Murdo Girl…Hsomething moves in

Well, it’s all set! Essie/Ellie, her mother, Hilda, and their dog, Mouse are moving into the rooms above Sanderson’s Store. Except for the cat room, which is used for storage, that pretty much fills up the place. Hilda cleans rooms at a local motel in the mornings and also helps out part-time at Mack’s Cafe across the street. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.


“Now what did you say your mother’s name is, Essie?” (Pearl has never heard a name she can’t forget, which is why she named her dog Pearl.)

“My mom’s name is Hilda. She’ll be here when she’s finished cleaning rooms at the motel. Are you going to give Mom a long list of chores like you did me, Pearl?”

“Heaven’s no! That woman, uh, Hsomething, works hard enough. I’m thinking the more people we have walking up and down those stairs, the easier it will be to let Pearl the dog and Varmint in and out.”

“His name is Mouse. Is your yoga instructor coming this morning, Pearl?”

“Land Sakes, look at the time. Will you help me struggle into my leotard, Essie? That’s a pretty good workout right there!”

The instructor, “You’re never too old to rock and roll.”

“Pearl, Grace, Mom is here.”

When Hsomething arrives at her new home above Sanderson’s Store, she meets Pearl and Grace for the first time. Grace speaks first.

“Welcome, Hilda…say, haven’t I seen you in a commercial on TV? I’m sure I saw you in an advertisement for Gerital. I was watching “I’ve got a secret.” Does that Gerital work? I don’t know if I’ve got iron poor blood. Does it come in a cream? I like creams.

“What kind of a name is Mouse?”

“What kind of a name is Pearl the dog?”

Murdo Girl…A one act play…

We find ourselves back in the quaint and sort of welcoming berg where two of our favorite heroines reside. Yes…unable to cut themselves loose, due to lack of a ride, due to lack of a driver’s license, they were a snap to locate…in fact, we weren’t even trying to locate them. So here we go…be prepared to feel all of the air being sucked out of the room.

“Grace, can you hear me? We need to find another place to live. We’re getting too old to drag ourselves up and down all those stairs. That’s how old ladies break their hips, you know…falling down stairs.”

“Yes, Pearl, and there’s nothing worse than a broken hip…unless you count one of those terrible rashes that you can’t get rid of. I hear you can get a real good cream, now. You have to order it by mail. I believe I saw a commercial when I was watching the Andy Griffith show. You know, I don’t know if I like him or Jackie Gleason the best. Who do you like the best. Pearl?”

“What are you talking about, Grace? For Pete’s sake you can run on. I think I hear Pearl the dog wanting in. Where do you suppose Essie is?”

“She’s probably almost here, but she’s not here yet, Pearl. Let’s wait a few minutes before we climb down all those stairs. Pearl the dog will be all right. My knee has been acting up. Say, I saw a cream that might help with my knee pain. I believe I was watching I love Lucy when I saw it advertised. Yes, Lucy herself was doing the commercial. That must mean it works. Lucy wouldn’t do a commercial on something that doesn’t work. She’s kind of young to have knee pain, though, and I’ve always wondered if that Vitameatavegamin Elixir she likes really works. What do you think, Pearl?”

“I think I wish I had some right now, Grace. You have given me a massive sick headache.”

“I have a cream that you rub right into your head, Pearl. I saw the commercial on McHale’s Navy and I ordered some. I’ll go and get it.”

“Yes Grace, you do that, and take you’re time. I hear Essie and Pearl the dog coming up the stairs.”

“Hello Pearl, hello Grace. I’m here! Are you here?”

“Give Pearl the dog her bone and then come in here, Essie or is it Ellie? I can never remember.”

“It’s Ellie. Do you need anything from the kitchen?”

“No thank you, dear. I just had one of my flashes of brilliance. I want you and your mother to move in here with Grace and me. There are more rooms down the hall. We need more help and if we rented a smaller house, there would be no getting away from Grace. Do you think your mother would like to live in the rooms above Sanderson’s Store?”

“I think Mom would like that, Pearl. Can we bring our dog with us? His name is Mouse. He likes to find mice.”

“Oh My…I need an air cigarette!”

Murdo Girl…The chair and “Baking day”

Before I post the poem, I want to give you an update on the tie chair. Kip had some patriotic ties he’s never going to wear again, so I’m redoing the chair with them…


I’m going to paint it before I redo the ties…


I woke up early Friday morning. I had waited all week long. I heard Grandma in the kitchen singing her special song.

I brushed my teeth and washed my face, then I was on my way. I was really in a hurry…It was Grandma’s baking day.

I rushed downstairs to the kitchen. The scent of cinnamon filled the air. Grandma peeked into the oven, and said, “I do declare.”

“These are ready for the next step. Will you get my spatula please?” She took two pans out just in time. She has baking expertise.

She poured sweetened condensed milk on top of all those cinnamon rolls… back they went into the oven. I know just how this goes.

I waited ten more minutes while the sweet milk turned to goo. Then Grandma put them on a rack to give them time to cool.

Grandma finally said they’re ready and I started to dig in. I knew what was coming next when Grandma got the rolling pin.

She put flour and shortening in a great big bowl. She didn’t measure out a thing. She rolled it around on a floured board and we both began to sing.

Thank you Lord for baking day and the bounty we’ve been given.We’ll pray each time that we break bread and watch how we are liven.

That night after we ate supper, Grandpa caught my eye. He said let’s play some checkers and ask Grandma for a piece of pie.

Later when I went to bed and said my prayers to Him, I thanked God above for giving me, Grandma and Grandpa Jim.

I know they’re getting tired Lord and it just don’t seem quite fair. Please keep them able if it’s your will. I’d rather be here than anywhere.

Murdo Girl…A farmer’s dilemma

One day Grandma June had a talk with Grandpa Jim. She feared that big old farm would be the death of him.

“Our daughters have their own plans. They don’t want this place.” Grandpa said, “I know.” He had a sad look on his face.

“He said, “Let’s talk about it later, I don’t have time right now. There’s hay to be put up, and a field I have to plow.”

The farm had been my home every summer of my youth. I didn’t like what Grandma said, though I knew it was the truth.

That day instead of plowing or putting up the hay, we grabbed our fishing poles and fished the day away.

We didn’t get a bite, but we really didn’t care. I knew there was a reason Grandpa wanted to be there.

Grandpa Jim and Grandma June, had been this boy’s salvation. Grandma always told me I was truly God’s creation.

I wanted to ask Grandpa if it would be way too tough, for him to take care of the farm, till I got big enough.

Grandpa Jim looked straight ahead. I knew what he was thinking. My eyes filled up with water and Grandpa’s eyes kept blinking.

“We better pack it up, son. You know we can’t be late. When supper is all ready, Grandma puts it on our plate.

I chuckled to myself as we picked up our rods and reels. Grandpa’s never late and Grandma never serves cold meals.

Murdo Girl…Grandma June and Grandpa Jim

Grandpa Jim never had what’s called a formal education. He went to country school until his 8th grade graduation.

He was in the Navy during WWII. When he came back home, there were things he couldn’t do.

He told Grandma June not to make him chocolate cake. The cooks on his ship used flour with bugs in it to bake.

They had to make cake chocolate ’cause they couldn’t waste a bit. If they made cake white or yellow, you could see the bugs in it.


He worked hard all his life. He and Grandma raised four kids. He used to chew tobacco. It’s something Grandma now forbids!

He used to drive his truck to town till Grandma threw a fit. He ran it off the road one day into the barrow pit.


I’ll get rid of that old truck,” she said, “One way or another. I know you’re blind in one eye and can’t see from the other.”

Grandma June couldn’t hear and Grandpa Jim couldn’t see. Were the good times over? It seemed that way to me.

Now Grandpa gets to drive just to the dam where we go fishing. Grandma’s thinking ’bout a hearing aid. (Least that’s what we’ve been wishing.)

Murdo Girl…Slow motion

I don’t know exactly when the day came that I could no longer sit on the floor and get back up without holding on to something. I guess the good news is, if I have forgotten to look around for something to grab while I struggle to get back up, I can still, as of now, crawl to something sturdy. Maybe today will be the last day I can do that. There is no way for me to know.
I can usually remember the first time I met someone, but there have been a lot of people in my life that I haven’t seen in years. A lot of times, I didn’t know when I saw them for the last time, that it was the last time. I’m talking about old neighbors or people I met through work. I guess in most cases it’s a good thing that when I said good-bye to them I assumed I would see them again.

I didn’t know that the last time I was in the old Murdo High School building, Mack’s Cafe, Fern’s, or Sanderson’s store, that it would be the last time.

I guess as long as we have fond memories of the people and things that meant something to us in the past, accept aging gracefully, and make today interesting, It doesn’t have to be a downer to think about all of those last times.

Slow motion

Old people are funny. I’m glad I’m not there yet.

Oh, I guess there are a few things I’m starting to forget.

Why should I remember things I don’t need to recall?

Like what day it is or if it’s spring or fall.

I repeat myself occasionally, or that’s what I’ve been told

I occasionally repeat myself. It doesn’t mean I’m old.

My elbows crack, my knees snap, it seems that I can’t win.

I tried hard to lose some weight, but just my hair got thin.

When I look into the mirror, it’s my mother that I see.

I swear I saw her wink and say, “You look just like me.”


She said she often asked herself what she’d give up first.

A sharp mind or healthy body? Or should it be reversed?

It finally dawned on me that the choice was never mine.

What shall be will be. You’ll find out in time.

She said, “Old people are funny. Be glad you’re not there yet.

The two biggest wastes of time are worry and regret.”

A special moment between my son, Mason, and his son, Ethan.

Murdo Girl…Watching Grandpa Jim


Photograph by Dianna Kenobbie Diehm

This is my favorite picture of the old country church

It didn’t look much better in it’s day.

It was a real good place for those who came to search

For their Higher Power and to pray

We sang Amazing Grace and It is well with my soul

In the Garden was my Grandma’s favorite hymn

We saw babies being baptized and had widows to console

But mostly I liked watching Grandpa Jim


When they passed the communion wafers he was whittling

Grandma elbowed him really good in his side

He threw his offering in with the wafers. It was piddling.

I think that second elbow hurt his pride

Those quarters in the wafer plate made a lot of noise

Grandpa didn’t get a wafer for his wine.

I know whittling on a stick is something he enjoys

Grandma thinks a knife in church is out of line


Once she took his stick away and he fell sound asleep

Soon everyone in church could hear him snore

The elbow in his side went in pretty deep

Grandpa yelled “Judas Priest!” and he was done for

You might think our bell and steeple are too large

or the church it sits on top of is too wide

Grandpa rings the bell now. He’s happily in charge

Because Grandma and her elbow stay inside


Murdo Girl…Cam and the Queen

We haven’t done Queen E. “Describe the picture” in a while. She is such a delightful lady. I hope she lives forever…Don’t you?

Oh my, Cam lick faster!…You look like Little Bo Peep!

Queen E. is such a fun loving Queen…

She likes to catch raindrops with her tongue.

But only if she’s dressed for it…

We’re racing to the Brexit…I’m winning…

Crying doesn’t mean you’re tired…

Yawning means you’re tired…

I’m not sleeping. I’m resting my eyes zzzzzzzz…

Would someone please get cousin Jimmy a pair of knickers?…the crazy old bloke left out and forgot his…

I saw these drapes in the window, and I said, “Mammy! Make me look like Scarlett O’Hara.”

I love you, Philip. But you’re no Rhett Butler…

“Hide me…here comes Cam…and she’s wearing the commode again…Take me back to Tara…

Why am I laughing? Atlanta’s burning…

MG…I must have this cape!

Murdo Girl…Angels of friendship

I know the truth of their existence.

Ethereal or heavenly.

I try to offer no resistance

When their message speaks to me.


Be they visible or transparent

Each one is unique.

Yet some qualities are inherent.

Some are boisterous some are meek.


They help me know what I am missing.

Help me find the things I seek.

Is there something I’ve been dismissing?

Do I listen when Angels speak?

My body can betray me.

My thoughts can go astray.

Is this the way it must be?

A total chasm of disarray?

What can I do to find the strength

To make it through the darkest hours?

My Angels go to any length

To bring sweetness to what life sours.


Be thankful for your Angels

Never look past those who care

They will bring you to a place

Where you no longer feel despair.


The first Angel is the Angel of Celebration, given to me by my sister-in-law and friend, Karlyce Newkirk.

The second Angel is an Angel signing love. She was given to me by my friend, Sherri Miller.

I received the third Angel, yesterday. My friend, Dianna Diehm had her made for me. She is the Angel of Friendship. Dianna also made the card which has a message inside that I will always treasure.

I will indeed be reminded to treasure my Angels, always. We all have them. We all need them. Nothing is more comforting than to be surrounded by beautiful and giving, Angels of friendship, love, and celebration.