SHE LEFT ME WITH A MEMORY…

Remembering Mary

They appeared just before the service began.

 He carried a small pillow under his arm. 
 I wondered why.

 Together they sat in the front pew, listening attentively.

 One Sunday, as the service ended, Mary’s husband stood to leave.
 The pillow he had carried under his arm now lay on the church pew
where he had placed it.It showed two dents from his hipbones.

 A World War 1 veteran,
 Don had been gassed during the time of his service
 to our country. 
He was frail and attentive and attended the worship service with Mary
 every Sunday. 

I would never have known Mary
 had it not been for attending the same church as she and her husband, Don.
She was a faithful worshiper

Together, the two entered the sanctuary each Sunday.

 Leaving quietly without conversation, 
they offered a nod and smiles
 to those who greeted them.

Mary was a tall woman.
 On Sunday morning, she was always attired in her Sunday best.

 In winter, a bandanna around her head
 saved her from the cold and rain. 
Old-fashioned rubber boots protected her from the elements
 when necessary.

 

Mary would never know the lasting impression
 she made on my life, and surely on the lives of others.
 Her faithful love of the Lord, deep affection for her husband and two sons, and respect for the flag of our country was a lesson for many if they would only observe.

She never served on a committee at church, but attended every meeting. Having no vehicle,
 she walked the distance to the meetings
 from her home,
 a mile away at that time.

 One special meeting was scheduled to discuss the building of a new church. 
It was held on a summer evening.
 We gathered in the basement of our old church,
 and Mary was there.

The idea of our small congregation taking on this large project had been discussed for some time.
 During a moment of quiet in the meeting,
Mary reached in her old worn purse, pulling out a wrinkled bill.
 As she laid  it on the table, she said,

“There’s your first dollar”.
 The project was underway.

One January morning, 
church services were cancelled due to a blizzard.
 It was dangerous to ask the parishioners to venture into the storm.

I felt warm and cozy 
as I sat in my living room
 watching only a few cars driving down the highway.

Then I saw Mary.

 She was walking toward church, 
carrying her Bible.
 The ever present cold weather scarf 
was tied under her chin.
 Her long wool coat now offered protection from the blowing snow.
 I felt ashamed.
 I didn’t live as far from the church as Mary.

 I had a car.
Mary was walking.
I was relaxing in my nice warm house.
 The scene has stayed with me for many years.

Recalling another dreary day, as I was driving home,
 I saw Mary walking in the heavy rain.
Carrying her Bible, she was heading toward home.

 I stopped to give her a ride and asked her where she’d been. 
“I was at a Bible study at the church”, she said.

 As she climbed out of the car in front of her house,
 the rain was increasingly heavy. Thanking me for the ride, she walked over to their flag pole. Carefully retrieving our American flag from the pouring rain,
she folded it, and took it into her home.

Mary’s  favorite saying was; 
“God knows all about it!”

Reverend Jim once commented,
 “If it were possible to ride into heaven on someone’s coattails, 
I’d choose Mary.”

 

I hoped that Mary would have enough room on those coattails
 for me.

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”
(1 Peter 5:5 NKJV)

Unattractive,

    Uneducated,

          Uninformed.

Not practiced at correctness,

  Mary lived her life     

One

Simple

Uncomplicated day

At a time.

Never indulging in self-satisfaction,

Nor pursued by dreams of personal success,

Her simple life was unadorned with expectations.

Knowing no pretense

Mary cast her lot

With God.

God first

Love

Worship

Prayer

Service

Family second

Love 

Prayer

Care 

Service

Country third

Love

Service

Prayer

Respect

No unexpected event

No shortfall

No misfortune

Could cause her simple faith

To waver.

“God knows all about it,” Mary would say,

With a countenance that displayed

Unflappable peace.

Her life was uneventful

Her faith unshakable.

Her example unforgettable.

Never doubting the unquenchable supply

Of God’s love and care,

Mary lived to the fullest

The abundant life

Of a saint.

Her legacy to those who knew her

Was a trail of unerring discipleship

On her way to eternal life with God.

March 31, 1996

copyright©2018

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

LETTER FOR A SOLDIER RETURNING HOME

The older you grow the greater is your responsibility toward life, society, and the two people who created you, your Mother and Father.

 

To Don..from Bill….

 

April 22, 1930 – February 24, 2017

Note: To be opened the last morning you are at sea on going home to the USA.

16 February 1953

Dear Don,

When I came overseas many moons ago, I was sent with a letter from my Mother.  In it she stated how on long voyages years ago, people were sent with ship messages. There was then an age of letter writing which seems to have passed, except for the ghosts that may rove the skeleton of some long lost ship.  There was then wind in the sails and the creak of the boards of the ship at night.  There could be heard the rustle of silk in women’s dresses.

Men and women were probably doing just as we do today if given the opportunity.  That is, jumping from bunk to bunk.

 Right now, right at this living moment, I am writing this on the usual, sunless, dull, German day in the office of the captain.

In time, all our importance melts away, and yet as a part of history we remain an important factor in time.  The way you live, the love you have for life, the love you have for others and the understanding of them, the love you have for a woman and your unborn children are of great importance.

Whether you are ever known as an individual, it is the way you are which makes the “To Be” of a better world.  Now you are nearing home to the land that I love so deeply.  I would want to clain that land in a deeper way than you can in your youth.

Someday you will know what I mean.  Someday you will know that the earth in a bog swamp when you are out duck hunting is the cleanest mud in the world.

 Don’t ever forget that part of your life which you spent in a foreign land.  There were circumstances you did not like. They have helped to keep that mud as clean as it is. Sometimes Don, I hope you are looking at that lost land where you like to lose yourself.

You’ll find the air just a bit sharp.  You will like the smell that time of year.

Whether it is summer, fall, winter or spring, just breathe deeper because you are alive.

 God is in Nature and you are close to it and to Him.  In college it would be called Pantheism. I’d rather call it the awareness of Don knowing Don.  You can call it whatever.  It doesn’t matter what you call it just so you remember that when it happens and it will.

 The sea where you read this is deep.  Your feet will soon touch shore. Right now you are pipeline and lost.

 

Soon the inevitable pattern will establish itself.  You will be a civilian with all the responsibilities of one.  To drive safely, to love right, to build a home, and to vote are small and important things.  To be aware when you’re on a hunting trip

that you are the greatest being God ever made is imprtant too.

That’s about all I have to say, Don.

 

This is my shipboard letter to you with the exception of one thing.

The more you grow the more you will become aware of this.

The older you grow the greater is your responsibility toward life, society, and the two people who created you, your Mother and Father.

Your friend….

Meade

 

 

April 22, 1930-February 24, 2017

* * *

My husband, Don, passed away in 2017.
In going through his special drawer for saving things important to him,
 I found this letter. 
I didn’t know his friend “Meade”.
 I don’t need to know.

Although we shared 62 years of marriage, 
I didn’t know Don as a soldier, when he was newly discharged from the service.
 He would have celebrated his 87th birthday in April of 2017.

 His great respect for God, family and nature never ceased.

I hope you enjoyed this special letter

from “Meade”….

copyright©2017

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

 

https://youtu.be/TO3wNNZE9tk

Willie’s rendition of this song spoke deeply to me at the loss of my husband. I hope you enjoy the beauty of the melody and words…

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PEARL HARBOR

Tenth Grade English Composition
 1951

Mary Anne Whitchurch

December 7, 1941

 On a cold, grey morning

when the fog had yet to rise;

The seagulls made a flutter
 like a bird of paradise.

The waves were as a rose vine
 coils in an arbor,

Thus began the day
  Japanese bombed PEARL HARBOR.

The sun had yet to rise that day, 
December seven.

Dawn had just receded 
to another day in heaven,

When from the sky a frightful noise
 came booming from the guns.

Now in the place of clouds and sky
 had come 
The Rising Sun.

Their guns were all ablaze.
From the air there came a shrieking of bullets whizzing by to find their targets,
 quickly streaking.

The planes upon the ground 
were shattered as they stood.

For the men to take their stations,
would of course, have done no good.

The people who had lived at PEARL HARBOR
 were not spared.

Families of the fighting men 
were sadly not prepared.

A couple that had risen right at dawn
 to walk for pleasure

Were shattered,

killed by bullets 
which were made for such a measure.

A moment quickly passed.
  The air was filled with death.

Looking toward the morning sky, 
only clouds were left.

The sun had risen in the east; 
its bright light showed a flood

of red, red streaks 
upon the ground,
 now sadly stained
 with blood.

The stillness in the morning air 
seemed empty, 
dark and chilling.

A group of planes had quickly come. 
 Their one intent was killing.

The second world war began.
 With it came the strife

for families

of the men 
whose fate it was 
to lose their life.

PEARL HARBOR was the turning point 
in nineteen forty-one.

It was to bring a mask of death 
for five long years to come.

The seventh day of every month 
we pause 
and should remember…

The Japanese bombed PEARL HARBOR
on the seventh of December.

* * * * * *

I’ve often wondered at the intensity of thought
 of a 16 year old girl, (that was me),
 considering the awful event of PEARL HARBOR.

This was written in 1951.
 The event had happened only ten years earlier.
 Although it seems to us in 2018 
as only a point in history, 
it was very real to a teen-ager 
in those days.

The war had been over for 6 years at that time.
 It remained fresh in the minds of our people.

The men and women who served in the war, 
some  of whom are still with us today,
 can never erase the images 
of  horrors they witnessed
 during their time of service to our country.

December 7th is a date to remember.

If we cannot remember what happened on that date,
investigate the history books.

It must never happen again.

***

copyright©2018

Photography by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

IT ISN'T THE GAME – IT'S THE WAY YOU PLAY IT!

We are the most respected nation in the world.
We have no need for “factual” propaganda 
if such a thing exists.
* * *

Who’s On First?

A Masterpiece For The Taking

Musings of a Homemaker-Houghton Lake Resorter

(1963)

Some of our most respected state senators 
conduct endless filibusters.

A few have ended in deadlocked debate
 over an outer space, 
government controlled, 
space communications network.

  Russia continues to bombard us 
with undeniably 
magnificent advances

  in the current space race.

 We are content to ignore, as much as possible,the daily reports of peace talks. 

  America is lacking 
in the mastery of space.

In comparison to the USSR,
 we panic.

We are disbelieving, angered and bewildered, 
 faced with a  grim fact. 

The industrially backward nation of Soviet Russia 
 has beaten our free, democratic society

 in such an important area;
 space exploration.

We’ve listened, read and watched
with mounting dismay, 
the multi-orbital flight

of two,
 now world renowned,
 Cosmonauts.

All but forgotten 
is this remarkable achievement 
Russia has accomplished.
All but forgotten, 
in favor of a race
 to be first.

This has become an obvious, 
  overlooked  habit,
 of America.   

We become so involved in the GAME
 we lose sight 
of the objective.

How discouraging to feel , 
after decades of war,
 this unrest between nations.

There is now the imminent danger
 of a contest
 for the control of space.

America is on the verge of discoveries in space
 about which no one is certain. 
The possibilities 

may be unknown; 
beyond comprehension
  to the science community.

Understanding the complexities of space 
is impossible 
for the average person.

The intricacies 
of securing good personal and community relationships, 
are right at our fingertips.
We know how to achieve them.

The country would profit 
from renewing our personal, 
community
 and neighborhood

relations.

A trip to the moon is not needed
in order to renew them.

 We are a free people. 

There is a need 
to spend more time
 improving our own planet.

There is a  need to restore 
a people to people
 togetherness and care
 network.

Such restoration 
is important to our nation.

An ocean was crossed to find America.
The United States of America 
 have always searched 
to find the better place, the better way.


We are the most respected nation in the world.

We have no need for “factual” propaganda 
if such a thing exists.

* * *

* * *

2019

There I was at the age of 28,
 worrying about Russia.
As a country, we couldn’t accept the fact, 
Russia had won race to the moon.

Where did I find such strong feelings of country,
 while facing responsibilities of raising three young boys
 while caring for a home and husband?

I became intensely involved in the state of the world,
 the politics of this country,
 and

the need for person-to-person communication.

The future seemed far away.
 The present weighed heavily.

Perhaps my interest in politics came from my Dad.
 His interest was strong.

 My intense interest at twenty-eight
 was put aside

until much later in my life.

By the time I reached sixty,
  Dad had passed from this life.

A renewed interest in politics,
 much like Dad’s,

 had once again
 intensified.

Yes, I know 
we cannot ignore the state of this present world.

 Over the years

I have not changed my mind.
It all begins with “people”.

And now, I would add 
“Faith”.

copyright©2019

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

2019

WHERE'S THE BEEF?

 When lilac bushes appear in a vacant field,
we know an old Michigan farm 
once stood nearby.

Where’s The Beef?
Spring 1964

Musings of a Homemaker (3) – Houghton Lake Resorter


Strolling down our lane 
one may be overwhelmed

 by the aroma of lilacs and apple blossoms.

 Tiny pink flowers
 nod gently in the spring breezes.

 When lilac bushes appear in a vacant field,

we know an old Michigan farm 
once stood nearby.

We are careless with adjectives;

 lovely, cute and sweet. 


 When something is found worthy of a special description, 

words are used

 in a careless fashion.

They are overdone and unimpressive.

Have we become a nation of adjective droppers?

Little girls are sweet and cars are sweet. 
Dresses are sweet.
Fishing rods are sweet.

 Sugar is sweet.

The weather is lovely.
 Your wife is lovely.
 Children are lovely. 
Dinner is lovely.

Freckles are cute. 
Puppies  are cute.
 Babies are cute.

Everything is sweet,cute and lovely.

WHERE’S THE BEEF?

Teen-agers are sometimes
 juvenile delinquents.
 We may have delinquent taxes.

Senior citizens may have
 gray hair.
Gray haired people may be
 senior citizens.

Phrases overused
are lost.

 Adjectives become
 bruised, broken and meaningless.

Let’s save them for another day.

***

(This all seemed like a good idea in 1964)

And then..

2018

Where Are We Now?

What happened to the adjectives? 
They were sweet,cute and lovely.

 Now it’s PC,

G and LOL,. It may be ESP and APP
We are politically correct. 

Or are we?

Oh, and by the way, we type PC for “politically correct” now.

Those in the know understand 

what we mean.

We  type G for “grin.”
LOL  means “laugh out loud.” 

ESP stands for “extrasensory perception”;

APP for “application.”

We type COOL for good, 
wonderful,
 smart 
and up to date.

A perfectly wonderful language
 has been simplified 
to nothing.

Children in elementary school are not being taught cursive writing.

Much of their writing  
is unreadable.
Making matters worse,
many young people
cannot “read” cursive writing.

Think about it!
The United States Constitution
was produced in cursive writing.

President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
was written by him, as the story goes,in cursive writing,
as he was seated on a train
on his way to Gettysburg.

Why have we decided
to avoid teaching cursive writing
 to generations of  young Americans
who will never be able to read
those original, historical papers?

In response to questioning,
 a teacher informed me,

 “Within ten years
 no one will be using handwriting.

 Everyone will be using computers.”

Think of the handwriting experts
who will be unemployed.
(That’s a joke.)

With this information in mind,
 the overuse of “adjectives ” becomes cute and darling.

Describing anything at all
with the terms, “sweet and lovely,”
for they have become the only remaining,
 desirable speech.

Our English language
 is bruised and broken.
 It has been transformed into 
disconnected letters.

Bring back the adjectives.
 Bring the verbs and the adverbs.

I long for them.

Is it just me?

copyright©2018

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com