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/

DRUNKS OR HEROES?

My husband and I were standing at our living room window, watching a man walking down the distant road. The man lived nearby in a broken down house.  Every day he walked two miles to a neighborhood bar where he spent his time.

 

“Night fell, and darkness hid the two from sight”

He worked at walking.

Stumbling, weaving, tumbling, falling…and

Each night at dusk he headed home, deaf to traffic sounds.

Sometimes reeling into a roadside ditch, he would lie upon the ground in bleak half-conscious stupor.

With effort, he would crawl laboriously to the ditch’s edge, then work at walking once again.

 The man continued through his nightly ritual.

Someone approached the sodden hulk and  bending down, they knelt beside the fallen man.  With steady arms, they began the rescue.

 The person was not a hero. And I was a bystander.  Though years have passed, the vivid scene remains.

 Whose life is changed when a journey reaches a crossroad?  When is a path interrupted by a chance encounter?  Could it be the rescuer?  Perhaps it was a friend?  Maybe it was me as I watched this scene unfold.

 What are you thinking now?

 Night fell and darkness hid the two from my sight.

 THE RESCUE had begun.

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 * * * * * * * *

Many years have passed since this incident took place.

 While my husband and I were standing at our living room window, we saw a man walking along the distant road.

The man lived nearby in a broken down house.

And  each day he walked two miles

to a neighborhood bar

where he spent the entire day.

 We didn’t usually see him traveling on the morning journey to his destination. Nor did we see him when he was going home at the end of the day.  

But this time

 we saw him walking toward home.  As we watched, he staggered and stumbled, falling into the deep ditch beside the road.

For moments he was out of our sight.  Then, we saw him crawling out of the ditch and struggling to his feet.  Walking a few steps, he fell once more. Again, he crawled up the side of the ditch on his hands and knees

and attempted to stand.

 I became aware my husband had left my side. Now, in his truck, he was driving down our driveway toward the distant road. 

He stopped at the place where the man was lying beside the ditch. Getting out of his truck, he approached the figure.

 Taking him by the arm,

he helped the man to his feet.

 My husband later told me he intended to help him into the cab of the truck, but the man protested.

 “I’m not clean enough to sit in your truck.  Help me into the back.  I’ll ride home there.”

 As I watched this scene unfold before my eyes, I was surely not aware it would be in my memory and my heart many years later.

 How many of us, including me, would leave the comfort of our own home to help a drunken, smelly man get safely to his home?

 This was a view of my husband about which I wasn’t aware.  Yes, he was kind, gentle and caring.

 The scene I watched was more than that.

 The experience changed me and maybe it has changed you.

 At this stage of life it has become clear to me that we all need to be rescued.

Our Friend is on His way.

————–

 In later years, as we discussed the incident some facts revealed themselves about the man who was rescued.

 He was a veteran from World War 2.

 As years have passed, we’ve become aware of the experiences our soldiers endured during that time of war. 

They were too horrible to remember for many of the soldiers.

 We now call it PTSD.

 It has been found, for some of the veterans, it is easier to drink away the memories

than to relive them in their minds.

 In our village, there were three World War 2 veterans who spent their days at the same local bar.

 The world called them drunks. Should we call them heroes?

 How do you feel about it?

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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”.

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.

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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

THE SHEPHERD CALLED THEM HOME

   The OLD SHEPHERD’S Barn

 

 The quaint old man in knee high boots prepared to call them…  

“Get behind the barn,” he said. “If they see you they won’t come.”

“How many sheep?” I asked.  “‘Bout 300, lambs ‘n all.” he answered.

  Now, he gestured toward distant field, where no movement was revealed.

Obligingly, I took my place behind the aging barn.  Waiting, watching as I hid, chuckling as I did his bidding. 

As I watched…

He moved toward crumbling fence upon a trampled path. Now I saw him near the leaning gate..

and I began my wait.

With steady steps, he walked and called.

No words escaped his weathered lips, just eerie, high toned wailing sounds known only to his flock.

Behind the barn and waiting,

I peeked toward leaning gate.  All I saw were rolling fields.

He stood alone to wait.

Suddenly a far off hill was filled with moving masses; now out of sight, no movement seen.

 A quiet moment passes.

Another hill and nearer now, I saw them  racing through the fields toward Him.

There, he waited, calm and still.  His presence did not yield.

Three hundred creatures fell in line behind the One whose voice they knew. 

Now through the gate, into the fold,

safe at last.

The Shepherd brought them home.

“My sheep listen to my voice;I know them, and they follow me.”

(John 10:27)

 

copyright©2019

Photography by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

Mr. Bischoff’s Sheep

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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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.

f5c48-barn2bon2bfall2bday2bfor2bcenter2bcopy
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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Laddie…The “Collie”
Lambing Time…

SEPTEMBER 11TH… TIME PASSES QUICKLY..

2020

ANOTHER SAD ANNIVERSARY

OF REMEMBERING….

Programs on television.. re-runs of  videos…towers in smoke and flames..people standing in disbelief, not knowing what to think, about that which they were seeing or what to do at the moment…

Stand?  Run?  Where should I go? Is it real? What is happening?

Devastation.

It seems like only yesterday. Has it really been 19 years?

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It all comes back to me.

Remember how you feel when a loved one dies?  Emptiness, hurt, sadness…

Those were my feelings after September 11th and they didn’t go away in the days

to follow.

Despair remained.

One night shortly after September 11th,  I had gone for a ride in my car.  Darkness had fallen earlier and I was alone.

 Time was needed with my intense feelings of loss.  It seemed I couldn’t get rid of them.

The radio was on in the car and a song began by Alan Jackson, the country singer.

“WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE WORLD STOPPED TURNING?”

The words spoke directly to me..

…Did you go to your church?  I did, as did many others .  Although I don’t remember all the lyrics to the song, they spoke directly to me at the time.

Driving alone down a lonely road in the darkness of the night… and the song comforted me.

 God bless Alan Jackson for writing and recording that song. Through it, he touched everyone who heard it then, and now.

copyright©2018

(“Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?)

 

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 

AND THAT HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE…

Ahead  were only dreary, boring days and years of waiting to get “old.”  There was nothing new to do nor places to see or ROADS to travel.

“When you come to a fork in the ROAD,

take it.”

(Yogi Berra had the right idea.)

I love to  reminisce and write about bygone times, remembering the people I’ve known, especially those who have made a difference in the ” me” I’ve become at the age of 84. I once thought 84 was really, really old.

It isn’t.

Actually, I once believed that 50 was old. As I recall, 50 was old when my grandmothers were alive.

I was devastated when I turned thirty. Life was over, no longer “twenty-something”. Looking forward, there was nothing left to life.

Ahead  were only dreary, boring days and years of waiting to get “old.”  There was nothing new to do nor places to see or “roads” to travel.

There were no college years for me.

When required to check off my level of education on an application, the box to check must be “graduated high-school”.

 Dad sometimes commented, ” Some folks attend college and still don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain.”

I feel good about his comment because my high school education helps me to remember to carry my umbrella on a cloudy day.

That reminds me, a week or so ago I purchased a new umbrella. It was very easy to raise, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to lower it when  inside the building.

You’ll be happy to know, with a great deal of concentration, I finally figured out how to  return my umbrella to its original closed position.  Pushing the little “down” arrow located right underneath the “up” arrow accomplished it for me.

Who says a high school education isn’t worth much?

I grew up in a small northern town in the lower peninsula of Michigan. My family moved to another town, thirty miles away, when I was seventeen.

When we are living them, the years seem long.

One could hardly think of me as a world traveler, but I’ve learned much about life from the shores of Michigan’s largest inland lake; Houghton Lake.

Married sixty-two years, my husband and I raised three sons. It’s difficult to imagine someone as young as I, having sons who are now in their fifties and sixties. Facts are not always as they seem.

Life is like a dream.

I heard someone make a statement just the other day about “alternative” facts.(Perhaps I should research some of those when describing my attributes.)

copyright©2018

Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

* *

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one to where it bent in the undergrowth.

And took the other as just as fair

And having perhaps the better claim

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that, the passing there

Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day,

Yet knowing how way leads unto way,

I doubted that I would ever be back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood,

And I, I took the road less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

robert frost mailbox

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

We traveled to New Hampshire many years ago and found this old mail box. It resides on the narrow  gravel road in front of one of the summer homes of Robert Frost. It’s a lovely place. This writing of his has always been my favorite. I carry a copy of it with me at all times. I read it over and over.

It speaks to me.

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SHOW ME AN EAGLE..

ODD YOU SHOULD MENTION IT. I JUST SAW ONE…

Sun is shining; Sky is blue,

Everyone’s busy, free moments few.
Economy’s rising,  dollar holds true.
 

I Saw An EAGLE Today

 
Church pews half empty, more folks at the store.
Few cars on the highway,
Been here before…but
 

I Saw An EAGLE Today

 
Some feel lonely this time of  year.
Laughter and family, for them, disappear.
Doesn’t seem right without happiness here…and
 

I Saw An EAGLE Today

 
Why does it seem like today passed me by?
Yesterday’s memories cannot tell me why.
 
Tomorrow will bring me another blue sky…’cuz
 
 
 
 
 

I Saw An EAGLE Today!

Today, as I left the church service
My eyes were drawn to the sky…and just
At that moment an American Bald Eagle flew over me.
Those who know me have often heard me say, 
“Any day I see an eagle, is a perfect day for me.”

The day wore on, blue moments overtook me.
Time and again the picture in my mind
Was that of the soaring American Eagle I’d seen..

Early evening approached.
It was then that I realized
 I’d had the perfect day
Thanks to that beautiful moment this morning.

“I saw an eagle today.”

 
copyright©2018
Photography By Mary Anne Tuck
 
memoriesaremadefromthis.com
 

WHERE THERE IS SADNESS, JOY

She began to talk to me of times of JOY. She spoke of happy things and times and places. 
Upon leaving, I said,
”See you when you come home”.
“Ok honey”, she said

 

Always Generous, Gracious and Giving

 
 

She was my JOY.   Now she was gone…
 
I asked her, only hours after Grandma died;
“How does it make you feel?”
“Like an orphan”, was her answer. 
“But Mother”, I responded, “You have us.”
“I know honey”, she said. “But this is different.”
 
Carrying our second child,
and filled with the joy of life, I was annoyed at having to deal with death. 
I wanted Mother to tell me it wasn’t so bad.
Grandma was old. Eighty years was a long full life.
In a coma, Grandma hadn’t suffered. 
 
Wanting Mother to move on to lighter talk and future plans,
  I wanted her to ask how I was feeling today,
resuming our daily ritual.
 
She was always the giver. I was always the taker.
 
Life goes on..
 
Years passed and now Mother was in her eighties. 
She shared with me the ominous news
that she had found a lump in her breast. 
 
“Mother” I said, “I am absolutely sure that it will not be malignant.”
 
When the report came back Mother told me,
“Well, you were wrong. It is malignant and the involvement is extensive”.
 
Now, I who never wanted to deal with anything uncomfortable
was required to face the unimaginable.  
Mother was  going to die. 
Try as I would, I couldn’t get my mind around that fact.
 
Sometimes it’s hard to change your ways..
 
A friend said to me,
“It’s part of life, although it’s not the best part.”
I was angry with my friend
for her crude and thoughtless remark. 
How could she be so matter of fact in the face of my devastation?
 
My friend offered.  I refused.
 
 

In the days and months to come,
Mother calmly accepted the diagnosis,  
 always generous and caring, always gracious and giving.
 
Mother was ever accepting. I was ever refusing.
 
The following January…
 
My friend and I vacationed for two weeks in Florida.
Upon our return I was informed that Mother had suffered a heart attack
a few days earlier.
She didn’t want me to be told
and wanted me to enjoy my vacation.
I could learn of it when I returned home.
 
She was protecting. I was accepting.
 
Always about me…never about her..
 
 
I visited Mother in the hospital the day after returning home from vacation.
As she lay in her bed she was cheerful
and interested in me.  
 
“Maybe it wasn’t so serious after all”, I said.
  She answered “No, something very serious is going on.” 
 
And Mother began to talk to me of times of joy. She spoke of happy things and times and places. 
Upon leaving, I said,
 
”See you when you come home”.
“Ok honey”, she said.
 
It was Saturday…
 Mother was due to come home on Monday.
She would be in the hospital on Sunday.
I decided to stay home on Sunday since I was tired from my trip.
 
Early Monday morning, Mother died.
 
She always gave me her love. I always accepted it.
 
* * *
 
Mother was gone.
I felt smothered by a blanket of grief.
 
She was as much a part of my life as my heart and soul.
Now she was gone.
 
Her belongings were still here.Her clothes were still hanging in the closet.
Pictures she had painted were on the wall.
 
They were only “things”.
 
Weeks passed…
My seemingly endless river of tears
began to subside.
 
One stark February night, I visited my friend
who is a shepherd.
It was lambing time and
she was required to make frequent visits to the barn
to check on the well being of the ewes.
 
I found her there
and we began to talk.
Surrounded by the rumblings of her flock
and the sweet smell of freshly scattered straw bedding,
the rawness of my grief began to pour out.
 
 
Giving me gentle encouragement
my friend shared her own journey
through the painful loss of both parents
during the preceding years. 
With deep compassion she shared her healed grief. 
 
Knowing that with her consoling love,
I too would be healed through this journey of grieving.
 
My friend offered. I accepted.
 
The dawn of a new day..

Next morning as I prepared my morning coffee,
my glance fell upon a plaque hanging on my kitchen wall.
Reading it as if for the first time,
I understood the message of St. Francis of Assisi.
 
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness,joy.
Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled
as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in the giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
 
Dear Lord
Thank you for the loving, giving people you have placed in my life.
Help me to be the consoling,  understanding, loving and giving instrument of your peace
which has so graciously been shared with me.
 
Amen
 
 
copyright©2019
 
Printed May 2017 at Sunlight Press
 
          Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck
          memoriesaremadefromthis.com