Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

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

Third in the series

Third in the series
Deborah. Fugitive of Faith

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A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on and .ca!

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A fun romp through the world's most haunted hotel!

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Compass Book Ratings

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Ghost of the Overlook

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Essence: A Second Dose

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Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

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