Sunday, July 12, 2009

The McMurtrey family curse

Having visited family recently, the ominous McMurtrey family curse was made fresh in my mind. It's not something we talk about, and rarely to those outside the family. But, I decided, if you're really to get to know someone, you should know about any family curses. And what better way to reveal family curses than on a blog?

We do our best to act like a normal, happy family. But there is constantly a dark cloud hovering closely around, never far from our minds...the McMurtrey family curse.

I'm not completely sure when the curse started, so the parts of the following story that I don't know, I'll exercise a bit of artistic liberty to help the story flow. Here's the mostly true story of the origin of the McMurtrey family curse: Sean McMurtrey, my great great great grandfather, lived in a small fishing village of the coast of beautiful Ireland. He was known for being a handsome, strong, extremely manly, intelligent, tough, rugged man, traits that had always seemed to run in his family, and would for generations to come. Often, as the sun peaked over the Emerald Isle, Sean would take his young son fishing. He enjoyed these times, reeling in fish after fish with his son. He would continue to enjoy them, until the day the the family was cursed forever.

This is that fearsome place where the McMurtrey family was placed under a curse. I stress that this is definitely the place, and not just the first picture that came up on a google image search for Ireland.

On that fateful day, long remembered by his descendants, Sean took his son fishing early in the morning. As the cool breeze blew across the shimmering lake, Sean thought: "Today will be a wonderful day." He couldn't have been more wrong. Not long after he cast in his line, Sean felt a fish nibble on the bait. At that same moment, an old woman came up behind him begging for alms. "Wait jest a moment, I think I've got one!" The woman only begged more loudly, crying and sounding miserable. Sean feared she would scare away the fish. "Can ya not see that I'm busy? Isn't there somewhere else ya could be beggin'?" He said. He ignored the woman after that, staring intently at his line in the water. Suddenly a clap of thunder was heard, coming out of the beautiful blue sky. Birds in the forest took flight, and a horrible screeching sound came from the forest. Sean turned to see the old woman, skinny arms clawing strange signs into the air, hair blowing wildly, though there was no wind. "For caring more about fishing than the good of those that ask your help, I curse you and all of your descendants. Never again, when you go fishing with your son, will luck be with you." She cackled horribly and then vanished, leaving only the stench of burnt hair in the air. From that time forward, McMurtrey's have never been able to catch more than one scrawny fish in any father and son fishing trip. I have many memories of fishing as a family when I was a kid...but few memories of ever catching anything. I was recently reminded this, as my dad wanted to go fishing when I was home. To ensure success, he decided we would get a professional fishermen to show us the best places to fish. For trying to go around the McMurtrey family curse, my father was rewarded with a large thunderstorm the morning of, and a cancellation of the fishing trip.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Well, I'm on vacation, so I thought I'd take a vacation from my random posts, and actually post about what I've been up to. Plus I have just a little bit of time, as I accidentally got myself out of the game I was playing with my family, so I have to wait for them to finish so I can jump in on the next one. My vacation can probably be summed up by Friday's experience. I woke up from my afternoon nap on the couch at 4:00, saw my dad walking through the room, and asked "So what's planned for the rest of the day?". He thought about it for a second, and replied "Nothing." Beautiful, I thought. This is what vacationing is all about.

Other than taking it easy and playing games with the family, seems like we've been spending a good amount of time in either a lake or a pool. I haven't done a lot of swimming in these last few years, so that's been a bit rough...especially playing sharks and minnows. I've played a different version with some friends before, but the way we play it in my family is basically like tag where you can't be tagged while you're underwater. This means the "shark" has to trap people while they're underwater and force them to surface before tagging them. And that means the game is pretty closely related to drowning. Next year I'll have to practice up on my swimming...and drowning...skills before visiting home. Anyways, I'll be out here at my parents house in Texas until Wednesday, and then back to the joys of work and such...