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
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.
* * * * *
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
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?
When he was seventeen, our grandson entertained an interest in bull riding.
Yes, I said bull riding. We had taken him with us to several rodeos when he was very young.
It soon became apparent that his main interest was the activity in the bull pens. There was always a place to stand behind the spot where the contestants began their ride.
Always 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 this fairly unusual pursuit of the sport of bull-riding. Beginning in junior high school, his interest was maintained in many sports including wrestling, weight lifting and football, well known teen sports throughout 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, dedication brought results.
Although we planned to be at every bull riding event in which he participated, there was one in the northern part of our state we were unable to attend.
A surprise communication arrived…
Sometime after the event, a letter arrived for him from the sheriff in a northern Michigan community. The sheriff was asking our grandson to consider sending him an autographed picture.
In explanation, he wrote that he was working with 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, and 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. She 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 have been noticed by someone observing him at an event.
This time, a confused young girl was watching our grandson 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 indicating that he hoped 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 that someone is 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.
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, my older son left for school. And 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.)
Later, I was 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.
They are all televised, you know.
After exercising with “Ed Allen” I enjoyed my mid-morning coffee break with “Lucy”.
I turned off the television, turned on the radio. I set the tv timer so it would turn off when “Pete and Gladys” was over.”
My kindergarten son was off to afternoon session. The “CBS Mid-day News” had just finished. After lunch I took some time to watch my favorite serial.
“As The World Turns”
I’ve watched that great program nearly every day for the past eight years It’s only half an hour.
One could scarcely call that an addiction.
The kids get home from school 20 minutes after “The Secret Storm”.
That’s about 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 “Mr. Novak” and “Red Skelton”, but not by far. I need to leave a little early for my own bowling league at the local lanes.
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. But 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”.
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…
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.
“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), praying, (sometimes), but maybe not as often as I could or should. I have Already joined the church, sing songs in the church, give some of my money to the church.
I’ve been baptized.
Having Done all these things, does that 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)
there are times when I’m tired of being me, and tired of experiencing defeat. I’m tired of feeling guilty and alone, wondering 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” (Oswald Chambers) 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, and good to work against poverty even though the poor will always be with us.
This is true because a moral choice and moral actions reflecting God’s nature are good in themselves, whether or not they are successful.
Oswald 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 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)
my quest 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.
this is the beginning, not the end.
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. Nor are here to take part and to be a part in the building of Christ’s body, the church. now, 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, which we’ve known since childhood. the results of both obedience and disobedience were taught from an early age.. We are familiar with the rules and regulations of the highway, the state, and the country, knowing 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, abiding in us, will lead us through the discourses of today as well as the meanings 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.”(The Message)
“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.”(The Message)
“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.”(The Message)
“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.”(The Message)
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.” (The Message)
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,
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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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, and darkness hid the two from sight”
He worked at walking.
Stumbling, weaving, tumbling, falling…and
Each night at dusk he headed home, deaf to traffic sounds.
Sometimes reeling into a roadside ditch, he would lie upon the ground in bleak half-conscious stupor.
With effort, he would crawl laboriously to the ditch’s edge, then work at walking once again.
The man continued through his nightly ritual.
Someone approached the sodden hulk and bending down, they knelt beside the fallen man. With steady arms, they began the rescue.
The person was not a hero. And I was a bystander. Though years have passed, the vivid scene remains.
Whose life is changed when a journey reaches a crossroad? When is a path interrupted by a chance encounter? Could it be the rescuer? Perhaps it was a friend? Maybe it was me as I watched this scene unfold.
What are you thinking now?
Night fell and darkness hid the two from my sight.
Many years have passed since this incident took place.
While my husband and I were standing at our living room window, we saw a man walking along the distant road.
The man lived nearby in a broken down house.
And each day he walked two miles
to a neighborhood bar
where he spent the entire day.
We didn’t usually see him traveling on the morning journey to his destination. Nor did we see him when he was going home at the end of the day.
But this time
we saw him walking toward 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. Again, 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.
He stopped 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 him into the cab of the truck, but the man protested.
“I’m not clean enough to sit in your truck. Help me into the back. I’ll ride home there.”
As I watched this scene unfold 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 and maybe it has changed you.
At this stage of life it has become clear to me that we all need to be rescued.
Our Friend is on His way.
In later years, as we discussed the incident some 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 for many of the soldiers.
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?
I don’t remember what it was I said that day. I must confess, from a very young age I was prone to say things without thinking. Whatever it was, it offended her. I was banished from the County Farm for a year when I was twelve.
What a wonderful lady! Mrs. Kelly and her husband and family came to be caretakers of the farm across the street from my childhood home.
The ironing will be much easier if all the clothes are hung on one clothesline. Install your clothes posts so you will receive a strong West wind. When your clothes are dry, you can sprinkle them with a garden hose all at the same time. As you remove them from the clothesline, roll each one up in preparation for later ironing. If you cannot iron within a day or two, place them in the freezer
I was young when the Kelly family came to live in our neighborhood. I adored the majestic old buildings easily seen from our front yard. The house was a very large, very old two-story building in which elderly folks who couldn’t afford a home came to live.
Some townspeople called it the Poor Farm. But to me, it was never poor. It always displayed a dignity which deserved the regal title, “County Farm”.
It looked impressive to me..
When I was very young and began my visits to the Farm, there were seven people living there. A section of the large house was set aside for their comfort. Mrs.Kelly cooked the meals for the residents. One of the more able ladies, whose name was “Rilla”, helped with the table settings on the long dinner table in their special dining room.
Rilla always turned the plates at each place upside down when setting the table before each meal. First the plate, then the cup was placed upside down on top of the plate. Mother wasn’t happy when I tried to set the table at home in the same style. It seemed quite picturesque to me. I could never understand Mother’s disdain for it.
On the front side of the house, which I passed on my way to visit Mrs. Kelly, there was a porch. The older ladies often sat there in rocking chairs, watching the world (and me) go by.
On one such occasion, I noticed one lady had a newspaper spread out across her stomach as she sat quietly in her chair. I asked her why she had the paper placed there and she said, “It’s to keep my bowels warm.” Now that’s a remedy I would never have thought of on my own.
Getting to know the folks next door..
The Kelly family had a grown son and daughter pursuing careers in far off parts of the country. Their youngest daughter, Jeanne, still lived at home and was soon to graduate from high school.
I don’t remember what it was I said one day, I must confess. But from a very young age, I was prone to say things without thinking. Whatever it was I said, it offended Mrs. Kelly. I was banished from visits to the farm for a year when I was twelve.
It was to be a lifelong lesson. Be careful what you say. Be aware, if you can, of how the other person may be receiving your words. For the next year I didn’t follow my favorite path to the County Farm. At thirteen, I ventured a return. No ill feelings were shown toward me by Mrs. Kelly. Our friendship continued.
I loved to watch her cook..
Many times, I watched Mrs. Kelly kneading a very large pan of dough in the County Farm kitchen.
Her homemade bread was wonderful. I now bake my own bread and would never be able to knead such an enormous amount of dough at one time. My recipe dictates kneading the dough for ten minutes. I’m sometimes able to stay with it until five minutes have passed. ( Mrs. Kelly would no doubt suggest to me that the bread would be finer if I followed directions.)
When visiting at just the right time, the aroma of her baking bread greeted me near the kitchen door. Not far behind me, there were bread customers waiting to purchase a wonderful loaf of Mrs. Kelly’s homemade bread. As I recall, she charged $1.00 a loaf.
Mrs. Kelly’s long gray hair was always braided and carefully wrapped around her head. She never walked anywhere slowly. Always on the move, she hurried to get things done. The kitchen and her family’s living quarters were always neat. The dishes were done; everything in place. In the pantry next to the kitchen,always sat a basket of eggs waiting for customers who wished to purchase the freshest eggs in town. Sometimes, Mrs. Kelly allowed me to go the chicken coop with her to gather the eggs. I loved it.
I once observed Mrs. Kelly preparing a bountiful meal for the eight men who had come to help Mr. Kelly with the threshing. Never have I seen nor smelled such a wonderful array of food. I remember the table and men filling their plates again and again. No one ever left Mrs. Kelly’s dinner table hungry.
As years went by, Mrs. Kelly and I became closer friends.
There were many opportunities to visit..
When I graduated from high school near the top of my class, as had her own son and daughters, Mrs. Kelly invited me into the room where graduation pictures of her children were displayed on an old upright piano. She was very proud of her children. She had displayed my graduation picture next to those of her children. This was her way of showing how much she cared for me and was proud of my achievements too. There couldn’t have been any clearer proof.
After high school, I became employed in the same town in which I had grown to adulthood. Mr. & Mrs. Kelly still lived at the County Farm. Arranging to arrive for work a half-hour early, I could spend time visiting with Mrs. Kelly in the County Farm kitchen. She was often baking bread for her special customers. The aroma of those wonderful baking loaves greeted me as I left my car to approach the kitchen door.
Time moved on..as usual..
A few years later, I married and moved to a neighboring town. Opportunities to visit Mrs. Kelly were few. I often felt lonely and sad without friends I’d left behind in my home town. It was easy, as always, to share my feelings with Mrs. Kelly. She offered me the understanding of a caring friend.
After the birth of our first child in the hospital in my former home town, Mrs. Kelly came to visit me. That is the only occasion on which I ever saw Mrs. Kelly outside the walls of her home at the County Farm.
Putting her hand on my arm as she stood near my bed, she said; “Now you’ll never be lonely again.” I needed to hear that.
Time passed once more.
One day, while I was visiting in my former hometown, I decided to go to spend time with Mrs. Kelly.
She wasn’t home. I was told she was in the hospital.
Going directly to the hospital, I sat down in the waiting room.
Mr. Kelly came through the inner door. He was crying. I was informed by the nurse, Mrs. Kelly had suddenly gone into cardiac arrest, and died.
Our times together had ended, but as you can see, my memories of Mrs. Kelly remain in my heart.
Knowledge of her presence has allowed us to face the seemingly insurmountable challenges of life…
IN THE BEGINNING…
“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 of this page 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. He told me I could write on any subject. People were invited, by me, to share favorite recipes to be printed at the base of each 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.
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.
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.
But 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.
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.
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.
My 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, 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.
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? That was my way of thinking.
I’ve never learned to swim. And 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 regarding 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 look into that possibility.
Neither of us had been raised on a farm. So, the idea of buying 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, a 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.
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 2020 we are celebrating our 61st year of living 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 also 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 were, 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.”