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FIRST AMENDMENT..Followed by second, third..You know the routine…

The following article, by me, was printed in the Houghton Lake Resorter weekly newspaper in Houghton Lake, Michigan..The “byline” as shown above was chosen for me by the editor of the paper, Bob Hamp. I must admit, I didn’t know what a “byline” was at that time. (But now, I do.)

In case you may have kept a copy of this article, I have edited a few things which I deemed to look better before presenting it for your perusal at this time. After all, it has been 55 years since it was written and I tend to look at things differently now. (I know you’ll understand.)

…..continuing the article

***

To sum it up, each of us is guilty of harboring “I know better” feelings which emerge annually on the “first” day of January of any given year. Those memories are immediately forgotten on the “second” day of January; the same year.

For instance, “I know better” than to let the ironing pile up week after week while stashing the clothes I like to iron least in a lonely basket behind the door. When the unfavored basket overwhelms the operation of the door, the guilt becomes evident.

Therefore” I resolve to keep my ironing up to date; even the items I don’t prefer to deal with..

“I know better” than to chide my friends in far off places for not being regular in their correspondence with me. To be honest, I am equally as irregular with mine.

“Therefore“, I resolve to keep all my correspondence up to date.

“I know better” than to continue driving our car without refilling the gas tank. My husband has often mentioned he doesn’t care to run out of gas on his way to work in the morning. (He doesn’t say it quite that way, but you get the picture.)

“Therefore” I resolve to keep the gas tank filled at all times.

I know better” than to let my bank statements pile up in a drawer until my checkbook balance requires a notice of service charge from the bank for overdrawing my account.

“Therefore” I resolve to balance my bank statements promptly upon their arrival.

When you have successfully written down your “therefore” list, you may feel properly girded for the onslaught of uncharted days and months ahead in 1965.

Let me give you a word of warning.

Mention to no one that your list exists. Immediately upon completion, place it in an envelope, seal it, and promptly convert it to ashes and smoke.

Your ironing will continue to accumulate, your correspondence friends will think of you warmly at Christmas time, your husband will get good exercise, the bank will feel you accept and respect their bookkeeping procedures and your conscience will be free to glide into 1965 in friendly and familiar surroundings.

2019 AND CONTINUING….

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a New Year’s resolution.

Please don’t think ill of me. I learned years ago that such an endeavor was a complete waste of my time.

Thank heaven for permanent press clothing that needs no ironing.

I remember the days when my grandma took my clothes needing ironing and sprinkled them with water. Then she rolled them up, put them in the freezer, told me they were there and that I could iron them later. (That was a mistake.)

I did, however, learn something that may be of use to you. If sprinkled clothes are stored in the freezer for two weeks or more, they will be surprisingly damp when you thaw them. If the time is more than a week or two your clothes may have to be sprinkled again. (Grandma never approved of that outcome and I’m not recommending it to you.)

Thank heaven, (and time), for the invention of the computer and emails.

I am now able to respond within minutes to correspondence from my friends. Why didn’t someone think of this before?

I try to fill the gas tank as soon as I see the little space that emerges after “full”. The price of gas has reached an unthinkable $2.38 per gallon. So if you fill the tank before you use much, it’s cheaper. (Does that sound right to you?)

Although I’ve asked the bank to send me printed statements at the end of the month, I also have my bank records on the computer.

I leave the mailed statements unopened in a drawer. There is always the possibility of being without electricity for the computer, which would restrain me from checking my balance. In such an event, the unopened and printed statements in the drawer would be a blessing.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS!

If you feel the need to put resolutions in writing, this is my advice. Use a sealed, unmarked envelope.

Destroy it as quickly as possible on New Year’s day.

FIRE IS STILL THE MOST RELIABLE SOLUTION!

Cooking hotdogs over the fire…mmm..sounds good on a cold day…good place to get rid of the envelope.

The sealed envelope may also be thrown in the garbage. But, hear this! There is always the possibility that someone could find it at the dump.

GIVE THIS SOME SERIOUS THOUGHT!

(It’s already nearing the end of the year…May 2020 be your best year ever!))

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SOME CALLED IT THE POOR FARM- I CALLED IT THE COUNTY FARM ..

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.

Me, my tricycle and our clothesline with the County Farm in the background.

Concerning clotheslines.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

One day, while I was visiting 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.

Just then, 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 my memories of Mrs. Kelly remain in my heart.

[email protected]

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

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Holiday Celebrations As The Years Continue..

This may become one of the most interesting THANKSGIVING and Christmas holiday seasons to date.

THANKSGIVING-1964

(Musings of a Homemaker – Houghton Lake Resorter newspaper)

“Get that thing out of here and don’t you ever bring a snake into the house again!”(Turning from  the kitchen sink just as my young son proudly showed me the snake he had captured in a jar.)

It was the fall of  1964.  We had three young boys under the age of seven and dirty laundry in the laundry room. Now I was being confronted with a snake in a jar.

Reality was here to stay.

Our countryside is beautiful today. The joy of living in this wonderful place never changes for me.

Snow covered fields have not yet arrived. Even so, the pleasant anticipation of the arrival is a given in this precious season of Thanksgiving in northern Michigan.

There will be no time for me to fix turkey and pumpkin pie this year. With three boys to keep an eye on, laundry to do, and dishes waiting in the sink, where would I find the time?

As is often the case, Mother and Dad will rescue me. They will calm our appetities with an invitation to a bountiful table at their peaceful home.

The joy of the annual Thanksgiving family gathering offers not only good food but pleasant conversation filled with memories of being together during the holiday season.

My greeting card list has not reached the length it will be in the future. I’m trusting that some of our friends who send cards to fill our mailbox will understand when they don’t find one from us in theirs.

Each year it warms our hearts to reach out to friends and family. But, little boys in need of attention at unexpected times assure the notes from me will be short.

The printed verse on the card must say it all.

Mother always had her Christmas greeting cards prepared to send the day after Thanksgiving.  I’m sure she reserved the time to prepare them even when pressing family matters used her time too.

I can assure you there were no snakes in jars at the home of my Mother during the growing up years of my sister and me. Mother and I shared our dislike for those little creatures.

 Mother was ever faithful with her early holiday greeting and enjoyed the notoriety of being the first greeting to be received by family and friends.

A portion of Thanksgiving day was spent composing her handwritten notes expressing love and best wishes for the coming year.

Time will tell if I inherit Mother’s other traditions as the years go by.

* * *

New Memories New Traditions

2019

This may become one of the most interesting Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons to date.

Married sixty-two years in 2017, my husband, at the age of eighty-seven, passed on to his next life during the month of February.

Two of our little boys are now grown men. Our middle child died six years ago.  The experiences of all our lives have taken a very different turn.

The joy of grandchildren and the arrival of three great-granddaughters, Willow, Eva and Meadow, have filled our hearts to overflowing.

At the age of eighty-four, it may be a bit too much to entertain the entire extended family here at the farm for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Looking at it in a different way, it’s sure to become memories in the making for the younger folks who will take on that pleasant responsibility.

There is a large electric cooker in the cupboard and many recipes from my grandmother waiting in the recipe box. 

I’ve been thinking about putting up the Christmas tree.
 How could I fail to do that?
 This precious season is all about memories, families and the welcoming of the Christ Child.

The passing of years doesn’t change everything. Some things never change.

It really is the season of living and loving.

copyright©2019

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

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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

LITTLE BOY TRUCKS..BIG BOY MEMORIES…

IMG_0039Days of fun in sand and snow;

 Cherished childhood toys.

Imaginary roads to grade…

Fun for little boys.

Found beneath the Christmas tree

Or as a birthday present,

Making Christmas merry…

 Hours of play more pleasant.

Now safely resting on a shelf,

Bright colors on display,

Grown construction engineers

Enjoy them still, today.

God bless the men who build the roads

And make our highways last.

  Who’s to say the yellow trucks

Are now things of the past?

Sons and daughters, grand-kids too,

Can see the love that shows

When Grandpa shares his Tonka toys

With thoughts of long ago.

Memories Are Made From This…

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

[email protected]

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 

ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE…

  Rules of the Game 

Making Conversation

1963

(Published in the Houghton Lake Resorter, Houghton Lake, Michigan, weekly newspaper)

Even the rules change in 56 years. Conversations change even more. It was my privilege to have a weekly column in our local newspaper for almost three years. I’ve added a little here and there. But you’ll get the idea.

MUSINGS OF A HOMEMAKER by Mary Anne Tuck 

My Byline

Is it really the weather that makes us disagreeable, or are we just naturally hard to please?

Seems like just a few short weeks ago, we were pining for summer days.

Summer days arrived and we began to long for cooler fall weather.

 Our nature is to search for lost opportunities and unfulfilled dreams.

 At the age of ten, we wish for things we don’t possess.  It would be nice of my name could be Susie instead of Mary.

 How wonderful it must be to have beautiful red hair instead of brown.

 Then we reach high school.  In high school we yearn for a steady date and find to our amazement that the steady daters have visions of playing the field and dating around.

 If our choice is not to attend college, we may soon nurture envious thoughts of those who went on to higher education.  

The bride who marries young sometimes wishes she had waited a bit for that magic moment.  She’s surprised to learn that the woman who works outside the home may sometimes feel she has wasted those precious years when she could have been staying home and raising a family.  

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We may be overflowing with discontent from childhood to adulthood of one sort or another.

 Keeping up with the Jones family is a desirable way of life for many.  The wish to have as much or more as the folks next door may never go away.

 When your neighbor belabors the fact that the days are much too long and the weather is much too hot, your neighbor is following the rules of the game.

 The game is called “Making Conversation”.

 The objective is to see how much better we can make our everyday living with good-natured complaining and a few constructive thoughts.  

What can we do to make our lives more blessed than they are already?

 Maybe we should change The Rules Of The Game.  Let’s talk about it!

2018

I’m seeing myself in these words at the age of twenty-eight..  It was during a time when I had three little boys ages one, four, and six; no more working in an office and  dressing up each day to go to work and meet with people.

Maybe I just wanted to be different; different from what, I’m not quite sure. 

  Maybe I thought I’d missed  out on the opportunities that had once been before me and now had seemingly disappeared.  

I married at twenty and had my first child at twenty-one.  At twenty-seven I’d become a full fledged Mom of three and homemaker.

Establishing a home and family may sometimes begin at a later time in life,  but there  was never a career pursuit for me. From the age of twenty  I was faced with laundry, dishes, meals and cleaning.

 The house we lived in, although we loved it dearly, was much less sophisticated than the homes of our friends and neighbors.  Of course, I knew the future was out there, somewhere.  At the time, though, I couldn’t see it. What is it the jokesters say,  “just another day in Paradise”. 

My Christian walk had not yet begun.  Or maybe it had and I just hadn’t recognized it.

 Time would tell.

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copyright©2018

Photographs by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

From Rudolph to Silver Bells..Time Tells The Story..

Times have changed..the sweet smell of pine can always be purchased in a spray can from the store.

IMG_0039

The Houghton Lake Resorter 

A weekly newspaper in Houghton Lake, Michigan

MUSINGS OF A HOMEMAKER..Written by me at the age of 28..

The Christmas tree stands in the corner, colorful and lonely. Gaily wrapped gifts no longer gather beneath its branches.  The sweet smell of pine no longer remains in the air.

Shiny bicycles and curly haired dolls have disappeared from view.

The annual celebration of the birth of Christ

has filled our expectations.

Glittering and once lovely wrappings lie crushed in empty cartons awaiting their disposal. Under the tree lies a ribbon of red reminding us of our passion for loving. Nearby lie wrinkled bows;  blue for the richness of living, gold for the bright rays of learning, and green for the promise of new life in the coming year.

Mixed emotions now wrap our package of memories; sadness and laughter, hope and regret, faith and tenderness, and a colorful memory of the quickly fleeting twelve months.

 1963 has flown away as swiftly as hummingbird’s wings, never pausing for more than a fleeting moment to enjoy the sweet nectar provided by the flowers of life.

The approaching year offers twelve new months to store more gifts.  Once again, at the end of the new year, we will have a treasure of memories both happy and sad. We’re starting anew.

The final design will be original, personal and full of colorful hues shading the months ahead with a rainbow of memories.

Gracious living to you and yours in the new year of 1964.

And now…at the age of 84..

(How times have changed.)

The sweet smell of pine can always be purchased in a spray can from the store.

The artificial tree is stored in a box to be retrieved from the storage room each December.

There are no pine needles to be vacuumed and no shiny trucks in the corner. There are no more snowy excursions to the nearby woods to look for the perfect tree which was to be evenly proportioned on at least  three sides.

(We always turned the flat side toward the window.)

We now delight in flannel shirts and an occasional bottle of after-shave. Perhaps there will be a sweater for me and a current book I’ve been thinking about.

The family is here and that’s the best part of all.

In a few moments the gifts are unwrapped and the shirts are checked to make sure they will fit the intended one. Paper and bow must be carefully folded and used again next year.

The grandchildren are now in their thirties but determined to spend Christmas morning at the farm.

Hidden Meadows Farm in Winter

Our Christmas morning tradition is to have breakfast together, open gifts and visit. It’s a time for recalling all the memories of years gone by.

Christmas Morning at
Hidden Meadows Farm

We now have  two daughters-in-law, a granddaughter -in-law and a  grandson-in-law, bringing us three beautiful great granddaughters.  

It’s a happy time.

We once gave our 6-year-old granddaughter a goat for Christmas. Recalling her expression when she found “Peppy” in a special pen in the barn with a big red bow tied around his neck, brings a sweet memory and laughter each year.

The years bring new beginnings.

Life becomes more precious as each year passes. The future is shorter and the years went by too quickly.

 One year can bring many changes.

My husband, Don and our son Tim, have passed on to another life.  I’m blessed with our three great-granddaughters to love and enjoy in the coming years.

A small artificial Christmas tree stands proudly before the east window.  Sixty years have passed in this wonderful old farm home where memories are enjoyed every day.

Memories Are Made From This

[email protected]

Photographs By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

FOX IN THE HENHOUSE

I rested my elbows on the windowsill and videoed away..so to speak.

Not exactly in the henhouse..

I can’t tell you how upset I am with myself.

It’s been at least three years since I’ve seen a fox in the neighborhood. This morning at quarter to 7 I looked out the “next to my computer” window and there he was. It was only starting to get daylight and there was always the possibility the photo wouldn’t finish well. But, I took it anyway. In fact, I took several shots and the one above is the only one that worked.

That’s not the end of the world”, I said to myself.

Just then large flocks of Canadian geese began to fly over the far hay field in preparation to land and feed. They were making a great deal of noise, as only the large flocks of geese may do, and I immediately set my camera to video. By this time, the sky had become light and the view from my camera lense was perfect. I rested my elbows on the windowsill and videoed away..so to speak. What an exciting opportunity for me. The flocks circled the fields three times, honking and calling all the way. One portion of their flight passed very close to my home.

Eventually, I decided to work with my pictures and see what I had accomplished. There were pictures taken yesterday and I saved the ones that were good. There weren’t many. The photo above, of the fox, was the best I had on the camera.

The videos require me to send them to a different place on my computer, so I decided to delete the still pics and the videos to work with later.

After marking each photo for deletion I arrived at the place where it says, “delete all?”, and I said “yes”.

And I did…delete all..that is.

My camera is empty. I wanted so much to share with all of you the wonderful videos I had made of the geese, sound and all.

They’ve been deleted.

Maybe they’ll fly by another day. Maybe they won’t. But take my word for it, those videos were really something else.

Now they’re “somewhere else”.

End of story.

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

[email protected]

MEMORY FIXER UPPER

Persistence pays..

Think about it!

No comment…

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

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

Today, this commercial got my undivided attention.

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

PHARMACISTS.

Of course it is!

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

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

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

Now, what was I saying?

No comment!

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

[email protected]

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

JUST CALL IT HORSE SENSE

It has always seemed unusual to me that a horse named Mable will win a race in which a horse named Star Of Glory will come in six lengths behind.

AMERICAN LITERATURE ASSIGNMENT….1952

Mary Anne Whitchurch….10th Grade High School…

West Branch, Michigan

I am intrigued by the names of race horses.

My observation has been, the most beautiful names are given to the plain horses while the most beautiful horses get the stupid names.

For instance, you will notice such beautiful names as Show Boy, Black Beauty, Silver Star, Arabian Knight and Princess Ann are attached to the old plug who can pick up only three of its feet.

Then, of course, there is Beetlebaum.

On the other hand, a really beautiful and fast race horse, who leaves all the others in the dust, is named Blackie, Dutch, King, or Major.

Then, of course, there is Beetlebaum.

It has always seemed unusual to me that a horse named Mable will win a race in which a horse named Star Of Glory will come in six lengths behind.

Meet Chris…Full name..Christian..A beautiful horse

I don’t know how Beetlebaum entered this little story although it seems to be a good name. I wish he would leave the same way he came in.

***

To continue…………It is now 2019…I’m surprised (at the age of 84) how many people don’t remember Beetlebaum. However, as times change and so do we, I can now share “him” with you. Spike Jones will tell you the story.

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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