap.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Powerful story. As a child, I was walking home from a friend's house, about 4 blocks from my home, and got absolutely disoriented in a snowstorm. I ended up making a big circle, ending back at my friend's house, but I was so frightened and can still remember that feeling. I've lived on the plains in Kansas and know how that situation might have ended in a totally different (and tragic) way. Thankful that horse had the instinct to find the way and that your Dad trusted his inner voice.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Horses do know the way home, don't they? What a story. Thank goodness your father did what he did. Good horse.

    This actually reminds me of the chapter in Mark Twain's "Roughing It" about him and his friends getting lost in the blizzard!

    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?