I think Mom and my aunt were two of the cleverest people who ever lived. They were never without a plan. They were never caught flat-footed. I never, ever, saw them unable to meet a situation that called for a plan, without one.
Let’s use the telephone as an example. Back when I was growing up, if the phone rang, you answered it. There was no way of knowing who was going to be on the other end. It could be an important call that you wouldn’t want to miss. If it was juicy news, and you didn’t answer, the caller would just go on to the next person on the grapevine. There was no such thing as voicemail, either. If you missed an important call, you could only hope the party would call back. But then there were those “other” calls. The ones you would rather have missed. The ones from the PTA asking you to bake cookies, or the ones from the ladies who could talk for hours and not tell you one iota of interesting news. These are the calls that gave birth to the plans.
My aunt always answered the phone with a pitiful voice… (cough)…hello…(cough). If the caller was someone she wasn’t in the mood to spend time conversing with, she could say she wasn’t feeling well, and would weakly ask if they could call back another time. If it was someone she wanted to hear from, my aunt recovered quickly.
I’ve told you about Mom’s trick. She would hang up when she was in the middle of a sentence. She said no one would ever believe she hung up on herself. They’ll think they got disconnected. If the party called right back, the line would be…busy. It’s hard to believe anybody would ever call them, isn’t it?
I remember Mom’s excitement one day when she read Erma Bombeck’s plan for dealing with unexpected visitors. Don’t worry about getting caught with a dirty house, she advised. You should invite them right in. All you have to do is put some get well cards all over and people will think you’ve been too sick to clean. It’s funny…I don’t remember my mother ever being “for real” sick. I would be afraid all of that pretending would tempt fate. I would fake being sick and then really get sick.
Mom came up with some good plans, but she was always willing to learn from others like Erma Bombeck or Ann Landers.
You’ve gotta love small towns. I’ll always love my hometown.
Speaking of Murdo, I got a message from Marilyn Kinsley Strait. The class of 1968 is gathering contact information for a potential get together. You can send information and updates to firstname.lastname@example.org (Marilyn).
It’s been fifty years since you spent your last day as classmates and I really hope you have a well attended reunion.
I was looking at the only MHS annual I have. It belonged to Connie Jackson and was given to me by her brother, Eddie. He discovered I spent most of my high school years trying to be “Connie like” and knew how much I would treasure having a little piece of her history. It’s the 1967 annual which was the year all of you were Juniors. (My small town smarts in action.) Some of the comments you classmates wrote inside are priceless.
I hope you give yourself the gift of going back and sharing memories of those high school years. Please pass the information on to anyone who might not read Murdo Girl. There can’t be that many.
A few youngsters from the class of 70
Songs from 1968 to get you feeling nostalgic…