Lost In Toyland

IMG_0039Days of Fun in Sand and Snow

With Cherished childhood toys.

Imaginary roads brought joy

and hours of play 

 for little girls and boys.

Wrapped and Found beneath a tree, disguised

 as christmas presents,

Giant projects filled their thoughts,

and play became more pleasant.

Now, safely resting on a shelf

in colorful display,

Grown construction engineers

Enjoy them still,

today.

God bless the folks who built the roads

to help

our highways last.

  Who’s to say those 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

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.

Sadly, shiny bicycles and curly haired dolls have disappeared from view.

The annual celebration of the birth of Christ

has filled our expectations.

Now, glittering and once lovely wrappings lie crushed in empty cartons awaiting their disposal.

Waiting 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. For us, the still colorful green bows bring the promise of new life in the coming year.

Now, mixed emotions wrap our package of memories; sadness and laughter, hope and regret, faith and tenderness. Bringing to mind colorful memories of the quickly fleeting twelve months.

 1963 has flown away as swiftly as hummingbird’s wings, while 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 this 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.)

If needed, the sweet smell of pine can always be purchased in a spray can from the store.

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

No pine needles are on the floor waiting to be vacuumed. And no shiny trucks hiding in the corner.

There are no snowy excursions to the nearby woods to look for the perfect tree which must be evenly proportioned on at least  three sides.

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

Looking forward to Christmas morning, our 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 our sons and  two daughters-in-law, a granddaughter -in-law and a  grandson-in-law, bringing us three beautiful great granddaughters.  

It’s a happy time.

Years ago, we gave our 6-year-old granddaughter a goat for Christmas. We all recall her expression when she found “Peppy” in a special pen in the barn with a big red bow tied around his neck. It always brings a sweet memory and laughter at the breakfast table each year.

The years bring new beginnings.

Our memories become more precious as each year passes. The future is shorter and the time 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

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Photographs By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

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 clicks, if there actually is any “substance”.

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 nor by those who may have used it and remembered where they left their glasses.

Nothing was mentioned about old friends who suddenly remembered the name of their kindergarten teacher in 1940 after taking the medicine.

My former neighbor, who recommended it to me, 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 an anecdote?) regarding loss of memory brought on by the aging process.

Now, what was I saying?

No comment!

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

[email protected]

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.

Since 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.

Quickly reading the label on the bottle I had used, it became 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 practiced 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 enabled to love and be loved, and to listen and share His word within the congregation of Christ on Sunday mornings.

… 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.

The opportunity to incorporate the meaning of His Word into

our lives may become 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 answers 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 Dad’s 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, a fanciful comparison to his usual workday routine.

The approach is precise and scientific. Dad’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 is fun time and the entire family welcomes the change of routine along with 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 everyone awaited the enjoyment of the outdoor eating season

* * *

2016

81″ Is Really Younger Than It Sounds..(That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

The” Twentieth” something also sounds wonderful, although not nearly as poetic as the calendar 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 and pork chops will be eaten at the two table settings which Mom has prepared.

There we find two plates, two glasses of something, forks, knives, spoons and two slices of bread. (You get the picture.)

The call to dine finds the two of 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

Here I am and times have changed once again.

Now it’s easier for me to go to a nearby restaurant alone 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.

My oldest son lives “downstate” and the youngest remains in our hometown. Grand-kids have homes and children of their own along with busy lives.

And life begins again

with three great-granddaughters and another on the way.

That really is 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

MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COWBOYS..

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?”

My observations…

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.

Who’s watching now?

Good luck, son..

https://thatremindsme.blog/

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Photos By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO RANDOLPH SCOTT?

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…
2019
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.
(By the way, what did happen to Randolph Scott?)
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https://thatremindsme.blog/

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”.

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.

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 as you can see, my memories of Mrs. Kelly remain in my heart.

[email protected]

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

HE CARED ENOUGH TO SEND THE VERY BEST..

Knowledge of her presence has allowed us to face the seemingly insurmountable challenges of life…

IN THE BEGINNING…

Musings Newspaper Heading (1)

“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.

1964

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.

Mother!

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.

2018

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.

I was truly blessed to have a mother like mine.

copyright©2018

 memoriesaremadefromthis.com

THIS OLD FARM FEELS LIKE A LONG LOST FRIEND..

It’s always good to be back home again.

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.

Now what?

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.

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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.”

If he could only have known!

copyright©2018

Photography by Mary Anne Tuck

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