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

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Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN

The county fire trucks were blowing their sirens
as they slowly drove along the parade route.
The driver in each truck waved happily to the crowds
as they passed by.

 MEMORIAL DAY

2015

MEMORIAL DAY in our town is a special occasion.

Standing beside the highway

we awaited the moment when the parade would come into view.

 It’s an exciting time for folks, young and old,

to celebrate the lives and service which many have given

for our country.

We could hear the high school band playing

several blocks away

as they announced their arrival.

We heard the foot tapping music of the parade,

God Bless America

and I’m Proud To Be An American.

 The county fire trucks were blowing their sirens

as they slowly drove along the parade route.

The driver in each truck waved happily to the crowds

as they passed by.

People dressed in clown suits walked on either side of the highway,

giving candy to the children

who were enjoying the fun.

Each and every road leading to the main highway

was blocked off by law enforcement

until the parade had passed.

This year, the highway near the library

was our place to watch the parade.

Next to us, a young Mother and her two little girls

waited excitedly for the moment when the American flag and the high school band 

would pass directly in front of them.

little girls watching clydes coming

I could hear the young woman softly advising her daughters

to stand on the curb until the parade was in view.

She told them,

“When the American flag passes by,

stand quietly with your right hand over your heart,

face the flag until it has passed.”

(And she showed them, which hand was the right hand,

and where one’s heart is located.)

She didn’t know I was listening, but I’m pleased that I was.

Through the years,

and especially the last few years,

I’ve found that certain moments can bring me to tears.

This was one of those moments.

I’m sad that we may have forgotten the need

to teach our young children

respect for other people,

our country’s flag, traditions and beliefs.

We’ve somehow overlooked the responsibility of passing these legacies

to the children of future generations.

The quiet young Mother and her little girls left a lasting impression on me.

MEMORIAL DAY

God Bless The USA

copyright©2017

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

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