Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Friday, December 11, 2020

Sally Sitting

 It started like so many of our ‘adventures’. Quietly.
With me doing something normal, like putting a folded shirt in the laundry basket ready for transport. And examining the seam of another that looked as though it could use a mend.

Then Mom came into the room, ashen-faced.

I sat down. “Okay. What has Sally done this time?”

Mom shook her head. “It isn’t what she’s done, exactly. It’s the possibilities…” Her eyes wandered toward the window.

“Mom. Focus.”

She took a deep breath and looked back at me. “That new family? The ones who moved in next to Gary?”
Scary Gary? I’m with you.”

“Well, apparently Gary’s mother, Mary, recommended our family as possible baby sitters for their three kids.”

I stiffened. “Well, we can just say no, right?”

“I actually did. It’s on Tuesday and both you and I are already committed…”

“Or should be,” I muttered under my breath.

“What, dear?”

“Nothing. Go on. Apparently, your refusal was…refused?”

“Well, Sally came to the door, just as I was offering my regrets.”

I help up a hand. “Say no more. I can see it all. She accepted?”

Mom nodded. “Do you think we could move to, say, Timbuktu by Tuesday?”

I rubbed one eye. “How about we just plan on spending the evening under the bed?”

“That’s almost as good.”

What is it about time? Particularly when something you’re dreading is approaching. It just moves faster.

True story.

Tuesday dawned bright and clear. And warm. Warmer than was seasonal.

Part of me wondered if it was because we were at the physical threshold of hell.

The day passed quietly. 

Comparatively.

You have to know by now that no day actually passes quietly with Sally around.

But sometimes the chaos sort of…takes a breath…so to speak.

Zero hour approached and Sally, armed with a large, well-stuffed shoulder bag, kissed Mort in the neighbourhood of his nose and waved cheerfully to Mom and me as she stepped out the door.

It swung shut with a hollow and cryptic boom.

Okay, that may have been my imagination. But it should have.

And we three were left biting our nails until she reappeared. Okay, well Mom and I were.

Mort seems to have the uncanny ability to see past all of Sally’s…erm…tendencies? Habits?

Never mind.

A few hours later, Mort was sitting at a table in one corner of the TV room, working on a puzzle. I was on the couch, with a can of coke handy, while I tried desperately to concentrate on a book that should have been riveting. The letters on the page just seemed to float in front of me.

Mom wandered into the room and snapped on the TV.

The 9 o’clock news was already underway. A field reporter was speaking.

“The child was spotted by a family taking their turn to view the city lights from the top of the Toyota building.”

A long shot of the newest, tallest building in our city’s downtown, lit from top to bottom. Flashing red lights could be seen at the base and emergency crews milled about the grounds.

A slightly disheveled, masked woman appeared. “It was so frightening!” the woman gasped out. “My Freddie was the first to see her. This little girl…just clinging to the sloping windows there at the top of the building!”

The field reporter returned. “The new Toyota building, as most of you know, is capped with a series window banks which meet at a point at the apex, forming a pyramid-like top to the structure. This holiday season, small cohort groups have been booking time there to get an unparalleled view of both the city lights and the stars.”

The woman returned. “Those windows have to be at—like—a 45 degree angle. And there was that little girl. Just clinging there.” She placed a hand over her heart and took a deep breath. “It nearly gave me heart failure to see her out there seventy stories in the air!”

“So what did you do?” the field reporter asked.

“What any parent would do. Ran to the window to see if we could get it open and get her in.” The woman closed her eyes. “She was screaming or shouting something. We couldn’t make out the message. And we couldn’t find any way to open the window.” She shook her head. “My husband dialled 911 and the kids and I gathered under her and just tried to hold her there with thought alone!”

“Now my understanding is that, by the time emergency services arrived, the girl was gone?”

The woman nodded. “She slid…upward. We watched her go.” She shuddered. “If she fell, we never saw it.”

Once again, the camera panned across the brightly-lit building, then zeroed in on the fire chief, speaking to a group of firefighters. He turned to the camera. “We have combed the area and, thankfully no body has been discovered but we are left with far more questions than answers. We will continue to search for clues, but, as of this moment, we have no information.”

The field reporter returned. “We just have to hope that this little girl, and whoever rescued her, are safe and sound…somewhere. This is Lise Roberts reporting for KDC News.”

Mom shut off the TV.

“Hey! I was listening to that!” Mort protested.

Mom and I looked at each other.

“Surely not,” Mom whispered.

I shook my head. “She’s been just a couple of doors down the street this whole night.”

Mom just stared straight ahead.

“Right, Mom? Right?”

Just then the door opened and Sally’s cheerful face appeared. “Hi-ho, everyone! Have a good evening?” She dumped her bag on the floor next to the door and pulled off snowy boots.

Mom slowly stood up. “Tell me you stayed in the house all evening, Sally.”

Sally frowned. “What? Oh by the way those new kids say they won’t EVER have any other babysitter but me!”

“Tell me!”

“Tell you what?”

“That you stayed in the house all evening!”

“O-kay. We stayed in the house all evening.”

“But is it the truth?”

“Nope.”

 


Use Your Words is a word challenge. Each of the participants submits words which are then re-distributed to the other participants. None of us knows who will get our words and what will be done with them. Totally fun!

This month, my words were:

folded ~ mend ~ handy ~ message ~ float

And submitted by my friend Jenniy at https://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com               

                              



Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

 

Baking In A Tornado  https://bakinginatornado.com/

Wandering Web Designer  https://wanderingwebdesigner.com/blog

Climaxed https://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Part-time Working Hockey Mom https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/

The Crazy Mama Llama  https://crazymamallama.blogspot.com/ 

18 comments:

  1. Yikes. Sally has outdone herself, but then she frequently does. I think Sally needs to be sent on an extended vacation to a deserted island. But then she'd probably cause trouble even there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If a disaster happens and no one is there to see it, did it really happen? Sally?

      Delete
  2. I love your Sally stories!! This one is great!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Sally...
    And how I feel for your narrator and her mother.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh Sally! Will she ever change? I certainly hope not.

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMG. Can't imagine life with Sally, but it was never dull! Loved this.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I wonder if the babysat children will ever write their memoirs....staying tuned. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. All's well that ends well, i hope. At least, as long as the kids keep their mouths shut.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh ... that Sally. Thanks for this story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so welcome, Charlotte! They are just so fun to write!

      Delete
  9. I think we are all a little bit like Sally, whether we want to admit it or not. lol

    ReplyDelete

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