DOORWAY TO MY MEMORIES

The view was recalling a MEMORY.
 It was taking me back
to a time in my life
of great happiness and joy.

“Memories exploded as I stood in the doorway”
* * * 
Our congregation was considering the possibility 
of constructing
a new church building.
The one we were in at The Heights in Houghton Lake was old and too small for the growing congregation.
The basement often flooded in the spring of the year.
Sunday School class attendance was increasing.
Although the choir was small, it was increasing in numbers.
The neighboring town of West Branch had recently built a beautiful new church.
A committee in our church, seeking ideas, was formed.
Let’s go to West Branch and check out their new building.
Of course I wanted to be on that committee. 
The new church was in my former home town. Any excuse to re-visit the memories of my youth, was a great idea.
I was thirty-three at the time.
The new United Methodist Church in West Branch
was built on the County Farm property
across the street
 from the house where I’d lived
 until I was seventeen. If you’ve read in my blog post
“Some Folks Called It The Poor Farm..”
you have some idea of my emotional attachment
 to the County Farm.
I have many memories of the wonderful lady 
who was my friend.
As the committee entered the new church building, we were shown the kitchen area and the classrooms.
We visited the sanctuary and the dining area.
As others wandered the hallways
I decided to take a little side trip
 down a different hallway.
At the end of the hall,
 there was an exit door.
Standing quietly, staring out the door,
I realized long forgotten memories were suddenly returning.
I’d stood in that very place
 many times 
over the years of my youth.
It appeared to me, this doorway was exactly where the doorway to Mrs. Kelly’s kitchen had been.  This was a view I’d seen many times before.  (“Was that the aroma of homemade bread?)
 
Still today,
 when I’m in town,
I  drive into the parking area
 and sit for a few minutes.
The location of this West Branch United Methodist Church
 gives memories of pleasant days of 
youth.
 
 
There was and is, 
an oil well pump on the East side of the parking lot. 
The old barn bridge is often visible,
depending on the time of year,
and how many leaves are remaining on the trees.
The barn is gone.
In my memory,
 the chicken coop is there.
The pasture where the sheep were kept,
exists in my memory also.
 
I remember Mr. Kelly
 driving his team past our house
on his way to the hay fields.
Next door,
 at the North end of the parking area,
is the West Branch Township Hall. 
It hasn’t aged.
I have.

****

On the day of our committee’s visit, 
long ago, 
I could feel emotions rising in my throat,
I was glad I was standing at the door alone.
I couldn’t have spoken to anyone right then.
The view was recalling a memory.
 It was taking me back
to a time in my life
of great happiness and joy.
As we were returning to our home town,
I casually mentioned to my fellow travelers
my experience
 at the doorway in the church.
No one seemed overwhelmed by my revelations.
Should they have been?
A few days later,
 traveling to a meeting with my Dad for which I served
as secretary and he as a board member,
I shared my experience of recalling the treasured memory
of the County Farm
Once again, it was difficult for me to speak.
Regaining my composure,
I shared with my Dad my emotional visit
to the United Methodist church
 in West Branch.
He listened attentively.
Then he began to share his thoughts with me. 
“Most people encounter experiences such as you had,
as they grow older and their lives have changed,” he said.
“They remember the joys of youth.
They remember people who were important to them
who have passed away 
or are no longer living nearby.
Buildings have often been removed by deterioration
or replaced by new construction.
You are young
 to be having such memories  overtake you.”
****
Today, when I’m visiting the town of my youth,
I’m still making memories.
 The doorway to my future is open.
Life for me is still experienced
 one day at a time.
Have you stood in a doorway lately?

copyright©2019
 
Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

 

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 

 
 
 
 
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 
 

I Saw An EAGLE Today!

Today, as I left the church service
My eyes were drawn to the sky. 
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.

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,
I was filled with the JOY of life and 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. 
 
I wanted 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.
 
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 said,
“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.
 
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?
 
She offered.  I refused.
 
 

In the days and months to come,
Mother calmly accepted the diagnosis. 
She was always generous, always caring, always gracious and giving.
 
She was ever accepting. I was ever refusing.
 
The following January,
a friend and I vacationed for two weeks in Florida.
Upon our return I learned that Mother had suffered a heart attack
a few days earlier.
She didn’t want me to be told
because she wanted me to enjoy my vacation.
I could learn of it when I returned home.
 
She was protecting. I was accepting.
 
 
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.” 
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
for she was due to come home on Monday.
She would be in the hospital one more day.
 
The next day, she 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 hung in the closet.
Pictures she had painted hung on the wall.
They were only “things”.
 
Weeks passed and my seemingly endless river of tears
began to subside.
 
On a stark February night, I visited my friend
who is a shepherd.
It was lambing time.
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,
the rawness of my grief began to pour out.
 
 
With gentle encouragement
my friend shared her own journey
through the painful loss of both parents
during the preceeding years. 
With deep compassion she shared her healed grief. 
I knew that with her consoling love,
I too would be healed through this journey of grieving.
 
My friend offered. I accepted.

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 given to me.
 
Amen
 
 
copyright©2019
 
Printed May 2017 at Sunlight Press
 
          Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck
          memoriesaremadefromthis.com

CHERISHED POSSESSIONS

Was it a cherished possession
 you have always dreamed of owning 
and handing down to your children?

 

Where Is Your Heart?

 

Did you offer to release something for the Lenten season this year?

  Do you remember what it was? 

 Was it a cherished possession
 you have always dreamed of owning 
and handing down to your children?

 Perhaps it was a particular item you needed 
in order to complete a collection. Now you were giving it away.

Was it an object you’ve desired to own for years?

Could it have been an item

in which you’d lost interest?

In the Gospel of Mark, a man comes running to Jesus,
 kneels down before Him and asks, 

“What must I do to get to heaven? Jesus answers, “You know the commandments, don’t kill, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie,

always respect your Father and your Mother.”

The man replies, “Teacher, I’ve never broken a single one of those laws.”

Scripture tells us that Jesus felt genuine love for the man.

He said to him, 

“You only lack one thing, go and sell all that you have

and give the money to the poor,

 and you shall have TREASURE in heaven.”

A difficult thing was required of the man. 

A difficult thing is also required of you and me.

So then what is required?

Would we give up our home 
in order for a poor family to have a place to live?

Would we give up our annual vacation
 in order to give our employer 
the opportunity to give
vacation pay
  to a person who has no employment?

Would we transfer our civil rights 
to someone who has none,

 such as an illegal immigrant?

Jesus told his disciples

“It is easier, easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle 
than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

The disciple, in turn, exclaimed,
“Then who can enter and be saved

if a rich man cannot?” 

Who is a rich man? What makes him rich?

Jesus suggests that the things we TREASURE most 
are the things that make us rich. 
Those things are our homes,
 our parents, our brothers and sisters,

 our children and our property.

Are we willing to give up those things 
for the privilege of entering heaven?

Jesus tells us we will be rewarded one hundred times over 
with the same things we willingly gave away.

 We do this for the love of God

 and for the privilege 
of being able to share with others

 the Good News of the Gospel.

In addition to receiving such abundant rewards,

 we will also receive persecutions.

In spite of them, in the world to come
 we shall have eternal life.

The Christian walk has many twists and turns.

What things then, are to be desired?

God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as a burnt offering.

 Abraham was willing to obey.

 In Genesis 22 the angel of the Lord told Abraham

 to stop and not hurt the boy.

 “For I know that God is first in your life.

 You have not even withheld your beloved son.”

Is God first in my life? 
Is He first in yours?

Will God wait for us 
as we take these faltering steps 
to become closer to Him?

How many times will God forgive us
 when we don’t quite measure up?

I should have made that phone call.

You should have stopped to visit that person.

Why didn’t I send that card?

Why did you refuse when you were asked to serve
on a committee at church?

You said, “Ask someone else”.

 Someone else was asked

 and someone served God 
in the place that had been offered to you.

Do you sometimes wonder 
if that person will take your place
at the gates of heaven?

Years ago I had a small hobby business, 
photographing objects of nature 
and creating note cards, greeting cards, 
and pictures for framing.

I love to take pictures.

 

 Willing subjects are everywhere.

…. sunsets, rivers, trees and birds.

Old barns tell a story of their own. 

Wonderful TREASURES are all around us

everywhere we look

every day of our lives.

In searching for a name for my business, 
the name  “TREASURES” came to mind. 

From Scripture, 
a line in the Gospel of Matthew seemed appropriate.

 “Where your TREASURE is,

there will your heart be also.”
(Matthew 6:21)

Where is your TREASURE?

Did you know that your heart is there also?

Your heart is the very thing that gives you life.

Is your heart and TREASURE with Jesus?

copyright©2019

Photographs By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

Holiday Celebrations As The Years Continue..

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

THANKSGIVING-1964

(Musings of a Homemaker – Houghton Lake Resorter newspaper)

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

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

Reality was here to stay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The printed verse on the card must say it all.

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

New Memories New Traditions

2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It really is the season of living and loving.

copyright©2019

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

A MOMENT IN TIME

I began to think of the way we are linked together
 through His creation. The markings of the geese are specific,
  always the same for a particular breed.

 

AT THE END OF THE DAY

Looking Back

1995-2019

 
 

While enjoying the END OF THE DAY during a late August evening
 on our porch swing,
 The readily identifiable sounds of approaching geese
 could be heard.

 

The maple trees in our front yard formed a thick canopy over the place where we sat.We could hear the geese, yet couldn’t see them clearly.

 One glimpse through the leaves,
  told us there were five.

 

The farm has twenty acres, eight of which are hay fields. Geese often headed toward the fields at the end of the day, during late summer, to feed and to rest before starting their journey south for the winter.

As the five flew over our yard, 
a fluffy white feather floated quietly to the ground.

 What were the chances that a tiny feather
 could find its way
 through those thick leafy trees,
 coming to rest on the grass before us?

I began to think of the way we are linked together
 through His creation. The markings of the geese are specific,
  always the same for a particular breed.

 

Our family has now lived on this old farm 
for 60 years.
 This was an August evening, the END OF THE DAY,
 when my husband and I decided to rest 
on the porch swing 
to enjoy the quiet of the evening.

 

Just then,
 our Maker placed us together
 with other creatures of His creation.

 He is the One
 who all the oceans placed,
 set the world in space 
and created us.

 On this late summer evening, 
He chose to join His creations together 
for a special moment in time.

A coincidence? Perhaps…

* * * *

 

Winging low across the evening sky,

with necks outstretched,

the five in line responded to imprinted flight

formed countless centuries ago. 

A canopy of leaves formed overhead,

blocking them from view.

Gliding lower, wings now set,

the five flew toward feeding fields at dusk. 

How quickly they had come into our solitude,

then disappeared into the evening shadows. 

Now out of sight, ghostly silhouettes,

markings meticulously ordained when time began.

A snow white feather drifted slowly to the ground. 

Now cradled in the grass, 

The evening dew its bed. 

Binding our lives with theirs, 

All, now ever changed.

The great creative plan of One

who set the world in space,

the oceans placed, species defined,

now paused with us for a moment in time. 

We were one with Him.

It was the END OF THE DAY.

copyright©2019
 
Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck
 

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

I BELIEVE

But the best of all things that my two eyes can see,
Is the sight of “Old Glory” as she waves in the breeze.

I BELIEVE

By Thelma Whitchurch Tuck

8th Grade – 1944

(Celebrating her 88th August 13, 2018)
“Happy Birthday to my sister”

I BELIEVE in the things I can see with my eyes..

The geese and the ducks high up in the skies


The doe with her fawn going deep in the wood

The old mother hen as she cares for her brood

The fisherman quietly holding the line

The icicles hanging from oak tree and pine

My home, as it stands on the top of a hill

Meaning warmth and contentment, giving my heart a thrill.

But the best of all things that my two eyes can see,

Is the sight of “Old Glory” as she waves in the breeze.

I BELIEVE in the things I can hear with my ears…

The toll of a bell, the crowd with its cheers

The song of a bird, the hum of a bee

The low moaning wind as it blows through the trees

The cry of a baby, the notes of a song

The toot of a horn as the cars go along

The croak of a frog, the rain on the roof

Lowing cows in the pasture, a horse on the hoof

These are the sounds that my ears bring to me

In this wonderful country, the land of the free



I BELIEVE in the things I can smell with my nose.

A field filled with violets, a wild summer rose

The aroma of coffee, a pie or a cake

The smell of fish frying, just fresh from the lake

The burning of leaves, ground wet from rain

Freshly turned earth, or the smoke from a train

The smell of the woods with its cedar and pine trees

Newly mown hay, or a soft gentle lake breeze

Fruit blossoms in springtime, a field full of clover

Smoke from a campfire, when the day’s fun is over

To give up the pleasures we get from these things,

Is something we hope our life never will bring.

I BELIEVE in the things I can feel with my hands.

The great rolling ocean, the small grains of sand

The warmth of the fire, the cold of the snow

The snow or the rain as the wintry winds blow

The satin smooth skin of a child at its play

The fur of a puppy, the sun’s warming rays

The feel of the earth as the garden is planted

The vegetables harvested just as we planned it.

These are the things in this life we are living

That teach us receiving is equal to giving.

copyright©2018

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

THE MILES BETWEEN

How we live out our purpose,
and with whom we travel,
is our choice.

 Our Son

Tim

 

October 31, 1959 – October 11, 2013

 

 

He was employed as an “over the ROAD” truck driver.

In three week stints,

his purpose was to cover thousands of miles delivering freight

to various destinations throughout the country.

He chose to have his wife and their little dog travel with him.

 

The goal was to arrive safely at his destination.

The journey enabled him to experience the miles between.

 

Our journey is the same.

We have our point of origin (birth)

And our destination (death).

How we travel the miles between

defines our purpose in life.

 

How we live out our purpose,

and with whom we travel,

is our choice.

When we choose to travel with Jesus,

the Holy Spirit is our constant companion

Every experience, every encounter, every trial

is bearable,

because He is with us.   

 

We grow in our faith

as the mile markers accumulate.

 

God says to us….

“I am with you always,

even unto the end of time.”

 

My Prayer:  Thank you Lord,

for being one of Tim’s traveling companions

as he lived through his life

on his way back to You.

copyright©2019


Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

THE JOURNEY BEGINS

Remember the promise to beloved schoolmates?
“Our class will be different. 
We’ll keep in touch and we won’t forget.”

 

Summer begins.
School years end. 
Sheltered and familiar halls of learning
will be left behind.

 It’s time to venture into the unknown future.

For some, the promised journey is exciting.
Others are hesitant 
to take this next step 
into an unfamiliar and very large world.

Emotions are deep. All paths lead to life.

Many  have traveled
along this road.

Hopefully long, 
sometimes narrow,
It is always a winding avenue. 
Complete with side trips,

choices may lead to
 higher education, 
marriage 
or family.

One decision will lead

 to service of country. All will hopefully lead to success.

 Each traveler uses his personal key 
to open the door to the future.

Ahead lie many unexpected opportunities.
Some may lead to a detour or temporary failure.

The insight needed

 to understand complicated directions
can help to find an individual’s happiness. 
 Life’s journey 

 guides us  by trial and error.

Remember the promise to beloved schoolmates?
“Our class will be different. 
We’ll keep in touch and we won’t forget.”

 Friendships of high-school and college days

 are never forgotten. 
Names may slip from mind,
  faces may fade,
 but memories of the times spent with friends and comrades 
will remain for  years. It matters not
which path is chosen.
 There will always be
 fond recollections 
 of the time of graduation.

 
 
 

The journey begins

One step 
and then another.

 

Musings of a Homemaker 

Houghton Lake Resorter newspaper – 1964
copyright©2018

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck
 
 
https://thatremindsmenet.wpcomstaging.com

THINGS I SHOULD NEVER FORGET TO REMEMBER..

I wouldn’t even be telling you this
 if it wasn’t that I had recently seen posts on Facebook 
from women 
who had observed the same event
 that I experienced…….

 
“You need to change your ways!”

 
I’ve heard that statement many times. 
Like the words to an old song, 
they keep going ‘round in my mind.
One of my life changing events was in early spring of 1989, as I recall.
 A few years before,
my husband and I 
had decided to raise sheep.
 
One day, I suggested we should get a lamb.. 
After all, we have this little farm.
Our grandkids lived next door, 
it would be fun.
 

 It wasn’t long 
before my husband came home
 announcing
he’d found a lamb.
 In fact, he’d found two, a male and a female. 
They were orphans.
They needed people to love and care for them.
That would be our family.
I don’t remember the exact time frame
as the events began to unfold.
It wasn’t long after the arrival of the lambs,
I casually suggested to my husband, we should start 
a flock.
“We have “Bo” and “Betsy” and the grandkids love them.”
We also had this old barn 
with nothing in it but nothing.

It was then we began our search for mature ewes.
 We would use them to build our flock.
 We had Bo.
who wasn’t what you’d call a breeder at this young age.
He would be in a year or so
when he was no longer a “lamb.”
 The plan to become shepherds 
was quickly put into action.
We were proud and excited about our new, proposed lifestyle.
 My husband was in the retail hardware business.
  I owned and operated a Hallmark shop. 
This would be fun.
A little something extra to give us something to do in our spare time.
One day a gentleman came to call
 who was interested in looking at our lambing operation.
I was more than happy
 to show him
  our nearly 100 year old barn,
 and our new flock of sheep.
Now, this is the point where I veer away from the sheep
 and explain some of my habits to you.
 I wouldn’t even be telling you this
 if it wasn’t that I had recently seen posts on Facebook 
from women 
who had observed the same event
 that I experienced
on my journey to the barn that day.
 
Without getting too personal,
 I’m going to reveal my lifetime habit
of getting ready for bed at night. 
Included in my habit,
was the removing of my jeans and underwear
together in one swift motion. 
Unfortunately this has, on occasion, 
caused a slight “public” embarrassment.
That’s odd, I said I would be
getting ready for bed “at night”.)
How could that possibly affect my actions in the daytime? Hmm…
Back to the fine gentleman 
who had come to look at our flock.
We were walking to the barn
 when he turned around, 
looked quickly back toward the driveway, 
and said,
 “Oh! You’ve dropped your hanky.” 
Intuitively, as I turned, I knew what I was about to see.
 The clump of white lying in the driveway 
was instantly recognizable to me. 
It was definitely not my hanky. 
It was my underwear, 
which had been clinging,
 (with the help of static electricity from the dryer, )
to the inside of my jeans. 
The undergarment had chosen that moment 
to release itself from the fabric of my jeans,
 and to embrace the ground 
in the driveway. 
“I’ll get it”, he said,
 turning around and taking a step
 toward the object. 
“No”, I said, 
“I’ll get it”.  
We were immediately in competition
 to get to “the hanky”first .
 I outran him by seconds,
 scooped up ‘the hanky’ 
and shoved ‘it’ 
into my jacket pocket.
 Bless his heart.
 He seemed totally unaware ,
of the rapid beating of my heart,
 which was not caused
 from the exertion of running
 to the area of the driveway
 in question.
 
You might think 
the experience would have been a lesson
 forever etched in my mind. It was definitely time to renew my habits.
 However, that was not to be.
Continuing…
One quiet morning in summer 
I had opened my Hallmark Shop at nine a.m.
 allowing my employees to come in later.
 
 A pleasant fellow was the first to stop by.
 He stood just inside the front door,
where we visited for twenty minutes or so.
 As he turned to leave, he said, 
“You may want to check the leg of your slacks
 near your right shoe”.  
With that, he went upon his way.
 
Looking down at my shoe,
  in full view
 was a visible display of one of my nylons, 
which was making its way
 past the static electricity in my slacks
 to heaven knows where.
Can you imagine
  what the nice fellow must have been thinking 
as we stood there and talked?
 He apparently had decided 
he would tell me 
just as he went out the door,
 without looking back.
 He must have envisioned the expression he would surely see on my face when I found the scene he’d described. 
I don’t know if men are prone to giggling. 
But I’ll bet this fellow was giggling as he made his way to the car.
At this moment,
 it’s important for me to tell you
  I’ve never had either of these experiences again.
 I really have changed my habits,
 about certain things.
My friends and family would tell you it is rare for me to change my mind about anything, and I still have some mind changing to do.
At Christmas that year, 
 my family gave
 me a bottle of fabric softener 
and a pair of nylons
with lace edged suspenders sewn on them.

One of the changes I have yet to make
 is not to share with anyone 
the embarrassing things 
that happen to me.

I really do need to change my ways.

Photography by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

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