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

ANGELS CAME IN A SONG

It was the perfect message in a time of sadness.

The gymnasium was filled to capacity when we arrived. Two large blocks of chairs, with an aisle between, faced the lonely casket.

Chairs were filled with friends and family. It seemed best, for us, to sit in the bleachers.

Row upon row of floral arrangements had been placed on tiered shelving, occupying an area the length of the gym. Local florists had been asked to stop delivering orders since there was no more space for display.

Moments before the appointed hour of the service, a group of young men began to arrive. Neatly groomed in white shirts and jeans, carrying their hats, the young rodeo men quietly took their seats near the back of the congregation.

His name and date of birth were printed on the program. Nineteen short years on earth and today we were mourning his passing.

Riding chaps lay draped over the casket. A large painting of the deceased was placed at the side.

Travis was a rodeo man.

On his way to Alabama to compete in his specialties of Team Roping and Saddle Bronc riding, he was tragically killed while driving through the state of Kentucky.

Tired and excited about the next event, he asked his friend to drive while he rested his head against the back of the seat. As he slept they came upon an 18-wheeler parked on the side of the road. Too late to react, their truck veered off the road and lodged underneath the semi.

The friend survived the crash. Travis did not.

I am usually in control of my emotions at funerals. My husband and grandson were attending this sad occasion with me. Our grandson was, at that time, a bull rider in the rodeo circuit. Knowing the potential for injury and death, our love and concern for him and for these young men was strong.

For them, the excitement and the challenge outweigh the potential danger.

I was determined to control my emotions.

Near the end of the service, the Dad and Mom of the young man quietly approached the casket. A song I’d never heard before, was played through the sound system.

It was the perfect message in a time of sadness. There are angels among us. I hope you take the time to listen to this song.

Angels Among Us by Alabama

[email protected]

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

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?)
[email protected]
 

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ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE..

“What this adds up to, then, is this.  No more lies, no more pretense.  Tell your neighbor the truth.  In Christ’s body we are all connected to each other, after all.  When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.”

All Things Are Possible

“What this adds up to, then, is this.  No more lies, no more pretense.  Tell your neighbor the truth.  In Christ’s body we are all connected to each other, after all.  When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.”

“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.”(The Message)

The question is, am I a part of the body of Christ?

 I attend church (somewhat regularly). I pray, (sometimes), but maybe not as often as I could or should.  I joined the church, sing songs in the church, give some of my money to the church.  I’ve been baptized.  Do these things I have done make me a part of the body of Christ?

 Are my sins forgiven?  How do I know if I have the Holy Spirit?

 These were the questions the gathered brothers asked Peter in the book of Acts.2:37.  So now what do we do?  

Peter said, “Change your life.  Turn to God and be baptized.  Do this each of you in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven.  Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is targeted to you and your children. (The Message)

I admit there are times when I’m tired of being me.  I’m tired of experiencing defeat.  I’m tired of feeling guilty and alone.  I wonder if I’ll ever reach the point of trusting Jesus Christ so much that I want Him to take control of me?  Am I ready to live that kind of life?  

If I am ready, what happens then?

My Utmost For His Highest says this “I must know Jesus Christ as my lord and Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me.  Other than that (it’s just) a lofty ideal which only leads to despair.  But when I am born again by the Holy Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come only to teach.  He came to make me what he teaches me to be. Jesus says…”Then you’re in a wonderful place, let me show you how it’s done”.  

 It is good to work against racism even if one should fail.  It’s good to work against poverty even though the poor will always be with us.  This is so because a moral choice and moral actions reflecting God’s nature are good in themselves, whether or not they are successful.

 Chambers tells us this; “No one can make himself pure by obeying laws.  Jesus Christ does not give us rules and regulations.  He gives us His teachings, which are truths that can only be interpreted by His nature, which He places within us.  This comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.” Chambers continues; “The great wonder of Jesus Christ’s salvation is that He changes our heredity.  he does not change our human nature.  He changes its source.  He doesn’t change our natural instincts.  He replaces them. Our new instincts come from Him.  And with these new instincts He changes our motives as well.” (My Utmost For His Highest)

 When we’ve accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the source becomes the Holy Spirit within us.

 Chambers continues;Beware of thinking of our Lord as only a teacher.  If Jesus Christ is only a teacher, then all He can do is frustrate me by setting a standard before me I cannot attain.  What is the point of presenting me with such a lofty ideal if I cannot possible come close to reaching it? (My Utmost For His Highest)

 The answer is, I must commit my life to Him and receive His Spirit.

Chambers reminds us;

There is only one master of the human heart.

 God.  Not religion.”

 Have we ever considered the business of being religious might get in our way of having a relationship with God?  In a way, religion can become our God.  Who or perhaps what, is the master of my heart?”

 In Matthew 6:24, Jesus reminded us of this;

“You cannot serve two gods at once.  Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other”. (The Message)

 This isn’t the end of my quest.  It doesn’t end with asking Jesus Christ to become my own personal Lord and Savior.  It doesn’t end with the repenting of my sins and the committing of my life to Christ.  

It doesn’t end at all.  It begins.

 Who, or perhaps what, is the master of my heart?  So what’s the point?

 We have not arrived at this place solely to develop a spiritual life of our own. We are here to take part and to be a part in the building of Christ’s body, the church.  We are joined to one another in Him.  As the scripture reminds us, we are all connected to each other.

 One step at a time and one day at a time, God reveals to us His purpose for each of us in His Body.  Absolute obedience to His spirit is required.  We are to be used to complete His plan, His purpose, and not our own.  In the process, the fruits of our obedience will be revealed within his perfect plan.

 God has given us free will.  We can choose to be obedient or we can choose to follow our own inclinations and desires.

In effect, we can choose to be our own God.

 In Mark 8, Jesus says; ” Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.  You’re not in the driver’s seat, I am.  What good would it do to get everything you want and lose (yourself), the real you?  What could you ever trade your soul for?” (The Message)

We are quite familiar with the concept of obedience.  We’ve known since childhood the results of both obedience and disobedience.  We are familiar with the rules and regulations of the highway, the state, and the country.  We know the price to be paid for disobedience to those rules and regulations.  In America, we are free to challenge our government’s laws.

 We can appeal the decisions of the courts when we disagree with their judgements.  Sometimes we can get a law changed. We can question the meaning of our laws and hire an attorney to argue our position for us if necessary.

 It is the duty of the Court to interpret the meaning of the laws which the founders had in mind when they penned the Constitution of the United States.

 Currently there are many questions revolving around our government’s constitution and its original intent.

 Was the United States of America founded on Christian principles? Were the writers of the constitution Christians?  Was the United States of America founded as a Christian state?  If it was, does that mean all other religions were to  be excluded?

I suggest to you the Holy Spirit, which abides in us, will lead us through the discourses of today as well as the discourses of the scriptures.

 The Bible is a living book with revelations of life on every page waiting for us to discover its meanings to us and to our world.  The Spirit is our guide.

 The sermon on the mount dealt with all aspects of living the Christian life.  Among them were being and doing.

Matthew 7: (The Message)  “Don’t look for shortcuts to God.  The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time.” “Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do…..The way of life to God is vigorous and requires total attention.” “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity.  Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other.  Don’t be impressed with charisma, look for character.  Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say.  A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook.”

 “These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.  Knowing the correct password and saying Master Master, for instance, isn’t going to get you anywhere with God.  What is required is serious obedience, doing what my Father wills.”

 “I can see it now at the final judgment.  Thousands will be strutting up to me and saying, Master we preached the message, we bashed the demons, our God sponsored projects had everyone talking.  And do you know what I am going to say?  You missed the boat.  All you did was use me to make yourselves important.  You don’t impress me one bit.”

 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life.  They are not homeowner improvements to your standard of living.  You’re out of here.  These are foundational words to build a life on.”

  “If you work these words into your life, you’re like a smart carpenter who built his house on a solid Rock.  Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit.  But nothing moved that house.  It was fixed to the rock.  But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach.  When a storm rolled in and the waves came up it collapsed like a house of cards.”

 Continuing Matthew 5:33-37 (The Message)..

“And don’t say anything you don’t mean.  This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions.  You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying “I’ll pray for you,” and never doing it.  Or saying, “God be with you” and not meaning it.”

  You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace.  In making your speech sound more religious it becomes less true.  When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.”

 And again in Matthew: (The Message)
 “Be especially careful when you’re trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it.  It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.  And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either.  All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, are hoping for stardom.” (The Message)
 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.  If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?  You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.  Here’s another way to put it.  You’re here to be light, bringing out the God colors in the world.  God is not a secret to be kept.”  (The Message)

You and I are here to BE the body of Christ.

 John Wesley put it quite simply, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

  Watching what God does and trying to do the same is a full time endeavor.  Through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, through the church the body of Christ,

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

Photography By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

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____________________________________________________________________________________________

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE, by Eugene H. Peterson-The Bible in contemporary language.

Copyright 1993, 1994,1995,1996,2000,2001,2002 – “Used by permission of NavPress Publishing group”

Eugene Peterson is a longtime pastor and teacher, and the guy who paraphrased this Bible from Greek and Hebrew (The languages in which the Bible was originally written) into contemporary language that sounds a lot like the language that we use on a daily basis.
MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST by Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)-First published in 1935. Copyright renewed 1963

This can happen when you’re in the driver’s seat…

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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?

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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

HE'S WAITING FOR YOU

Today, the television brings the world into my living room.
The good news, the bad news and news that isn’t news at all
invades my life
every day. 

(That night, Paul had a dream. A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea. “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map…we knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.)    Acts 16.9( The Message )

The world of Paul seems far from mine.

Today, the television brings the world into my living room.

The good news, the bad news and news that isn’t news at all

invades my life

every day. 

Paul believed God was sending him to preach in Macedonia.

God was calling him.

The planet earth can now be seen from cameras on a satellite

revolving through space. 

Through the lens of a camera

carried by a robot,

I can watch as the moon is explored.

With a computer,

a phone line, a connection to the Internet,

I can visit with someone who lives in France or Greece,

send them a picture of myself,

communicate with them.

I will never meet them.

However, it is possible to maintain a friendship with these persons

in far off lands.

One may inhabit an operating room in Australia

through a camera fixed in position

as a human heart is removed,

repaired and replaced

in fine condition,

into the body of a man

who’s name we will never know.

Why would we pay any attention to a dream or a vision

when life in the 21st century

has so much to offer?

As a child I was warned,

“Don’t let your imagination run away with you.”

Learn to be sensible and realistic.

 “Keep your feet on the ground”.

Could the God of the Bible become a real part of my life?

The Apostle Paul believed the Holy Spirit could speak to him
through Paul’s own affliction,
his thorn in the flesh.
That was Paul, not me.
Then God’s message began to come to me 
through the timely witness of a friend,
the words of a song,
a recommended book,
an inner urge
to learn and experience
this thing call Christianity.
There were new opportunities to serve Him in the church.
There were continuing revelations of an elusive “something more”.
The God of the universe became personal to me.
The good news is that He cares for me. 
He knows my name and all about my life. 
He knows my deepest and most private thoughts.
He knows the unspoken desires of my heart.
In John 5:1-9 (The Message)
“While Jesus was visiting Jerusalem for one of the Jewish religious holidays,
He came to the Sheep Gate near the Bethesda Pool.
It was here where crowds of sick people waited for a miraculous healing
by entering the stirring waters of the pool. 
One of the men by the pool, who had been sick for 38 years,
came into Jesus’ view. 
Jesus asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
 What an interesting question for Jesus to ask the man. 
Hadn’t he been coming to this pool every day
in order to be made whole? 
He had been crippled for 38 years;
of course he wanted to be healed.
The man responded that he couldn’t be healed
since he had no one to help him into the pool.
He believed that it was the fault of his friends
who hadn’t helped him,
that he had been unable to be healed.
Jesus said to the man,
“Stand up, roll up you’re sleeping mat and go home.”
Instantly the man was healed.
The word of God became personal and real to him.

The moment comes

when it’s time to move

from where I am

to where He wants me to be.

The Holy Spirit speaks to me in my condition

while living in my home, my church and my world. 

The move must be made unassisted.

Are you where He wants you to be? 

Have you experienced the vision?

Is the Holy Spirit using a time in your life

to call you to witness for Him?

Have you heard the message from God?

You there,

get up, pick up your sleeping mat.

Step into the stirring, healing waters of life

in Jesus Christ.

HE’S WAITING FOR YOU

It was a time when I felt that God was calling me to share.

I studied and became a lay speaker

in our United Methodist Church.

The meaning of the scripture became steadily clear.

I wanted to share my personal walk.

I want to invite others to travel with me.

Searching for meaning,

He showed me The Way.

He really does know me!

Copyright©2018

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com