PEARL HARBOR

Tenth Grade English Composition
 1951

Mary Anne Whitchurch

December 7, 1941

 On a cold, grey morning

when the fog had yet to rise;

The seagulls made a flutter
 like a bird of paradise.

The waves were as a rose vine
 coils in an arbor,

Thus began the day
  Japanese bombed PEARL HARBOR.

The sun had yet to rise that day, 
December seven.

Dawn had just receded 
to another day in heaven,

When from the sky a frightful noise
 came booming from the guns.

Now in the place of clouds and sky
 had come 
The Rising Sun.

Their guns were all ablaze.
From the air there came a shrieking of bullets whizzing by to find their targets,
 quickly streaking.

The planes upon the ground 
were shattered as they stood.

For the men to take their stations,
would of course, have done no good.

The people who had lived at PEARL HARBOR
 were not spared.

Families of the fighting men 
were sadly not prepared.

A couple that had risen right at dawn
 to walk for pleasure

Were shattered,

killed by bullets 
which were made for such a measure.

A moment quickly passed.
  The air was filled with death.

Looking toward the morning sky, 
only clouds were left.

The sun had risen in the east; 
its bright light showed a flood

of red, red streaks 
upon the ground,
 now sadly stained
 with blood.

The stillness in the morning air 
seemed empty, 
dark and chilling.

A group of planes had quickly come. 
 Their one intent was killing.

The second world war began.
 With it came the strife

for families

of the men 
whose fate it was 
to lose their life.

PEARL HARBOR was the turning point 
in nineteen forty-one.

It was to bring a mask of death 
for five long years to come.

The seventh day of every month 
we pause 
and should remember…

The Japanese bombed PEARL HARBOR
on the seventh of December.

* * * * * *

I’ve often wondered at the intensity of thought
 of a 16 year old girl, (that was me),
 considering the awful event of PEARL HARBOR.

This was written in 1951.
 The event had happened only ten years earlier.
 Although it seems to us in 2018 
as only a point in history, 
it was very real to a teen-ager 
in those days.

The war had been over for 6 years at that time.
 It remained fresh in the minds of our people.

The men and women who served in the war, 
some  of whom are still with us today,
 can never erase the images 
of  horrors they witnessed
 during their time of service to our country.

December 7th is a date to remember.

If we cannot remember what happened on that date,
investigate the history books.

It must never happen again.

***

copyright©2018

Photography by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

IT ISN'T THE GAME – IT'S THE WAY YOU PLAY IT!

We are the most respected nation in the world.
We have no need for “factual” propaganda 
if such a thing exists.
* * *

Who’s On First?

A Masterpiece For The Taking

Musings of a Homemaker-Houghton Lake Resorter

(1963)

Some of our most respected state senators 
conduct endless filibusters.

A few have ended in deadlocked debate
 over an outer space, 
government controlled, 
space communications network.

  Russia continues to bombard us 
with undeniably 
magnificent advances

  in the current space race.

 We are content to ignore, as much as possible,the daily reports of peace talks. 

  America is lacking 
in the mastery of space.

In comparison to the USSR,
 we panic.

We are disbelieving, angered and bewildered, 
 faced with a  grim fact. 

The industrially backward nation of Soviet Russia 
 has beaten our free, democratic society

 in such an important area;
 space exploration.

We’ve listened, read and watched
with mounting dismay, 
the multi-orbital flight

of two,
 now world renowned,
 Cosmonauts.

All but forgotten 
is this remarkable achievement 
Russia has accomplished.
All but forgotten, 
in favor of a race
 to be first.

This has become an obvious, 
  overlooked  habit,
 of America.   

We become so involved in the GAME
 we lose sight 
of the objective.

How discouraging to feel , 
after decades of war,
 this unrest between nations.

There is now the imminent danger
 of a contest
 for the control of space.

America is on the verge of discoveries in space
 about which no one is certain. 
The possibilities 

may be unknown; 
beyond comprehension
  to the science community.

Understanding the complexities of space 
is impossible 
for the average person.

The intricacies 
of securing good personal and community relationships, 
are right at our fingertips.
We know how to achieve them.

The country would profit 
from renewing our personal, 
community
 and neighborhood

relations.

A trip to the moon is not needed
in order to renew them.

 We are a free people. 

There is a need 
to spend more time
 improving our own planet.

There is a  need to restore 
a people to people
 togetherness and care
 network.

Such restoration 
is important to our nation.

An ocean was crossed to find America.
The United States of America 
 have always searched 
to find the better place, the better way.


We are the most respected nation in the world.

We have no need for “factual” propaganda 
if such a thing exists.

* * *

* * *

2019

There I was at the age of 28,
 worrying about Russia.
As a country, we couldn’t accept the fact, 
Russia had won race to the moon.

Where did I find such strong feelings of country,
 while facing responsibilities of raising three young boys
 while caring for a home and husband?

I became intensely involved in the state of the world,
 the politics of this country,
 and

the need for person-to-person communication.

The future seemed far away.
 The present weighed heavily.

Perhaps my interest in politics came from my Dad.
 His interest was strong.

 My intense interest at twenty-eight
 was put aside

until much later in my life.

By the time I reached sixty,
  Dad had passed from this life.

A renewed interest in politics,
 much like Dad’s,

 had once again
 intensified.

Yes, I know 
we cannot ignore the state of this present world.

 Over the years

I have not changed my mind.
It all begins with “people”.

And now, I would add 
“Faith”.

copyright©2019

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

2019

WHERE'S THE BEEF?

 When lilac bushes appear in a vacant field,
we know an old Michigan farm 
once stood nearby.

Where’s The Beef?
Spring 1964

Musings of a Homemaker (3) – Houghton Lake Resorter


Strolling down our lane 
one may be overwhelmed

 by the aroma of lilacs and apple blossoms.

 Tiny pink flowers
 nod gently in the spring breezes.

 When lilac bushes appear in a vacant field,

we know an old Michigan farm 
once stood nearby.

We are careless with adjectives;

 lovely, cute and sweet. 


 When something is found worthy of a special description, 

words are used

 in a careless fashion.

They are overdone and unimpressive.

Have we become a nation of adjective droppers?

Little girls are sweet and cars are sweet. 
Dresses are sweet.
Fishing rods are sweet.

 Sugar is sweet.

The weather is lovely.
 Your wife is lovely.
 Children are lovely. 
Dinner is lovely.

Freckles are cute. 
Puppies  are cute.
 Babies are cute.

Everything is sweet,cute and lovely.

WHERE’S THE BEEF?

Teen-agers are sometimes
 juvenile delinquents.
 We may have delinquent taxes.

Senior citizens may have
 gray hair.
Gray haired people may be
 senior citizens.

Phrases overused
are lost.

 Adjectives become
 bruised, broken and meaningless.

Let’s save them for another day.

***

(This all seemed like a good idea in 1964)

And then..

2018

Where Are We Now?

What happened to the adjectives? 
They were sweet,cute and lovely.

 Now it’s PC,

G and LOL,. It may be ESP and APP
We are politically correct. 

Or are we?

Oh, and by the way, we type PC for “politically correct” now.

Those in the know understand 

what we mean.

We  type G for “grin.”
LOL  means “laugh out loud.” 

ESP stands for “extrasensory perception”;

APP for “application.”

We type COOL for good, 
wonderful,
 smart 
and up to date.

A perfectly wonderful language
 has been simplified 
to nothing.

Children in elementary school are not being taught cursive writing.

Much of their writing  
is unreadable.
Making matters worse,
many young people
cannot “read” cursive writing.

Think about it!
The United States Constitution
was produced in cursive writing.

President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
was written by him, as the story goes,in cursive writing,
as he was seated on a train
on his way to Gettysburg.

Why have we decided
to avoid teaching cursive writing
 to generations of  young Americans
who will never be able to read
those original, historical papers?

In response to questioning,
 a teacher informed me,

 “Within ten years
 no one will be using handwriting.

 Everyone will be using computers.”

Think of the handwriting experts
who will be unemployed.
(That’s a joke.)

With this information in mind,
 the overuse of “adjectives ” becomes cute and darling.

Describing anything at all
with the terms, “sweet and lovely,”
for they have become the only remaining,
 desirable speech.

Our English language
 is bruised and broken.
 It has been transformed into 
disconnected letters.

Bring back the adjectives.
 Bring the verbs and the adverbs.

I long for them.

Is it just me?

copyright©2018

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

I WONDER IF HE KNEW

I wonder if He knew that I would question the little things that happen in my day..

Just WONDERING

How difficult to think of Him

As merely man.

Did He have cabin fever

In mid-winter too?

 

Was He reflective,

After spending time with folks

Because of things He said

Or didn’t say?

Did someone need to talk with Him

While He hurried on His way?

Was He discouraged by the weather?

 

Was He tempted to make bread from stones?

The Bible says He was.

Does that mean

When I’m tempted

I am not alone?

Will God be in my heart and head?

If I listen well to Him

And learn His teachings

Starting now,

Is there still time?

Was time His enemy

Is it mine?

Did He finish all His daily chores

And wake at night

Wishing He’d accomplished more?

If I could gain acclaim

With talents given me by God,

Would I, as He

Refuse the moment’s gain

For certain pain?

I WONDER IF HE KNEW

That I would question

If He really understood

The little things

That happen in my day.

He said He would.

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

1995

copyright/©2018

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

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
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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