Murdo Girl…Only time will tell

Do you believe in Angels? There is a saying, “To those who believe, no explanation is necessary. To those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”

Please know that I’m not trying to persuade anybody to believe one way or the other, but today, Tuesday and Thursday, I would like to share three very heartwarming stories..and they’re all true.


Back in the 70’s Sherri Miller’s Mom and Dad bought a grandfather clock at an auction in Presho, SD where they lived. As it turned out, the clock belonged to someone who lived just a couple of blocks from them, so they ended up hand carrying it down the street to their house, where it still resides.

1-Grandfather clock

The clock soon became Mr. Swinson’s pride and joy and he seldom let anyone else touch it. His beautiful clock had to be wound each week before the weights were all the way to the bottom. If they do get to the bottom, the clock can lock up and fixing it requires a clock repair expert. Sherri said that throughout the years, it has only locked up on them once. They had to take the non-working parts out, wrap them very carefully and haul them to Bridgwater, which is about 135 miles from Presho. A couple of weeks later, they had to drive back and pick them up. They never wanted to do that again, so Mr. Swinson was very careful to wind the clock on time each week.

The Grandfather clock has three in the middle, that controls the time, and two on each side that control the chimes. When Sherri’s Dad started slowing down, he finally decided to let her take over the task of winding the clock. When he became really sick last November and had to go to the hospital, winding the clock was not on Sherri’s mind. When she got back to Presho a few weeks later, the weights on the grandfather clock had reached the bottom and everything on the clock had stopped. She had to get back to Pierre, (SD), so she wasn’t able to do anything with it on that trip.

In late December, she decided to try winding it to see what happened. The clock timing actually started to work, which meant the middle weight was moving down like it should. After that, Sherri was careful to rewind the clock part weekly. The two weights on the outside however, did not move, which meant the clock did not chime on the quarter, half, or on the hour. Fearing he would get upset, Sherri decided not to share this with her Dad.

Several weeks after Mr. Swinson came home, Sherri was helping him to the bedroom and he stopped at the clock and asked, “Is the clock not working?” Sherri responded that it was and it was keeping perfect time. He didn’t say anything more about it until a few days before his passing, when he asked her again if the clock was working. He said he couldn’t hear it chime. This time she told him what had happened. Sherri said he remained calm and said, “If I were able and if I could get to it, I know I could fix it.” Sherri told him she knew he could too, but he couldn’t get to it and they were not going to worry about it now. No more was said.

Sherri and her sisters had tried to fix the chimes several times over the previous three months, but to no avail. Then a few days after her Dad died, the clock needed winding. After she wound it, the clock made a little chime. She was shocked, but thought maybe she had touched something when she pulled the weight up, that caused the sound. That happened around 7:35, so Sherri and her sister sat there watching it, and waited for 7:45 to get there. Sure enough, they heard a small chime. They waited for it to come to the hour of eight o’clock. They were so excited when they heard the “minute before” chime and then the count..8 for each hour. Sherri and her sister listened to each chime of the grandfather clock in amazement. The clock has been working perfectly ever since.

Pete Swinson with his daughters. He lived to see his 100th birthday, and was a man loved by all.

The sisters were convinced the first thing their Dad did when he left, was to get over to that clock and fix it. It was his way of answering the request Sherri had asked of her Dad shortly after he died. She asked him to please find a way to let her know he was okay. Each time she hears the chimes, she knows her Mom and her Dad are together, and everything is as it should be.

Sherri Miller with her Dad, Pete Swinson

Remember the song most of us learned when we were kids?

My grandfather’s clock was too tall for the shelf
So it stood ninety years on the floor
It was taller by half than the old man himself
But it weighed not a pennyweight more

Ninety years without slumbering
Tic toc tic toc
His life’s seconds numbering
Tic toc tic toc
It stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died.

The man in the song must not have had a very special and loving daughter, who believes her Dad is now in heaven catching up with her Mom. Don’t you think he must have said this to his wife? “Sorry I’m a little late honey, but I had to fix the clock for Sherri. She asked me to give her a sign that all is well.

Sherri believes she now has two guardian Angels.

I believe our Angels will do almost anything to get our attention.









11 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Only time will tell

  1. Mari Rickard-Jackson December 3, 2018 / 10:51 am

    When it’s a beautiful and heartfelt story, full of love, it is forever timeless! Thank you ladies again for sharing.


    • Mary Francis McNinch December 8, 2018 / 4:38 pm

      I think of you often, Mari. I wanted you and Eddie to know the story of my admiration for Connie as a young high school girl intertwined with meeting the two of you in Murdo, your gift of Connie’s annual, your beautiful doll, and the book brought everything together for me. And yes, I do believe in angels.


      • Mari Jackson December 8, 2018 / 10:02 pm

        Oh, Mary. I’ve been so self absorbed with our move, I’ve neglected you. I’m so sorry. You’ve been in my thoughts frequently as we’ve downsized and so have you and Kip. I hope the angels are visiting you and blessing you! We are so happy to have played a very small part in you bringing “Connie’s Story” to fruition. It was meant to be and what a blessing it is. Connie is proud too!

        Sent from my iPhone



      • Mary Francis McNinch December 10, 2018 / 5:45 am

        I’m sure I have given Connie a laugh or two as I travel through the love/hate process of editing the flow and layout of the book dedicated to her. It will be republished someday soon. A lot of things have changed in all of our lives and will continue to forever. Maybe we’ll all make it back to Murdo in 2021. I sure hope so!


  2. Mary Francis McNinch December 3, 2018 / 9:50 am

    Reblogged this on Murdo Girl and commented:

    Mr Swinson lived to celebrate his 100th birthday. Today is his heavenly birthday. This is a wonderful story his daughter, Sherri, told me.


  3. lifelessons March 19, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    Ha! Once again, I commented on your blog and went back to mine and you had just read mine. We are in sync. I’ve told you the story about the clock when my dad died, didn’t I? My aunt went down to AZ to be with Mom. They were sitting in the den/tv room and Aunt Peggy said, “I just love that clock.” It was a modern starburst clock hanging over the TV. Mom said, “Ben always hated that clock!” And just then, it fell off the wall and broke.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. scoper07 March 19, 2017 / 9:19 pm

    What a nice story this is. Thanks to Sherri for letting us enjoy it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mary Francis McNinch March 19, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    I was so honored Sherri told me this story and wanted me to share it on the blog. Thanks Mari. Next time we’re all in SD, we’re going to have to meet Sherri and a few others.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mari Jackson March 19, 2017 / 7:54 pm

    What a beautiful story of love, faith and Angels! Thank you Shari and MG for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

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