Murdo Girl…I wasn’t made to work hard

I worked my tail off today…so did Kip. We cleaned the RV before we left the park this morning, and then headed for the small house. Sometimes it’s better not to know what lies ahead.

We brought everything inside and dropped it wherever. I started washing all the rugs and bedding from the RV before we began surveying the state of the small house. 

I felt crummy all day, but made the decision to ignore it. 

Here are a few before pictures.

I made them go by fast and you can’t begin to see all of the dirt. Every cupboard in the kitchen and it’s contents had to be cleaned. I worked for six hours without a break and I’m only halfway through it all. I took the opportunity to clean the fridge too, since it was empty.

Kip got the television hooked up and finished the wiring for the recliners. The wiring is now under the floor. I’m kicked back in my recliner right now. 

I think I’ve got carpal tunnel syndrome. 

We went to Cochran’s Cafeteria for chicken fingers which stopped the momentum. I have some peach cobbler in the fridge, but right now it doesn’t sound good, which confirms…

 I am very sick.

This is really a lovely story isn’t it? I’ll try to take it in another direction.

My mom didn’t work when I was growing up and she hated housework. She never made me do much cleaning either. The house we lived in until I was eleven was a ranch style with a big finished basement. 

Standing in front of the new house. Aunt Elna Miller is on the left, then Andrea, Mom with her arms around Greg, Aunt Ella Leckey, I don’t know who the next three are. Stephanie Miller and I are standing in front of my horse.

One summer, Mom noticed there were a lot of tourists driving around town looking for a motel. All of the rooms in town were rented. There was no more room at the inn…except in our basement. 

My brother’s room was downstairs, and there were also two big open areas that had some couches and chairs in them. Mom got some rollaway beds, some extra towels for Billy’s bathroom, and opened up for business. I can’t really remember how she found the tourists and convinced them to stay at our house, and I don’t remember a sign in the yard. My guess would be she drove around in her car and flagged them down. I suppose she got some referrals from other motels once they were full. She loved the extra cash. As far as I remember, Billy didn’t have to rent his room out…most of the time.

Thus began Mom’s career. Dad had a lot of plumbing and heating jobs out of town. He discovered Mom’s “business” when he came home one night and the basement was full of strangers. He woke Billy up and asked him where Mom and Mary were. Billy started crying because Dad woke him up, and said we were at the new house, which is what we called that house. Mom and I were in our rooms upstairs.

Eventually, we built a real motel, which Mom ran brilliantly. Years later, she married Gus, and he did the hard work. By that time it needed painting and other updates. I remember Gus refinished all the doors.

Mom sitting on the brick planter at the motel. She grew beautiful patunias and marigolds every year…or tomatoes.

Mom didn’t do hard physical labor unless you count loading up all the dirty towels in her trunk and hauling them to the laundromat every morning. She turned out to be a shrewed businesswoman though.

It must be time for me to go to bed, I’m not tired anymore.

Don’t get me wrong. Our house was pretty clean most of the time. She hired one of my cousins or her friend, Roni to do the periodic heavy cleaning.

A motel keeps you tied down. You give up summer vacations and can’t take many days off. I was in my twenties and living in Wyoming when Mom and Gus sold the motel. They bought a travel trailer and took off for parts unknown.

 As I was filling up buckets of soapy water and using every complaining muscle I have, I could see Mom looking at me sideways and shaking her head. “I wasn’t made to work hard,” she said.

Mom and I in front of the new house a few years after she started renting out our basement.

16 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…I wasn’t made to work hard

  1. lifelessons January 12, 2018 / 11:48 pm

    By Ella Lecky. I think the really tall guy is Jimmy Johnson. Is that possible? His dad had the Hardware Store after Gib Thune left.


    • Mary Francis McNinch January 13, 2018 / 12:08 am

      Did they live south of 16 near the Borks? I think his mom’s name was Agnes. Billy told me to bring the picture to the AZ reunion. Someone there will be able to confirm who they are. The general consensus is the other guy is Dwight McCurdy.


      • lifelessons January 13, 2018 / 5:49 am

        Yes..His Dad’s name was Russell and his Mom’s was Agnes. Jimmy worked for the McCurdies at Cafe the Star restaurant.


  2. lifelessons January 12, 2018 / 11:47 pm

    Yes.. I was about to tell you the one guy is Dwight McCurdy.


  3. Patti Arnieri January 12, 2018 / 10:44 am

    Jim Johnson. The McCurdy girl’s name was Rita, although I don’t remember her having long hair. I think she was 4 or 5 years older than Dwight.


    • Mary Francis McNinch January 12, 2018 / 7:48 pm

      Billy called me today wirt some corrections on the story about renting rooms in the basement. He agrees the tall guy is Jim Johnson and the other guy Dwight. We both think someone from out of town was visiting. We wouldn’t normally all be there and take the special group photo. Billy wants me to bring the photo to the reunion. You and Jim will be there won’t you?


      • Deb Christensen January 12, 2018 / 9:24 pm

        The Jones Co in AZ reunion? when and where is that MG?


      • Mary Francis McNinch January 13, 2018 / 12:11 am

        Thursday, February 8th. It’s in Mesa, Deb, but I’m not sure where. I’m meeting Billy there. I can find out if you’re interested.


  4. scoper07 January 12, 2018 / 10:00 am

    What a wholesome story MG. You did experience an unusual life thanks to your mother. I never talked to your mother very much. As I recall she was always busy and talking quite a bit. I agree with the McCurdy boys. Did they have a sister? The girl on Governor looks like the boy standing behind her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch January 13, 2018 / 12:13 am

      We think one is Dwight, but I don’t think the other is Dale. He was only a couple of years older than me. I’m taking the pic to AZ. Billy is not sure either.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sanjuan831 January 12, 2018 / 9:25 am

    I feel the same as Country Girl. Did I know that Aunt Loretta rented out your basement and did I just forget? Thought we figured out a couple of those people in picture were McCurdys and tall man was Jimmy ___
    This was another interesting and funny blog chapter, even though it starts out rough, and you and Kip are working so hard. Sure hope you don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome. Maybe it will turn into cleaning-crawl -in-a -tunnel syndrome.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mary Francis McNinch January 12, 2018 / 12:55 pm

      Mom would not like this. Where is Roni Poppe when I need her? Blake told me Mom got miffed when they came for a visit in the middle of the summer and she had to let them stay in the basement😂


      • sanjuan831 January 12, 2018 / 6:15 pm

        Exactly. Roni was a jewel and good friend to Retta.
        Why was she miffed by Blake’s crew staying there? Had to lose money cause she couldn’t rent basement to tourists?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Francis McNinch January 12, 2018 / 7:23 pm

        Yes. Billy called today. I got a few things wrong. I might do s correction. His story was funnier…


  6. countrygirl57 January 12, 2018 / 6:05 am

    Can’t believe I have never heard this story. Love it.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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