Murdo Girl…Chance changes everything

I was over-the-top excited. It was May 6th, 1959. I was in the first grade and it was Rally Day. We didn’t have to go to school on Rally Day. Instead, we went to the football field, which at that time was near the high school and next to the auditorium. I knew I was going to run in races, participate in the sack race, and broad jump. Billy was 14 and I had been to watch his activities but today, I was going to participate.

There was another exciting thing. My number was pinned to my shirt and it was #36. It was May 6th, Mom’s birthday, and my number was 36. Guess what? That’s how old she was that day. (I have since recalculated Mom’s real age. I was 7 yrs old, which means Mom had turned 38. Maybe the number 38 was already taken and Mom didn’t want me to feel bad.)

From left: Harriet Parish, Loretta Gustafson (Mom), Elsa Peck, and Florence Murphy.

My first grade class with our teacher, Mrs Sandy. The future class of 1970

I remember as if it were yesterday, standing in the hallway of our house, waiting for Billy to walk me to the field. I was sure he was being slow just to make me nervous. Like always with our family, we were among the first ones to get there. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I couldn’t wait to win some blue ribbons. I was hoping Billy would watch me.

We experience many firsts in our lives. Some not planned or expected. Those events usually change everything.

I never planned to live anywhere but South Dakota, yet I have lived in 5 states. I would have called anyone crazy, if they had suggested I would spend 30 years (so far) in Texas. Mom once told me she had to get a new address book because she ran out of room under our name, and she knew we would move again. We’ve lived in 5 different houses in Texas.

I was talking to my cousin, Val, and she asked me if I had gotten 2 other cousin’s Christmas letters. Another cousin, Mark, brought up two more. I was feeling sad. My family must not like me. My cousin said, “No, that’s not it…they have no idea where you are.”

Our email address has changed and I’ve lost count of all the houses we’ve lived in. We tease that we don’t do windows, so when they get dirty, we have to move. We turn the mattresses then, too. It’s my fault, anyway, because I know where all my relatives live. I did send them all the Sanderson Christmas story a couple of years ago.

So here I am…in Texas. And I have the most wonderful friends anyone could ask for. As my thoughts and memories reach back over the years, I can see I’ve always been surrounded by genuinely amazing people.

I’m sure glad I wasn’t the one running things..

My Aunt Irma Sanderson’s house. L to R: Harriet Parrish, Marce Lillibridge, Florence Murphy, Marge Bork, Evie Johnson, and Mom…They have all been in my stories. The doctor, the banker, and the dentist’s wives, and the lady whose little boy fell from the slide…These lady’s stories, like everyone’s are about changes they weren’t expecting.

17 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Chance changes everything

  1. scoper07 February 8, 2019 / 9:14 am

    Nice pictures that go along with nice memories. I used to look forward to rally day. We used to have ours in Okaton and it was all the country schools. After Okaton closed, we came to Murdo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch February 8, 2019 / 4:16 pm

      You must have known a lot of Murdo kids before you started 7th grade here 07. You played baseball, too didn’t you?


      • scoper07 February 8, 2019 / 5:17 pm

        Yes I played baseball with your Uncle Jeff. But I didn’t know that many outside of those who played baseball and my relatives. I didn’t know most of the families in your pictures. I knew who your mom was because of Billy playing basketball.


  2. lifelessons February 7, 2019 / 10:58 pm

    Wasn’t Marce beautiful? I had forgotten what she looked like, but when I looked at this photo, it came back to me that this was she even before I looked at your caption.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch February 8, 2019 / 9:16 am

      I got these from Mark Sanderson. He said the table picture was taken at Elsa’s house and its is Elsa. Irma took the pic. It takes you back doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • lifelessons February 8, 2019 / 10:47 am

        Look closely. It is definitely Marge Sorenson. Doesn’t remotely look like Elsa. Both were my next door neighbors.. one on one side and the other on the other.


      • Mary Francis McNinch February 8, 2019 / 11:10 am

        I believe you. Is it Elsa’s house? I will email you a better copy. I have something else to ask you anyway.


      • lifelessons February 8, 2019 / 11:50 am

        Patti agrees..Gotta look again, but I think it was Elsa’s house in the living room in front of her fireplace. I have another photo of my dad in Elsa’s hat taken in the same spot if I’m right.


      • lifelessons February 8, 2019 / 11:51 am

        Yes. Definitely taken at Peck’s house.


      • Mary Francis McNinch February 8, 2019 / 2:26 pm

        Patti agrees that it’s Marge? There are two tables. You can see part of someone’s head in the lower left corner.


      • lifelessons February 8, 2019 / 11:10 am

        If Irma took the pic, there must have been two tables of bridge as there are four people seated at the Elsa could have been at the other table. I’m calling in sister Patti to mediate the matter

        . I’d stake my life on that being Marge, not Elsa.


      • Mary Francis McNinch February 8, 2019 / 4:14 pm

        There were two tables. You can see someone’s head in the bottom left corner. Does Patti think it’s Marge or Elsa?


      • lifelessons February 8, 2019 / 10:46 am

        I did. I always thought of her as French.


  3. lifelessons February 7, 2019 / 10:54 pm

    Look closer, Mary. I think that is Marge Sorenson, not Elsa, at the bridge table.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sanjuan831 February 7, 2019 / 10:22 pm

    You have some happy stories and even happier pictures with matching memories here!
    Aunt Irma’s drapes are probably louder than those women friends gabbing that day.
    We were lucky to be surrounded by solid friends and loving family!
    You have moved a lot but always to Interesting places and homes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch February 8, 2019 / 4:20 pm

      So why didn’t I become worldly? 😁 I agree about those loud drapes. They hurt my eyes…


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