LITTLE BOY TRUCKS..BIG BOY MEMORIES…

IMG_0039Days of fun in sand and snow;

 Cherished childhood toys.

Imaginary roads to grade…

Fun for little boys.

Found beneath the Christmas tree

Or as a birthday present,

Making Christmas merry…

 Hours of play more pleasant.

Now safely resting on a shelf,

Bright colors on display,

Grown construction engineers

Enjoy them still, today.

God bless the men who build the roads

And make our highways last.

  Who’s to say the yellow trucks

Are now things of the past?

Sons and daughters, grand-kids too,

Can see the love that shows

When Grandpa shares his Tonka toys

With thoughts of long ago.

 

Memories Are Made From This…

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

[email protected]

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 

 

 

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!))

MEMORY FIXER UPPER

Persistence pays..

Think about it!

No comment…

Listening closely to commercials, occasionally gives me food for thought, but not often.

I need to hear one many times before the substance finally sinks into my thoughts.

Today, this commercial got my undivided attention.

Apparently, a certain pill “can” help to make old folks, like me, remember things better. It is highly recommended by “pharmacists”. Did you get that?

PHARMACISTS.

Of course it is!

No comment was given by the medical society. No comment given by those who may have used it and remembered where they left their glasses. No comment by old friends who suddenly remembered the name of their kindergarten teacher in 1940. No comment was offered by my former neighbor who recommended it to me but couldn’t remember the name on the bottle she kept in her cupboard.

( Actually, she couldn’t remember which cupboard she kept it in either.)

I certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from taking this remarkable antidote (or is it anecdote?) regarding loss of memory brought on by the aging process.

Now, what was I saying?

No comment!

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

[email protected]

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”.

[email protected]

Photos By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 

https://thatremindsme.blog

DRUNKS OR HEROES?

My husband and I were standing at our living room window, watching a man walking down the distant road. The man lived nearby in a broken down house.  Every day he walked two miles to a neighborhood bar where he spent his time.

 

“Night fell, darkness hid the two from sight”

He worked at walking.

Stumbling, weaving, tumbling, falling…

Each night at dusk he headed home, deaf to traffic sounds.

 Reeling into roadside ditch, he lay upon the ground in bleak half-conscious stupor.

With effort, he crawled laboriously to the ditch’s edge, then worked at walking once again.  The man continued through his nightly ritual.

 A friend approached the sodden hulk;  bending down, he knelt beside the fallen man.  With steady arms, the friend began THE RESCUE.

 The friend was not a hero.  I was a bystander.  Though years have passed, the vivid scene remains.

 Whose life was changed?  Whose journey reached a crossroad?  Whose path was interrupted by a chance encounter?  Was it the man?  Was it the friend?  Was it me?

 What are you thinking now?

 Night fell. Darkness hid the two from sight.

 THE RESCUE had begun.

 [email protected]

 * * * * * * * *

Many years have passed since this incident took place.

 My husband and I were standing at our living room window, watching a man walking down the distant road. The man lived nearby in a broken down house.  Each day he walked two miles to a neighborhood bar where he spent his time.

 We didn’t usually see him traveling on the way to his daily destination. Nor did we see him when he was going home.  But this day, we saw him walking home.  As we watched, he staggered and stumbled, falling into the deep ditch beside the road.

For moments he was out of our sight.  Then, we saw him crawling out of the ditch and struggling to his feet.  Walking a few steps, he fell once more. Once more, he crawled up the side of the ditch on his hands and knees and attempted to stand.

 I became aware my husband had left my side. Now, in his truck, he was driving down our driveway toward the distant road.  I saw him stop at the place where the man was lying beside the ditch. Getting out of his truck, he approached the figure.

 Taking him by the arm, he helped the man to his feet.

 My husband later told me he intended to help the man into the cab of the truck, but he protested.  “I’m not clean enough to sit in your truck.  Help me into the back.  I’ll ride home there.”

 As this scene unfolded before my eyes, I was surely not aware it would be in my memory and my heart many years later.

 How many of us, including me, would leave the comfort of our own home to help a drunken, smelly man get safely to his home?

 This was a view of my husband about which I wasn’t aware.  Yes, he was kind, gentle and caring.  The scene I watched was more than that.

 The experience changed me.  Maybe it has changed you.

 At this stage of life it has become clear to me, we all need to be rescued.

Our Friend is on His way.

————–

 In later years, as we discussed the incident, facts revealed themselves about the man who was rescued.

 He was a veteran from World War 2.

 As years have passed, we’ve become aware of the experiences our soldiers endured during that time of war. 

They were too  horrible to remember.

 We now call it PTSD.

 It has been found, for some of the veterans, it is easier to drink away the memories than to relive them in their minds.

 In our village, there were three World War 2 veterans who spent their days at the same local bar.  The world called them drunks. Should we call them heroes?

 How do you feel about it?

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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A GIFT TO BE SHARED

Ann was healed and she was in heaven!
The Holy Spirit was giving to me the knowledge of her healing.
I received the confirmation of her new life 
as a gift.
It is a gift I will remember and cherish all the days of my life.

 
 
 

Remembering  Ann

A gift to  cherish….

Ann lived a short distance from our house.  
 She and her husband moved to the neighborhood
 from the southern part of the state 
where she had worked in a factory and he had been employed
 as a heavy equipment operator.
 Now retired, they spent their time caring for their home.
 They had no children and were deeply devoted to each other.

Plain looking and soft spoken,
 Ann had the proverbial heart of gold. 
Her graying hair was not stylishly fixed
 in the fashion of the day.

 

Each year she raised a beautiful circular flower garden 
with a birdbath in the center
 surrounded by colorful flowers.
The garden prospered under Ann’s tender care.

 

Ann and her husband were always nearby,  lending a helping hand
 when one was needed. 
 Appearing on a summer’s evening to visit for a time,
 there was always encouragement for us in planning our young lives,
 with an offer to help in any way they could.

 

Ann unwittingly helped me to acquire a taste for sauerkraut. 
I could never abide the bitter taste no matter how I tried. 
 One day, I stopped by her house. 
The wonderful aroma in her kitchen caused me to inquire
 about what she was cooking.
 Her answer was sauerkraut. 
I shared with her my utter dislike for it.
Ann suggested I should add brown sugar 
and a couple of quartered apples to the sauerkraut as it cooked.
 What a difference that combination made.

 

Perhaps there’s a lesson here. 
It may be the LACK of seasoning that causes bitterness
But the ADDITION of something sweet
 changes bitterness to joy
 and gives us a new appetite for life.

 

One day I was told Ann was in the hospital for stomach surgery.
 The results were not good. 
She had cancer and nothing could be done.

 

Ann came home to spend her remaining days
 in her own bed in her own home,
 surrounded by things and people she loved.
 By this time, Ann was in her late sixties.

 

Life for me, at that time, 
had been completely turned around
 by the joy and knowledge of the Holy Spirit. 

The Bible was exciting. 
Scripture was leaping off the pages of the Bible, to me,
 as it had never done before.  
I prayed incessantly for Ann’s healing. 
 I had faith and prayed for more faith 
and more understanding 
and always
 for the complete healing of Ann’s body.

 

Time passed and healing was not evident.
 I searched scripture for more information.
  There were many passages for guidance.
 1Thess.5: 27 “pray without ceasing”.

 

The disciples asked Jesus
 why they had not had a healing for someone
 by praying for them.
 Jesus responded; Matthew 17:21 
“this kind does not go out
 except by prayer and fasting.”
Further (in Mark) it is noted He said to them.,
“This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting”.

 

For the first and only time in my life, I fasted.
 I prayed without ceasing for 24 hours. 
The fasting directed my complete attention to the prayer,
 to Ann, 
and to the Spirit of God.

I was confident that Ann would be healed. 
She was not.
 A few weeks later, Ann died. 

I questioned God, my faith, and myself.

Ann was a devout Catholic.
 Her funeral was held in the local Catholic Church.
 Our family sat in the back of the church 
quietly observing the unfamiliar funeral rituals.

 

I was sad for the loss of my friend, Ann. 
The words of the service fell on closed ears and a heavy heart.

Suddenly I was amazed.
  I felt a great feeling of joy welling up within me.
 I was overwhelmed with the knowledge being given to me. 
 Ann was healed.
 She was in heaven.
 The promises of God were fulfilled. 
“I go to prepare a place for you. Where I am you will be also.”

 

Ann was healed and she was in heaven!

The Holy Spirit was giving to me the knowledge of her healing.

I received the confirmation of her new life 
as a gift.

It is a gift I will remember and cherish all the days of my life.

 

A Gift To Be Shared

One treasures the people in life who made a difference 
in the way we lived then and now.

I would not have identified Ann as such an important person,
 until my experience at the time of her death.

 

I now believe that God called me to Ann’s friendship
 so He could show me

His Way.

It’s hard to explain my experience the day of Ann’s funeral.

The feeling was instant, intense and oh so joyful.

I’ve shared my feelings of the experience
 with friends and family.
There is no way to convey 
the intensity of the joy I felt 
as I sat quietly in the back row of an unfamiliar church 
during an equally unfamiliar funeral service. 

 Maybe that was part of God’s plan too.

 

Belief in Ann’s healing 
and belief in life after life
 in a perfect state of being
 will never change for me.

 

It truly is A GIFT TO BE SHARED

 

copyright©2017

Photograph By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com