Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mary Violet Murdock Christensen

This is her sarcastic smile. 

 This is how she likes to look in all pictures, very serious.  
[Oh and those are my glasses]

Over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the parentals, Becca, and I ventured down to St. George (from up narth) to visit the grandparents. Grandpa Hal and Grandma Mary are coming up on the ripe ole age of 84. But don't let that number fool you, they've still got as much spryness, wit, and spontaneity (okay, that last one's a stretch...and maybe the first one too) as a 25 year old.

While we were there, we took Grandma to the beauty shop to get her hair cut. We went out to eat twice a day (Mary doesn't cook anymore, she said she's been cooking for a 100 years and she's sick of it). We went on some walks. We watched a lot of TV, mainly football and the news. And... that's about it. But, don't let these simple, low key activities fool you. The entertainment was priceless.

Becca and I took the opportunity to interview Grandma Mary this trip. She can't remember short-term things too well, but she's still as witty and hilarious as ever. You never know what kinds of things are going to come out of her mouth. Most of the time it's awesome, but she's not a great whisperer and has lost her "filter". So she sometimes says... inappropriate... maybe even offensive things... to other people...oftentimes strangers or acquaintances. But, it makes for great entertainment and non-stop laughs, so you gotta love it.

Here is the interview:

  1. Name: Mary Violet Murdock Christensen
  2. Age: 83?
  3. Profession: Actress
  4. Favorite quote: I hate quotes—(gets up and walks away)
  5. Lover: What a stupid question. When? I’m not gonna tell ya. (apparently she had multiple lovers)
  6. Where did you meet him? 3rd grade
  7. Was it love at first sight? I can’t remember
  8. Kids: I’m not tellin’
  9. Interests: Kids, acting
  10. Hobbies: Bridge, cards, piano, riding bikes, croquet
  11. Dreams: Mostly nightmares. I wanted to be an actress.
  12. Most embarrassing moment: I’ve had too many, they’ve all been embarrassing. I once had to recite a poem in speech class in front of the entire class. Part of the poem went like this, “Underneath the fallen bosom, was a letter she had hid.” After I said this, the whole class started giggling and I hadn’t realized that I had said bosom instead of blossom. Another time, in my current events class, I had to give an oral report on something that was going on in South America. I hadn’t prepared for the assignment, so right before I was supposed to give my report, I glanced down at the newspaper and read the headline: “Chaos in Central America.” So I went up in front of the class and started talking about Chaos (she pronounced ch like you say cheese, “chayos”) the President of this Central American country. The teacher let me go on and on and she just couldn’t believe what a faker and a phony I was. But I had convinced the kid’s cause they didn’t know what the hell was going on.
  13. Favorite Sports Team: Washington Redskins (with authority) The Somerset Apaches (my dad’s little league baseball team growing up that G-pa coached)
  14. Favorite Sport: to play, Tennis, to watch, Redskins
  15. Favorite TV show: Seinfeld
  16. Political Affiliations: Are you kidding, get outta here with that question. Democrat
  17. Favorite President: Oh that’s a hard one. FDR
  18. Favorite food: Oh man, I’ve got a lot of them. Depends on what I’m eating at the time. I love seafood.
  19. Favorite Drink: Whiskey (said very hastily), Coca-Cola
  20. Favorite place to be: With my darling granddaughters in Beaver
  21. If you could live anywhere, where would you live? I love Langdrum Lane, Maryland. I loved the Shack in Delaware.
  22. Who’s your hero: I don’t know, I thought the world of my parents; they were wonderful people.
  23. Do you like to travel on airplanes: No! When I’ve got to travel I usually travel on airplanes, so I don’t know what I can do about it.
  24. What is you’re best quality? Just being a wonderful, generous entertainer. I think that sums it up, damn close.
  25. What’s your best physical attribute? My bosoms. Don’t you think? You left me wide open for that one. I knew you’d like that.
  26. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? Spend it, all of it. I’d go on a trip and I’d take you with me. I wouldn’t give any of it to Grandpa.
  27. How do you keep Grandpa in line? Spoil him rotten, baby him, just do whatever he wants. (What do you do when he acts up?) Sock him! Your grandfather and I have a very good relationship. He’s very intelligent and kind and I’m very gentle and understanding (said sarcastically).
  28. “Look at all this junk food, isn’t it wonderful.” (She would get distracted easily)
  29. Who’s your favorite animal? This dog (pointing to Rrrosa)
  30. Favorite holiday? Hmm… Christmas, I like to be surprised by wonderful gifts from granddaughters. Lot’s of em.
  31. Favorite childhood memory: I’ve got a childhood memory, which is just my most un-favorite. I was with my girlfriend Virginia, we were about 7 years old, and her mom was a maid at the Mansfield hotel in town, and we were playing in there and we found a package of cigarettes under a chair. And boy, were we intrigued. So we both lit one up and took a couple of puffs. And then I had to go straight home because I was so sick. Man, I had never been so sick. I told my mother what I had done; she put me in the bathtub and scrubbed me. That was a nightmare.
  32. Favorite childhood memory #2: It was returning to good ole Beaver, Utah for the summertime. When you think about my childhood, I was 7 when I went to Washington, I went to 6 different schools. What we’d do was we’d go back to Washington for the session of Congress, in January. We’d be on recess in the summertime and we would come back to Beaver. Every year I changed schools and that was very difficult for me. I’d be the new girl every year, with different clothes and I spoke differently; it was terrible. Being the daughter of a Senator and a Congressman was not the easiest thing in the world.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I have a love affair with the cabin, it is such a place of beauty, tranquility, and peace. I don't think I've ever felt ready to leave, even after our latest 8 day escapade. On day 7 (the day we planned to leave) Henry and Ruby came to wake me up and Hen whispered in my ear "Becca we're snowed in, we aren't leaving until tomorrow." It was like Christmas morning all over again. Bliss pure and simple.

Initially the cabin was my dad's dream, he was so particular about the location, design, materials used in design, etc... Now that the hard work is over (at least for the most part) it has become a part of all of our dreams. Why is the cabin so special you ask? Let me try to explain, my dad is a social butterfly much like his mother, therefore he has lots of friends.  When he found this property (which took years) he somehow talked a handful of his friends into buying property surrounding the property he bought. Out of all of these friends only one planned on building a cabin, the others did so strictly for an investment. My dad wanted his cabin to be secluded, done and done. The area is serene and has a beautiful view of the Tetons. It is the perfect place to lose touch with reality and get your priorities in order -- minimal phone reception, no internet, no T.V. (just a T.V. and DVD player for movies). You would think in our fast paced, technology ruled world you would miss those things but I never do, it's refreshing to be without those things. I don't have to check my e-mail, return phone calls, catch up on my shows, or text and it feels so good. Instead, cabin days are filled with delicious food, good conversation, naps, walks, cross country skiing, fishing, reading, writing, games, elevensies, movies, playing with my nieces and nephews, sitting by the fire, tubing, ping pong, sledding, taking pictures, and reminiscing. It's the perfect place to remind you of what is truly important in this life and it's not internet, T.V., or cell phones.

Love affair with the cabin = completely justified.