ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE…

  Rules of the Game 

Making Conversation

1963

(Published in the Houghton Lake Resorter, Houghton Lake, Michigan, weekly newspaper)

Even the rules change in 56 years. Conversations change even more. It was my privilege to have a weekly column in our local newspaper for almost three years. I’ve added a little here and there. But you’ll get the idea.

MUSINGS OF A HOMEMAKER by Mary Anne Tuck 

My Byline

Is it really the weather that makes us disagreeable, or are we just naturally hard to please?

Seems like just a few short weeks ago, we were pining for summer days.

Summer days arrived and we began to long for cooler fall weather.

 Our nature is to search for lost opportunities and unfulfilled dreams.

 At the age of ten, we wish for things we don’t possess.  It would be nice of my name could be Susie instead of Mary.

 How wonderful it must be to have beautiful red hair instead of brown.

 Then we reach high school.  In high school we yearn for a steady date and find to our amazement that the steady daters have visions of playing the field and dating around.

 If our choice is not to attend college, we may soon nurture envious thoughts of those who went on to higher education.  

The bride who marries young sometimes wishes she had waited a bit for that magic moment.  She’s surprised to learn that the woman who works outside the home may sometimes feel she has wasted those precious years when she could have been staying home and raising a family.  

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We may be overflowing with discontent from childhood to adulthood of one sort or another.

 Keeping up with the Jones family is a desirable way of life for many.  The wish to have as much or more as the folks next door may never go away.

 When your neighbor belabors the fact that the days are much too long and the weather is much too hot, your neighbor is following the rules of the game.

 The game is called “Making Conversation”.

 The objective is to see how much better we can make our everyday living with good-natured complaining and a few constructive thoughts.  

What can we do to make our lives more blessed than they are already?

 Maybe we should change The Rules Of The Game.  Let’s talk about it!

2018

I’m seeing myself in these words at the age of twenty-eight..  It was during a time when I had three little boys ages one, four, and six; no more working in an office and  dressing up each day to go to work and meet with people.

Maybe I just wanted to be different; different from what, I’m not quite sure. 

  Maybe I thought I’d missed  out on the opportunities that had once been before me and now had seemingly disappeared.  

I married at twenty and had my first child at twenty-one.  At twenty-seven I’d become a full fledged Mom of three and homemaker.

Establishing a home and family may sometimes begin at a later time in life,  but there  was never a career pursuit for me. From the age of twenty  I was faced with laundry, dishes, meals and cleaning.

 The house we lived in, although we loved it dearly, was much less sophisticated than the homes of our friends and neighbors.  Of course, I knew the future was out there, somewhere.  At the time, though, I couldn’t see it. What is it the jokesters say,  “just another day in Paradise”. 

My Christian walk had not yet begun.  Or maybe it had and I just hadn’t recognized it.

 Time would tell.

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copyright©2018

Photographs by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

FIRST AMENDMENT..Followed by second, third..You know the routine…

The following article, by me, was printed in the Houghton Lake Resorter weekly newspaper in Houghton Lake, Michigan..The “byline” as shown above was chosen for me by the editor of the paper, Bob Hamp. I must admit, I didn’t know what a “byline” was at that time. (But now, I do.)

In case you may have kept a copy of this article, I have edited a few things which I deemed to look better before presenting it for your perusal at this time. After all, it has been 55 years since it was written and I tend to look at things differently now. (I know you’ll understand.)

…..continuing the article

***

To sum it up, each of us is guilty of harboring “I know better” feelings which emerge annually on the “first” day of January of any given year. Those memories are immediately forgotten on the “second” day of January; the same year.

For instance, “I know better” than to let the ironing pile up week after week while stashing the clothes I like to iron least in a lonely basket behind the door. When the unfavored basket overwhelms the operation of the door, the guilt becomes evident.

Therefore” I resolve to keep my ironing up to date; even the items I don’t prefer to deal with..

“I know better” than to chide my friends in far off places for not being regular in their correspondence with me. To be honest, I am equally as irregular with mine.

“Therefore“, I resolve to keep all my correspondence up to date.

“I know better” than to continue driving our car without refilling the gas tank. My husband has often mentioned he doesn’t care to run out of gas on his way to work in the morning. (He doesn’t say it quite that way, but you get the picture.)

“Therefore” I resolve to keep the gas tank filled at all times.

I know better” than to let my bank statements pile up in a drawer until my checkbook balance requires a notice of service charge from the bank for overdrawing my account.

“Therefore” I resolve to balance my bank statements promptly upon their arrival.

When you have successfully written down your “therefore” list, you may feel properly girded for the onslaught of uncharted days and months ahead in 1965.

Let me give you a word of warning.

Mention to no one that your list exists. Immediately upon completion, place it in an envelope, seal it, and promptly convert it to ashes and smoke.

Your ironing will continue to accumulate, your correspondence friends will think of you warmly at Christmas time, your husband will get good exercise, the bank will feel you accept and respect their bookkeeping procedures and your conscience will be free to glide into 1965 in friendly and familiar surroundings.

2019 AND CONTINUING….

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a New Year’s resolution.

Please don’t think ill of me. I learned years ago that such an endeavor was a complete waste of my time.

Thank heaven for permanent press clothing that needs no ironing.

I remember the days when my grandma took my clothes needing ironing and sprinkled them with water. Then she rolled them up, put them in the freezer, told me they were there and that I could iron them later. (That was a mistake.)

I did, however, learn something that may be of use to you. If sprinkled clothes are stored in the freezer for two weeks or more, they will be surprisingly damp when you thaw them. If the time is more than a week or two your clothes may have to be sprinkled again. (Grandma never approved of that outcome and I’m not recommending it to you.)

Thank heaven, (and time), for the invention of the computer and emails.

I am now able to respond within minutes to correspondence from my friends. Why didn’t someone think of this before?

I try to fill the gas tank as soon as I see the little space that emerges after “full”. The price of gas has reached an unthinkable $2.38 per gallon. So if you fill the tank before you use much, it’s cheaper. (Does that sound right to you?)

Although I’ve asked the bank to send me printed statements at the end of the month, I also have my bank records on the computer.

I leave the mailed statements unopened in a drawer. There is always the possibility of being without electricity for the computer, which would restrain me from checking my balance. In such an event, the unopened and printed statements in the drawer would be a blessing.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS!

If you feel the need to put resolutions in writing, this is my advice. Use a sealed, unmarked envelope.

Destroy it as quickly as possible on New Year’s day.

FIRE IS STILL THE MOST RELIABLE SOLUTION!

Cooking hotdogs over the fire…mmm..sounds good on a cold day…good place to get rid of the envelope.

The sealed envelope may also be thrown in the garbage. But, hear this! There is always the possibility that someone could find it at the dump.

GIVE THIS SOME SERIOUS THOUGHT!

(It’s already nearing the end of the year…May 2020 be your best year ever!))

From Rudolph to Silver Bells..Time Tells The Story..

Times have changed..the sweet smell of pine can always be purchased in a spray can from the store.

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The Houghton Lake Resorter 

A weekly newspaper in Houghton Lake, Michigan

MUSINGS OF A HOMEMAKER..Written by me at the age of 28..

The Christmas tree stands in the corner, colorful and lonely. Gaily wrapped gifts no longer gather beneath its branches.  The sweet smell of pine no longer remains in the air.

Shiny bicycles and curly haired dolls have disappeared from view.

The annual celebration of the birth of Christ

has filled our expectations.

Glittering and once lovely wrappings lie crushed in empty cartons awaiting their disposal. Under the tree lies a ribbon of red reminding us of our passion for loving. Nearby lie wrinkled bows;  blue for the richness of living, gold for the bright rays of learning, and green for the promise of new life in the coming year.

Mixed emotions now wrap our package of memories; sadness and laughter, hope and regret, faith and tenderness, and a colorful memory of the quickly fleeting twelve months.

 1963 has flown away as swiftly as hummingbird’s wings, never pausing for more than a fleeting moment to enjoy the sweet nectar provided by the flowers of life.

The approaching year offers twelve new months to store more gifts.  Once again, at the end of the new year, we will have a treasure of memories both happy and sad. We’re starting anew.

The final design will be original, personal and full of colorful hues shading the months ahead with a rainbow of memories.

Gracious living to you and yours in the new year of 1964.

And now…at the age of 84..

(How times have changed.)

The sweet smell of pine can always be purchased in a spray can from the store.

The artificial tree is stored in a box to be retrieved from the storage room each December.

There are no pine needles to be vacuumed and no shiny trucks in the corner. There are no more snowy excursions to the nearby woods to look for the perfect tree which was to be evenly proportioned on at least  three sides.

(We always turned the flat side toward the window.)

We now delight in flannel shirts and an occasional bottle of after-shave. Perhaps there will be a sweater for me and a current book I’ve been thinking about.

The family is here and that’s the best part of all.

In a few moments the gifts are unwrapped and the shirts are checked to make sure they will fit the intended one. Paper and bow must be carefully folded and used again next year.

The grandchildren are now in their thirties but determined to spend Christmas morning at the farm.

Hidden Meadows Farm in Winter

Our Christmas morning tradition is to have breakfast together, open gifts and visit. It’s a time for recalling all the memories of years gone by.

Christmas Morning at
Hidden Meadows Farm

We now have  two daughters-in-law, a granddaughter -in-law and a  grandson-in-law, bringing us three beautiful great granddaughters.  

It’s a happy time.

We once gave our 6-year-old granddaughter a goat for Christmas. Recalling her expression when she found “Peppy” in a special pen in the barn with a big red bow tied around his neck, brings a sweet memory and laughter each year.

The years bring new beginnings.

Life becomes more precious as each year passes. The future is shorter and the years went by too quickly.

 One year can bring many changes.

My husband, Don and our son Tim, have passed on to another life.  I’m blessed with our three great-granddaughters to love and enjoy in the coming years.

A small artificial Christmas tree stands proudly before the east window.  Sixty years have passed in this wonderful old farm home where memories are enjoyed every day.

Memories Are Made From This

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Photographs By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

THE WRONG CHOICE HAS A PRICE

HE WENT TO THE SYNAGOGUE, AS WAS HIS CUSTOM….

As a young girl, I was asked to baby sit for my infant nephew while my sister and her husband went out for the evening.

The child had a slight cold. My sister’s instructions were to give him a spoon full of cough medicine from a bottle she had placed on the kitchen counter.

When it was time to give him the medicine, I picked up the bottle, poured the liquid into a spoon and offered it to the baby; not bothering to turn on the light. The baby coughed and cried. He choked and spit out most of the medicine on his pajamas. I didn’t feel it was an unusual response to bad tasting medicine. Turning on the kitchen light to assess the situation, I saw another bottle sitting on the counter.

Reading the label on the bottle I had used, it was suddenly clear the liquid I had given the baby was Tincture of Benzine Compound, a substance used in vaporizers for the easing of breathing problems. The cough medicine, which I had been instructed to give, was in a second bottle on the counter, which was not noticeable to me in the darkened kitchen.

I was devastated that this baby I loved so much could have been poisoned by my irresponsible action. (He was fine and suffered no ill effects from my carelessness.) (see note at bottom of article)

Because of that experience, I’ve adopted a discipline that has served me (and others) throughout my life. Never administer, nor take, medication without first checking the bottle’s ingredients and directions, in the light.

This custom has served me well.

I’ve been thinking. When the habit of attending church becomes customary to us, we are ready to live, worship and praise. We are able to love and be loved, to listen and share His word within the congregation of Christ on Sunday morning. We are not burdened with a weekly decision.

This custom serves us well.

When we make a decision to be in a study group with other Christians, on Sunday morning or another time during the week, we place ourselves in a position to grow. We are in a position to incorporate the meaning of His Word into our lives.

It becomes our custom.

Jesus gave us the example by His own life. “He went to the synagogue, as was His custom”….Are your customs serving you well?

Are your customs serving Him well?

The answer may save your life.

Lord, teach us your ways. Shine your light on us. Help us to develop customs that will allow us to be used by you in your ministries..Amen

(Note: My “infant” nephew is now 67 years of age..enjoying retirement and a happy life.)

TIMES CHANGE..MEMORIES REMAIN

Back to the days of raising a family. We were enjoying summers at home. This article was written for the Houghton Lake Resorter, the weekly newspaper in my home town. The time was the early sixties. My boys were 13, 11, and 7. Dad was working at his Ace Hardware seven days a week. I was a stay at home Mom. The editor’s instructions were: “Write about any subject you choose”. Readers were invited to send recipes which were printed at the end of my column.

This was my byline placed at the head of every article

LET’S EAT OUTDOORS TONIGHT!

Here we are in the midst of the “let’s eat outdoors” season, and it’s a hearty and appetizing family time for all ages.

Just mention grilled steaks and you’ll find Dad with eyes aglow and seasoning in hand preparing to take over at least this one chore from Mom.

For him, the grill must be at a precise measure above the coals. The steak must be of proper quality and thickness. No one is allowed to infringe on his outdoor culinary domain. The man who enjoys this natural cooking is quite adept at presenting a pleasing and palatable taste treat for family and friends.

Cooking outside is relaxing for him. It is a fanciful comparison to his usual work-a-day routine. His approach is precise and scientific. He’s in command.

Let’s not overlook the fact that Mom also enjoys Dad’s taking over in the grilling department. The kids are wild about grassy carpets that lap up spilled milk. There’s a noticeable lack of such parental reminders as “don’t slouch” and “don’t talk so much” and “for heaven’s sake haven’t you eaten enough?”

Outdoor eating time is fun time and the entire family welcomes the change of routine and the cooling breezes after a warm day engaged in summertime tasks.

June, July and August are the months when hot dogs, hamburgers and potato salad become household words. Fried chicken, ham and iced tea are old standbys that we’ve come to love and enjoy.

Today’s family shares memories of the days when the picnic table beckoned and the family awaited the enjoyment of the outdoor eating season

* * *

2016

Sounds wonderful, although not nearly as poetic as our memories would like us to think.

The grill now resides in a lonely spot on the deck.

Dad still does the grilling, then brings the meat into the kitchen. Hamburgers or pork chops, they will be eaten at the table setting which Mom has prepared. There we find two plates, two glasses of something, forks, knives, spoons and two slices of bread.

The call to dine finds us already at the table.

There are no reminders about slouching or talking too much. Slouching is permitted. There’s not much to talk about. The chops have been joined with potato salad, Dad’s baked beans and Mom’s cookies.

Iced tea remains a necessity.

The picnic table broke a leg.

It had to be sent to a table retirement home.

Let’s eat indoors tonight.

* * *

2019

Once again, times have changed.

Now it’s easier for me to go to a nearby restaurant and order a salad or a hamburger and a cup of coffee.

My husband and one of our sons have passed to their next life. Another son lives “downstate” and the youngest remains in our home town. Grand-kids have homes and children of their own along with busy lives.

That’s life and it’s still wonderful.

There are many plans for the future with no limitations of time.

(As far as we know.)

Memories are good!

[email protected] Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

Photographs by Mary Anne

I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER – HALLMARK KNOWS HOW TO SAY IT FOR YOU….

As often happens in life, my future was unknown.  I couldn’t have imagined at the age of 50, I would become the owner and operator of Mary Anne’s Hallmark Shoppe.

Holiday of Love…

 Houghton Lake Resorter

Houghton Lake, Michigan

(Weekly Newspaper)

1963

 

February, the month of sweethearts and historical birthdays.  Gifts and cards are abundantly given and received.

  Red is the color of this holiday of love. It represents the warmth and caring which doesn’t end by the passing of time nor the graying of crowns.  From grade school parties to a valentine for the teacher, the bloom of romance,the joy of marriage, or an annual pledge of sentimental thoughts,  moments of love and friendship are conveyed through the verse on the card.

From a commercial standpoint, the greeting card industry prospers from every holiday.

(Talk to a Hallmark dealer and they will tell you Valentine’s Day is the best card selling season of the year.)

  Some holidays have been long standing, while others have been more recently incorporated into the lives of the public.

The card purchaser sends a card of congratulations for many celebrations.  From birth to graduation, from weddings to anniversaries, from operations to get well cards, there is a card suitable for every occasion.

Are your friends leaving town or have they just arrived? Has someone recently purchased a new home or remodeled the one which they already own? Hallmark has a perfect card for the occasion.

Good wishes can be found in the card shop in just the language you want to use.

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas and the New Year rate high on the holiday card list. As the years go on, St. Valentine’s Day will remain the sentimental favorite.

Send a card or a gift, the affectionate gesture is always thoughtful and pleasantly received.

To Mom and Dad, friend and lover, children and neighbors,

Happy Valentine’s Day 1963.

*  *  *  *  *

2019

Looking Back…

My thoughts were penned in 1963.

I was twenty- eight years old, a stay at home Mom with three little boys.  The youngest was one year old.

My life was closer to Valentine’s Day grade school parties than to browsing through a Hallmark shop looking for the perfect card to send to family and friends.

As often happens in our young lives, my future was unknown.  I couldn’t have imagined at the age of 50, I would become the owner and operator of

Mary Anne’s Hallmark Shoppe.

  For thirteen years I observed my caring customers. They took the process very seriously.  Choosing the perfect card with just the right sentiments, for their loved ones, was what they were seeking.

Valentine’s Day is truly the most heartfelt card sending day of all the celebrated holidays during the year.

My most intensely involved customer was the gentleman choosing a card for his wife or sweetheart.  No amount of time spent was too much, when choosing that card with a special message of their love.  Valentine’s Day will always be

“A HOLIDAY OF LOVE”.

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Photos By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 

https://thatremindsme.blog

MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COWBOYS..

Ever wonder what kind of an impression you left on folks today? Think about it.

How can I tell you my story without letting you know the main character? Would that be the sheriff, the little girl, or my grandson?

At the age of seventeen, our grandson entertained an interest in bull riding, Yes, I said bull riding. His grandfather and I had taken him with us to several rodeos when he was very young.

His main interest was the activity in the bull pens. There was always a place to stand behind the area where the contestants began their ride.Visible to us from our place in the grandstands, there was no need to wonder if he was okay. Closely watching the riders, his attention was riveted on their every move.

We shouldn’t have been surprised at his fairly unusual pursuit of the sport of bull-riding. Beginning in junior high school, interest was maintained in many sports including wrestling, weight lifting and football. Those were well known teen sports throughout the high-school years.

Nothing could keep him from attempting to become successful at the projects he decided to pursue. With personal determination and a plan for accomplishing the goals he set for himself, his dedication brought results.

We planned to be at every bull riding event in which he participated, but there was one in the northern part of our state which we were unable to attend.

Sometime after the event, a letter arrived for him from the sheriff in a northern Michigan community. In the letter, the sheriff was asking our grandson to consider sending him an autographed picture of himself. In explanation, he wrote that he was counseling an eleven year old girl who was having difficulty, as he explained it, in finding a good path to follow in her life.

The sheriff went on to write that during his counseling he had asked the girl if she had any heroes. She said yes. The girl then indicated our grandson, who she had seen riding in the rodeo in the northern part of our state, was her hero.

Think about it. The young girl must have indicated our grandson by name or there would have been no way for the sheriff to make this personal contact. Bull riding events are well attended and the grandstands are usually filled to capacity. There was no personal contact between the girl and our grandson.

This scenario amazed me. Being the grandmother I am, I didn’t miss an opportunity to offer a lecture on good behavior. “What do you suppose you were doing when she saw you?”, I asked. “You had no idea you were being watched other than when you were actually riding. Were you chatting with other riders, were you watching the activities?”

At bull riding events, the young riders I’ve noticed, are neatly dressed. Our grandson always pressed his shirts with a crease in the sleeves. (Only a Grandmother notices things like that, or so I thought.) He didn’t smoke, or drink or chew. Any of those things could be noticed by someone watching him at an event.

This time, a confused young girl was watching him and later counting him as her hero. He found a photo of himself, as the sheriff had asked, and penned a message on the back. In the message he indicated hope that she would find good paths for her life in the future.

Since this incident happened, and it was a long time ago, I’ve had many opportunities to think about people who may be watching you and me right now. What are they seeing? What are they hearing?

It would be unusual to be aware of someone observing our actions. We may never know when it’s happening. Are they noticing the way we’re dressed? Can they hear what we are saying? Have we influenced someone’s life? Did we make them wish they could be like us? Or, did they wish they would never be like us? Were we an influence for good? Do we present a pleasant space around ourselves?

Perhaps, in an off moment, we may convince someone never to act as we do. It’s quite possible something we’ve done, or said, or the way we have planned our lives, has influenced someone to change direction, or maybe to continue in a direction they’ve already chosen.

Someone is watching and listening to you and me right now. We will never know who it is or how our lives may have influenced them to direct their own life.

I’ve shared this story with many people over the past years. The incident has made a difference in how I see myself, Sometimes I hope no one is looking or hearing; other times I hope I made a good impression.

Who’s watching now?

Good luck, son..

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Photos By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO RANDOLPH SCOTT?

1964 – It should be of increasing concern to America at large that we are becoming hopelessly addicted to the output of the beckoning television networks. I, for one, have resisted the temptation mightily.

Musings of a Homemaker 
(Houghton Lake Resorter)

Houghton Lake, Michigan

(Weekly Newspaper)
1964

It should be of increasing concern to America at large that we are becoming hopelessly addicted to the output of the beckoning television networks.
I, for one, have resisted the temptation mightily.

The 21 inch screen which sits on the north side of our living room holds little or no attraction for me.
Only recently, I remarked to my husband, (as I left the breakfast table to eat with Hugh Downs “Today Show” in the living room),
“Television is not interesting to me, not with my busy mornings.”
Later, as my older son left for school just as Mr. Green Jeans was showing Captain Kangaroo the baby chicks, I couldn’t help but wonder if we aren’t ruining our children’s minds by letting them watch so much television. ( The program was almost over, so I watched the rest of the Captain’s program in my housecoat after the children had gone.)
While clearing up the kitchen and absorbing the intricacies of “American Government”, my thoughts strayed to carefree summer days when I could relax  and watch the “Detroit Tigers” ball games which are all televised.
After exercising with “Ed Allen” and enjoying my mid-morning coffee break with “Lucy”, I turned off the television, turned on the radio, and set its timer so it would turn off when “Pete and Gladys” was over.”
My kindergarten son was off to afternoon session when the “CBS Mid-day News” had finished. After lunch I took some time to watch my favorite serial,
“As The World Turns” which I’ve watched nearly every day for the past eight years, is only half an hour.  One could scarcely call that an addiction.
The kids get home from school 20 minutes after “The Secret Storm” and 20 minutes before “News, Weather, and Sports” I usually try to have supper on the stove.
On Monday night, my husband leaves for his bowling league just before “The Donna Reed Show”. Tuesdays find me missing, but not by far, (as I leave for my own bowling league at the local lanes), “Mr. Novak” and “Red Skelton”.
We try to visit our folks on Wednesdays at 5 minutes to “The Virginian”, (they have color television and we haven’t acquired one at this time). Thursdays, about a quarter to “Dr.Kildare”, I like to fix popcorn and soft drinks to spend a most enjoyable evening of relaxing with television.
Fridays bring evening grocery shopping. By 10 minutes to “Jack Paar” I’m ready to rest. Groceries are put away for another week.
On Saturday, of course, it’s family night with our kids staying up until almost “Saturday Night at the Movies” and then they must go to bed so they won’t be too tired to watch “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” on Sunday evening.
I thoroughly believe in letting the young ones watch special programs of such high quality.
You know, now that I think about it, it’s difficult to believe that there are people in this world who get so wrapped up in television viewing they scarcely ever use a clock.
I just cannot understand…
2019
I’m not sure my viewing schedule has changed too much.
I have many more choices. The television screen is larger. Programs are many and I have time alone. My children have grown to adulthood and have homes of their own. It’s up to me to choose how to spend the hours in my day.
At the age of eighty-four I realize I don’t have as much future time to “spend” as I had in 1964. With that in mind, I find myself very interested in the news, the state of the world, the government and music.
When all of the above has filled me with as many political reports as I can handle, I turn to “the music”.
Classic Country is my choice.
Current “country music” doesn’t hold an attraction for me. So I turn to Classic Country and find myself singing along with Ray, Loretta, Patti and Reba, the songs I remember. 
You know the ones I’m talking about. I enjoy listening to the Statler Brothers singing “Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott?”.
They say music is good for the soul and the body.
I’m in a good place.
(By the way, what did happen to Randolph Scott?)
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HE CARED ENOUGH TO SEND THE VERY BEST..

Knowledge of her presence has allowed us to face the seemingly insurmountable challenges of life…

IN THE BEGINNING…

Musings Newspaper Heading (1)

“When I was young”..hmm..how I dislike the phrase. I “am” as young as I think I am. So much for my feelings on the subject. When I was a young HOMEMAKER,  27 to be exact, I had an opportunity for two and a half years to write a column in our weekly newspaper.  (The Houghton Lake Resorter) The friendly editor was kind enough to give me a by-line, MUSINGS OF A HOMEMAKER.

The little picture at the top was always placed above  my weekly offerings.

 I wasn’t sure what a by-line was at the time. It was nice of him to offer it to me.  I was told I could write on any subject.  People were invited, by me, to share favorite recipes to be printed at the base of my column. It’s so much fun to look back on those articles realizing where my thinking was in my late twenties. The years were 1962-1964 and  a few in 1965 before I ended my newspaper career.

Perhaps you will enjoy reminiscing about my HOMEMAKER years with me. If you do, please let me know.

1964

He Cared Enough To Send The Very Best

One day each year is not often enough to proclaim the affection and love we hold

for the one whose apron strings we liked to be tied.

Mother!

We can never repay her, nor does she expect us to, for the hours of love, labor and devotion so happily bestowed upon our little heads.

How many times have childhood cares of monumental stature, been patiently reduced to a size easily handled with the love of our thoughtful and caring Mother?

“Mother is here.”

 Knowledge of her presence has allowed us to face the seemingly insurmountable challenges of life, growing up and learning to give. One day we will find a new and different kind of love.  Mother’s love will carry us through many more of life’s challenges and decisions.

From diapers to dates, it’s mother to whom we turn for loving advice.

  Marriage and family may renew our impressions of mother.  She always cared and always loved.  How did she manage?

Ever changing times have altered the role of motherhood.

  The mother who works outside the home still manages, loves, and cares for her family.

When all is said and done, whether or not she works inside or outside the home,

Mother finds a way to be there for us when needed.

Whether she is young and vigorous or silver haired and content,

she’s Mother and we’re pleased that when He sent our Mother,

He cared enough to send the very best.

Reminiscing

2018

I never saw her angry.  My mother was a pleasant woman, a nurse by profession. 

She cared as much for her patients as she did for her family.  I don’t remember ever hearing her talking about anyone in a negative way.  Everyone was her friend and to this day, many who remember her do so with love in their hearts.

Mother died thirty years ago.

Never a day goes by that I don’t think of something she said to me or shared with me.  She cared for my sister and me and our Dad just as she did her patients, with love.

When I was seventeen, our family moved away from the home in which I was raised. We settled in a town thirty miles away. (Houghton Lake, Michigan)  I was crushed. I had attended school from kindergarten through the eleventh grade in my home town. Now I wouldn’t be able to graduate from that same school with my friends and my memories.

Mother decided to seek employment as nurse in a doctor’s office in our former town. That allowed me to finish school and graduate from there. It didn’t impress me at the time, but my parents had to pay a tuition in order for me to continue my schooling there. I learned, in later years, the price was $200 for that year. (Calculating to $1,888 in 2018). Two hundred dollars doesn’t seem like much in these times, but calculating the difference in the value of money now,  it was quite a bit then.

Mother and I drove the miles back and forth every day until I ended my school years at graduation. The uninterrupted time we spent together in the car and the chance to visit with each other alone, offered a special opportunity to share which we would never have known.

The passing years now filled with memories will live forever.

We don’t often think about the hours of love and hope and caring which our mother shares with us.

I was truly blessed to have a mother like mine.

copyright©2018

 memoriesaremadefromthis.com

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. (John Lennon)

 

THIS OLD FARM FEELS LIKE A LONG LOST FRIEND..

It’s always good to be back home again.

Married four years in 1959, living on the lakeshore
with a toddler of three and an infant of six months,
we began to look for another,  safer, and perhaps more friendly place to live.

Safer was my thinking.Never having learned to swim, we were living on the lakefront,
 surrounded on three sides by water.
In addition to the lake at the front, there were deep canals to the north and west.

We had no preconceived idea about the style of home for which we were searching.
Looking at several locations, none seemed to be the answer.

Someone told us there was an old farm for sale nearby.
Perhaps we should check into that possibility.
Neither of us had been raised on a farm.

The idea of a farm was a bit of a stretch.

Approaching the owners, we learned the farm included twenty acres.
a cobblestone house and an old barn.  A local business had planted pine trees to later harvest for Christmas trees at both ends of the long and narrow property.

Checking it out, we found there was also an old garage, chicken coop, root cellar and corn crib.

We decided to take a look.
The old farmhouse had been built by the sons of the original owners in 1936.
We’ve always assumed that’s when it was constructed
since the date is embedded at the top of the 13 cement steps leading to the basement.

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Eventually we learned the barn had been built in 1917.
It was in need of painting along with other repairs
about which we hadn’t yet learned.

After our visit with the owners, we talked on our way home.
“Well, what do you think?” my husband asked.
“I liked it”, I said. “And you know what, I felt like I’d been there before”.
He responded, “So did I”.

It seemed this was where we were meant to be.

In 2019 we celebrate our 60th year of  life at Hidden Meadows Farm.

My husband and I were in retail businesses.
He owned and operated an Ace Hardware and Sporting Goods for 25 years.
I owned and operated a Hallmark Shop for 13 years.

During those years of involvement in retail businesses, we raised sheep for ten years.

A flock of 100 was ours
when we sold them in 1998.  At that time, since we both had retired from retail, we purchased a fifth-wheel and made plans to look around this great country in which we live.

Over the years, we’ve had goats, pigs and chickens. Our pasture afforded us the opportunity to have horses
for our sons and grandchildren.
We’ve also entertained ducks and geese and peacocks. (Or did they entertain us?)

Many wonderful dogs have graced our acreage,
including a St. Bernard , German Shepherd, and a Collie.  Several hunting dogs added greatly to the enjoyment of our sons.
Last but not least, we enjoy the one we have now, a Toy Poodle.
Yes, there were a few cats too. I seem to remember a rabbit living in the house for a time. But, that’s another story.

When we first arrived, there was an apple orchard
which has now been reduced to four trees.
(They have grown old even though we have not.)
We have two pear trees
still producing very, very small fruit.
This year, one tree produced two pears.
(It may be time to plant new trees.)
In the beginning of life on Hidden Meadows Farm, we had a small orchard of cherry trees.

There are enough maple trees surrounding the house and barn to hang ten or twelve sap buckets in early spring.
Many labor intensive hours have provided us
with wonderful maple syrup for the family. The hours of labor are, of course, provided by my husband.

The years of “Living The Life” which have been given to our family
at this wonderful homestead are indeed a treasure. 

When we were considering the purchase many years ago,
we asked my Dad, who was a carpenter by trade in his early years,
what he thought about the place.
He said, “There’s probably nothing that’s level or even.
It seems solid enough, though.
If I were you I wouldn’t put much money in it,
because you don’t know how long you’ll be living here.”

If he could only have known!

copyright©2018

Photography by Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com