Murdo Girl…Billy remembers

My brother, Billy, doesn’t talk about his childhood as much as I do, but then most people don’t. He doesn’t understand how I can remember things from the time I was two.

Last night I was talking to him and he was telling me about going turkey hunting with Grandpa Sanderson. Grandpa applied for every hunting permit he could and got any license available to hunt and fish.

On this particular day, they went looking for a turkey. They parked near a big hill, left Grandma in the car, and proceeded to carry out Grandpa’s plan to scare up a turkey.

Billy, who was around ten at the time, walked along one side of the hill and Grandpa walked along the other side. It was in the afternoon, so Grandpa told Billy to make sure the sun was in front of him. That way he wouldn’t get lost. They would meet up as they rounded the hill.

As Billy was walking, the weather started to turn and it began to cloud up and snow. Soon, he could no longer see the sun. He panicked and made the decision to turn around and run towards where he thought the car was. It wasn’t long before he realized he was lost.

Grandpa had always told him that if such a thing happened, he should go down the hill until he got to a creek or fence line. Something he could follow that would most likely lead him to where he would be found.

Thankfully, he remembered Grandpa’s words of wisdom. As he got closer to the bottom, he barely heard Grandpa calling for him. Billy said they were about a quarter of a mile from each other.

As they walked to the car, Grandpa said it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to tell Grandma he had gotten lost.

Their next challenge was to get the car back on the road. It had snowed quite a bit by then and it was getting dark. Billy said Grandpa had a pretty high powered car back then and when he gunned it, it got him places most cars couldn’t go.

I’m sure Grandpa was pretty terrified when he thought his young grandson was lost on that hill. As he waited at the bottom, he must have prayed that Billy would remember what he had told him to do. It was a situation that could have ended in tragedy.

I’ve had a few close calls in my lifetime. I’m sure most people have. That car that barely missed slamming into us or the time we caught a child about to be in harm’s way.

How often do we think about those times when the worst didn’t happen…when we were saved from experiencing a disaster that would have altered our lives forever?

Those recollections will change resentments into gratitude in a hurry!

Murdo Girl…Hat trick

If you’re feeling blue

and don’t know what to do

Take it from me

There’s a remedy

Look up not down

Smile don’t frown

If a worry keeps nagging

And your feet are dragging

Forget about that

Just wear a red hat!

If the pollen machine

Has you feeling green

Your nose is stuffy

And your eyes are puffy

Your throat is raw

Food tastes blah

And you can’t chit chat

Just wear a red hat

If the future looks black

You must fight back

Find ways to cope

That give you hope

Lighten the load

Before you explode

Hardhead or pussycat

Wear a red hat

(A red hat copycat)

Does it sound too easy?

Is my poem too cheesy?

Is your color yellow?

Is your will like jello?

Don’t despair

Say a prayer

What am I getting at?

Why wear a red hat?

Why not? I say!

You would make my day!

Thanks to my friend, Rebecca, for the two pics of the above hat!

Murdo Girl…A foodie

Not long ago, we went to a family member’s house for chicken and dumplings. They were delicious. A couple of weeks later, (maybe it was only ten days), I happened to be there again and was asked if I wanted a bowl of chicken and dumplings.

I’ll admit I was a little leary and I had to ask if it was the same chicken and dumplings I’d had the last time I was there. I wanted to know if it had been languishing in her refrigerator since then.

She said,”Well, yes, but it’s practically new. I added more chicken when there was just dumplings left and then more dumplings when I still had chicken, but the dumplings were gone.”

Kip and I do something similar with pumpkin pie. I don’t make it anymore. I buy it at Walmart. We always get a pie and a container of whipped cream about a week before Thanksgiving. By Thanksgiving Day, we’ve eaten all of the pie, but not all the whipped cream, so we buy a couple of more pies and one more whipped cream. We run out of whipped cream first, so back to the store we go for more pie because we can’t waste that perfectly good whipped cream. By Christmas, we’re sick of both of them.

Mom once got on this plum pudding kick. It was more like a dense, dark, fruitcake that she baked in a coffee can. She made something called hard sauce to pour over the top. It’s difficult to describe what it tasted like. All you need to know is it had lard in it and it stuck to the roof of your mouth.

Kip had just met Mom when she placed a big slice of plum pudding with hard sauce in front of him. She sat down at the table with him and watched as he choked down every bite. He decided it must have been some kind of test.

When we lived on the lake, the kids and grandkids came for all the summer holidays. Towards the end of one summer, our grandson, Mike, was there. I had made my special banana pudding that everyone loved. Mike said, “We’re having banana pudding, again?” His mother gave him ‘the look’ so he added, “I’ve had it a lot of times, but I still like it.”

I vowed to make plum pudding with hard sauce the next time. Or I could give him something like this pie I got at an all you can eat cafeteria. The banana was hidden under the filling when I picked it out.

Don’t even get me started on leftovers. I’ll just say nothing goes directly from the plate or pan to the garbage. It has to sit for at least a week in one of the fifteen sizes of plastic containers I use to store them in. I know I’m not alone in this. I always think I’ll make soup with the contents. It’s been several years since I’ve made soup from leftovers, but you never know. I could always add dumplings.

Murdo Girl… Butting heads

When my youngest son, who will turn 42 on Saturday, was just 6 months old, I took him to the doctor. He had a cold and I expected the doctor to look him over, see if he had a fever, and prescribe some of that pink stuff that all kids hate.

When he finished the examination, the doctor asked me if I was aware the baby’s soft spot, (fontanelle), had closed up. I said I had noticed, and I’d always been told that was a good thing because you had to be so careful while the soft spot was still soft. The doctor told me that was not the case and referred me to a neurosurgeon in Rapid City, which is about 150 miles from where we lived in Wyoming.

That doctor told us it was important that the fontanelle remain open until the baby was 2 yrs old or his head would not grow correctly. His exact words were, “It will not affect his brain, but he will have an unusually high, dome-shaped, forehead and a flat face, like someone hit him in the face with a board.”

Time was of the essence and surgery was to be in a couple of weeks.

A friend of mine from high school lived in Rapid City. She was kind enough to let me stay at her house and volunteered to watch my 5 yr old, Mason, while Craig was in the hospital.

My mother and mother-in-law drove, together, from Murdo to be there for the surgery which was scheduled for 7 a.m. Craig, of course, could not have any milk or water after midnight. He started crying around 6.

We were told that due to an emergency surgery, Craig’s surgery would be delayed. I walked the halls with my red-faced baby for hours and became concerned he would become so weak, he might not withstand the surgery. They were going to open his skull and line one side with plastic to keep it open. The bone would eventually grow over the plastic and the fontanelle would close up again.

My mother and mother-in-law were near hysteria. My mother, shall we say, “loudly confronted,” the doctor and my mother-in-law cried, when he came to tell us Craig’s surgery would be around noon. He asked them if they wished for him to throw the person currently having emergency surgery out of the operating room? My mother who was never one to hide her concerns said something that offended him.

The good doctor took me aside and said Craig would be just fine, but he was going to refuse to operate if the “moms” didn’t knock it off. He felt they were upsetting me and maybe I should send them home.

I knew I couldn’t do that, but I did get them to calm down and Craig did great. When the doctor came to tell us the surgery was over, he said that Craig was awake and sitting up. Mom said, “That’s funny, he couldn’t sit up before the surgery.”

I got to take my baby home in a few days. He looked so pathetic with his head bandages the size of a football helmet and both eyes were black and blue.

We had just bought a house and hadn’t had time to get the furniture we needed and get the washer and dryer hooked up. We had barely moved in.

A couple of days after getting home, I had the kids at the laundromat and I was mortified when I heard Mason tell a lady who was looking at us funny, that we we had to use lawn chairs for furniture and he needed a bed. She asked him what happened to the baby and he said he didn’t know.

I tried to explain.

Craig’s head grew just fine. He has a scar from ear to ear that he has always worn like a badge of courage. We taught him and his brother how to explain to people how he got it.

Murdo Girl…State of mind

The meaning of emotion is easy to define. It’s a word we use to describe our current state of mind.

Some of these emotions are important to adjust. Two of these are anger and disgust.

Anger can be replaced with joy and gratitude. Disgust becomes acceptance with a change of attitude.

Fear is an emotion that steals your happiness. Find the One to trust and with courage you’ll be blessed.

If you sit around all day and analyze your mind. You’ll soon begin to realize you’re really far behind.

When we get too far behind, pride goes out the window. Sadness rushes in and round and round we go.

I have a major warning that I really must convey. Envy is a waste of mind. Never let it stay.

Don’t languish in emotions that upset your state of mind. I decided just today it’s a decision that is mine.


“I can’t help how I feel,” are words I’ll never say again. Those feelings that will steal my peace, I’ll pray about and then,

I’ll take the action that I need to grow that mustard seed. I’ll replace all hate with love and from despair I will be freed.

I’ll let the light shine on the darkness. See the beauty it reveals. Watch a shadow disappear and feel how good it feels.



I’ll ask the One who knows the answers. Hear the answer that He sends. Try to do the next right thing. Can I hear a few AMENS?


Murdo Girl…Markers are a girl’s best friend.

What do you people, who don’t have a blog to write, do when you wake up at 3:30 in the morning and can’t go back to sleep?

I even have time for my morning meditation first, which helps to calm my brain. I said, helps.

I was thinking about everyone’s comments on yesterday’s blog when I realized how far ahead of her time Mom was. She became one of the first to create her own knock-offs.

Mom became adept at turning her Walmart sneakers into Nike’s, top of the line, walking shoes. All she needed was a variety of colorful markers. She said people commented on them all the time.

I didn’t have time to look for a picture with her Nike’s, but she’s off to the races in her converse.

Remember when women first started highlighting their hair. Actually, we first called it, frosting. Mom told the stylist to dye her roots, but not to dye every hair on her head the same color. She got a confused look from the hairdresser on that one. She further explained her brainstorm by saying not to saturate her hair with dye, but to lightly run it through the rest of the hair with her fingers. She said it made her color look more natural. “No one’s hair is all the same color,” she said.

Back in the 50’s, the ladies dressed like this to play bridge at each other’s house. Left, Harriet Parish, Marce Lilibridge, Florence Murphy, Marge Bork, Evelyn Johnson, and Mom at Irma Sanderson’s home.

Mom was also in on the early attempts at photoshopping. When her neck began to sag a little, and she could see it in a picture, she drew turtlenecks on herself. If her arms showed age spots, she simply covered them by drawing on some long sleeves.

I know Mom has her Nike’s on here. I must have cut them off when I photoshopped.

She actually got pretty good at it, though I “drew the line” when she tried to whiten my teeth. I’m only kidding. As far as I know she never photoshopped me.

I’m sure she saved a lot of money through the years. Back then, it wasn’t cool to go to garage sales. She loved them, but she told me she only went where the rich people lived.

Mom is on the right. This was taken back in the 40’s. A rather stylish outfit, don’t you think?

Murdo Girl…It’s only money

She looked inside her wallet. It was empty.

She couldn’t remember where she put that twenty.


Is it in the cookie jar?

No, that’s where the cookies are.

Is it hidden in the mattress?

Or in the hatbox that is hatless?

Did she lend it to a friend?

No, she wouldn’t do that again.

She looked everywhere.

It wasn’t here, it wasn’t there.

She couldn’t look a minute more.

What was she looking for?

Off to work…she had to scurry.

Out the door…she had to hurry.

She reached down into her pocket

For the key so she could lock it.

No, she didn’t find the money there.

She couldn’t help but feel despair.

To have a happy ending

She must stop all the spending.

Today would have been really hard.

Thank God she has a credit card.

I didn’t write this poem for me.

Oh, look! I found a twenty.


I found this in the courtyard when I was raking leaves. I don’t have any money in my purse.

But I want fish and chips, my love.

Murdo Girl…Diamond Jubilee, 1981

The picture below is of my uncles (Jeff and Wayne) having coffee. Uncle Wayne is the one who looks like he would rather be someplace else.

When I was growing up, Jeff Sanderson and his family lived next to Grandpa and Grandma on the north side, and Uncle Wayne Sanderson and his family lived next to them on the south side.

My guess is they were at Murdo’s 1981 Diamond Jubilee (75 years).


Jeff: Here we are Wayne, having coffee. It’s the day of the Jubilee. Folks will be here from all over. It’ll be a good time you will see.

Wayne: I’ve got chores I should have done, Jeff. If it rains, I’m up a creek. The road I’m building will be all muddy and stay that way clear through next week.

Jeff: I think you need to take today off. You work too hard for a man your age. Dad retired when he was younger. He couldn’t wait to turn the page.

Wayne: He would have made a fortune fishing… if he’d been paid an hourly wage.


Jeff: Well, I can’t just sit here any longer. My day is really getting full. Come to the Jubilee Parade. I’ll be on a horse. I’m the Grand Marshal.

Wayne: I’ll be sure to be there, Jeff… I’ve taken what you’ve said to heart. There is one thing I won’t be missing. What time does tonight’s dance start? (He was a great dancer.)





The above photographs were in the July 2, 1981 Murdo Coyote Newspaper. It was given to Mom and Gus by Lynn Brost Miles.

Over 1700 people attended the Diamond Jubilee Celebration. The parade theme was memories, fun, and the future. Everyone was entertained by a rodeo, an air show, sky divers, two dances, a picnic, class get-togethers, and more. A good time was had by all.


Wayne Sanderson built roads. I remember his huge heavy equipment. He and Aunt Emily retired (sort of) and had a beautiful place on the White River. I think he grew corn for Mom to steal.

Jeff Sanderson owned Sanderson’s Store for years, and later worked for West Central Electric. He did so much for the community, such as start and run the boys baseball program, that Murdo had a Jeff Sanderson Day to show their appreciation.

It was good to remember them, today. I’m glad I ran across the picture.

Queen E: Have you seen my pom poms? I’m in the parade.