Murdo Girl…A dining experience


Mrs.E loved to tell everyone she had teeth. Then she would point to a little stand in her kitchen and  say, “They’re right over there.” In four years, I never saw them in her mouth. She also had glasses she never wore. I had been coming to her house for a year or so, and one day, I saw she was wearing her glasses. When I asked her why, she told me that she was going to get her eyes checked the next week, so she thought she should wear the glasses for a few days. She seemed to be able to see okay without them, so I asked her why she needed glasses. She said, “Because I see double.” I said “So all this time that you haven’t been wearing your glasses you’ve been seeing 2 of everything?” She said, “Yes, double.” I noticed she took them off before the day was over. She informed me that she was used to going without them, so she wasn’t going to wear them anymore. As far as I can remember, I don’t think she ever went back to the eye doctor.

She told me she didn’t like to put her false teeth in, because she always bit her tongue. The problem was not her chewing. She could eat almost anything. I just had to learn to understand “Mrs. E speak.” I hadn’t quite figured it all out when one day, she asked me to bake her a strawberry cake. It was her favorite. I made a layer cake, and had a difficult time getting the two cakes to come out of the pans.She didn’t have any nonstick spray, so I used oil and a little flour. Some of the cake still stuck to the pans.

Several days later we were making a grocery list and she said to write down Pam. Sometimes I ran by the store on the way to her house and picked up breakfast items she needed, but her daughter did most of the shopping. As it happened, we both bought Pam. The next day, her daughter stopped by on her way to work and as we were talking, Mrs. E wheeled over and was staring into the refrigerator. She said, “I wish somebody would get me some Pam.” Her daughter and I both said, “What do you mean? You’ve got 2 cans on the counter.”Mrs. E. looked at the cans and said, “Well, I don’t even know what that is.” We finally figured out she wanted Spam, and she wanted the kind with hot peppers in it. I wish I had a dollar for every fried Spam, egg, and cheese sandwich with mayo I made for her. She could eat spicy foods that would’ve made smoke come out my ears and I would have had to eat Tums for a week. She thought I was a weeny and told me hot stuff made ya strong!


She also loved cheeseburgers, and like me, she would rather have a good fast food cheeseburger and fries than what you make at home. She wanted everything on it plus jalapeño peppers. I only worked from 8-12 in the mornings, but that was fine. She ate them for breakfast. I had to go to Whataburger, because that was the only place that served them at 7:30 in the morning. Whataburger makes a good burger anyway.


One Friday morning I decided to surprise Mrs. E with a burger and fries. When I got to her house, it didn’t take me long to figure out, it was going to be one of her cantankerous days. When she heard me come in, she hollered from her bed, “Don’t you even talk to me about a bath today, because I’m not taking one! I might not even get dressed!” I hollered back. “Okay, Mrs. E, but if you change your mind, there’s a Whataburger and fries out here for you.”

Pretty soon, I could hear her mumbling around in there. I knew I had two things going for me. She wanted that cheeseburger, and she did not like to stay in bed. She also knew that I would give the burger to her even if she refused a bath. I coerced her sometimes, but I never bribed her. There’s a subtle difference. Finally, she yelled, “I guess I’ll get up!” I went in there and proceeded to help her get into her chair. She could do it on her own, but it was easier for her if I helped. I didn’t say anything about the bath. She begrudgingly said, “Well, I guess I’ll eat that cheeseburger before I take my bath.”

She was beyond stubborn, but she was nobody’s fool either. I will say this. She was a woman of her word. She sometimes regretted it something awful, but if she made a deal with you, she always kept her promise. As a negotiator, she usually had me beat six ways from Sunday, and she loved it.

She had good hearing, but if you weren’t around her a lot, she was hard to understand sometimes. This was especially the case on the phone. She occasionally asked me questions about my old man. That’s what she called anyone’s husband. One morning we were going through our routine, and I said, “If we’re going to sit out on the porch, we’d better hurry. It might rain.” Mrs. E said, “Oh yeah, that’s what your old man said.” I didn’t pay much attention, and pretty soon she said, “He’s got a real nice voice.” I said, “Who does?” She said, “Your old man. I called him when you were driving over here.” I had taped my number by her phone, and she had decided to give Kip a call. Every couple of weeks, she would call him and ask for me knowing full well I was driving to her house. If he was home, they would chat for a bit while she waited for me to get to her house. She always told me about their nice talk.

Mrs. E. Had one of those lifeline pendants, and she wasn’t afraid to use it. She liked to sit out on her front porch and watch the hummingbirds come to the feeder. I sat in a little folding lawn chair and she of course  was in her wheel chair. When we came in, I folded up my chair and stuck it behind the door. One day, I got to her house and she said, “I had to push my button last night.” (She wasn’t looking at me, so I knew whatever she was about to tell me wasn’t going to be good.) Apparently, she had been looking out her door and when she got turned around the door swung shut and the chair fell down. In the process of leaning over to set it back up against the wall, the chair somehow got caught in the wheel of her chair. She said she drug that lawn chair all over the house and it wouldn’t come off.

Mrs. E’s daughter and her husband lived just across the street, but they had gone to Church. Rather than wait just a few minutes for them to return, Mrs. E decided to push her button and get someone over there to get her unhooked. Her daughter told me when they got home, the paramedics, a firetruck, a neighbor and a grandson, were at her Mother’s house. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but she had just gotten in trouble the week before for pushing her button for a non emergency. I’ll save that story for later, because it’s a doozie.

What a character. I think God brought the two of us together, because he figured I had gained some knowledge and experience growing up with a Mom who in temperament, was Mrs. E ” like.” Just maybe, I could hold my own…well maybe some of the time anyway.

Kip and I with Grandsons Seamus and Hudson. Seamus was on the winning soccer team today

40 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…A dining experience

  1. lifelessons August 30, 2016 / 10:01 pm

    Oops. Just checked at the news is good. I don’t have to leave home until 5 a.m. Guess I’ll have to go to bed before 3 a.m. on that day!!!

    Liked by 2 people

      • lifelessons August 30, 2016 / 10:26 pm

        What time do you usually retire? For me it is usually between 2 and 3 but sometimes later. Very rarely earlier, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Francis McNinch August 30, 2016 / 10:32 pm

        I go to bed around 11 and get up at 5:30.. I’m a zombie without sleep. What time do you get up?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lifelessons August 30, 2016 / 11:25 pm

        8:30 usually. Sometimes earlier. Rarely later, unless I haven’t gone to bed until 5 or 6. Night owl for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. lifelessons August 30, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    I love the modern (old-fashioned and/or Irish) names for kids. My friend has a grandson named Hudson.. and Seamus (pronounced shay’ muss, correct?) I like as well. I also love best the stories you write that are based on real events and people in your life. I look forward to more stories about Mrs. E.. Her house looks like our old house in Murdo, or is that her house?


    • Mary Francis McNinch August 30, 2016 / 9:51 pm

      Yes on Seamus. That isn’t Mrs. E’s house, but it looks very similar. She is in a nursing home now. I’m writing about my time with her every other night for now. When are you leaving?


      • lifelessons August 30, 2016 / 9:56 pm

        About 3 in the morning on Thursday. Ian keeps insisting he doesn’t mind driving me so I’m taking him up on it…


  3. sanjuan831 August 28, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    Can hardly wait to read today’s!
    Luv, Lav


    • scoper07 August 28, 2016 / 2:28 pm

      That would be like calling him Sue.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Mary Francis McNinch August 28, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    I looked it up. It’s “Sleeping single in a double bed.” I’m usually a little wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. scoper07 August 28, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    Change prisims for prisons. I do not recall the song.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sanjuan831 August 28, 2016 / 12:44 pm

    Thanks, Okay, MG. ScoperScoper-Answer is you take both bowls when you take one.


    • scoper07 August 28, 2016 / 12:39 pm

      Major Tom? I was kidding about Kip.


      • Mary Francis McNinch August 28, 2016 / 1:34 pm

        I Know when you are kidding me..The cat’s name was Old Man. “Here Old Man.”


      • scoper07 August 28, 2016 / 1:52 pm

        My next guess was going to be Spam.

        Liked by 1 person

    • scoper07 August 28, 2016 / 12:47 pm

      Knot head?


  7. sanjuan831 August 28, 2016 / 9:10 am

    Agree with you, Scoper! Seeing double might be a good thing at times….like when you get handed a wad of cash or bowl of ice cream.
    Q. Mary MG.: Is that first picture really Mrs. E’s house!?

    Liked by 2 people

    • scoper07 August 28, 2016 / 9:18 am

      Yes but which bowl does one take? Q. MG is that really your “old man” standing next to you? 🤓

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mary Francis McNinch August 28, 2016 / 11:46 am

      Lav..That is not her real house, but those are her real fingernails. Don’t tell anyone about the house. I want the readers to be able to picture her surroundings.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. scoper07 August 28, 2016 / 8:15 am

    A well written story Murdo Girl. I can imagine you two had quite the daily conversations. On occasion she couldn’t wait for you to get there so she called Kip. Funny!! BTW: I see double without my glasses. I wear mine all the time though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mary Francis McNinch August 28, 2016 / 11:48 am

      What condition is that Scoper? I think there is a song by Barbara Mandrell, Seeing double in a single head.” Ever heard it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • scoper07 August 28, 2016 / 12:42 pm

        The condition of me seeing double? Whenever I take my glasses off. One eye goes in and down and the other goes in and up. I have prisons in my lenses to correct it. Plus I am left eye dominant so I don’t use my right eye unless I have to (my left eye is covered).


      • Mary Francis McNinch August 28, 2016 / 1:32 pm

        You really have prisons in your lenses? When did this happen to you Scoper?


      • scoper07 August 28, 2016 / 1:50 pm

        I was born with it. I knew my parents couldn’t afford glasses so I never said anything. I was coming out of tonsil surgery and still loopy and I let the cat out of the bag and said I saw double. It was between freshman and sophomore year. That’s when I came to school with glasses. My basketball shooting percentage dropped from 69% to about 50% after I got my glasses. Depth perception was off. I’ve had prisims in all my glasses. You don’t want to look through my glasses. It will make you sick. Literally.

        Liked by 1 person

      • scoper07 August 28, 2016 / 2:14 pm

        It is what it is.


  9. sanjuan831 August 27, 2016 / 10:40 pm

    Yes, they did. You’re the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. sanjuan831 August 27, 2016 / 8:41 pm

    Enjoyed reading about another great person in your life. Is she the one who was put in a retirement /convalescent home and told you it was good to be back home again?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch August 27, 2016 / 9:11 pm

      Yes, when she saw me she said, “I finally made it home.”I went to see her yesterday. It broke my heart. She knew me, but didn’t. Hard to explain.


      • sanjuan831 August 27, 2016 / 9:19 pm

        It is heartbreaking. I felt like a traitor putting my Mom in a nursing home and she used to cheer up when she saw me but only made it about two months. Lived with us five years and was so lucky to have her with us!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Francis McNinch August 27, 2016 / 9:29 pm

        Yes you were lucky, and Mom had Gus. She was in the nursing home 6 wks I think, but I don’t think she was as cognicent as Aunt Ella was. I guess you pay a price when you live past 85. Mom and your mom had a conversation about that very subject. If given a choice, what do you want to go first, your mind or your body? Your Mom said if she lost her mind, she wouldn’t care about her body. I’m deep in the weeds now. They both had good lives.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. countrygirl57 August 27, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    Great story. Mrs E is a character for sure!! 😊😊😊

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

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