Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Saturday, May 23, 2020

A Grampa Memory

My Grandpa as I remember him.
With my older siblings, Chris and Jerry. 
My Grandpa, George Lewis Stringam, was born in 1876, in Holden Utah.
He ranched there with his dad. Married. Prepared to welcome children.
And then tragedy struck.
His first wife, Mary Ann (May) Snow, passed away, together with her twin unborn sons, following an accident involving a carriage and runaway horses.
Broken hearted, Grampa continued to ranch. Then accepted a call to serve a mission for his church to Australia.
After his return home, he married longtime friend, Sarah Lovina Williams and they set up housekeeping, first on his father’s farm, then on their own place in Teasdale, Utah.
A few years later, they had settled in Glenwood, Alberta, ranching there and in the Milk River area, and raising nine of eleven children.
My dad was the baby.
Grampa was a rancher, husband, father, grandfather, MLA for Cardston for three terms, faithful church attender and leader, neighbour and friend.
He was faithful, honest, hardworking, kind, and thorough, with a terrific sense of humour and a firm belief that actions should always speak louder than words.
My Dad loved him and tried to emulate him throughout his life.
Grandpa Stringam passed away just before I turned four.
I have only one memory of him . . .
My grandparents, in their later years, moved to the city of Lethbridge, in Southern Alberta. The main entry of their home opened onto a hallway that bisected the house, front to back, with French doors to the right, leading into the living room.
Behind those doors was my grandfather’s recliner.
At this point in time, he must have been quite ill with the cancer that finally took his life.
All I know is that’s where I found him.
Reclined in his chair, feet up and newspaper spread out in front of him.
“Grampa!” I said.
The newspaper dropped. “There’s our little Diane girl!”
That was all the invitation I needed.
There was Grandpa. There was Grandpa’s lap. Just waiting for a little girl to snuggle.
And that’s what I did.
For several minutes, I cuddled there, listening to his heart beating and the sound of his voice coming through his chest as he talked to my parents.
I didn’t follow the conversation, which was probably quite serious.
All I knew was that I felt safe. And cared for.
Breathing in, for what turned out to be the last time, the scent that was Grandpa.
As a young man

During his mission to Australia

Grampa in the apron. Oh, the missionary life!

May 4, 1903

At my parents' wedding
Gramma and Grampa Stringam on their Golden Anniversary

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


I’m not tech savvy. My students would shudder when I picked up a TV remote—an action inevitably followed by the frenzied pressing of buttons and a few muttered church-friendly expletives.

When churches and schools closed, I was sad about being barred from my beloved students, but what could I do? The only senior citizen in the class, I was most at risk.

When I groused to my uber-helpful and very tech astute elder sister about missing my students, she suggested I download a program called Zoom, gather up my kids and teach online.

I laughed and laughed. Because . . . see above. No way I was going to ‘gather my students’ and learn something new. Especially something that could possibly require online computing.

When the ‘powers that be’ announced I would teach every day on a newly-discovered program called ‘Zoom’, I laughed again. Then cried a little. Surely they knew me better than that?

Nope. They promised to help me learn. Promised I would enjoy it. Promised I would be a tech amazing whiz-senior before the week was out. But firmly told me to ‘do it’.

Now every morning, I am seated at my desk in front of 23 teenagers, teaching. Watching videos. Following Power Point presentations. Even separating into ‘rooms’ to work as individuals or groups.

I am the king of the world! Yes, it’s a small world, peopled with teenagers 14 to 18, too polite to laugh out loud when I screw up. (Which I do.)

But I’ve done it. Learned a new program. Implemented it without too many disasters. And best of all, I get to ‘see’ my teenagers nearly every day! It’s a beautiful world.

Today’s post is a writing challenge. We contributing bloggers each picked a number between 12 and 74. The submitted numbers were then assigned to other bloggers challenged with writing at least one piece using that exact number of words.
I was assigned the word count number: 31
It was submitted by my best blogging friend, Karen of Baking in a Tornado.
Thanks so much, Karen! You are awesome!

Here are the links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what numbers they got and how they used them. 

Links to the other Word Counters posts:
Baking In A Tornado
Spatulas on Parade 
Messymimi’s Meanderings   

Monday, May 18, 2020


I admit it, I'm a homebody.
This pandemic hasn't changed my lifestyle much at all. I hated to go out before.
I hate to go out now.
I wrote this song for the play: The Three (Plus a Few) Little Pigs a year ago.
It tugs at my heart today.
I offer it today for Poetry Monday: Home.
Picture the little piggies and wolves singing it!

Here in this world are many different houses you can see,
There are houses on the ground and there are houses in the trees,
And some float on the water and some others are of stone.
One thing they have in common is that each is someone’s home.

Cause in this world, there’s nothing like your home,
It welcomes every day, be it on land or sea or foam.
Like a hug, it wraps around you as you step inside the door,
Yes, there’s nothing like a place to call your own.

Cause Mondays 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?

Jenny, Charlotte and Mimi are also participating.
Take a little jaunt over and see what they've done with the topic!

Next week, it's time for shows and tells,
Cause we'll all be discussing 'Smells'!

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 and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at and .ca and 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!

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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


A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.


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


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

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.


Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.


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!

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Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?