Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Mr. Scary

Me at 15 (red and white striped shirt).
And three of my amazing cousins.
My head was learning stuff. Who knew?!
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 fifteen. And had been staying with my best friend and nearest neighbour at her parent's ranch, fifteen miles from my own.
It was a glorious week of riding, playing, getting into her parents' hair.
Oh, yes, a glorious week.
It was time to go home. Her parents 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.

21 comments:

  1. What a great don't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover story! It's important to "visit" and get rid of preconceptions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pennie! From this experience came my motto: 'If you don't like someone, it's just because you don't know them!'

      Delete
  2. This is a heartwarming story!! I love that you took initiative and asked the first question! I would have been to uncomfortable to even speak.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It sounds like he was just as scared of you (a beautiful, mature got-it-all-together 15 year old in a red striped tee shirt)as you were of him. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was confused as to what NTNPNN meant. I even googled it thinking it was some 'text speak' which I don't do.
      DUMB DUMB DUMB me. lol
      Call me Know-Nothing.

      Delete
  4. I am with nothoughtsnoprayersnonothing. And love that you were able to conquer your fear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was unusual for me. I was a pretty timid kid with strangers. But it sure changed my perspective!

      Delete
  5. Phew. Glad that story had a happy ending!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too, Laurie! From most uncomfortable to most enjoyable in under an hour. Who knew?!

      Delete
  6. This was a good lesson learned. And a story well written.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If I had been the driver, I may have been scared of you - because I am about as introverted as they come. What you did was the perfect thing. Heartwarming, indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Alana! It was unusual for me. But it sure changed my life!

      Delete
  8. I love this story - and the label, which is a whole other perspective, isn't it? How wonderful that you were able to get the ball rolling and ended up with some new insights! I don't know if many 15 year olds would have been able to do that, actually. I know I wouldn't have been able to do it. It was all I could do to answer questions asked by the adults in the room :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Believe me, it was totally out of character. But it sure changed how I deal with people!

      Delete
  9. If I'd known this 50+ years ago I might have got to know a couple of my teachers better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too. There are a lot of people I wish I'd gotten to know better. Hindsight. Am I right?!

      Delete
  10. Oh, and i thought you were going to say he was scary because his driving was terrible.

    That was a great lessons, i am glad i've also learned most people are just good people and if you smile and talk nicely to them, all is well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course there are exceptions. But 99%? They totally respond!

      Delete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

Third in the series

Third in the series
Deborah. Fugitive of Faith

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.

Romance still wins!

Romance still wins!
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!

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

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?!

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?