Murdo Girl…Still Thankful 30 years later

You know how things can wake you up in the night and sometimes cause panic which causes fear, which causes lack of sleep, which causes crankiness which causes discord, which causes lack of enthusiasm and drains you of all energy.

Well, this plan of ours hasn’t caused any of that…yet.

We have sectioned off the storage unit and everything is in one of three categories. They are:

  1. Keep
  2. Church garage sale
  3. Things the kids might want someday. (A keeper for now.)

I heard somewhere that if you haven’t used or missed something in a year, you should get rid of it. We have a lot of things in that category, but just to be on the safe side, I think we should store them for another year and see if we miss them. The trouble with that is, we won’t remember if we have what we are missing or need to use. I really can’t see us running over to the storage unit because we now have a use for the electric can opener we packed in a box. We would have to also remember the category of the box that held the item. Maybe we need more categories. We might need to catalog each item. Another idea would be to take pictures of everything. No…we can’t do that because we already have half of the storage unit full and no pictures.

I better stop thinking about this or tonight will be the night all those emotions that cause bad things to happen will show up.

We got a break today. We went to a 50th anniversary surprise party.  The couple’s three kids hosted a luncheon celebration at a local Mexican restaurant. There must have been fifty friends and relatives there. We had a private room and it was full. We ate fajitas with all of the fixings and for dessert, they had a delicious anniversary cake, which really pleased Kip. I think the luncheon idea was a winner.


Here I go in a different direction again. I think it says somewhere in the writer’s rule book that you shouldn’t jump around. It’s better to stick to one central theme. I found this tea towel while Christmas shopping. I think I get it, but I’m not totally sure.



I ran across a picture and it brought to mind what happened the day I snapped it.  Kip, Mason, Craig and Calamity Jane are standing on a big rock that we saw while walking along the rugged beach near Fortuna, CA.

We decided we all needed a little bit of fun since we had to stay in a motel for three weeks waiting for our house to be ready to move into. Now that I think about it, I remember it was Thanksgiving Day. We went to a restaurant around noon for a turkey dinner. From there we dropped Heidi off at a movie. She wasn’t interested in coming to the beach with us. She was fifteen at the time and missed her friends.


We hadn’t been to a beach that was so rugged, with waves crashing against the rocky shores. We didn’t know about the dangerous undertow. After this picture was taken, Craig came back to where I was standing and started playing in the sand with some rocks and a stick. Mason and Kip were standing on a huge log and we were watching the waves. I took my shoes off and rolled up my pant legs and walked the short distance to join them. We were all standing there on the log. It was so wide and long it didn’t even require balancing to stay on it.

All of a sudden a mammoth wave hit the log and it started to roll toward the beach. I fell first and was forced under water. Because of the undertow, I didn’t know if I was moving up or down. I eventually came up. When I realized the log was being pushed forward I felt a stab of fear. Which way did Mason fall? I was screaming and crying until I saw Kip with his arms around Mason. He had pushed Mason the opposite direction of  the rolling log. They were both okay and the log stopped moving. Kip told us to run up on the beach because the log was about to start rolling in our direction as the tide went out. We made it up there in time to see the log roll back out. Craig was still busily playing in the sand. Mason and I were still visibly shaken. If any of us had fallen in front of the log, we would have been crushed. When things calmed down, Kip and I walked out to the log and tried to move it. We were trying to see if we were strong enough to roll it at all. It wouldn’t budge.

The remainder of the time we lived in Fortuna, we had a healthy respect for the ocean. It was not a place to ride the waves like the beaches in southern California. We had to stay on shore and watch. It was beautiful and mesmerizing.


I have often thought about that day. It could have ended so differently. What would Craig have done if he found himself alone on the beach? Heidi would be expecting us to pick her up after the movie. She had no idea where we were and of course that was twenty years before cell phones.

Thank God the worst didn’t happen. All we had to worry about was getting the car full of sand and riding all the way back in wet clothes. It was definitely a time to give thanks.

3 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Still Thankful 30 years later

  1. countrygirl57 December 30, 2017 / 6:24 pm

    For sure- definitely Avery vivid memory.

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Mary McNinch December 30, 2017 / 7:35 pm

      It is very vivid. I can be brought to tears just thinking about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sanjuan831 December 30, 2017 / 10:52 pm

        This got me terrified just reading about your experience, one similar to an undertow brush with death I had on a Northern California Beach also. Thought mistakenly they were like Southern California beaches, like you! Ken swam back out and saved me. Cousin, I had no idea you had that happen.

        Liked by 1 person

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