Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Friday, June 14, 2019

Off Day Off

“Gwen, you’re home! Hon, could you please bring me a coaster?”
“Sure, Mom!” I quickly shed my jacket and hung it on a hook by the front door. Then hurried to the kitchen to grab a little circle of leather from the heap in the basket on the cupboard.
The sunlight was spilling through the large picture window in the front room as I walked in, catching my mom and her recliner in a great shaft of light that turned her skin to gleaming gold and her light hair to silver. I smiled. For just a moment, she became something more than Emma Hart. Single Mom to two teenaged girls and newest Assistant General Manager of Sewel International. Department of Accounting.
For a moment, she looked like what she really was.
She lifted her cup. “Here, dear.”
I set the coaster on the small table beside her and she set her tea on it. Then sighed and sat back. “I could get used to this. I could really get used to this!” She smiled. “Pottering in the garden all morning. Sitting with my feet up and a cup of tea at my elbow all afternoon. Just . . . watching.”
“You’ve earned it, Mom,” I told her. “You worked a lot of years at the bottom. Now you’ve finally risen to the top and you get to call the shots.”
“And have a day off now and then.” She lifted her phone from her lap. “And maybe use the time to figure out this new iPhone.”
“Don’t push it, Mom. This is your first day off!”
She laughed. “Imagine being able to use the word ‘first’ in front of ‘day off’! Like there was going to be more than one!”
I turned to go back into the kitchen. “Well get used to it.” I stopped as something outside caught my eye.
“What is it?” Mom asked.
“Ummm . . .”
“Gwen?” She leaned forward to see past me.
A dusty and dented Volvo was coasting down the street, obviously driverless and picking up speed. Standing with her upper body sticking out of the sunroof was my sister, her arms in the air.
“Wheeee! This. Is. Aaaawesooooome!” she squealed as she sped past our window.
Behind her, long, skinny legs pumping as he struggled in vain to catch his runaway vehicle was the freckle-faced love-of-her-life, Mort. “Saaaaalleeeeee! Put on the brake! Put on the braaaaake!”
I looked at mom.
She settled back in her recliner and, lifting her cup, took a sip of sweet tea.

Once a month, Karen of Baking in a Tornado gathers words from her varied and wondrous group of friends. Then redistributes and issues a challenge.  You get to witness the results--as varied and wondrous as those same friends.
My words this month jacket ~ iPhone ~ coaster ~ sweet tea ~ recliner came from my very good friend, Rena, of Wandering Web Designer.
Thank you so much, Rena! 
Now continue the fun.
See what the others have created...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Love 'em or Hate 'em

I bless the longer summer days, the heavens filled with light,
The glorious, golden evenings that stretch far into the night.
And having sunshine join me on my early morning walks,
Watch shadows flee from yards and streets as I traverse the blocks.

I bless the longer days, and yet, there is another side,
And reasons that some other folks the longer days deride,
I live north, but further north, another side you see,
That’s witnessed by those ‘northern’ folks who live so far from me.

For them, these longer days are much, much longer than what’s here,
In fact, that big ol’ sun will never ever disappear.
Just circles quietly around, ‘bout halfway up the sky,
And causes consternation by this general act thereby.

The people living there cannot depend upon the sun,
And must consult with clocks and things to tell when day is done.
But there’s another reason summer fills the folks with dread
Cause in the summer, children never, ever go to bed!

I love poetry, you know, it really makes me grin,
And once a month, I'm blessed to have my Karen count me in.
And with her other friends, we craft some poems on a theme,
So why not skip across and read from others on my team!

Karen of Baking In A Tornado: Longer Days
Dawn of Cognitive Script: Longer Days
Lydia of Cluttered Genius: The days are long

Friday, May 17, 2019


“Nope. I’ve made up my mind. There’s no changing it!”
Mom and Sally were having a discussion in the kitchen.
Too often in the past, I had been front and center in their ‘discussions’. I knew how 99% of them ended.
This time I had gotten smart. I was hiding out in the living room, pretending to take in the view of our quiet street from the picture window. A dusty old grey Volvo went slowly past and turned into the alleyway just down the street.
“But, Honey. I simply don’t know . . .”
“Nope.” Sally was firm about whatever they were discussing.
“Well . . . if that’s how you really feel . . .” Mom’s voice went up in volume a notch. “Gwen? Sally won’t be needing this turkey-bacon! I guess you can have it!”
“What? No she can’t! Give that back!”
Mom went on. “I’m sure we can find vegetables enough to keep you going. I’ll have to stock up on other things you will need…”
“Yes, Sweetheart. Vegetables. Vegans eat a lot of them. If you intend to start following a vegan diet you will have to do the same.”
There was another silence and I could just picture Mom staring at my sister with that funny little crease between her eyebrows. I call it ‘Sally’s Crease’.
Because . . . Sally.
“Sally, just what did you think being Vegan meant?”
Mom laughed. “Anti-vegetable?”
“Well, Vegetable-anti, if you insist on being letter perfect. ‘Veg-an’ for short.”
I rolled my eyes. Why was I not the least surprised?
Mom laughed again.
This was getting better and better.  I leaned my head against the warm glass and listened harder.
Outside, I vaguely registered that the same Volvo was driving slowly past from the opposite direction. At least I thought it was the same. No way there could be two with the same dents.
And dust.
“See those Brussels sprouts?” Mom asked.
“Well get used to them because they’ll form a big part of your new diet.”
“Um-hmm. And the asparagus you detest? And anything else green? Or red? Or orange? Yep. Learn to like them because they will be your bread and butter. So to speak.”
“I didn’t know . . .”
“And forget the thick cream milkshakes. Or your favourite scrambled eggs in the morning. I understand there are some great substitutes that taste good, but . . .”
“Stop. Just stop. I only wanted a diet where I didn’t have to eat vegetables. That eggplant yesterday was like chewing on an old cotton rag!”
“Well, thanks a lot!” Mom sounded indignant.
“Is there such a diet?”
“No vegetables whatsoever? Yes. I think it’s called the “I-don’t-want-to-be-healthy-ever-again’ diet.”
Sally snorted and stomped out of the kitchen and into the living room. She spotted me and moved closer. “Did you know that vegans eat mostly vegetables?” she demanded.
I nodded. “Yep. No animals or animal products.”
“But I thought it meant . . .”
“No vegetables. I heard.”
Sally sighed and slumped back against the wall, her face a picture of disgust and/or discouragement. “I thought I had it!” she murmured mostly to herself.
“There it is again!” I said. I turned to look at her. “You know, that’s weird?”
“There’s an old grey Volvo that’s been driving back and forth past here for the last 15 minutes.”
Sally straightened. “Really? An old grey car, you say?”
“How old? How grey?”
I frowned. “Well on a scale of one to ten, I’d guess it was . . . old. And grey! Sheesh! How am I supposed to measure? There’s a big dent in the passenger side …”
Sally bolted to the door. “See you when I see you!”
“Sally! I made you a bag of carrot sticks and celery!” Mom emerged from the kitchen holding up a plastic bag.
“Ugh. Gross!” Sally wrenched open the door and hurried through it.
Mom smiled. “I guess that was the final, crooked nail in Veganism’s coffin.”
I didn’t answer. I was riveted to the scene outside.
Sally ran into the street just as the old Volvo made yet another pass. The car stopped abruptly. A young man opened the door and jumped out, a big smile on his freckled face.
The car began to roll slowly forward.
The young man leaped back inside and the car again jerked to a halt. Sally moved closer and leaned in to kiss him somewhere in the vicinity of his ear.
“I think we have bigger fish to fry,” I said over my shoulder.
“What’s that, dear?”
“Brace yourself. We’ve just entered a new trajectory.”
“What are you talking about?” Mom joined me at the window.
I put a hand on her shoulder. “I think Sally’s in love!”

12 times a year, the Friends of Karen submit words.
Those same words are then distributed to other Friends of Karen for subtle and effective story crafting.
The result is the Use Your Words word challenge.
Clever, right?
My words this month were: cotton ~ vegan ~ turkey-bacon ~ alleyway ~ Volvo
And were submitted by my good friend and fellow writer, Michelle at!
Thanks for the great words, Michelle! And Sally thanks you, too! ;)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

My Mayday

When new engaged, my man and me, the toughest thing for us,
Was trying to decide a date. We’d much to be discussed.
“All girls hope for June,” he said. “And you must want it, too.”
I shrugged cause what I looked for was the whole thing to be through.
Then dad, a man direct and kind, took both of us aside,
“You know you want to marry and to be a groom and bride,
“And June is months away. You, each, the other one adores,
“You know you want to marry, what th’hell you waiting for?”
We blinked. Then saw he had a point, my wise and forthright Pa,
“What are we waiting for?” he asked. (Dad’s future son-in-law.)
And so we moved the wedding up by eight and forty days,
To May the first, in point of fact. Or May-Day, to rephrase.
And here’s the funny part because my goofy, Charming Prince...
I hope it’s love, but he has hollered ‘Mayday’! ever since.

Each month, our Karen and her team
We all write poems on a theme,
And now, you see, it's up to you
To go and read the others, too!

Karen of Baking In A Tornado: May Day, Mayday
Dawn of Cognitive Script: May Day

Friday, April 12, 2019

Doing the Dishes

“Wow! With the $50.00 you gave me, this makes $75.00!”
Say what you will about Sally, she can add.
Maybe a bit of background . . .
It was Sally’s birthday.
For one month of the year, we are the same age. Irish twins, people call us.
Whatever that means.
I think it has something to do with annoying because for that one month, Sally never lets up that we are the same age.
On this particular day, she was clutching the crisp new fifty-dollar bill that Cousin Ruth had given her.
In a bright, pink ‘puppy-wishing-you-a-yappy-birthday’ card.
Apparently, the girl was rich.
What was more important, she had enough funds for the new video game she had been begging mom for for the past five months.
Remember the sliding-off-the-roof virtual reality debacle of July?
Yeah, that game.
Back to Sally . . .
“I’m going shopping!” She disappeared into the hall.
Now normally, I would just let her go. It is Sally and one has to be cautious in her presence. But, for some reason, I followed her.
She dashed down the stairs and into the kitchen.
There is a large hutch in our kitchen. Old. Wooden. Belonged to some ancestor.
And atop this hutch sits Sally’s treasure box. Where she keeps all her valuables.
Which, mostly were only valuable to her.
It was here that I found her.
Clinging to the base as she scaled the side.
“Sally! Use a chair!”
My plea fell on deaf ears.
“Takes too long!” Sally grunted as she hitched herself higher. “I’m almost there!”
True. Her hand was within touching distance of her treasure chest.
It was also within touching distance of something else entirely.
Our sleeping cats.
Oh yeah. We got two cats. Remind me to tell you about that. Another red-letter day in our household.
Back to my story . . .
And Mom’s antique serving platter. The one that matched the dinner set bequeathed her by a well-meaning, but sadly ignorant grandmother.
I know you can see this just as clearly as I can, but allow me to reiterate: Tall hutch. Climbing girl. Sleeping cats.
Dinner platter.
All within the same sphere.
Things happened pretty fast.
“Got it!” Sally cried, just as she lost her tenuous grip on the edge of the hutch. And her reaching fingers grabbed the tail of one of the cats as she felt herself going.
Picture it.
Girl falling.
Cat reacting.
Things not conducive to dropping raining down in a cascade.
And Mom arriving in her patented what-did-I-just-miss technique.
She gaped at the mess.
And the girl sitting in the midst of it.
At first, she failed to realize the significance of what she was seeing. “It looks as though Godzilla has just been through here!” she said. Then she saw the platter. The formerly pristine in-one-piece platter.
No longer pristine.
Or in one piece.
I know you’ve heard about how angry hornets can get.
Well, they learned from Mom.
Her face got red. Her mouth opened.
Silently, Sally handed her the fifty-dollar bill. And her treasure box.
Mom just stared at the money in her hand. Then her eyes narrowed. “Let’s go shopping!” she said unexpectedly.
Both Sally and I stared at her.
“What are we buying?” I asked. "Another platter?"
Mom shook her head, her eyes still on Sally. “Nope. Something we could really use. Chains.”
All righty then.

 Each month, 
Each month, Karen of Baking in a Tornado issues a challenge--and a few words--to each of her followers/friends.
This month, my words: chains ~ sleeping cats ~ Godzilla ~ hornet ~ $75
came via Karen from my friend at Cognitive Script!

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Brother of a Joke

The year was 1922,
Nineteen years. A grown man, true.
Australia. Armed with book, not sword,
Expecting naught of fame. Reward.
To serve the land and serve the Lord.

On April 1, a telegram,
Sent to him from Pa and Mam,
“Great news!” it chortled. Not a joke,
(Cause you can trust your hometown folk!)
A baby brother had ‘awoke’.

He laughed and tossed the note aside,
Oh, what a joke, he then decried,
His Pa got better every year,
(With telltale grin from ear to ear.)
At making jokes his new career,

When he got home a few months hence,
And walked along the airport fence,
To greet his kin of cow and corn,
(That beautiful and sunny morn.)
He found a brother had been born!

He stopped and stared, then stared again,
His siblings now did number 10!
A crowd, a herd, a ‘not-a-few’,
(Yes, one more lad, they had accrued.)
His Pa just laughed at jaw askew.

He said, “My son, this Joke’s on you!”

Each month a tale, a 'tour de farce'
With wit that's plentiful or sparse,
All on a theme so fun. And new.
So tell me. How well did we do?

Karen of Baking In A Tornado: The Joke’s on You
Dawn of Cognitive Script: Joker’s Wild
Lydia of Cluttered Genius: Stuck on You

Friday, March 15, 2019

Almost Home

I looked at the clock for the umpteenth time as I stuffed the margarine back into the fridge.
“What time did you say . . .?”
“Two o’clock!” Mom sounded a bit exasperated. I didn’t blame her. I must have asked the same question five times in the past five minutes.
I glanced at the clock again.
Mom sighed. “I can’t quite believe two weeks is already over.”
I didn’t, either. It had been a blissful two weeks. Quiet conversations. Quiet dinners. Quiet . . . everything.
Okay, I had to admit it to myself, it had been too quiet. Yep. I missed my sister.
Oh, I had tried to talk myself out of it. I mean, who misses broken tubs. Lost money. Manipulated PVR headsets. Kidnapped cats. Disgruntled neighbours.
Well, I guess . . . me.
I glanced at the clock again. Five minutes to go.
Mom sighed once more.
Both of us straightened as the sound of squealing tires came clearly from the front yard.
She frowned and looked at the clock as we got to our feet. “Already?”
We started toward the door, but had only taken a step or two when it was flung open. Sally, immediately followed by Cousin Ruth, darted inside and slammed it shut.
Both of them gave us a brief smile of welcome before hurrying past us to the front window. “Pretty narrow margin,” Cousin Ruth muttered. Sally nodded, her smile evaporating.
Mom and I looked at each other. Mom had an eyebrow up.
Uh-oh . . .
Parting the curtains slightly, Sally and Cousin Ruth peered outside.
Mom and I moved hesitantly toward them.
Just then a police car, lights and siren blazing, blew past.
Sally and Cousin Ruth kept staring for a couple of seconds after it had disappeared down the street. Then Sally turned to us. “If anyone asks,” she said, “we’ve been here all day.”

Each month, Karen of Baking in a Tornado issues a challenge--and a few words--to each of her followers/friends.
My words this month were:
margin ~ margarine ~ money ~ manipulate
And were given to me by none other than my amazing friend and personal Chef-I-Wish, Karen.   
Thank you, Karen! This is SUCH fun!

Visit our other friends to continue the fun!      
Baking in a Tornado

Friday, February 8, 2019

Hanging Out in Hawaii

Mom was cuddled in a blanket in the front room when I came home--her feet up, the remainder of a plate of waffles and syrup beside her, a book featuring famous watercolors in her lap, and the TV blaring.
I had to call out twice to get her attention. “Mom! MOM!”
She looked up and smiled rather sleepily at me. She mouthed the words, “Hi, Honey.” Then pointed a remote at the TV and lowered the volume. “Hi, Honey,” she said again. “Did you get your boss’ typewriter to work?”
“Not yet.” I looked at the TV. “I guess I don’t have to ask how your day went.”
She smiled again. “Nope.” She snuggled a little deeper into the couch. “I’ve only left this couch to eat and use the bathroom. Not necessarily in that order.” She sighed. “I’ve never felt so relaxed in all my life.”
“Well, in the fifteen years since Sally appeared,” I said.
She rolled her eyes. “You’re not wrong.”
“Just think. We’re only two days into her holiday. We still have another twelve days to go!”
She sighed again and pulled her blanket up a little higher. “Mmmm . . .”
“What are you watching?” I asked, walking around the couch and flopping down beside her.
“Just the news. It’s been pretty boring.”
“Yeah, well, that’s only because you’ve been living with Sally all her life. And that does tend to skew our reality a bit.”
She laughed. “Well, now it’s up to someone else to worry . . .” Her voice faded.
I looked at her. “What is it, Mom?”
Wordlessly, she pointed at the TV screen, then lifted the remote and raised the volume. “Rescuers are en route as we speak.”
I slowly turned my head, afraid of what I might see.
A reporter was standing in front of a mountain. Behind her, we could see an aluminum stairway and a trail twisting and turning up the slope.
“Earlier this afternoon, a skydiver nearly came to grief in a remote part of the Halemaumau Trail when her chute failed to perform properly. Fortunately, though she was thrown wildly off-course, she seems to have landed safely. For now.
The camera turned past the reporter and focused on a distant object. Which then resolved itself into a tiny human in a miniscule harness, dangling from a tree near the top of the mountain. And not just any tree. This one was sticking out from the side of the mountain. The tiny person’s feet were dangling out over an abyss of some 2000 feet.
Mom, her eyes glued to the set, pushed the blanket back and raised herself to a sitting position.
I looked from the figure on the TV to my mom. “It can’t be her, Mom.”
“Don’t you believe that,” Mom whispered.
We both saw the helicopter the instant it appeared. It quickly closed the distance between it and the person swinging from the tree.
“Mom. You’re tensing up. There’s no reason to suspect . . .”
She turned and looked at me. “Are you hearing yourself?” She waved a hand toward the TV. “We just heard that a person’s chute didn’t open properly and that they were blown off course to land in a tree near the top of a volcano. It could only happen to one person in this entire universe! And we both know who that would be.”
I nodded unhappily, my eyes on the TV screen.
The picture changed, suggesting that the cameraman was now someone in the helicopter, directly involved in the rescue attempt.
A few tense minutes followed. Finally, a lowered rescuer succeeded in getting a harness around the dangler and cutting the still-tangled ropes of the person’s parachute. The rescuee was slowly raised toward the camera.
As she neared, she pulled off her helmet. Sally’s sparkling, green eyes smiled directly into ours through the TV screen. “Did you see that?” she gasped. “I’ve got to do this again! What an adventure!”
Mom sank back against the soft couch cushions and put her head into her hands. “Again?” she whispered a trifle raggedly.
I didn’t know quite what to say. “Ummm . . .”
Mom snorted softly and rubbed her nose. “My thoughts exactly! What on earth are we supposed to do?”
“There’s nothing much we can do, Mom.” I tried to sound reassuring. “Just leave Cousin Ruth to handle it.”
“Hmmm . . . yes. Cousin Ruth.” Mom smiled suddenly and snuggled back into her blanket. “For 12 more days . . .”

Each month, Karen's followers submit words. Which are then distributed around the circle with the instructions: Use or lose.
Okay, not really, but we are supposed to create something from them...
This month, my words: aluminum ~ watercolors ~ typewriter ~ swing ~ syrup
And were submitted by my friend Shelly of

You can find the rest of us at:
Baking In A Tornado
Wandering Web Designer
Cognitive Script
Southern Belle Charm
The Bergham Chronicles
Part-time Working Hockey Mom

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

My Hearts

Teaching teens is what I do,
I teach the whole week long.
I’ve grown to love these kids of mine,
I miss them if they’re gone!

It’s early when we gather there
Before the sun has ‘riz’,
We talk of sweet, important things,
Play games or take a quiz.

And every morning, in they come,
Just like the day before,
And every morn, again I feel,
I could not love them more.

For several weeks, with Husby, I
Was staying someplace warm,
With sun and sand and salty breeze,
And not one winter storm.

But I worried ‘bout my kids,
I couldn’t even call,
I had to know they knew that I
Was thinking of them all.

And so I gave them each my heart.
(A charm to represent),
So they knew I carried them,
Everywhere I went.

It’s been a year since I gave out
The hearts of plastic, red,
To carry in their pockets so
They’d think of what I said.

And though it has been many months,
Sometimes, someone will
Pull out their heart to show my love
Is carried with them still.

We love this, we are Karen's crew,
Each month we have a job to do
We're writing po-ems just for you,
Please visit all before you're through!

Karen of Baking In A Tornado: Hearts and Flowers
Dawn of Cognitive Script: My Heart My Gift
Jules of The Bergham Chronicles: Hearts Heal
Lydia of Cluttered Genius: 6 Hearts

Friday, January 11, 2019

Sally Travels

“Two weeks of peace! You must be so excited!” Mrs. Ames adjusted her ever-present head scarf.
Mom and I looked at each other.
Okay, I was pretty sure she was speaking to my sister, Sally, but with Mrs. Ames, one is never really sure.
“I am!” Sally said, smiling broadly. “I’ve never done anything like this before!”
 “Whom are you going with, dear?” our neighbor asked.
“It’s my cousin, Ruth,” Mom put in. “She’s never married and spends most of her year . . . erm . . . exploring.”
“She thinks of the funnest things to do!” Sally was getting quite animated. “She’s climbed mountains and rafted rivers and dived out of planes and lived in skin huts and rode in camel trains and . . .”
She stopped for breath and I broke in. I could see that Mom was growing a little paler with the mention of each escapade. “Yes. She’s quite . . . adventurous.”
Mrs. Ames’ eyebrows had also risen higher as Sally spoke. One hand gripped the bodice of her bulky cotton house dress. “Oh,” she said at last. “Erm . . . where are you going?”
“Hawaii! We’re going to climb the volcano and go out in an outrigger and surf and . . .”
Again I cut her off. “Cousin Ruth has quite a full agenda.”
“Ah! Well, be sure to take lots of pictures,” Mrs. Ames said a trifle breathlessly.
“Oh, I will! Mom got me a new camera!” Sally dashed off.
“I take it you’re not going?” Mrs. Ames had turned her faded blue eyes on me.
“Oh. No. I really didn’t want . . . that is . . . well, Cousin Ruth and Sally have always gotten along like peas in a pod. It could be danger . . ." I glanced at Mom and bit my lip. "Anyways, I have work.”
Mom was staring at me.
“I’d better help Sally pack.” I hurried toward the stairway.
“I’ll be on my way as well,” Mrs. Ames said behind me.
Mom cleared her throat. “Thanks for stopping by,” she said. “I’m sure Sally will really appreciate the box of treats you brought for her to take along.”
“Well, I thought both girls were going. And I know these airlines don’t feed people anymore, so . . .”
“You’re so kind. Thank you!”
I heard the door close.
Sally appeared with her camera and the small red ladder that sits on her desk and holds all her necklaces. She peered at the door. “Where did she go?”
“Mrs. Ames? She left.”
“Oh. I was going to show her my camera.”
“She had to go.”
“Are you packed?”
Sally turned back toward the stairs. “I am! As soon as I finish picking which jewelry to take.” She looked at her watch. “Good thing, too, because Cousin Ruth will be here any minute!”
Ten minutes later, Mom and I somehow got Sally and all her luggage out the door and into Cousin Ruth’s waiting taxi.
Sally leaned out the window, waving as it started down the street. “I’ll see you in two weeks!” she screamed. “I’ll bring you a hula lamp!”
Mom and I waved until the taxi disappeared.
"Okay, what's a hula lamp?" Mom asked.
"We'll Google it," I assured her.
"Two weeks of peace,” Mom said quietly.
“What?” I turned to look at her.
“Mrs. Ames was talking about two weeks of peace when she was here.”
“Did she mean for Sally? Or us?”
I thought of Sally’s most recent escapades and frowned. “For us, I’m sure.”
“Do you think she’ll be all right?” She looked down the street where the taxi had disappeared. “I mean . . . There are sharks and stuff . . .”
I stared at her. “Mom. Whatever could hurt her? She can out-run, out-think, out-rascal and out-bother anything on the planet! I’d give a shark one chance in 100!”
Mom smiled and nodded, then high-fived me. “Score!” she said. “So . . . What would you like to do first?”

Stay tuned for Sally’s adventures in travel-land!

Each month, Karen of Baking in a Tornado issues a challenge. Give me your tired words, your poor phrases, my muddled lasses yearning to write free!”
Okay, maybe not like that, but she does distribute words we supply with the instructions, “Take these and do what you can!”
And we do!
The result? Use Your Words. The January Edition.
My words this month (picking ~ head scarf ~ red ladder ~ hula lamp ~ score) came via Karen from
A huge thank you!
Now go and see what the other members of our intrepid little group have wrought!  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New Blues

‘Twas dark and dreary—
The twinkling long night stretching out before,
The cold air pinched—
It prodded round the windows and the doors,
Encased in warmth,
I huddled round the often-crackling fire,
And closely watched,
The warm flames reaching ever (and more) higher.
But though they warmed
Extremities, they somehow missed the soul,
Winter Blues
Had come, they weren’t about to let me go.
Then Husby hustled
Me out through the firmly frozen door,
We’d go places we’d not seen before,
And now I sit,
And watch the breakers lave the spark’ling sand,
The seabirds fly
Or dive and pounce on fishes near to hand,
And all about
The world, the sun with colour, it imbues
The sky and sea
Give new meaning to the Winter ‘Blues’!
 Each month, Karen and her followers publish a poem on a theme.
January's? Winter Blues.
I'm liking my 'Blues'!
See what the others have done!
Karen of Baking In A Tornado: Winter Blues
Dawn of Cognitive Script: Dark Days of Winter

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

That Night

It will always be THAT New Year's...

To celebrate the squeaky-clean beginning of yet another year, I'm going to regale you with the tale of our most memorable New Year's Eve.
It's a heart-stopper. 
Really . . .
We spent the evening, much like millions of other people, happily celebrating with friends.
Eating wonderful food that someone else prepared. (My personal favourite.)
Playing games: Charades. Word scramble. Card contests.
And visiting.
Sometime after midnight, we senior citizens called it a successful, wonderful night and left for our respective homes.
Husby and I were safely in bed by 2:00 AM.
All was well.
All was not to remain well.
Just as we were both deeply asleep, someone pounded on our front door.
In my half-awakened state, it sounded frantic to me.
“Grant! Something's wrong!” I screamed, leaping from the bed and switching on lights as I sped down the hall.
Mentally, as I ran, I tallied where my kids and grandkids were. Who had stayed in for the evening and who might still be out.
One family, I knew, had taken their little girls to a friends' party.
They could conceivably still be out.
What's wrong? What's wrong?
I reached the front door, heart racing and breathing heavily.
I peeked out.
No one.
I opened the door.
The front step was echoingly empty.
I stepped out and peered around.
No one.
The night was quiet.
The street deserted.
Nothing moved.
I came back inside and shut the door.
Then I peeked out again.
What on earth...?
By this time, my Husby was also up.
Doing a circuit of the windows and doors.
No one.
We looked at each other.
Did another circuit.
Still no one.
Puzzled, I headed back to bed while Husby locked up again.
He soon joined me and almost immediately dropped back to sleep.
I didn't.
For the next two hours, heart still racing, my mind spun through every terrible, horrible thing that could ever befall a family that (at the time) numbered twenty-five.
It was a long night.
We survived it.
None of the terrible, awful things happened.
I know, because this crazy mom/grandma phoned everyone as soon as it was light this morning.
Two facts remain.
  1. Someone pounded on our door last night. The reasons remain obscure.
  2. Somewhere in our bed is my Husby's liver, scared out of him when I screamed.
Happy New Year.

To my friends: I will be away for most of January. 
Picture me snorkeling or lying on the beach in St. Vincent. 
Cause that's where Husby is taking me.
I will be back periodically, depending on connectivity, but poetry Monday (which I totally missed yesterday) will be suspended.
Happy January! See you in February!
I'll miss you!

My Newest!

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First romance in a decade!

Hosts: Your Room's Ready

Hosts: Your Room's Ready
A fun romp through the world's most haunted hotel!

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 and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
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