Times have changed..the sweet smell of pine can always be purchased in a spray can from the store.
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.
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.
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.
This may become one of the most interesting THANKSGIVING and Christmas holiday seasons to date.
(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
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.