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.

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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?

FUMC Love’s Outreach workers

Murdo Girl…So do I

“l hate it when you play around that old barn, Lizzy. It isn’t safe. I’ve told your pa there will be hell to pay if one of you kids gets trapped inside that old refrigerator.”

Momma must have said those words a million times and Daddy ignored her a million times. Twenty years later, the old barn and the much maligned refrigerator still sit in the same old spot!

We play in the hayloft and chew on a straw. Ma calls us twice. Uh oh here comes Pa.

The sun’s going down. It’s time we ate. Pa says wash up now or you’ll be late.

Another busy day comes to an end. We’ll wake up in the morning and do it all again.

Buddy feeds the chickens and I milk the cow. Buddy can’t milk til Pa shows him how.

The cat hangs around. I squirt him in the eye. Buddy thinks that’s mean and so do I.

I hide a few eggs and throw rocks in the well. Buddy says to quit it or he’s gonna tell.

I say one day I’m leavin’ this farm. No one’s gonna have to twist my arm.

Buddy looks like he does before he cries. I smile real big and roll my eyes.

Buddy says teasing is a mean thing to do, and I guess in a way, I think so too.

Ten years later Buddy goes off to war. I don’t want to live at the farm anymore.

It’s cold that winter and the ice doesn’t thaw. Momma slips and falls and so does Pa.

I write to Buddy and say I sure miss you. He writes me back…says he misses me too.

I think Ma and Pa are soon gonna leave us. That year they both go home to Jesus.

Buddy comes home but he’s not the same. He’s real quiet and one leg’s lame.

I tell him I’ll stay and teach him how, to run the farm and milk the cow.

Along comes the cat. Buddy squirts him in the eye. I say that’s mean and he says so do I.

Murdo Girl…Pearl branches out

Try getting through this rerun without chuckling….

Well, I’m on my way over to walk Pearl the dog. Pearl and Grace have already gone on to The Busy Nest, which is what Pearl calls her store since she tired of calling it “The Business” and figured the place should have a name. But guess what? Pearl got a new winner of an idea. She was still selling Elixerfixer right along, but she said she needed a new frontier to conquer, so she has expanded her umbrella of services to include weddings. It seemed like the perfect fit and a way to bump up the finances and grow the goodwill in the community at the same time…. and… since Grace was already writing an advice column for the newspaper, Pearl said she could incorporate her advising thoughts and provide before and after marriage counseling. She figured, and rightfully so, that Grace couldn’t cause more marriages not to take hold than the unsolicited advice of people who stick their nose into other people’s marital goings on, and have no practical experience telling people what to do like Grace does.

Some figured the local preachers would be up in arms because they were losing out on some of their congregation’s nuptuals, but they decided to let if ride for July and August. It had been tense at times in June with the church basement cooks and they could use some much needed time off. It was getting overwhelming taking care of funeral food, and wedding receptions, not to mention, Lions ‘s Club and other social functions held there. The Yoga/pottery wheel class, inspired by that Ghost movie that finally made it to town, had to move over to the bank’s basement just to keep their time slot.

Anyway, I’ve been multitasking while catching you up on things and I’ve already taken Pearl for her walk. Now, I’m headed for the Busy Nest. I’m not there yet, but I almost am.

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“Hi Grace, Hi Pearl, I’m here, are you?” (I smell orange blossoms. There’s either a wedding today, or Pearl’s added a new flavor of the day to her Elixerfixer promotion.)

“Essie! Grace needs you! She’s got a new bride in her office who’s wailing her head off. I just don’t have the patience to suffer other people’s misery. I don’t even want to see them again after they say their vows.”

“Hi Mrs. Smith. Remember me? I’m Ellie/Essie depending on who you’re talking to. What has you in such a dither?”

“Frank and I were only married for two days when he caught a cold. I tell you, he turned into a different person. He has run me ragged! Do you here me? Ragged! It’s my fault the heating pad is too hot on high and not hot enough on medium. He said I put the ice in the ice pack wrong. He thinks there’s something not right about someone who can’t count out seventeen ice cubes. He moans like he’s about to take his last painful breath and just now, he sent me to the store to pick up a bell he can ring when he needs me. I came here instead! What should I do?”

“CALL HIS MOTHER!!” Pearl yelled from the other room. “And then go to the yoga/pottery wheel class. It starts in an hour!”

Murdo Girl…Pearl gets it!

I love Pearl. As Mom would say, “She has lots of skin on her nose.” She is never without a good idea for someone else to “carry out.”

I am on my way to Pearl’s, but I really don’t want to go over there. If it wasn’t for Pearl the dog needing me to take care of her, I would make myself scarce for a few days. But since that’s not going to happen, I better prepare myself. You see, I was the one who sorta spilled the beans on Pearl. All the ladies thought she hung the moon…that is until after her yoga class. None of them could get out of bed the next day. They all complained and said since Pearl was such an expert on yoga, she should have known they needed to stretch before doing some of those moves.Pearl made me call them all and cancel the next day’s class. They informed me they were suffering and would not be back!

When I left yesterday, Pearl was choosing between pretending to leaving town, pretending to have a terminal illness, and pretending she had amnesia which is why she didn’t remember stuff like stretching before stretching, and that there was no “limbo to the oldies” in yoga.

I’m not there yet, but I almost am.

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“Hi Pearl…I’m here, are you?”

I heard a very weak voice coming from her bedroom. “Yes,” she said. “Is anyone with you?”

“No Pearl…,its just me.”

“Come into my bedroom, Essie. I need your help. You better bring a notepad.”

I told her I would come in there with a notepad as soon as I took Pearl the dog for a walk. Just because Pearl the human was only thinking about her own problems, that didn’t mean Pearl the dog should be neglected. I know if she didn’t love Pearl the human so much, Pearl the dog wouldn’t have wanted to go back to those rooms above Sanderson’s Store. She’s the only one I felt sorry for. Well, maybe Grace just a little bit.

“Are you back, Essie? Do you have a notepad?”

I was hoping she wasn’t going to have me make any other phone calls.

“Hi, Pearl…what exactly are you going to have me do?”

“Well,” she said. “I have decided to tell the truth. Yes, that’s the only way I’m going to get out of this mess. This probably means I’m going to lose my job at the library. I sure hope I can make it without that job.”

“You volunteered, Pearl…you didn’t get paid.”

“You are correct. It was all out of the kindness of my heart.”

“Should I write down, “You get what you pay for?” I asked her.

“No!!” Pearl raised all the way up in her bed. “I am going to take this time, while I am bedridden with…We’ll think of something exotic and contagious so no one will want to drop in to see me. Anyway, I’m going to come up with something else I can teach those women. We’ll make bracelets. I’ll take all of mine apart so they can remake them.”

Pearl was feeling so much better until Grace came in with a letter addressed to Pearl. It was from the library.

Dear Pearl,

The library board held a meeting to discuss your activities at the library. We have decided they interfere with the normal flow of checking out books, not to mention checking them back in.

This is your notice to turn in your library card, (if you even have one). One more thing. You are not eligible for rehire.

Love,

The librarian

I thought Pearl would cry, but she didn’t. All of a sudden she seemed to be happy.

“I am going to start my own business, Essie. I have a little nest egg and I am going to use it to get my business off the ground. That old library can go back to the two or three people who came in every day before I started volunteering there.”

“That’s pretty neat, Pearl. Can I work there too?”

“Of course, Essie. So can Grace. We’ll take Pearl the dog with us. They’ll love it.”

“What are you going to name your business, Pearl?” I asked.

“I’m going to have a sign made. It will be flashy like I am. I will call it ‘Pearl’s Business.’ I think it has a ring to it, don’t you?”

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I don’t think I’ll give up my towel washing job quite yet.

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We’ve been to Pearl’s Business

 Well, Pearl’s business has been open for two weeks and business has been good which is surprising since she hasn’t decided what Pearl’s Business is yet. From what I can tell, people just come to sit around and gossip.

Murdo Girl…Between sand and solid rock

Whenever I have a thought that keeps coming back to me, I eventually have to write about it. I want to make clear that I am only talking about my own experiences, here. This is what I remember about my church going days while growing up in Murdo.

Above is the Methodist Church I went to until they built the new one. I think I was in first or second grade.

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Grandma and Grandpa Sanderson with their six offspring and spouses

Grandpa and Grandma, and usually Aunt Tet, went to the Methodist Church every Sunday, and when they were moved to go to church, everybody in the family, except Aunt Irma and Uncle Jeff, who were Lutherans, went to the Methodist Church. Uncle Wayne and Aunt Emily might have been Lutherans too, but I don’t think they went on Christmas Eve, because they were never late to the family celebration. (Their son, Terry, was quite a few years older than me, so maybe they no longer went to the children’s program on those Christmas Eves I remember.) The Lutheran’s were always late because their Christmas program always went on forever.

My Parents rarely went to church. The only time I remember Dad going was the Sunday I was confirmed. He was embarrassed because I wore an old skirt and blouse. He thought I should have worn a new dress like most of the other girls. I was in the seventh grade. I probably had nice dresses in my closet, but Dad did not like my choice of attire for such an important occasion. He went shopping and brought home a red jumper that had two pleats in the front of the skirt, and a pretty white ruffled blouse. I loved it and wore it often.

The other clothing issue I experienced was when I was around eight and Grandpa announced we were going to Church in Rapid City. I had gone on a trip to the cabin with them and hadn’t packed a dress. I wore a pair of bermuda shorts and held my thighs together, so it would look like I was wearing a skirt. That must have looked really ridiculous, especially when I was walking, but it somehow made me feel less embarrassed.

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Grandpa at the cabin

Though I was far from being a regular, I remember going to Sunday School several times a year. I will have to say, except for Grandpa and Grandma Sanderson, Mrs. Thomas was probably the best example of what a true and kind believer looked like to me. She had a beautiful voice. I still remember all the words to “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” and “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” Both are sweet and reassuring songs for little kids. All these years later, I still remember Mrs. Thomas’ explanations of some of the Bible verses she taught us. It is more difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. I imagined a sewing needle, but Mrs. Thomas explained it was a figure of speech that exaggerated for emphasis and that Jesus was saying that it’s impossible for anyone to be saved on their own merits. You just can’t buy your way into heaven.

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The new church was built on the same lot as the old one. The parsonage is next door.

Another Sunday School memory I have is looking around and wondering if the church was ever going to have enough money to finish the basement and the classrooms.

The Basement Cooks

The church basement cooks

When I was in the second grade, I developed an irrational fear of dying in my sleep. Every night, I faithfully said the prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” I still remember in what order I said the names of the people I wanted God to bless. Billy always made the cut even if he had been mean to me that day. I ended by saying, “In Jesus’ name I pray,” because I heard someone say that if you asked in Jesus’ name your prayers were answered.

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I finally got over my fear of dying in the night. Then, in the fourth grade, I begged Mom to take me to the funeral of a dear old lady who had died in her sleep. That set me back for another year or so.

On two occassions I recall Mom telling me to go and kneel by my bed and ask forgiveness. Once, was when I threatened to tell the lady who was visiting us, the rather unflattering thing I had heard Mom say about her. I learned two important lessons. It’s not necessary to tell someone things that will hurt them, even if it is true; and mothers do not appreciate their kids trying to teach them a lesson.

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Sunday was never my favorite day back then. Mom and Dad sat around all day and read the paper. I didn’t have anyone to play with because Sunday was “family time” and none of the kids in town could play. Sometimes we would have Grandma and Grandpa over for Sunday dinner, which helped, except when I had to do all the dishes. As far as I was concerned, that ruined my favorite fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, and corn, dinner.

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When I was a teenager, I went to MYF, (Methodist Youth Fellowship). It was great because most of the kids who went were friends and it was the only way they could go anywhere on a weeknight. It was always on Monday night. I don’t remember much about it except standing in a circle at the end of the meeting, holding hands and saying, “May God lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

Mom always said that being a pallbearer was Grandpa Sanderson’s favorite indoor sport. He lived a long life and I’m sure when the roll is called up yonder, he’s always recognized as a man who lived a good life and helped carry many a casket.

I remember Lois Jaide playing the organ or piano… beautifully. Aunt Elna Miller sometimes sang in the choir.

We had three different ministers during those years . I remember little Kim Lindquist telling a new Methodist minister, who moved in next door, that her family didn’t say, GD-it, anymore.

I remember dying hard-boiled eggs for Easter and wondering why the colored eggs didn’t taste any better than the white ones. Mom went to church on Easter and we always got new hats, gloves, dresses, and shoes. About every other year, we got a new coat.

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Stephanie Miller, Karen Lindquist and me on Easter morning

I remember learning that Jesus died for our sins and I can still see the image I had of Him ascending into heaven on the third day. (My son once drew a picture of Jesus on a donkey. At the bottom, he wrote, “The Lord has ridden.”)

As far as my childhood indoctrination into religion, this is a pretty complete accounting of how I thought of things back then.

I’ll have to go back and read this. I’m sure it will give me something more to think about.

Murdo Girl…Trying to envision

I don’t think I ever did make a vision board, but I still think it might be a fun project.

Meanwhile, I still need more old abandoned building pictures. The contest is over 2/15. The ones I have received so far are great! Thank you!

Have you ever heard of a vision board? I’m watching a movie and there’s an interesting story going on. There is a woman in the movie who is at a place in her life where she has reached the pinnacle of happiness.

Meanwhile, her friend is having trouble figuring out what her happiness would look like, and therefore, can’t make it happen.

The woman lets her in on a little secret.

“The “vision board.”

If you drew or painted your personal vision of happiness, what would it look like? If you’re like me and can’t draw or paint, you could cut out pictures and paste them on a poster board.

I don’t think you are ever too old to have a vision board. Things that create your vision of happiness probably change over time. In fact, the older you are, the more important a vision board might be. Just going through the exercise will probably help you see where you’re spending your time and energy.

Would the result surprise you? Would your vision of happiness have too many or too few dreams represented.

I already know I’m going to have to pare down some. I’ll need to prioritize about fifty things I really want to do. I’ve been told by professionals that I go off on too many tangents. I can never quite wrap up all the things I start.

Wow!..I’m already having visions of what I want on my board.

Yes!…I’m going to create my own vision board. I’ll ponder it until tomorrow afternoon and then I’ll make one. Are my dreams worthy? Are they realistic and achievable? (I’ll leave singing off.)

I’m not lying Pinocchio!

What do I need to do to make my dreams come true?

I have a lot to think about. I’ll show you my masterpiece when its completed. We might all be surprised. That is if I finish it!

Too bad I got sidetracked and didn’t watch the rest of the movie. Does anyone know how it ended?

Murdo Girl…I hear you

A short story about one of the entrants in the abandoned building/old barn contest. There is still time to enter. Email your photos to kmtexas2@gmail.com.

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Mindy thought it was a good idea. I wasn’t so sure. In the end, I agreed to make the twelve hour trip back to our old home town. Mindy was flying into a small airport which was on my route. The plan was for me to pick her up and we would drive the remaining two hours, together.

I was looking forward to seeing my cousin. At one time, we had been like sisters. We even lived across the street from each other all the way through high school.

Our mothers were actual sisters. At times they were close and at times…not so much. Mindy has a much younger sister and I have an older brother. I haven’t seen Bud for I don’t know how long. Our parents as well as Mindy’s have been gone for years.

As I turned into the airport, I tried not to think of the days ahead. I knew I would always remember this trip in terms of before, during, and after. I knew about as much as I wanted to about the before and I wasn’t too sure I wanted to experience the other two.

“Lana! I’m over here! We got in early.”

I looked over to see an attractive middle aged woman dragging a very large piece of luggage to the car. It was Mindy, of course. It had been ten years since she had come to visit me in Chicago, and I hadn’t seen her since, but Mindy always looked like Mindy. I, on the other hand, changed my look quite often.

I got out to help her with her suitcase which weighed more than both of us. We managed to wedge it into the trunk of my car and get in just as the cars behind us started honking.

“Why does everyone have to be so rude?” Mindy had her mask off and was repairing her lipstick. She looked around and seemed rather nonplussed that I had the top down on my old Chevy Impala convertible.

“You have changed everything in your life a hundred times except for this car. Why do you hang on to it?”

I surprised myself by answering her. “Because it was a parting gift from my dad.”

Two hours later, we parked in front of the only motel in town. After we checked in and unpacked, we were both so tired, we ordered a pizza and called it a night. I didn’t sleep much and apparently neither did Mindy. She was knocking on my door at 5:00 a.m. When I opened it, there she was with a box of donuts.

“Let’s go, she said. “We can grab a cup of coffee on the way over. I wonder if that little cafe attached to the filling station is still there. I can’t believe how much this place has changed in the past twenty years. Our houses might not even be there anymore.”

When we turned down the familiar street, I was taken back by the way all of the homes had been left to deteriorate. It looked like no one had lived there in years. I parked in front of my old house. Neither of us said anything as Mindy went to her house and I went to mine.

The front door was locked. I looked around and found an open window to crawl through. It was my brother’s old room. I decided I would save his room for last and walked on into the living room. The only piece of furniture in the room was an old piano. It had been my mother’s. I remember we let it go with the house when we sold it right after I graduated from high school.

I could hear the melody of Mom’s favorite song. “His eye is on the sparrow,” she would sing in her beautiful voice. “And I know He watches me.”

I wanted to stand there with my eyes closed and continue to listen, but the music faded and was replaced by angry voices. Dad was home and on his third beer, as usual. Every morning, Mom chastised him. “Do not bring beer home!!” He somehow always forgot what he had been told.

I thought they hated each other, but this time, I really listened to their voices seemingly coming through the walls.

“Fred,” I really wish you would clean up before you start drinking your beer. You smell like grease.”

“I don’t want to miss a minute of watching you cook for me, Gladys. Something sure smells good. Now why would I want to miss a bit of the smell of your good cooking?”

‘Oh, you’re full of beans. Don’t you know I can see right through you, Fred? You just like to sit there and drink your beer. It doesn’t have anything to do with watching me…does it?”

This time I could hear the smile in Mom’s voice. She said the same things every night and so did Dad. He never drank more than three beers before he gave in to her chasing him off to go wash up. The thing that upset Mom the most was that Dad had a way of winning an argument without arguing. Once again, the voices faded.

I heard their voices several times during my walk through the home I grew up in. There were confusing and sometimes scary times, but I was beginning to see and hear things differently, now.

“She’s gone, Lana. She died in her sleep,” Dad said. I was in the seventh grade.

I was back in my room, now. Dad was crying and I didn’t know what to do or how to feel. I was angry that he wasn’t helping me.

“Where’s Bud?” I asked. “Where is my brother?”

“He went to gas up the Impala. I think he just needed to get out of here.”

I was running out the door. I ran to Mindy’s house. My Aunt was crying, too. She cradled me in her arms and stroked my hair. I couldn’t remember my mother ever doing that.

A different memory replaced the one of me with my Aunt. I could see my Mom brushing my hair a hundred strokes and then braiding my unruly locks into two perfect braids. Was that the way she showed me affection?

The day I graduated from High School, Dad handed me the keys to the Impala Convertible. To me it was an old clunker, but it was Dad’s pride and joy. All these years, I had built up in my mind, things that weren’t true. I was convinced my parents had hurt me, but the truth was I had hurt them.

I heard their voices and I knew it was Mom and Dad. I realized they had done the best they could. I was glad that Mindy and I had come here. I heard things differently and I understood. Tomorrow, I would try to find my brother. Was he also telling himself lies?

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me
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“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Murdo Girl…The frown turned upside down

This is a fun rerun…appropriate for today’s events.

…Lately I’ve been feeling down. Something’s causing me to frown.

A smile can’t be that far away. What would make me smile today?

It can’t be food, I’m on a diet. I found a hat, should I buy it?

I just got rid of so much stuff. I still have way more than enough.

I’ll phone a friend. Will I feel better? Better yet…I’ll write a letter.

I can’t call or write today. That won’t chase my blues away.

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Should I nap or read a book? Or figure out whose frown I took?

I have nothing much to gain if I take on another’s pain.

Drive me crazy?…It’s not that far, I often ride in the crazy car.

Talk to me and tell me more. Listening is what friends are for.

No one else can live your life, solve your problems, feel your strife.

I can’t take away your frown. It will only double down.

I’ll have one and so will you. Then what are we to do?

I’ll sit with you and hold your hand and really try to understand.

There’s one who knows what’s in my head. Should I talk to Him instead?

He’ll give me answers and if I listen… the sun will shine, the stars will glisten.

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Think of things you’re thankful for, but never try to keep a score.

You shouldn’t give your frown away and ruin someone else’s day.
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A cheery smile is what they need. When we smile, we plant a seed.

So do not give your frown away. Save it for another day.

Give your smiles away instead. Nothing more needs to be said.

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A smile is just a frown turned upside down

Murdo Girl…True friends ignore the elephant in the room

When I was leaving my doctor’s office the other day, she asked me if I had any other concerns I would like to talk about.

“Anything?” I asked.

“Sure,” she replied.

“Well, my husband wants to know if there is a medical reason why I can’t finish anything I start.”

“Any other symptoms?” She asked.

“Occasionally, I get a headache that seems to be brought on by the infirmity.”

“Give me an example,” the good doctor said as she looked at her watch.

“The other day, my husband said he was trying to decide if he liked the vacuum cleaner better sitting next to the fireplace or in the hallway by the door. He asked if I had ever considered making a windchime out of the attachments.”

“I see,” the doctor said. “You think you’ll finish vacuuming later, so you don’t bother to put it away, right?”

“What’s your point?” I inquired.

“Do you even know where you keep your vacuum cleaner in case you someday finish up and you want to put it away?” (Now her hand was on the doorknob.)

“I had no answer.”

“That’s what I was afraid of,” she said as she turned the knob.

“Don’t go doc. You have to help me,” I begged. “I have remembered to purchase a birthday card for everyone in the family and several friends. I buy them, but I never manage to send them. I recently had to move them from a drawer to a box. I’m up to 57.”

My doctor stood there in silence. I was beginning to wish I hadn’t asked the fatal question. Suddenly, she began to speak.

“Do you put all of your laundry away, EXCEPT those last two pieces? Have you never once finished the last two swallows of your tea?”

Kip must have called her.

“Yes…that’s exactly right!” I was becoming hopeful. “Is there a cure? What is your method of treatment?”

“Take two Tylenol and lie down until your headache goes away. That’s what I always do…gotta go,” she said.

I had a wonderful time with these two beauties, yesterday. We had a tea party in my cottage. They never even mentioned my new windchimes.

I threw out all of my cards. I came up with a better idea. Yours is in the mail. Well, it will be as soon as I buy some stamps.

Murdo Girl…Recent study shows tinfoil keeps brain cells fresh

My brain is deader than a door nail today. Hmm, I thought door nail was one word, but spellcheck tells me no. I used to think spellcheck was two words, but spellcheck told me it’s one. Sometimes I get tired of spellcheck being so much smarter than I am. The only voice that makes me feel dumber than spellcheck is that of the GPS lady. If I decide to deviate 2 feet from the route Ms. GPS has me on, she gets very excited and says things like, “Make a U-turn in 400 feet!!!” At that point bells and whistles go off, and the screen starts going in circles and flashes, “Rerouting! Rerouting!” I know she’s thinking, “I gave you a route AND an alternate route, can’t you just pick one and stick to it??”

I don’t like my every move put into question. In the first place, it’s rather unsettling to have inanimate objects telling me what to do all the time. Kip and I find ourselves whispering if we’re contemplating an unexpected stop. Is it really worth it if it gives the poor woman a coronary? Do I really have to go that badly? (Shh)

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Kip and I all decked out in tinfoil

Truth be told, I’m worried that I can’t live without GPS or spellcheck. It all sounds like an example of a sick and twisted relationship doesn’t it? (According to spellcheck, I have misspelled 4 words so far.)

I think that I am pretty even-tempered. I don’t get ruffled too easily. I have tried to be really good-natured about all the age related teasing. (Spellcheck tried to change natured to matured.) I have listened to all of the advice of well-meaning people who seem to think it’s time for me to change my ways. This all became more of an issue when I reached the age of 65 last week. (This is a rerun. I just turned 69 last week.)

I was standing behind a woman in line at the supermarket checkout yesterday. She was leafing through a health magazine. I guess she thought I needed some helpful suggestions because she said, “Do you know that regular exercise is the best thing you can do to promote longevity?” I said, “I’m over 65. Pushing 70 is exercise enough for me.” Then I added, “These Jelly donuts are for my 102 year old sister.”

I just spelled exercise incorrectly 3 times. I’m glad I finally paid attention. Spellcheck changed it to supersize, then to oversize. Sometimes it tells me, (not in so many words), “Hey, I got nothing for you.”

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Mrs. Spellcheck..She looked much younger before she started correcting my spelling.

As far as GPS goes, I can be standing in Walmart and look at my phone to see what time it is, and there will be a message that says. “You are in the Walmart store in Gun Barrel City, Texas. Would you like to add a photo?” Why would I want a photo of myself standing in Walmart? What I would really like to know is why am I there? Please don’t tell me where I am unless you can tell me why.

The way I look at it, middle age is always 10 years older than whatever age I am. You are old if you add, “God willing” to every statement. One of these days I’m going to get brave and drive somewhere without the GPS lady. If I have a map, I know I’ll be able to figure it out, God willing.

For heaven’s sake, our ancestors lived without all the electronics hystrionics. (I spelled hystrionics wrong, but I like it better my way.) I carry so many devices and chargers everywhere I go, I look like I’m ready to climb a telephone pole. Do we even have telephone poles anymore?

I used to try to say growing up in Murdo did not prepare me for automation. Then someone provided me with a list of all the people who graduated from Murdo High School and went on to do things I can’t even pronounce. The list was 3 pages long.

Oh, hello teachers who taught me in High School..Oh, hi John (Thune). Did I ever tell you about the time I won the coveted Miss Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow Award?

You were awarded what?

U.S. Senator John Thune receives Department of Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award

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I do have something exciting to tell you about. A few days ago I received a package from Billy’s wife Liz. I will tell you more about the contents another time, but one of the items was the William Francis Plumbing and heating pink porcelain, toilet stool ashtray someone gave Billy several years ago. I only know of three of them still in existence. One belongs to my cousin Greg Miller and one of my Murdo Girl readers has one. There used to be bathtubs too, but I don’t know of any that have surfaced.

Liz said in her note to me that she knew how sentimental I was about such things, and Billy agreed that I should have this tangible reminder of days gone by. She said she knew I would welcome this treasure back into my life and that I would appreciate it and give it a great place of honor. I’m trying out a few places. Don’t you think the commode bowl displays my crown perfectly? I think Dad would like the idea, but I will try out a few other places before I decide.

Anyway

The degree of my success will be a moot point as soon as I get my water tower collection ready to show. Who doesn’t like viewing water towers? I’m sure “The Collection” will finally and forever put my name wherever they put the names of successful people.

Here is just a sampling of those submitted by Murdo Girl readers. If you highlight the photo you will see what I have named each of my beauties and who submitted the photo. I will include the locations as soon as I have them all alphabetized..With the help of spellcheck of course.