Murdo Girl…Life’s Mementos

I’m wondering how many of you Murdo Girl readers surround yourself with things that remind you of love, laughter, family and friends. I hope all of you do. I had a lot on my mind last night and I have a brain that can’t be spread too thin. I sat and stared at the computer for a while, but I didn’t really feel like writing. Then I started to look around the spare bedroom where I do a lot of my blogging. I have stuff everywhere. (I started this last night and I decided not to change anything other than to tell you that I started this last night.) Here are some of my mementos. (In no particular order.) I have to stop for a minute, I just heard from Teresa…back now.. She and several others have come up with some great questions as you all read tonight’s (last night’s) Connie’s story.

Back to mementos. You probably think I spelled it wrong. Spell check spelled mementos with an e instead of an o, so I’m going with it. Hopefully someone will research the correct spelling and let me know. Oh, wait a sec, I just heard from Sherri. She had 5 questions about Connie’s story.

I took all of these photos tonight right here in this room. I even photographed the picture of Mom and me. (It’s me not I, I checked.)


The Beasterhop


We Shall See what We Shall See

just close your eyes and it will be.

Sometimes when we close our eyes, we can see much better.

The Beasterhop came to life and I said…”Dad, let’s look at him together.”

When I first wrote about my memories of growing up in Murdo, I sent the pages to my brother Billy. After reading them he said, “You didn’t write about the Beasterhop.” I hadn’t thought of it until he mentioned it, but I decided it should be a story all by itself.

When I was a little girl, I would sit on my Dad’s lap and he would tell me stories. Usually they came from an old Mother Goose book I had. It’s pages were tattered and torn. Dad knew all the stories and he told them so well. I loved those nursery rhymes. I looked at the book while he recited all the stories from memory and of course, he added a little bit of his own color here and there.

One day he turned the tables on me. He asked me to tell him a story. That day the Beasterhop was born. I have added two more Beasterhop stories to the little book and I will put them all on the blog when we get a little closer to Easter.

I found the figurine pictured above and took my Beasterhop along with my story to visit my friend Pat in the hospital. I dropped the Beasterhop and broke him. Pat said to give her the pieces and she took them home and glued him back together. He looks like new, and every time I see him, I think of my Dad and Pat.

Bonnie Blue


I found this beauty I named Bonnie Blue, standing in a glass case at the Goodwill Store. Something about her intrigued me. I asked the lady working there if she would take the doll out of the case so I could get a closer look at her. The tag on her toe said $6.00. I bought her, brought her home and wrote a 45 page story about her. In a way, she became real to me, and now I know all about her life. I read a quote once that said, “I wrote the story, because I wanted to read it.” That’s how I feel.


I have other mementos stuffed in this little room. The picture above is part of a collage of photos I have on my desk. I love this picture taken several years ago when I visited Mom and Gus and also Billy and Liz and their family in California. Gus took this picture when he dropped Mom and me off at the Pomona fairgrounds. They have simulcast horse racing there on the wk-ends and Mom loved to go. You can see how excited she was. I’m holding the pillow she used to put behind her back. Look at her Converse tennis shoes. She wore them before they became popular. Billy always said Mom was the first person to photo shop. She took an ink pen and colored in areas of a picture that she didn’t particularly like…mostly her arms (age spots), and her neck. She bought cheap tennis shoes and drew the Nike logo on them. She loved to go to garage sales, but only in the rich neighborhoods.

On this particular day, we really had fun. When I went up the two flights of stairs to get my 3rd baked pretzel during the running of a race, the guy sitting next to us leaned over to Mom and said, “I don’t think she’s really paying much attention to the races.”

I look at that photo and remember a fun day with my Mom, and it always makes me smile.

Here we have Jerome and Fay with a few other things I have collected for future stories. Next is a small bulletin board with a Valentine cousin Valerie made and sent to me last year, a card from a my friend Barbara that says,”We can’t all be Queen. Someone has to bow as I go by.” On top is the collage Judy Dykstra Brown and Patti Dykstra Arnieri made and presented to me at the reunion last summer. There is a picture of Grandpa Sanderson picking up the Christmas presents from everyone’s house on Christmas Eve, and one of our two cockers, Sammie and Pattie. You already know them and Cyndie..she is Pearl the dog in the Connie stories. You have also met Dollie the cat. The cross was given to me by my friend Fran, and the other dog picture is of Obie, who was very special to me.

To the far right is the ashtray my cousin Mark won on a “free game” when Dad took us to play Bingo. Mark kept it all these years and gave it to me last summer. Inside the ashtray is a bracelet one of my grandkids made for me. The ball of tinfoil is the very tinfoil Patti Dykstra Arnieri helped me make my crown with the night before the big parade.

I could go to the other room where I have a beautifully framed cork board Heidi gave me to display all of the grandkid’s most recent art and photos, but I better stick to just this room.

I use these old photo albums full of family pictures..both Kip’s and mine. Many were taken during the same time period as the Connie’s stories, so the photos you see are mostly of our families.

I’m sure you remember Dad’s pink ceramic giveaway holding one of the crowns Sherri Miller sent me. (Jerome and Fay fight over it.) I have crowns from my good friend Pat. (She has made 2 for me.) I have another from Sherri, one from Lady J, and two or more from others. I also have two T-shirts with crowns on them.

The 1967 MHS annual was given to me by Connie Jackson’s brother Eddie. It belonged to Connie and I treasure it. The butterfly pin was given to Mom by her best friend Sugar Nyquist Parker many years ago.

The picture below hangs in this room. It was given to Kip’s Grandma Lois McNinch by the Green River Valley Cowbells. Kip’s grandparents homesteaded in Big Piney, Wyoming. You have probably heard Big Piney mentioned on the weather report, as the coldest spot in the Nation.

I recently found this Prayer for Family that spoke to me. It’s not in a frame yet, but it will be.

I’ll stop now, but there is much more..I’m sort of a late blooming Queen. (I can’t bring myself to say old..Okay, less young.)

I was feeling a little sad when I started this. I feel much better now. It’s nice to revisit happy memories.

16 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Life’s Mementos

  1. lifelessons March 2, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    I definitely do. Recently my sister asked me to be sure to clear things out before I die so she won’t have to. Fat chance, sis. I need them for my art. I need all those boxes of paper for my writing. Art and Literature wins out over your needs. So good to have an excuse for chronic packratism.


    • Mary Francis McNinch March 2, 2017 / 8:29 pm

      Gus was trying to tell Billy where all his treasures were stored. Here is the key to this storage area etc. Billy put his hands over his ears and said, “Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know!!” My Mother, my brother and I are all the same, although I keep more than they do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lifelessons March 2, 2017 / 8:40 pm

        I’ll go through Gus’s stuff! But I get first rights. Not to the valuable stuff, but the junk. I rescued a lifetime of my dad’s tax returns from the garbage can when the tornado blew our house in Murdo away. And yes, I brought them to Mexico. Sigh. I might need them one day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Francis McNinch March 2, 2017 / 8:45 pm

        I’ll get all of Gus’s keys to the storage units..Road trip!! Just you and me! We might need a driver.


      • lifelessons March 2, 2017 / 10:45 pm

        Wish I still had my full-sized van.


  2. Mari Jackson February 16, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Bless your heart, I feel the same way about you and Val also!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • sanjuan831 February 16, 2017 / 9:39 pm

      Sandersons all say, “Bless your heart…or her/his heart,” etc. Right? I like that phrase!


      • Mary Francis McNinch February 16, 2017 / 9:44 pm

        In Texas you can say bad things about someone as long as you add bless his heart. Like, “She has no fashion sense, bless her heart.”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Mari Jackson February 16, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    This was beautiful and so meaningful, MG. Val was so right! I feel like we just had a sleepover and we all got to hear and see all the special treasures of your heart!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mary Francis McNinch February 16, 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Doesn’t that sound like fun? A slumber party. You, Val and me. You are part of some great memories Mari. I feel like I’ve known you forever.

      Liked by 2 people

    • sanjuan831 February 16, 2017 / 9:30 pm

      Exactly, Mari girlfriend.


  4. scoper07 February 16, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    You are indeed wealthy Murdo Girl. You have a wealth of memories and mementos to go along with them. It is very interesting you can write about them in such a meaningful way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mary Francis McNinch February 16, 2017 / 9:00 pm

      I have never consciously collected things, but I looked around last night and those things spoke to me 07.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. sanjuan831 February 16, 2017 / 8:35 pm

    Absolutely touching and sincere. I felt like I was in the room with you as you looked at each memento and wrote about its attachment, meaning, joy and love these items hold for you.

    Liked by 2 people

      • sanjuan831 February 16, 2017 / 9:28 pm

        I didn’t remember that Valentine until I saw it there on your wall! I have always sworn handmade Valentines are the best! And you are the best.

        Liked by 2 people

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