Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Friday, January 17, 2020


The house had been quiet.
Too quiet.
I’ve always wanted to say that.
But, of course . . . Sally.
Sally was off making another movie. And, because she was still only 16, Mom had gone with her as her chaperone to ensure things like . . . School.
Proper diet.
Lack of criminal charges.
You know, the things that mother’s normally do at home.
Well, at least mothers of daughters named Sally.
I was keeping the home fires burning. So to speak . . .
When our biggest ‘supposedly problem-free’ printer suffered chills and fever at work, the boss had sent everyone home early, so to celebrate, I picked up a frozen pizza to heat at home while I binge-watched the rest of Good Omens.
That David Tennant, who's with me?
Pretty quiet, mundane night, right?
Dinner. Movie.
No house falling about one’s ears.
No flashing lights and sirens.
I popped the pizza in the oven and sat down to catch the evening news while it heated.
And you have to know whose face was on the screen the moment it flashed into being.
Yep. Sally’s.
I closed my eyes for moment, then opened them.
Just to be sure. I do see her face a lot in my imagination . . .
Nope. It was still Sally.
I pointed the remote and hit the volume button.
“I’ve seen the video three times myself and still can’t quite process what I’m seeing!” an announcer was saying excitedly. “If you’ve just tuned in, there was trouble on what should have been a normal day of shooting for hot, young director, Jamie Lassiter’s newest film, Nosedive. Let us show it for you again . . .”
The scene switched to a clear view of a helicopter rising up from a rather rocky beach.
An Andean-blue lake was in the background and a clear, red sun just rising over the green canopy.
When the helicopter was a hundred feet or so in the air, a person appeared, slipping out of one of the open side doors. A small person. Child-sized. In a heartbeat, they were dangling from one of the struts of the undercarriage.
Something you see a lot.
On a James Bond film.
Even as I watched, they lost their grip on the strut and started to fall. I instinctively measured the distance between them and the rocks below. 
It wasn’t good.
At that moment, another person appeared, making a forward dive from the same doorway.
I knew in an instant who that second person was. But wasn’t Sally filming a story about a school teacher in the jungle somewhere?
What the heck?!
The second figure tucked in arms and legs and shot like a bullet toward the first, catching them and continuing along the same trajectory toward the nearby lake.
Just before they hit, It looked as though the larger figure managed to actually lift up and skim the tops of the waves for a bit. Super hero style.
Then they made a mighty splash.
As boats and men poured out from the beach, two heads could be seen, bobbing in the blue water.
One waved and I was sure I could see white teeth as Sally gave a trademark ‘Sally’ smile.
The announcer returned. “Have you ever seen anything like it?! Following what should have been a catastrophic safety-harness malfunction, stunt double, Sally Hart managed to pluck nine-year-old co-star, Virginia Noble out of the sky and carry both of them to safely.
Little Miss Noble, whom you may remember from her Oscar-nominated turn as Charly from the movie, Charly-Girl, has been sent by ambulance to a near-by hospital. For observation.
But the heroine, after being pulled from the lake, merely saluted the medical staff and headed for the showers. And a hearty meal.”
A final shot of Sally, nose deep in a plate of spaghetti, shovelling up the food like it was her last meal on earth.
I shut the TV off and simply sat there, all thought of David Tennant gone right out of my head.
Sally a hero?
Sally world famous?
How would we all survive?

Each month, Karen at Baking in a Tornado, or KarentheAwesome as we prefer to call her, issues a challenge. 
And words.
Each of us uses these words to craft something . . . crafty.
My words this month came to me, via Karen from my wonderful friend, Minette at Southern Belle Charm.
Thank you so much, Minette!

I have several other friends who take the challenge!
Go for a visit.
You’ll be glad you did!
Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Light in the Darkness

The darkness doesn’t bother me at all,
Cause Christmas lights all go up in the Fall,
And drive away the darkness that has crept
Upon us in such tiny increments.

But after Christmas, darkness gets me down,
As decorations leave all over town,
Allowing night that has been held at bay,
To creep upon us, shortening each day.

So Husby, he of brain and heft and might,
He takes me with him when he seeks the light,
And for the very darkest part of year,
He somehow finds a place of sun and cheer.

So now I’m reading tales of cold and woe,
My children tell of shovelling the snow,
Sooo . . . Apologies to all of you, my troop,
But I’m sitting in the sun in Guadeloupe!

Each month our Karen challenges us,
To craft a po-em without muss or fuss.
So happily, we all put pen to page,
Trying to create a new ad-age!

Monday, January 13, 2020


Each four years, we get special day,
To use to go to work, or rest, or play,
The twenty-ninth of February dawns,
Aaand . . . we greet it with our normal blinks and yawns.

My brother’s friend was born upon that day,
Couldn’t celebrate each year, needless to say,
But on her day, her friends, a fuss did make,
Her sixteenth. With four candles on her cake!

My brother and his wife chose Leap Year, then,
Decided then to marry way back when,
So now I know that Leap Year is upon,
By looking at the years through which they’ve gone.

But leap year’s most especial now to me,
And had been for a lot of years. You see
It was during leap year Husby and I wed,
Started sharing everything from ‘eh’ to ‘zed’.

I know it is just one day in each year four,
But I understand much better than before...
There’s other days each year that higher rate,
But for a whole year this we celebrate!

Cause Monday’s do get knocked a lot,
With poetry, we all besought
To try to make the week begin
With pleasant thoughts,
Perhaps a grin?
So all of us together, we
Have crafted poems for you to see.
And now you’ve read what we have wrought...
Did we help?
Or did we not?!

Next week, and it will be perfection,
We’ll talk all our vast connections.

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