Murdo Girl…My fantasy, by a house

Echo, Fantasy, Welfare, Idyll – These are the prompts for my poem. I was challenged by my friend, Judy Dykstra-Brown, to write a talking house poem after I suggested one of her poems would be good from a house’s point of view.

It’s always been my fantasy to grow into a mansion.

But what would be the point of my unexplained expansion?

Would I house the needy? I’d do nothing of the kind.

Someone rich and famous is who I had in mind.

They’ll be proud of me and keep me in good repair

I’ll not have to worry about the inhabitant’s welfare.

If I’m left alone much longer, I’ll keep talking to my walls.

I’ll only hear my own voice echo through the halls.

I fear this idyll does not reflect my vision.

Alas, those who live here watch too much television.

I never would admit this, but I love HGTV

Jo and Skip’s fixer upper is what I long to be.

Murdo Girl…Out of the western sky comes

Sky King? Nope…Windy Lindy Berg…and Airy Heart

Windy and Airy are pilots for hire. Though the sky is their limit, they should fly much higher.

They’re very concerned with their flying appearance, but they pay no attention to their fly-over clearance.

Windy likes to live in the fast lane, but she gets her best sleep when she’s flying the airplane.


Airy has sometimes been known to go rogue, but she always looks like she just stepped out of Vogue.

They have many clients of whom they’re quite fond, but their favorite gig is flying over the pond.

They fly Queen E from Murdo to Great Britain. No matter where they go, they always fit in.

Last April when Queen E had a royal birthday, the pilots for hire flew over Buckingham way

HRH looked up!

“Take me to Murdo,” she shouted! I can’t stand it here. This balcony’s too crowded.”

So with help from some friends who threw her rope, they took off for Murdo on a real high note!

The sky was full of hot air balloons. Queen E. rode with MG because the note had no tunes.

Lav floated by and said, “What a hoot! There goes Pattycake with a heart parachute.”

There’s more fun to come… The Queen needs her tea. We’ll go to the cottage and have tea with MG

The End

Murdo Girl…Sitting on the shelf

I woke up this morning with a song stuck in my head.

I thought about the tune and what the lyrics said.

“Who’s gonna fill their shoes?” Is a favorite song of mine.

I love to hear George sing it with his old familiar twang.

“Who’s gonna fill my shoes?” I had to ask myself.

I know the day will come when they put me on a shelf.

I’ll sit there with my books. I won’t be blogging anymore.

I won’t be writing poems or having tea parties galore.

Who will take my place? No one sings like I do.

What about my stories? I have more than just a few.

Is there a younger girl out there who can fill my shoes,

While I watch from my shelf and only sing the blues?

I kept hearing the song. It was now burned in my brain.

Then a thought came to me. I’ll need lots of time to train.

I’ll teach her about Arf, Pearl the human and Pearl the dog.

What about Lav and Yram and other characters in the blog?

It will take me several years to get her up to speed.

Then I’ll retire to the shelf and have some time to read.

I hope I won’t be sitting there all by lonesome self.

I sure don’t want to sit beside that silly Christmas Elf.

I guess I’ll write a story before my blogging time expires

About someone who sits on the shelf after she retires.

I’ll sit with you

Murdo Girl…What did you forget to ask?

What did you forget to tell/ask your mother? Here are a few things I have thought about…

What was your most embarrassing moment?

If I had to guess it would be the time you failed algebra. You sat with the seniors at the student assembly even though you couldn’t technically be a senior until you passed. You said the juniors called you out on it. They said you were supposed to sit with them.

I need a little clarification.

You said boys were easier to raise than girls so I prayed for and had two boys. Later, I married a man with two young daughters. What you told me wasn’t true. You couldn’t have known, I guess. You were 7 1/2 years younger when you had Billy. Never mind.

I know you loved to read, but why did you only read biographies and autobiographies?

Why did you go to bed when there was only ten minutes left of the movie you were watching on television?

Apparently, when Grandpa raised horses and you lived on horse creek, you were mean to the Osborne kids. What did you do to them? You were only eleven when you all moved to town and they said you were the only one they weren’t going to miss.

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Did Grandma Sanderson know how to sew, knit and crochet? Mrs. Theisen said you Sanderson girls never learned how to do anything useful. I think she was wrong…although I never learned how to do any of that, and I didn’t learn how to cook, either. It’s okay. I can make a mean bed and clean a commode from my motel room cleaning days.

Who did you really give my pompoms to?

Here is something I didn’t know about you. Billy said you weren’t allowed to play cards when you were growing up. You didn’t even know the four suits. The only card game you ever learned how to play was bridge. You had no desire to learn any other game, because no other game could possibly be as intriguing as bridge.

I really admired you for your business acumen. You and Gus kept the motel in top notch condition and you knew when to sell it.

You could have written a book with all of your idioms. I still remember many of them because most of them had a “not so hidden” lesson. Others were just short ways of stating the obvious.

Mom and I at the horse races

Water seeks its own level. We shall see what we shall see. Everyone has their own cross to bear. Always show your best side. Always put your lips (lipstick) on. When you get five dollars, you don’t have to always put it on you or in you. He/she is having a mad hot. (Billy said I started that one.)

Thank you for giving us all so many amazing memories. I wish I had asked you more questions, Mom.

Murdo Girl…Oh my Faux Pa

This song describes a dramatic experience that really could happen to anyone. Thank you Lady Jules CB for giving me this gift. I will always treasure it as I’m sure you will treasure my beautiful rendition of “Oh my Faux Pa.”

You even had to stand up to the Facebook police who wanted to remove this beautiful song because they thought you were bullying me… just because you said my roots were white. Few people have such courage.

I would like to dedicate this to Shelli and Sherri who are having a birthday today. They are sisters and twins and truly wonderful people and great friends with a wonderful sense of humor…Right?

Sherri and Shelli

The words to the song in case you would like to attempt to sing along…

Murdo Girl…Sometimes when our eyes are closed

This poem is from the heart. I wrote it because I know there are others like me who have a difficult time finding the right words to say to someone who is grieving.

Sometimes when our eyes are closed, we can see much better

I can’t seem to find the words, so let’s do this together

We can sit here quietly and I’ll take your hand in mine

I’ll look inside your hurting heart and see what I can find.

I see the one you’re missing is right where they belong

They want you to know they have been there all along.

See them fill it up with all the love they have to give..

They want you to remember, in your heart is where they’ll live.

Let’s sit here a while longer. You can tell me what you see

A smile, a laugh a wink… a treasured memory?

Remember all those things you thought you never would forget?

The good and maybe bad times. And it’s not over yet.

One thing about memories…you’ll recall the cream of the crop

Because the bad ones sink to the bottom and the good ones rise to the top.

When our eyes are closed, we can see a little better.

Let’s keep them closed a little while and say a prayer together.

Murdo Girl…Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers

That was the motto for Murdo High School’s class of 1970. The class flower was the yellow rose, and the colors were silver and orchid. I don’t remember our class choosing any of those. I never would have guessed silver and orchid. After fifty-one years, you forget some things.

How could it possibly be fifty-one years since I graduated from high school. I can still see the students, the teachers, and the classrooms. I can feel the excitement of the football and basketball games, and hear the songs the band played with Mr. Palmer directing. I remember my friends and I wore skirts as short as we could get away with and go go boots like Nancy Sinatra’s. We all had summer jobs and in our senior year, we hardly ever missed a Vivian dance. Vivian was a small town about a thirty minute drive from Murdo and the dance was held in their auditorium every other weekend. It was one of those reputation risking events because usually, nothing good happened after ten o’clock. I remember the music was always good, the dance floor was packed and so were the bleachers.

I got a little nostalgic today while looking at some photographs a classmate’s brother posted on Facebook. A while back, Tammy Lindquist Van Dam sent me copies of several MHS annuals. I was happy to see 1970 was among them because Mom lost mine. If you want to know the truth, she threw it away. I told you that Mom never kept anything.

I also didn’t remember why some of the pictures in the annual were one big blur. The football picture only had ten kids in it. Eleven were absent.

It really was too bad because there were seven seniors on the team, and it was undefeated. We had one All State player.

Our basketball team won the District 16 Championship. They lost the 2nd game of the Regional Tournament. The basketball pictures were better as were those of the track team with all its record breaking stars. Coach Applebee had some good stuff to work with.

Here is what happened. The annual staff had to spend the summer reconstructing the annual when they found that over twenty pictures sent to them by the photographer were missing. They had been burned. (I don’t know how that happened.) They quickly gathered as many as they could find of groups like the football team. I think they did an amazing job.

Mr. Palmer designed the cover.

I remember our senior float and stuffing all those napkins. We made a huge skunk. On the side it said, “Skunk the Falcons.” I even remembered that we got 3rd place out of the four high school floats. I thought our skunk was a winner. It looked like the skunk was spraying the goal post. Maybe that’s what offended the judges.

We skunked the Falcons

I jumped around a bit didn’t I? Homecoming is at the beginning of the school year, followed by basketball, and then track. English literature was my favorite class followed by algebra. I hated anything having to do with science or chemistry. We had girl’s basketball, but not home economics. I did take Spanish. I didn’t retain much, but I still remember the words to the song Danny Koester and I translated into Spanish. We chose “Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the lemon is impossible to eat.”

Limonero muy bonito y la flor de limón es dulce pero el fruto del limón es imposible de comer. (I cheated and googled it. I remember using limon arbole for lemon tree.)

And then we all graduated…All twenty-seven of us. High school is only four years in the life of a kid, but I believe it really influences what happens next; especially if you grew up in a close-knit community. Some get it right away, while it takes others longer.

For years, I used Palmer or Peterson when asked to give the name of my favorite teacher. It was the answer to a secret question in case I forgot my password, which happened often.

That’s me in the bottom left picture.

Murdo High School…I loved it! The building is gone, but the memories linger…

Murdo Girl…TGIF

Thank God It’s Friday is an acronym that people began to use at least thirty years ago to express the relief of making it through the work week. We could look forward to the weekend. I think I’m the only one who said ONIM. (Oh No It’s Monday.)

Now, when I wake up in the morning, I say IDR (I Don’t Remember.) Not only that, but by Friday, I can’t remember what I did Monday and Tuesday…unless I have pictures.

On Wednesday, it seemed like a good idea. On Thursday I carried out the plan, and by Thursday evening, I had horrified myself. Here’s a hint. I wore a hat to bed.

I don’t look good with gray hair. I tried it once and I looked like Whistler’s Mother…part gray and part dark brown.

I wonder if she knows her hair has turned white in the back.

I’m tired of having to color my roots every month. My Wednesday tea party guests suggested high/low lights. I know a salon charges a couple hundred bucks for the process, and even though you only need to have it done once every three months, it still seemed like a lot of money to me.

I talked myself into thinking I could do it myself.

You pull strands of hair through holes in the cap with a knitting needle. Then you bleach the color out.

I couldn’t get the hang of pulling hair through the holes in the cap, so I took the cap off and picked up little sections of hair and bleached them. It sort of spread.

I don’t think this is what they meant by high lights/low lights.
Hang onto your hats ladies. I might need to borrow them.
“Do you want to borrow my hat. MG?”

I think I can fix it…We shall see what we shall see.

Murdo Girl…Of course

“I’m only as strong as glass,” she said. “I could break and I might shatter.

I’m speaking of my body. Of course, my mind is a different matter.”

Photo by MFM

Broken glass infused with color becomes an artist’s inspiration.

Transformed into a stained glass window… it’s now a stunning creation.

(Photo by Mary Francis McNinch taken inside a Church in Rushford, MN)

White light passing through a prism releases a full spectrum of colors.

Glass cast aside by some is now deemed magical by others.

Photo by MFM

Glass can be deceiving. We see many shapes and sizes.

We think we can see through it, but it often will surprise us.

It’s vulnerable to all things that are weightier and strong.

Fragile glass left unprotected won’t be whole for very long.

Photo by MFM

She said, “I didn’t see it coming. I was broken beyond repair.

I knew I’d never be the same and it filled me with despair.

I saw a ray of light and looked up to see it’s source.

I couldn’t understand, and then I heard the words… ‘Of course’.”

He said, “Of course you’ll never be the same. Not like you were before.

Don’t lay in shattered pieces that you know you can’t restore.”

“What else can I do?” I asked. Silence met my plea.

My hand reached for a prism. Of course… His answers came to me.

Pick up a few good pieces of those scattered all around.

Take the ones infused with character. There are several to be found.

Let the light shine through that prism you are holding in your hands.

Brush off the other broken glass as the new you bravely stands.


No matter how we live, we can’t control our lives.

We can’t prepare ourselves for all that might arise.

We might feel like shattered glass, broken for all time…

But we can salvage the good still there, and leave what we must, behind.


“You must always be aware,” He said. “Because, of course, I’m always there…”

Photo by MFM

Murdo Girl…More Mom Tips

I know I’ve written about the creative tips my mother gave me to help get through awkward situations or avoid them all together. I’ve been trying to remember some of them.

I invited some ladies over for tea in the cottage today and one of them is new. We don’t know each other and she doesn’t know the history of the cottage and she probably doesn’t know anything about Murdo Girl.

Can you tell that’s a TV tray? I need extra seating for tomorrow.

I love my little cottage, but let’s face it, sometimes I oversell things. Today, I saw everything through someone else’s eyes and not just any someone else…a newbie.

No…not to tea

On top of everything else, I told them they had to wear hats. I learned yesterday that they had their hats all ready. What does that mean? I don’t even know for sure what kind of hat you’re supposed to wear to tea. Is it supposed to be floppy? The only floppy hat I have is straw and it’s winter so I doubt it would be appropriate. I worked for hours today trying to make the Stetson hat my friend gave me into a tea hat. Can you imagine? Queen E wouldn’t wear anything like that to tea. I’ll take a picture of it later.

A crown to tea? Maybe…
Please no
What do you think?
That’s my floppy straw hat. Should I decorate it?

I have this picture in my head of serving tea with milk, and a little china sugar cube server with little tiny tongs. Don’t bother to look for them around here because nobody has them.

I meant to get a guest book today. I’m beginning to forget who has been here and who hasn’t. The newbie might think that’s pretty weird.

I have a few china cups and saucers, but they don’t match and everytime I try to use them I break one. My little teaspoons are just silver plated.

It will be just fine. I remembered something Mom used to tell people “All of my good things are in storage.”

My senior tea. I’m the one using Josephine Jost’s back to write something.