Rules of the Game 

Making Conversation


(Published in the Houghton Lake Resorter, Houghton Lake, Michigan, weekly newspaper)

Even the rules change in 56 years. and as a result, conversations change even more. It was my privilege to have a weekly column in our local newspaper, continuing for almost three years. I’ve added a little here and there. But you’ll get the idea.


My Byline

Is it really the weather that makes us disagreeable, or are we just naturally hard to please?

Seems like just a few short weeks ago, we could be found pining for summer days. Then summer days arrived and we began to long for the cooler, fall weather.

Our nature is to search for lost opportunities and unfulfilled dreams. Beginning as early as ten years of age, we began to wish for things we didn’t possess.Such as,it would be nice if my name could be Susie, instead of Mary. And I wish I had red hair instead of this awful brown.”

Then we reach high school and sometimes, during our high school years we yearn for a steady date. Then we  find, to our amazement, that the steady daters have visions of playing the field and dating around.

If our choice is not to attend college, we may soon be found nurturing envious thoughts of those who went on to higher education.

Sometimes, the bride who marries young wishes she had waited a bit for that magic moment.  She’s surprised to learn that the woman who works outside the home may feel she has wasted precious years when she could have been staying home, and raising a family. 

We are sometimes filled with discontent during the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Keeping up with the Jones family is a desirable way of life for many, and the wish to have as much or more as the folks next door may never go away.

When your neighbor belabors the fact that the days are much too long and the weather is much too hot, perhaps your neighbor is following the “rules of the game”..The game is called “Making Conversation.”  The objective is to see how much better we can make our everyday living with good natured complaining along with a few constructive thoughts.

What can we do to make our lives more blessed than they are already?

Maybe we should change “The Rules Of The Game”,

 Let’s talk about it!


I’m seeing myself in the words once written by me at the age of twenty-eight..  Those were the years when I had three little boys, ages one, four and six.  No more working in an office, dressing up each day, going to work and meeting new people.

Maybe I just wanted to be different; different from what? I’m not quite sure.  Possibly I thought I’d missed out on the opportunities once before me, now seemingly disappeared.

Married at twenty with my first child at twenty-one, I’d now become the Mom of three and a homemaker, at the age of twenty-seven.

Establishing a home and family may sometimes begin at a later time in life,  but there was never a career pursuit for me. From the age of twenty I was faced with preparing meals, doing dishes and laundry and house-cleaning.

 The house we lived in, although we loved it dearly, was much less sophisticated than the homes of our friends and neighbors.  I knew the future was out there, somewhere. At the time, though, I couldn’t see it.

What is it the jokesters say? It’s just another day in paradise.

My Christian walk had not yet begun….or maybe it had and I just hadn’t recognized it.  Time would tell.



Photographs by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

Loved to write since high the years pass memories and relationships are primary. (There is also room for an opinion or two.) Feeling good at the age of eighty-five, enjoying life and a hobby of photography. Lived on a small farm for sixty-one years. welcomed three sons, two grandkids, and 3 greats. Owned and operated an Ace Hardware and Hallmark Shop, managing also to raise sheep for ten years. Shared sixty-two years of marriage before his passing in 2017. One son has also passed on to the next life, Memories really are "Made From This". Welcome to my world!


  • June 2, 2020 at 1:19 am

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

    • June 2, 2020 at 5:26 am

      Thanks for enjoying my post. Hope you read some of the others too. At the age of 85, time is getting short for me to become famous but folks like you who take the time to comment make for a good day in the to speak.


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