Murdo Girl…How would you like to be more like your parents? How would you like to be different?

By Lav and MG…


What is one way you’d like to be more like your parents?

My parents, Ella and Al were wonderful parents. They had both lived through some tough times:  the Great Depression and World War II.  They showed me the right kind of person to be as I was growing up, by example, by how they reacted or acted through their lives. I learned from how they lived their lives.

That’s how I wish I could be more like them. Not preaching or talking about how a caring, kind, and productive human should be, but showing it through every day life.

Even if they were both tired after work – my Dad working in a machine shop in Pennsylvania or working all day at SANDERSON’S store in Murdo, SD- my Mom cleaning and doing laundry or working at a cafeteria restaurant in Orange County, California- they would get busy at dinner time fixing a good hot meal, set the table, gather us around and we would sit down for dinner together at the dinner table talking about the day’s events each of us had.

I can’t think of a better way to be.

Ella and AL Leckey

What is one way you’d like to be different from your parents?

I can’t think of any way I would like to be different except maybe not smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol like my Dad did for years. It’s important to be healthy.

It’s strange how we strive to become our own independent humans separate from our parents. Then when they’re gone, we wish they were still here to help us, to give us advice and to be nearby. I miss them each day. I do hear them sometimes talking to me and I remember what they taught me, with their loving, gentle guidance.


How I would like to be more like my parents.

I could write forever on this subject. As far as Mom is concerned. I love the fact that she was her own person from a very young age. She had two older brothers, two older sisters, and one sister six years younger. While her sisters were all prim and proper and helped Grandma with the cooking and cleaning, Mom preferred to stay outside and do chores with her brothers. I have a picture of Mom with her sisters, and the sisters all have on dresses. Mom is wearing coveralls and you can barely see her face because of her big black hat. She told me once that she was riding her horse when something happened and she fell off. She was by herself, so she thought it important that she let everyone know that she was hurt. The only problem was that she couldn’t keep crying until she got home so she didn’t get much sympathy. I think I asked her once why she never cried and she told me that story. Anyway, I think I have just described how I would like to be more like my mother. She had what she used to call, “skin on her nose.” She wasn’t afraid of anything and in later years became quite the entrepreneur.

Dad was highly intelligent. I was unfortunate enough to have the same science teacher in school as Dad did when he was the same age. Only in a small town would that happen. I hated science. Mrs. Lathrope would say, “I don’t understand it. Your father was brilliant in science. Dad quoted Shakespeare and all kinds of poetry. He had an amazing sense of humor. My brother and I were talking about him on the phone, tonight, and we were laughing at all the Dad stories. I think I inherited some of his humor, but he was much more intelligent and he had such a quick wit. My older brother, Billy, took more than his share of the brains.

How would I like to be different…or how am I different?

Mom loved the dog she and Gus had. His name was Trouble. Dad loved our dog, Berferd, who was born in our front closet and continued to sleep there. Dad’s chair backed the closet wall and he would say, “Berferd!” Berferd would wag his tail, thumping it against the wall behind Dad’s chair. That made Dad laugh. Also, Berferd was running around uptown in Murdo when a winter storm hit. The person working at my uncle’s store (Sanderson’s), let him in. Berferd spent the night there and helped himself to the most expensive dog food they had. Dad went to pick him up the next day, and came home complaining about the cost of the dogfood Berferd had consumed.

As much as Dad, Mom and Gus loved their dogs, they didn’t have 17 of them. Kip and I have been blessed with some special dogs throughout the 41 years we’ve been married. I’m a dyed in the wool dog lover. Although my brother had a cat, Yappy, I wasn’t into cats that much until Dollie adopted us. She has been a very important part of the family for almost 15 years.

This has been fun to think about and write about. I could tell stories forever, which is definitely something I inherited. Billy did, too.

3 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…How would you like to be more like your parents? How would you like to be different?

  1. sanjuan831 September 1, 2022 / 10:03 am

    Got tears from this one, MG. Sweet sweet memories.
    I had never seen that picture of your Dad and Mason and Craig at my parent’s house! I remember Uncle Bill
    visited my folks a lot and was at my wedding reception in a
    stylish suit and tie.


    • Mary Francis McNinch September 1, 2022 / 11:01 am

      Dad was with that nice lady, Louise. The boys and I stayed there for a few days and Dad took us to see Aunt Ella and Uncle AL. I took the picture. We remember so much more because of pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sanjuan831 September 1, 2022 / 12:59 pm

        I never met Louise. Met Sally. You’re right – Pictures are such a blessing to bring back old times. Thanks, Cuz. Good job.

        Sent from my iPhone



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