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 always a special occasion. When I was young, we called it Decoration Day, but be that as it was, we still decorate…and remember.

 

Standing beside the highway

we always wait patiently for the moment when the parade comes 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 can’t see them yet, but our ears tell us the high school band is playing

several blocks away

as they announce their arrival.

 

Today the foot tapping music of the parade is

“God Bless America” (thanks to Kate Smith)

and “I’m Proud To Be An American”  (thanks to Lee Greenwood).

 The county fire trucks are blowing their sirens

as they slowly drive along the parade route.

The driver in each truck waves happily to the crowds

as he passes by.

 

  Here come the clowns.

 

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

giving candy to the children

who are enjoying the fun.

 

Each and every road leading to the main highway

is blocked off by law enforcement

until the parade has passed.

This year, the highway near the library

is our place to watch the parade.

 

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

who are waiting excitedly for the American flag and the high school band 

to 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 through the open window in my car. 

 

I’m pleased that I was.

 

Through the years,

and especially the last few years,

 certain moments can bring me to tears.

This was one of those moments.

 

I’m sad that many have forgotten 

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.

I hope you’ll take a moment to share it with me.

MEMORIAL DAY

God Bless The USA

copyright©2017

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 

 

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

 

 

 

FINDING The THREAD

In memory,
a THREAD begins to reveal itself.
Ahead are endless, unplanned days.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.

FINDING THE THREAD

 

In memory,

a THREAD begins to reveal itself.

Ahead are endless, unplanned days.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

“You have to have a plan,” I told everyone.

But where is my plan?

If I could see ahead just a little,

maybe I could unravel the thread.

Walking into the spare bedroom this morning

to raise the shades,

the view turned from dark

to sunshine.

A scene exploded in memory.

I could see my father lying on the bed we borrowed

from Hospice.

We’d moved the regular bed from the room.

I wanted his last days

to be spent with a view of our peaceful world;

the trees,

our flock of sheep,

the horses in the pasture.

As long as he was able,

he rested on his side

watching them.

I hope he loved the quiet scene.

Fall yard

The Lord is my Shepherd…

He makes me to lay down in green pastures. 

He restores my soul”.

I hope my Father’s soul was restored.

He knew what he was facing.

He wouldn’t talk to us about it;

 his way of dealing

with the impending transition.

We visited with Dad,

as did many friends,

in those last few days.

We could only face the situation

by continuing our daily routines.

He did his best

to honor our game.

Dad didn’t retire

until the age of sixty-nine.

It seemed like a grand old age in those years.

Now it seems rather young to me.

He always had a plan,

a routine,

an interest, and a goal.

He was disciplined,

determined,

loving and reliable,

 committed to his family.

What about me?

There are many questions,

 not many answers.

I want my life to count for something.

 Have I stopped counting?

What will happen to the generations

who have not had the parenting or the communities

in which my generation was privileged to live?

What happens in the single parent family

when the parental balance

does not exist?

What happens to the marriage,

with no plans for commitment? I believe we have the answer to that question.

What happens to adults who weren’t raised

with a Dad and Mother like mine who encouraged us?

The last two generations have given us a preview.

The media has become the parent of many young people today.

Is the media making their moral judgments? Is it making our moral judgments?

Everyone is doing it, so why shouldn’t I?

Blame can always be affixed to someone,

somewhere,

somehow.

By what moral standards does this new generation make its’ decisions?

There is a new intensity in my nightly prayers.

 He is much closer.

 My time to see Him face to face

is much nearer than before.

I see THE THREAD

[email protected]

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

VIEW FROM MY PORCH SWING

The View From My Porch Swing

1996

Through the years I’ve watched our trees that never seem to change.

Across the road,

where once our sons and neighbor children came to play

on stubby fields of meadow grass,

there grow trees and underbrush

so high

no pathways show.

Even now,

those boys and girls seem ever young.

My thoughts are filled with

visions of them playing there.

Hidden there midst oak and pine,

in memory,

there lies an open meadow.
Joyful youth played games

on long, 
hot summer  days

in full pursuit of life.

Those days and sights and sounds of living

never left my inner soul.
 Returning to this quiet place,
 from the porch swing

I relive those treasured days

of years gone by.

Gently swinging,

deep in thought,

MEMORIES return.
 I recall each day with love.

The day begins at summer’s dawn

and ends
 with muffled, evening sounds.

Nothing troubles,

thoughts abound, peace is found.

2019

Now sixty short years have passed

and MEMORIES remain.

Our porch is now a deck.
 The swing remains a “porch swing.” 
“Deck swing” somehow cannot recall 
those precious times

of years gone by.

Three sons have grown to men.

 Two grandchildren have added to the enjoyment

of this peaceful homestead.

The barn is now one hundred-two years old.

The house is eighty-three.
 In addition to our three boys and two grandchildren,
 this homestead

has entertained many animals and pets and gardens. (Or did they entertain us?)

The neighbor kids have grown. 
They now have children and grandchildren of their own.

Our son, Tim, died five years ago. 
Even so,

family love and CHERISHED MEMORIES

will never change.

Tim

The porch swing now provides a peaceful place
 to remember

all the times of joy and sadness.

 We were sitting on the porch swing 
when the news of my Father’s death

came to us.

 We gathered here as a family
 to enjoy the wedding receptions of our sons,
 and to celebrate
 their high-school graduations.

We’ve entertained our friends at church picnics.

We celebrated birthday parties.
 Friends of our grown children 
have come to share an occasional Sunday afternoon

MEMORIES are many,

from our porch swing.

My Husband, Don…1930-2017

And Laddie…

copyright©2018
Photography By Mary Anne Tuck
memoriesaremadefromthis.com
Prime Pantry $3 bounty

ALIVE AND IN STEP

Walking is good for me. 
It’s good for my body and my soul. 
A clear mind,
ears that hear the smallest bird that sings,
 legs that strengthen as I increase the distance. 
ears that hear the smallest bird that sings,
 legs that strengthen as I increase the distance. 

ALIVE AND IN STEP

Galatians 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in STEP with the Spirit. (NIV)

Walking is good for me.  It’s good for my body and my soul.  A clear mind, ears that hear the smallest bird that sings, legs that strengthen as I increase the distance.

The wild turkeys hide from me.  They comb the populated neighborhood through which I walk, yet quickly hide from my approaching footsteps.

The little bird who’s voice is heard from the tallest tree, cannot be seen among the leaves.  Yet, his song is clear.  His song belies his size.

My mind is active as I walk and ponder unsolved problems.  Bits of conversation and snippets of once learned lyrics skip through my thoughts.

I feel ALIVE AND IN STEP with the Spirit.

Prayer:  Lord, let me walk with you every day.

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com