Murdo Girl…She needs a million dollars

Now that’s just crazy…I don’t need a million dollars. I want a million dollars. And then the second thing I want is to live a parallel life.

Continuing on with my nostalgia- filled week, this is what I want to do with my parallel life once I get my million dollars or a hundred thousand. It’s negotiable. This  might be what my other life would look like…

Low and behold, I got a check in the mail from Billy. He said he had some money lying around and he knew I wanted to live a parallel life. He hoped the two hundred thousand would help finance my dream. What a guy!

The first thing I did was call the people who currently own the house I grew up in. (Not the basement house…the one next to where Mowell’s used to live.) I asked the owner if he would consider selling it and he said I was in luck because the renters just moved out and he hadn’t found another renter yet. He gave me a price, and even though Dad built that house sixty-five years ago, I thought the asking price was fair and told him I would be in Murdo in a couple of days and we would seal the deal.

  1. The best picture I have of the front of the house. 2. Dining room… Dad and Aunt Elna had birthdays one day apart. 3. Dining room…the air conditioner window and doorway to the kitchen 

A couple of days later, I flew from Dallas to Rapid City. I rented a little orange and black mustang convertible and headed for Murdo. It was a great drive. I stopped at Wall Drug and had a hot beef sandwich and a piece of cherry pie. It was delish…

By the time I got to Murdo, it was too late to investigate the house, so I decided to find a place where I could stay for a few days. I have two cousins in Murdo who own motels, but it’s the middle of the tourist season. There is an unwritten rule that you don’t stay at a relative’s motel during tourist season because they might feel they are obligated to give you a good deal. I paid the going rate at the motel next to what was about to be my house again. The motel also happens to be owned by the seller of the house.

The next morning, I got up early and walked over to the Star Cafe and got a good cup of coffee. Even though I know they make a great breakfast, I was too excited to eat anything. A couple of hours later, I had purchased my childhood home, without even walking inside. I didn’t care what shape it was in.

It was harder than I thought to find a contractor to do the work right away, but fortunately I had Billy’s cash to do the talking. In no time at all, the house was almost as it was the day we moved out.

1. Front yard 2. Mom and I on front steps

When you walk in the front door, to your left is a beautiful wood, built-in bookcase. Next to the bookcase is a brick fireplace. Continuing down that front wall, there is a huge picture window. That’s where Mom put the aluminum tree with the color wheel. The window sits up high. In fact, you can look out the window and see the brick planters below on the outside. On the east wall, there is another smaller window in the corner and a window in the area where the dining room table goes. That’s where the air conditioner was.

There is a doorway that goes into the kitchen. The first thing you see is the broom closet. On the wall between the dining room and the kitchen there is a cut-out place to put your phone. It makes it convenient to answer the phone from the kitchen or the dining room.


Sitting at the booth in the kitchen. Mom always pulled a chair up to the end. The picture is not very clear, but the other people are Harold and Elsa Peck and Irma and Jeff Sanderson.


Living Room…Harold and Elsa Peck

When you walk into the kitchen, to your left is a landing with a door that goes outside. If you turn to your right you can go downstairs. The basement is completely finished except we never did put carpet or linoleum on the stairs. We didn’t even paint them.

Billy’s room, a bathroom, a built-in bar, a laundry area and a huge living room area with a fireplace are all downstairs.

The hole Mom blew in the ceiling when she threw the shotgun shells in the burning fireplace had been fixed…I was hoping it was still there. I have so many memories of playing with my friends and cousins in that basement. The only problem was when it rained hard, the window wells filled up and flooded Billy’s room and the living area. We had to scoop the water up with buckets and mop what we couldn’t scoop.

My room is upstairs… across from the master bedroom. If we would have said master bedroom back then, people would have said, “what?” There is a linen closet in a small hall area and a nice bathroom with a separate tub and shower. I remember the wall was painted a burnt orange and there was a round mirror hanging there.

Kitchen and living room -I took these from a DVD

Kitty Reynolds made beautiful layered pink and white curtains and a matching bedspread for my bedroom. I also had a vanity with a mirror in the middle, and drawers on each side. One day I came home and Mom and Kitty had sawed off the middle and put a set of drawers on each side of my bed like end tables. I threw the biggest fit you ever saw.

I had to do a lot of work to get my house back to the way it was, but when I was finished. It was even better than before. I refinished all the hardwood floors upstairs and the stairs to the basement. I had to replace the yellow booth and table downstairs, and the red one in the kitchen. I bought some great, comfortable furniture and the last thing I did was fix up the one car garage and put a whole new yard in. I now have a fenced back yard with a covered deck.

My understanding is that when you are living a parallel life, you don’t know it, so I wouldn’t know if Kip and I are having fun on an RV trip with the dogs and cat.

Now that I have my old house fixed up just the way I remember it, what will I do? I know. I think I’ll stay here and turn my little Murdo Girl memories into a book. I can interview other people and I’ll give everyone an alias this time. I’ll have to move fast or there won’t be very many people who will remember the people places and things I’ll write about.

I wonder if Billy has a little more cash lying around…I heard that once you decide to have parallel lives, there is no going back to just one. But how could anyone know for sure?


7 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…She needs a million dollars

  1. scoper07 September 12, 2018 / 7:33 pm

    What wonderful memories you have MG! Do you recall who lived in that house when you were in high school? Your stories are always a pleasure to read.


    • Mary Francis McNinch September 12, 2018 / 7:40 pm

      Thanks 07. It’s always so nice to see your comments. Lee Beckwith bought the house. He and his family lived there for several years.


  2. Bill Francis September 11, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    The $200 was for my bookie. I sent the $20 that was meant for you to him by mistake. He is threatening me with cutting off my right hand if I don’t pay him by next week. You can sell the house and make a big profit and we will both come out okay. I hear Murdo the job market in Murdo is huge!


    • Mary Francis McNinch September 11, 2018 / 10:50 pm

      I’m not selling the new house, but you can have your old room back. It probably still floods, but you know the drill.


  3. lifelessons September 10, 2018 / 11:42 pm

    My favorite meal at Wall Drug as well. I even have a picture of that exact meal, with a donut thrown in for good measure. Rita North and I shared so that explained the two desserts!


    • Mary Francis McNinch September 11, 2018 / 5:26 am

      Kip and I stopped there last summer and had that meal because you told us too. It’s my new favorite.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lifelessons September 11, 2018 / 8:53 am

        I like a friend who minds!!!


Comments are closed.