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Tell It Like It Was!

Can’t Take It Any More!

I thought “the cough” would stop if I ignored it, but it didn’t. How long does it take to destroy “the way it was” and make it “the way it is now”?

How long does a “childhood cough” remain hidden behind the alphabet, before someone notices?

At first it was only fashions. I could live with that. Too long, too short, too loose, too tight; who cares? If the image you see in the mirror doesn’t distract you, make your own stylish statement.

Then it was the vehicles we drive. What happened to the classy look of the Oldsmobile in the fifties? You could always define the brand by the look. Somewhere along the line they all began to look alike. I thought that was sad until the SUV’s came along and classy became “cool”.

It wasn’t long before the SUV’s agreed to share the road with the “Pick-ups” and the race was on!

It’s ok, I said to myself, so I bought a pick-up. Somewhere along the way, I began listening instead of looking. Changes in the language began to catch my ear; not my eye, but my ear.

The first word I noticed was “the cough”.

In the beginning the first word I noticed concerned a childhood disease. I heard it mentioned on television and assumed the person had misspoken. I waited and listened. Whoever they were; whoever they are, they’re still pronouncing it incorrectly.

The word is….”whooping cough”.

Say it aloud. That’s right, say it now!

You’ve just pronounced it wrong. I’m here to help.

Because it has become so important to me that the name of this particular childhood disease be spoken correctly, I’ve taken the time to look up some helpful facts.

The correct pronunciation is; “hooping cough”.

(say it aloud)

Now, pronounce aloud the following words after me; Whole, Whom, Who, Whose Whoever, Wholesome….

Did you notice anything? For the sake of direction, let me point out that the “W” is silent.

The “W” is also silent in Whooping Cough.

You’ll never understand what it means to me to have cleared up this confusion for you.

May The Force be with you!

copyright@2021

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

http://www.thatremindsme.net

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LIFE AT HIDDEN MEADOWS FARM

House July 4 thru pines resizrf got drnfinn.jpgresized againSometimes 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 was my thinking.
I’ve never learned to swim and
our lakefront home was surrounded on three sides by water.
In addition to the lake at the front, there were deep canals to the north and west. The safety of my young children was foremost on my mind.
We had no preconceived idea about the style of home we wanted to find.
We looked at several places and none of them seemed to be just right.
Someone told us there was an old farm for sale nearby.
Maybe we should check into that possibility.
Neither of us had been raised on a farm.
This was a bit of a stretch.
We approached the owners and 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.
When we checked it out, we found there was also an old garage, a chicken coop, a root cellar and a corn crib.
We decided to take a look around.
We found 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 in 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.
This is our 62nd year of enjoying life 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,
while I owned and operated a Hallmark Shop for 14 years.
During those years of involvement in retail business, we also found time to raise sheep, for ten years.
Starting with two orphan lambs, a flock of 100 was ours
when we sold them in 1998. Needless to say, we purchased several more, over time, and experimented with cross breeding which enabled us to increase lamb and wool production.
Over the years, we’ve had goats and pigs and chickens. Since we had fenced pasture it seemed appropriate to board horses, which we did, for over twenty-five years.
The pasture also 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 did not.)
Two pear trees
still produce 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. Eventually the orchard area became our vegetable garden. Beyond the vegetable endeavor, we had a fantastic, huge wildflower garden. You just can’t get better than that.
There are enough maple trees surrounding the house and barn to hang ten or twelve sap buckets in early spring. Many labor intensive hours were given to the family by my husband.
We always had an abundance of tasty maple syrup. 
The years of “Living The Life” which have been given to our family
on this wonderful homestead are indeed a treasure for us.
In 1998,  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.
When we were considering the original 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©2020
Photography by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

 

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

 
Countryside Magazine..1991..by Mary Anne

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LIFE IS LIKE A DREAM

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 86. I once thought 86 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 the day I turned thirty. Life was over, I was 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 I am required to check off my level of education on an application, the box to check must be “graduated high-school”.
My Dad always 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 I got inside a building.
You’ll be happy to know, with a great deal of concentration, I finally figured out how to  return it to its original closed position by pushing the little “down” arrow located right underneath the “up” arrow.
Who says a high school education isn’t worth much?
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.
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 them when describing my attributes.)
copyright©2020
Photography By Mary Anne Whitchurch 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 residing on a 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’ve read it over and over.
The only thing I lacked, was a photo of two roads, diverging into the yellow woods, in the fall of the year.
Then one day, when driving the woodland trails, the photo opportunity at the top of this page appeared before me. A perfect picture of life as Yogi saw it.
It spoke to me. Perhaps it will speak to you…
thatremindsme.net

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

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I SAW AN EAGLE TODAY

I Saw An Eagle Today

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 folks 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  just that moment, an American Bald Eagle flew over.
Those who know me have often heard me say, 
“Any day I see an eagle is a perfect day for me.”

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

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

“I saw an eagle today.”

 
copyright©2020
Photography By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck
 

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LIFE CHANGING EVENTS

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. Perhaps I should call these memorable incidents,  “Nylons Security”.
One of my life changing events was in early spring, as I recall.
 A few years before,
my husband and I 
had decided to raise sheep…it happened like this…sort of..

 
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.
ryanbeccawlambs

 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 us.

I don’t remember the exact time frame
as events began to unfold, but
it wasn’t long after their arrival,
I casually suggested we should start 
a flock,
“we already have “Bo” and “Betsy” and the grandkids love them.”
We also had this big 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”, but
 he wasn’t what you’d call a breeder yet,
He would be, though, in a year or so
when he was no longer “a lamb.” (You get the idea.)
 The plan to become shepherds 
was quickly put into action.
We were proud and excited about our new endeavor.

 My husband had been in the retail hardware business for several years.
 I owned and operated a Hallmark shop. 
This would be fun.
A little something extra to give us a new hobby.
One day a gentleman came to call
 who was interested in our lambing operation.
Of course, I was more than happy
 to show him
  our nearly 100 year old barn,
 where our new flock of sheep resided.
Now, this is the point where I veer away from the sheep situation
 and explain some of my personal 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 found themselves involved in the same situation
  I experienced
on my journey to the barn one day.
Without getting too personal,
 I’m going to reveal my lifetime habit
of getting ready for bed at night. 

Included in my habit,
would be the removing of my jeans and underwear
 in one swift motion. 
Unfortunately this has, on occasion, 
caused a slight “public” embarrassment.
(How could that be? I should explain.. since I would be
getting ready for bed “at night, at home.”)
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 toward the barn
 when he turned around, 
looked quickly back in the direction of 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 find out who would 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 review and perhaps renew, my habits.
 However, that was not to be.
Continuing…

One quiet morning in summer 
I had personally opened my Hallmark Shop at nine a.m.
 so my employees wouldn’t have to come in
 until 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 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 suspected the expression he would surely see on my face. 
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 that it is rare for me to change my mind, I still have some habit changing to do.

For 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 need to change my ways!

copyright©2020
Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck
Featured

GUESS WHO RAN THE RED LIGHT

Trying to navigate the unfamiliar left hand turn at a cross section,
I didn’t see the traffic light.
It was blinking red, apparently.

(Here’s a clue for the insurance company, it wasn’t me.)

3ab82-jeep2bleft2bfront2bwheel
I’ve always bragged about my driving record.
As with many, I started driving at the age of 16.
Granted, I’ve never traveled much cross-country
or in a foreign land, (such as Canada).
Still, no person of the law enforcement
has ever flagged me down on the highway.
I’ve always been quite proud of that.
 Oh yes, there was that time in New Hampshire.
Returning to the campground where our fifth-wheel awaited;
my husband was tired so I was driving. 
It was almost midnight.
You may wonder why the time would be of importance.
There were no cars to be seen on the road through town…(Manchester, New Hampshire.)
Trying to navigate the unfamiliar left hand turn at a cross section,
I didn’t see the traffic light.
It was blinking red, apparently.
However, the red flashing light of the police car
in the rear-view mirror caught my attention.
The traffic officer appeared at my window.
Why he was cruising this deserted road at mid-night,
I’ll never know.
“I didn’t see the light, officer”, I said.
“I was searching for the turn and guess I was preoccupied”.
He was very nice and quietly said,
“You’ll need to be more careful in the future”.
There was no ticket…whew!
Now let me think.
The only time I received a traffic ticket
was in 2013
when
I was traveling a nearby local highway,
apparently at the speed of 74 mph
in a
55 mph zone.

A township officer, who was hiding in a nearby forest,
must have believed she had a live one,
and followed me persistently
until I pulled to the side of the road.

Informing me she had clocked me at 74 mph in a 55 mph zone,
she said “Don’t you have a cruise control?”
“Yes officer” I said, “but it doesn’t work”.
“I’ll have to write you a ticket”, she said.
Standing by the car she began to fill out the citation.

“I have not had a ticket since I started to drive at the age of 16,”
I said, smiling quietly.” I suppose I will have to quit telling my friends
I’m a “virgin driver”.
(I was quite sure she’d noticed my birth year of 1935
on the driver’s license.)
An understanding smile crossed her face; I’ve never figured out what it was that she was “understanding”…maybe it was something I said.
“I’ll just write the ticket for 60 mph.”
“But be careful you don’t get another within the next three years
or your insurance will increase.” 
Thanking her profusely, I drove on my merry way,
silently cherishing my sense of humor
which was inherited from my Mother.
* * *
Continuing:
Last Monday I drove a few miles down the road to our local McDonalds to buy myself a Big Mac and an order of fries. Just as I left home, my son said “Pick me up a large strawberry shake”.
 I did.
As I recall,
the Big Mac and fries
have never been seen again…but that’s another story.
As is my usual routine, I drove through the Wal-Mart parking lot in order to re-enter the main road at the stop light. It’s much safer.

The light turned green and I moved forward.

 In the flash of a moment, I found myself on the far side of the road; about the same time that I felt something hit my left arm rather harshly. (It turned out to be the air-bag.)
A nice gentleman came over to the car
and asked me if I was all right.
“Yes, I’m fine”, I said.
(Later was when I found the scrapes and bruises and aches,
but I digress.)

A glance toward the dashboard on the passenger side revealed my glasses, which I had been wearing, sitting there. Now, that’s interesting. Wonder how they got over there.

My son came to give me a ride home
and the wrecker took my car away. (I think I gave someone my home phone number to call and that’s how my son knew where to find me; sitting in the middle of the highway in a somewhat crumbled car.)

A few days later the insurance adjuster called to inform me
the car was totaled. (Well duh…that wasn’t hard to see.)

I now have a new car,
a new appreciation for driver side airbags,
an understanding of the need for seat belts
and some other things I haven’t thought of yet.

The Other Car-The One That Ran The Red Light
 I can remember that.
 
copyright©2018
Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

http://www.thatremindsme.net

Continue reading “GUESS WHO RAN THE RED LIGHT”
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LETTER FOR A SOLDIER RETURNING HOME

The older you grow the greater is your responsibility toward life, society, and the two people who created you, your Mother and Father.

 

A letter To Don..from Bill….

 
Note: To be opened the last morning you are at sea on going home to the USA.

16 February 1953

Dear Don,
When I came overseas many moons ago, I was sent with a letter from my Mother.  In it she stated how on long voyages years ago, people were sent with ship messages. There was then an age of letter writing which seems to have passed, except for the ghosts that may rove the skeleton of some long lost ship.  There was then wind in the sails and the creak of the boards of the ship at night.  There could be heard the rustle of silk in women’s dresses.
Men and women were probably doing just as we do today if given the opportunity.  That is, jumping from bunk to bunk.
 Right now, right at this living moment, I am writing this on the usual, sunless, dull, German day in the office of the captain.
In time, all our importance melts away, and yet as a part of history we remain an important factor in time.  The way you live, the love you have for life, the love you have for others and the understanding of them, the love you have for a woman and your unborn children are of great importance.
Whether you are ever known as an individual, it is the way you are which makes the “To Be” of a better world.  Now you are nearing home to the land that I love so deeply.  I would want to claim that land in a deeper way than you can in your youth.
Someday you will know what I mean.  Someday you will know that the earth in a bog swamp when you are out duck hunting is the cleanest mud in the world.
 Don’t ever forget that part of your life which you spent in a foreign land.  There were circumstances you did not like. They have helped to keep that mud as clean as it is. Sometimes Don, I hope you are looking at that lost land where you like to lose yourself.

 

You’ll find the air just a bit sharp.  You will like the smell that time of year.
Whether it is summer, fall, winter or spring, just breathe deeper because you are alive.
 God is in Nature and you are close to it and to Him.  In college it would be called Pantheism. I’d rather call it the awareness of Don knowing Don.  You can call it whatever.  It doesn’t matter what you call it just so you remember that when it happens and it will.
 The sea where you read this is deep.  Your feet will soon touch shore. Right now you are pipeline and lost.
Soon the inevitable pattern will establish itself.  You will be a civilian with all the responsibilities of one.  To drive safely, to love right, to build a home, and to vote are small and important things.  To be aware when you’re on a hunting trip
that you are the greatest being God ever made is important too.
That’s about all I have to say, Don.
This is my shipboard letter to you with the exception of one thing.
The more you grow the more you will become aware of this.
The older you grow the greater is your responsibility toward life, society, and the two people who created you, your Mother and Father.
Your friend….
Meade

 

April 22, 1930-February 24, 2017

* * *

My husband, Don, passed away in 2017.
In going through his special drawer for saving things important to him,
 I found this letter. 
I didn’t know his friend “Meade”.
 I don’t need to know him. He was a special man.
Although we shared 62 years of marriage, 
I didn’t know Don as a soldier, when he was newly discharged from the service.
 He would have celebrated his 87th birthday in April of 2017.
 His great respect for God, family and nature never ceased.
I hope you enjoyed this special letter
from “Meade”….
copyright©2017
Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

http://www.thatremindsme.net

 

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PEARL HARBOR

Tenth Grade English Composition
 1951

Mary Anne Whitchurch (Tuck)

December 7, 1941

 On a cold, grey morning

when the fog had yet to rise;

The seagulls made a flutter
 like a bird of paradise.
The waves were as a rose vine
 coils in an arbor,
Thus began the day
  Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
The sun had yet to rise that day, 
December seven.
Dawn had just receded 
to another day in heaven,
When from the sky a frightful noise
 came booming from the guns.
Now in the place of clouds and sky
 had come 
The Rising Sun.
Their guns were all ablaze.
From the air there came a shrieking of bullets whizzing by to find their targets,
 quickly streaking.
The planes upon the ground 
were shattered as they stood.
For the men to take their stations
would, of course, have done no good.
The people who had lived at Pearl Harbor
 were not spared.
Families of the fighting men 
were sadly not prepared.
A couple that had risen right at dawn
 to walk for pleasure
Were shattered,
killed by bullets 
which were made for such a measure.
A moment quickly passed.
  The air was filled with death.
Looking toward the morning sky, 
only clouds were left.
The sun had risen in the east; 
its bright light
showed a flood
of red, red streaks 
upon the ground,
 now sadly stained
 with blood.
The stillness in the morning air 
seemed empty, 
dark and chilling.
A group of planes had quickly come. 
 Their one intent was killing.
The second world war began.
 With it came the strife
for families
of the men 
whose fate it was 
to lose their life.
Pearl Harbor was the turning point 
in nineteen forty-one.
It was to bring a mask of death 
for five long years to come.
The seventh day of every month 
we pause 
and should remember…
The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor
on the seventh of December.
copyright©2018
* * * * * *

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

Pearl Harbor.

This was written in 1951.
 The event had happened only ten years earlier.
 Although it seems to us in 2020 
as only a point in history, 
it was very real to a teen-ager 
in those days.

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

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

December 7th is a date to remember.

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

It must never happen again.

***
copyright©2020
http://www.thatremindsme.net
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WHERE’S THE BEEF?

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

Musings of a Homemaker – Houghton Lake Resorter Newspaper
Spring 1964

Strolling down our lane 
one may be overwhelmed by the aroma of lilacs and apple blossoms.  Tiny pink flowers nod gently in the spring breeze.

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

We are careless with adjectives;

 lovely, cute and sweet. 


When something is found worthy of a special description, 

words are used

 in a careless fashion.

They are overdone and unimpressive.

Have we become a nation of adjective droppers?

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

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

Freckles are cute. 

Your husband is cute.
Puppies  are cute.
 Babies are cute.

Everything is sweet, cute and lovely.

WHERE’S THE BEEF?

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

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

Phrases overused
are lost.

 Adjectives can become
 bruised, broken and meaningless.

Let’s save them for another day.

***

(This all seemed like a good idea in 1964)

And then..

Where are we now?

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

 Now it’s PC…G….and LOL.

It may be ESP and APP.
We are politically correct. 

Or are we?

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

Those in the know understand 
what we mean.

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

ESP Stands for

  “extrasensory perception“;

APP

 for “application.”

We type 

COOL for “good, 
wonderful,
 smart 
and up to date”.

A perfectly wonderful language
 has been simplified 
to nothing. 

Children in elementary school are not being taught cursive writing. Much of their writing is unreadable.

Making matters worse,
many young people
cannot “read” cursive writing.

Think about it!

The United States Constitution
was produced in cursive writing.

President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

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

Why have we decided

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

In response to questioning,

 a teacher informed me,

 “Within ten years
 no one will be using handwriting.
 Everyone will be using computers.”

Think of the handwriting experts

who will be unemployed.
(That’s a joke.)
With this information in mind,
 the overuse of “adjectives ” becomes cute and darling.

You can now describe almost anything at all
with the terms, “sweet and lovely,”.
Over-used adjectives of the past, may have become the only remaining,
 desirable speech.

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

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

I long for them.

Is it just me?

copyright©2018
Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

http://www.thatremindsme.net

copyright@2018
Featured

HE’S WAITING FOR YOU

Today, the television brings the world into my living room.
The good news, the bad news and news that isn’t news at all
invades my life
every day. 

(That night, Paul had a dream. A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea. “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map…we knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.)    Acts 16.9( The Message )
The world of Paul seems far from mine.
Today, the television brings the world into my living room.
The good news, the bad news and news that isn’t news at all
invades my life
every day. 
Paul believed God was sending him to preach in Macedonia.
God was calling him.

The planet earth can now be seen from a camera on a satellite

revolving through space. 

Through the lens of a camera

carried by a robot,

I can watch as the moon is explored.

With a computer,

a phone line, a connection to the Internet,

I can visit with someone who lives in France or Greece,

send them a picture of myself,

communicate with them.

I will never meet them.

However, it is possible to maintain a friendship with these persons

in far off lands.

One may inhabit an operating room in Australia

through a camera fixed in position

as a human heart is removed,

repaired and replaced

in fine condition,

into the body of a man

whose name we will never know.

Why would we pay any attention to a dream like Paul’s,  or a vision,

when life in the 21st century

has so much to offer?

As a child I was warned,

“Don’t let your imagination run away with you.”

“Learn to be sensible and realistic.”

 “Keep your feet on the ground”.

Could the God of the Bible become a real part of my life?

The Apostle Paul believed the Holy Spirit could speak to him

his own affliction,

his thorn in the flesh.

That was Paul, not me.

As time passed,  God’s message began to come to me 

through the timely witness of a friend,

the words of a song,

a recommended book,

an inner urge

to learn and experience

this thing call Christianity.

There were new opportunities to serve Him in the church.

There were continuing revelations of an elusive “something more”.

The God of the universe became personal to me.

The good news is that He cares for me. 

He knows my name and all about my life. 

He knows my deepest and most private thoughts.

He knows the unspoken desires of my heart.

In John 5:1-9 (The Message)
“While Jesus was visiting Jerusalem for one of the Jewish religious holidays,
He came to the Sheep Gate near the Bethesda Pool.
It was here where crowds of sick people waited for a miraculous healing
by entering the stirring waters of the pool. 
One of the men by the pool, who had been sick for 38 years,
came into Jesus’ view. 
Jesus asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

What an interesting question for Jesus to ask the man. 

Hadn’t he been coming to this pool every day

in order to be made whole? 

He had been crippled for 38 years;

of course he wanted to be healed.

The man responded that he couldn’t be healed

since he had no one to help him into the pool.

He believed that it was the fault of his friends

who hadn’t helped him,

that he had been unable to be healed.

Jesus said to the man,

“Stand up, roll up you’re sleeping mat and go home.”

Instantly the man was healed.

The word of God became personal and real to him.

The moment comes

when it’s time to move

from where I am

to where He wants me to be.

The Holy Spirit speaks to me in my condition

while living in my home, my church and my world. 

The move must be made unassisted.

Are you where He wants you to be? 

Have you experienced the vision?

Is the Holy Spirit using a time in your life

to call you to witness for Him?

Have you heard the message from God?

You there,

get up, pick up your sleeping mat.

Step into the stirring, healing waters of life

in Jesus Christ.

HE’S WAITING FOR YOU

It was a time when I felt that God was calling me to share. I studied and became a lay speaker in our United Methodist Church. The meaning of the scripture became steadily clear. I wanted to share my personal walk and invite others to travel with me.
Searching for meaning,
He showed me The Way.

He really does know me!

Copyright©2018
Photography By Mary Anne Tuck
http://www.thatremindsme.net
Featured

Never Forget

A large plane had flown into the World Trade Center in New York City
 and completely disappeared. 

September 11, 2001

A DAY TO REMEMBER

September 11, 2001
NEVER FORGET
           “I wanted to feel the comfort of shared grief.
 The quilters were a blessing to me.”

Standing before the television,
 getting my last look at the news
 before beginning the day,
 I couldn’t comprehend the scene before me.

A large plane had flown into the World Trade Center
in New York City
 and completely disappeared. 
 Smoke and flames were billowing out
 at a point six stories from the top of the building.
 The remnants of the plane had not appeared on the other side.
 It didn’t make sense.
I knew I wasn’t watching a video or a re-run.
 How could this have happened?
I called to my husband who was working outside. 
“Come in here and look at this.”
While we stood together before the television,
 another large plane appeared 
and flew into the second tower, 
not emerging on the other side;
 causing an explosion of smoke and fire.
As the day progressed,
 a tower collapsed and disintegrated into the ground, 
sending unbelievable amounts of soot and smoke 
racing through the narrow streets.
Hundreds were running away 
in an effort to escape the terrible scene.
 An event, which I have never viewed,
 although I know it was captured by cameras,
 shows thousands of people
 jumping from the fire in the buildings 
to their deaths on the ground.
  I cannot bring myself to look at it.
It was reported that 400 police officers and fire fighters 
were killed
 while attempting to rescue as many as possible
 from the blazing buildings.
 These brave men led many to safety.
 They are heroes. 
This is America.
 Tragedies such as this don’t happen here.

As the day wore on,
 it was difficult to draw away from the sight
of the events before me.

 I felt fear and a heavy sadness
 for what was happening in New York.
 How could anyone
 living in the United States of America
 believe this could be possible?

Thousands of people had gone to work that morning,
  never to return to their loved ones. 
How do we accept such an event
 except through fear, confusion and sadness.

Later, as the hours passed,
 a report was given that a passenger plane was down. 
Flight 93, had crashed and disintegrated 
in a field in Pennsylvania. 
Forty unbelievably brave passengers attempted to take over the plane. 
 All were killed as they tried to retrieve control from the terrorists.

We remember them as heroes.

A report was given about a fourth plane
 with 184 passengers aboard 
which had flown into the Pentagon.
 Many were killed.

 The scenes before me could not be denied.
 It was reported Fight 93 had been destined
 to destroy the White House.
 Because of the actions of the passengers
 the plane had crashed 
into an empty field.

That night
 our church, 
which will hold 300 people,
 held a prayer meeting. 
Every available place was filled.

 This was the beginning of a new awareness.
 There are people who hate us because we exist.
 They hate us so much, 
 they willingly die
 in order to kill as many of us in this country 
as possible.

I felt a strong need to reach out to people far away;
 wanting to feel the comfort of shared grief. 
How could that be accomplished?

My recently developed  hobby of quilting 
had led me to discover
  a program on the Internet 
designed for exchanging quilt materials.

 Choose a listed name and address,
  send twenty-four two-inch pieces of material 
in a variety of colors.

They would be sown into a quilt.

I should send my material to them
 and they in turn 
would send theirs to me. 
 Along with the material,
 the guidelines suggested also sending
 a little note about myself,
 where I lived 
and briefly about my life.

I received fabric and note exchanges from every state in the union,
 including one from Israel.
 Eventually there were enough squares
 to make a full sized quilt,
 covering both sides with the material received.

Opening each package
 I felt warmly connected to these women
 I would never meet. 
 I felt strengthened
 knowing that their hands
 had prepared the material, 
which I now held in my hands. 

 The quilters were a blessing to me.

Each message I received resides in a folder; remembering friends unknown.

I was sixty-six years of age in 2001.
 My life
and thousands of others,
could never be the same again.

 We must not let the evil existing in the world 
change us as persons 
or as citizens 
of the United States of America. 

The events of September 11
have been burned into the minds
 of those of us who witnessed it.

To many of our youth,
 September 11, 2001,
 is only a piece of history.
 It may be likened to the story of the First World War, 
Viet Nam, or the Korean War.
 The difference is
 this happened in the United States of America
 in the twenty-first century. 

It didn’t happen 
under the leadership of George Washington
 or Abraham Lincoln. 

 It didn’t happen 
when Theodore Roosevelt or Harry Truman 
held the office of president.

 It happened 
under the administration 
of the forty-third president

of the United States of America,
 George W. Bush. 

To President Bush, 
in office for less than one year,
 fell the responsibility of dealing with a people who hate us.
 These are people 
who consider our very existence
 to be an affront to their god.

 It fell to our president
 to comfort
 many who were frightened and grief stricken.

This isn’t the world in which I grew to adulthood.
 Could I have imagined
 a foreign nation taking the lives of 3000 people
 on a fair September morning in New York city?
 Would I have believed 
I would be a witness 
while standing before a television in my home
 as it was happening? 

 The answer is no.

We must never forget September 11, 2001.

 The memories remain vivid 
on September 11, 2021.
 Sadness comes quickly.

I WILL NOT FORGET.

copyright©2018

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

http://www.thatremindsme.net

Featured

A GIFT TO BE SHARED

Ann was healed and she was in heaven!
The Holy Spirit was giving to me the knowledge of her healing.
I received the confirmation of her new life 
as a gift.
It is a gift I will remember and cherish all the days of my life.

Remembering  Ann

A gift to  cherish….

Ann lived a short distance from our house.  
 She and her husband moved to the neighborhood
 from the southern part of the state 
where she had worked in a factory and he had been employed
 as a heavy equipment operator.
 Now retired, they spent their time caring for their home.
 They had no children and were deeply devoted to each other.
Plain looking and soft spoken,
 Ann had the proverbial heart of gold. 
Her graying hair was not stylishly fixed
 in the fashion of the day.

Each year she raised a beautiful circular flower garden 
with a birdbath in the center
 surrounded by colorful flowers.
The garden prospered under Ann’s tender care.

The two were always nearby,  lending a helping hand
 when one was needed. 
 Appearing on a summer’s evening to visit for a time,
 there was always encouragement in planning our young lives,
 with an offer to help in any way they could.

Ann unwittingly helped me to acquire a taste for sauerkraut. 
I could never abide the bitter taste no matter how I tried. 
 One day, I stopped by her house. 
The wonderful aroma in her kitchen caused me to inquire
 about what she was cooking.
 Her answer was sauerkraut. 
I shared with her my utter dislike for it.
Ann suggested I should add brown sugar 
and a couple of quartered apples to the sauerkraut as it cooked.
 What a difference that combination made.

Perhaps there’s a lesson here. 
It may be the “lack” of seasoning that causes bitterness
But the “addition” of something sweet
 can change bitterness to joy
 and give us a new appetite for life.

One day I learned Ann was in the hospital for stomach surgery.
 The results were not good. 
She had cancer and nothing could be done.

She came home to spend her remaining days
 in her own bed in her own home,
 surrounded by things and people she loved.
 By this time, Ann was in her late sixties.

Life, for me, at that time, 
had been completely turned around
 by the joy and knowledge of the Holy Spirit. 

The Bible was exciting. 
Scripture was leaping off the pages of the Bible, to me,
 as it had never done before.  

I prayed incessantly for Ann’s healing. 
 I had faith and prayed for more faith 
and more understanding 
and always
 for the complete healing of Ann’s body.

Time passed and healing was not evident.

 I searched scripture for more information.
  There were many passages for guidance.
 1Thess.5: 27 “pray without ceasing”.

The disciples asked Jesus
 why they had not had a healing for someone
 by praying for them.
 Jesus responded; Matthew 17:21 
“this kind does not go out
 except by prayer and fasting.”
Further, it is noted He said to them.,
“This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting”.

For the first and only time in my life, I fasted; and
  prayed without ceasing for 24 hours. 
The fasting directed my complete attention to the prayer,
 to Ann, 
and to the Spirit of God.

I was confident

that Ann would be healed. 
She was not.
 A few weeks later, Ann died. 

I questioned God, my faith, and myself.

Ann was a devout Catholic.
 Her funeral was held in the local Catholic Church.
 Our family sat in the back of the church 
quietly observing the unfamiliar (to us)

funeral rituals.

I was sad for the loss of my friend, Ann. 
For me, the words of the service fell on closed ears and a heavy heart.

Suddenly I was amazed.
  I felt a great feeling of joy welling up within me.

 I was overwhelmed with the knowledge being given to me. 
 Ann was healed.
 She was in heaven.

 The promises of God were fulfilled. 
“I go to prepare a place for you. Where I am you will be also.”

Ann was healed and she was in heaven!

The Holy Spirit was giving to me the knowledge of her healing.

I received the confirmation of her new life 
as a gift.

It is a gift I will remember and cherish all the days of my life.

* * *

A Gift To Be Shared

One treasures the people in life who made a difference 
in the way we lived then and now.

I would not have identified Ann as such an important person,
 until my experience at the time of her death.

I now believe that God called me to Ann’s friendship
 so He could show me

His Way.

It’s hard to explain my experience the day of Ann’s funeral.

The feeling was instant, intense and oh so joyful.

I’ve shared my feelings of it
 with friends and family.
But there is no way to convey 
the intensity of the joy I felt 
as I sat quietly in the back row of an unfamiliar church 
during an equally unfamiliar funeral service. 

 Maybe that was part of God’s plan too.

Belief in Ann’s healing 
and belief in life after life
 in a perfect state of being
 will never change for me.

It truly is “A Gift To Be Shared”

copyright©2017
Photograph By Mary Anne Tuck
http://www.treasuresbymaryanne.com

RESPECTFULLY YOURS?


It was a different time when I was growing up In the forties and fifties. We didn’t have much first-hand information about disrespect, but we knew a lot about “respect”.


Start with the flag, you know the one; stars, stripes, red white and blue?
Remember when we stood up when the Star Spangled Banner was played at the football games? No one made us, we just did it. (Hand over heart and facing the flag.) Now, some folks are tired of it. Let’s drop down on one knee and look toward the ground.


How about “stand on your own two feet and make a difference” in honor of something worthwhile?


Remember when you were told to address the friends of your parents by Mr. and Mrs.? In our home, we were informed a doctor should not be addressed as “Doc”.
He was educated to be a doctor. We will show him respect by calling him “Dr. Jones”. Our teachers were also spoken of as Mr. and Mrs., or Miss. They were never to be referred to as “old man or old lady “. That’s the way we were taught at our house. Teachers were to be respected by the young people they taught. Therefore, the teacher did not wear sloppy clothes in the classroom, sit on the desktop to teach or hang around with the high school “kids” outside of school hours.

I recall visiting a high school one day during “change of classes” time. The kids were going this way and that, running into each other, cramming the hallway. Remember when we were instructed to walk on the right of the hallway? It was a simple, yet effective, way of managing the traffic. As in, driving down the highway; keep to the right. There will be no clutter of wrecked cars.

It occurs to me that perhaps the school administration is afraid to make rules about activity in the hall between classes. Maybe the young folks wouldn’t like it.


Life is full of rules to make living easier. How hard can it be to follow them?


Remember “table manners”? Young men did not wear a hat to the dinner table. Pass the food to the older person at the table first, or to a guest. If you don’t care for the dish that’s passed to you, the response is “no, thank you”…not…”I don’t like that”. When you were ready to leave the table you asked to be excused. .. Like this…”May I be excused?” (Mom or Dad would acknowledge your departure.) Of course this scenario of the family at the dinner table may not be a starting place for manners or conversation in the home these days. Everyone is busy being busy.


Times have changed. Rules can be frustrating. Changing them to suit the times doesn’t always help the situation.
Laws are meant to be obeyed. If you don’t like them, there is a way to work toward having them legally changed. Everyone doesn’t think or believe the way we do. Let’s talk about it.


I was watching a commercial yesterday as a young girl is screaming at her Mother, “I’m not hungry.” Poor Mother, she’s chasing the kid down the hall with a dish and a spoon. She simply must find something the dear child likes. Macaroni and cheese in a package is the answer. The kid gobbles it up. When I was a child, (remember it was the forties and fifties), I was told, “If you don’t want to eat the food on the table, you may be excused. Maybe you’ll be hungry again at the next meal.” No snacks in between, no dessert unless you eat what’s put before you first. As I watched that commercial, I found myself wondering how many little kids were watching it. Little kids don’t understand the advertising ways of the world of television. Do we?


What’s with all this “protest” stuff? Are you mad because the town, the state, the country has done something you don’t like? Protest! Tear it down! Set it on fire! Throw paint on it! Start your own town! Throw stones at the police! Get rid of the police! Destroy businesses! Break their glass windows! Set police cars on fire! Scream the “f” word in everyone’s face.


If you aren’t old enough to vote, you may have to wait until your voice can be heard at the ballot box. That is, if “the box” is still in use. There seems to be a difference of opinion in some areas about circulating ballots to all the names on the mailing list, unrequested, through the mail.

Our voices may become completely lost in the voting process.
In case it has gone unnoticed, much of what we need to learn begins at home. The kids don’t get to do everything they want to do. When we find ourselves saying, “My parents would never have put up with that.” Guess who the parents are now. That’s us. We’re Mom and Dad.

Manners don’t drop out of the sky. Rules don’t come with your birth certificate. Choices are made by one person, you. Teach your kids that!


Cell phones don’t own us. At least, they aren’t supposed to own us. Sitting in a restaurant one day, I watched two folks highly engrossed in their phones. They were sitting across the table but seemingly unaware of the other’s presence. Is that what you call going out for coffee, or a coke, or what?


When I was a kid, my favorite movie actors were Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry. No violence. It’s a challenge today to find something on television that doesn’t contain violence or sex. The kids are watching it too, folks. Maybe we should pay more attention to what they’re doing with their time.

How long has it been since your kids have heard, “go outside and play”? Even the very little kids, as soon as they can sit up without help, are watching the television. I don’t know what Mom and Dad are doing, but they aren’t tending to the kids.

Does anyone read to their young children anymore? You don’t have time, you say? Well find the time!


There…………I think I feel better now. At least for the moment, I do.
But, I’ll be back..count on it.
copyright@2021
Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

BANISHED… BUT NOT FOREVER

“I don’t remember what it was I  said one 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 farm for a year when I was twelve.”

“I don’t remember what it was I  said one 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 farm for a year when I was twelve.”

*  *  *  *

What a wonderful lady!
 Mrs. Kelly and her family came to be caretakers
of  the County Farm
 across the road from my childhood home.
 
I was young when the Kelly family came to live in the neighborhood.
 I adored the majestic building 
 easily seen from our front yard.
88 years old..In front of our house..County Farm in the distance.
It was a very large, very old building 
Elderly folks who couldn’t afford a home and needed someone to care for them, came  there to live.
 Some folks called it the Poor Farm.
To me, it was never poor.
The home always displayed a dignity
which deserved the regal title,  
 “County Farm”.
When I was very young, and began to visit the Farm,
there were seven older 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 of the long dinner table in their separate dining room.
  Rilla always turned plates and cups at each place upside down before the meal. First the plate, then the cup. I was fascinated.
  Mother wasn’t happy when I tried to set our dinner table the same way.  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 with 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 of the ladies with a newspaper spread out across her stomach as she sat quietly in her chair.
I asked her why she had it there and she said,
“It’s to keep my bowels warm.”
Now that’s a remedy, to this day, I would never have thought of on my own.
 The Kelly family had a grown son and daughter pursuing careers in far off parts of the country. Their youngest daughter 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, from a very young age I was prone to say things without thinking. Whatever it was, it offended Mrs. Kelly.  I was banished from 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 from Mrs. Kelly.
 Our friendship continued. 
Many times I watched Mrs. Kelly kneading a very large pan of bread dough in the County Farm kitchen.  I now bake my own bread and would never be able to knead such an amount of dough at one time; although now in my adult life, I am a larger woman than Mrs. Kelly was.
(She was strong and determined with many responsibilities in life; perhaps I should think about that.)
My bread recipe dictates kneading the dough for ten minutes.  I’m sometimes able to stick with it until five minutes have passed.  Mrs. Kelly would no doubt suggest that the bread would be finer if I followed directions.
 When visiting at just the right time, the aroma of baking bread always 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 them $1.00 per loaf; they were huge.
Long gray hair, was always carefully braided and wrapped around her head.
 Mrs. Kelly 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 and very clean.
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 to the chicken coop with her, to gather the eggs. I loved it.
One summer, I observed Mrs. Kelly preparing a bountiful meal for 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. 
When I graduated from high school near the top of the class,
as had her 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.
There sat my graduation picture,
now displayed next to those of her children.
This was Mrs. Kelly’s way of showing how much she cared for me.
She was proud of my achievements too.
There couldn’t have been any clearer proof.
 
After high school, I became employed in the town
in which I had grown to adulthood.
 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
continued to greet me at the door.
A few years later,
I married and went to live in a neighboring town. 
Opportunities to visit Mrs. Kelly were few.
I felt lonely and sad without friends I’d left behind in the town
where I’d grown to adulthood.
I often shared my feelings with Mrs. Kelly.
She offered me the understanding of a caring friend.
At the birth of our first child,
Mrs. Kelly came to the hospital to visit. As I recall, that was the only occasion on which I 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.
One day, while visiting in my former hometown,
I decided to go to spend some time with Mrs. Kelly at the Farm.
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 a nurse,
 Mrs. Kelly had suddenly gone into cardiac arrest,
and died.
Our times together had ended,
but as you can see,
 memories have remained.

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Photography By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck
copyright@2021
 
 
My first-born…July 21, 1956….Craig
Bread dough rising in my kitchen today..

 

Alive and In Step. .

Galatians 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit (NIV).

Walking is good for me. It’s good for body and soul; a clear mind, ears that hear the smallest bird that sings and legs that strengthen as I increase the distance.

Wildlife hides from me. Though often seen in the neighborhood through which I walk, they quickly hide from my approaching footsteps.

Little birds, hidden among the leaves in the tallest trees, send songs to me as I walk by.

My mind is active as I often ponder unsolved problems. Bits of conversation and snippets of once learned lyrics skip through my thoughts.

I feel alive and in step with the Spirit.

My Prayer: Lord, let me walk with you every day.

Photography by me..along the way…

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

FINDING The THREAD

In memory,
a THREAD begins to reveal itself.
Ahead are endless, unplanned days.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.

 

FINDING THE THREAD

In memory,

the thread begins to reveal itself.

Ahead are endless, unplanned days.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

“We have to have a plan”, I told everyone.

But where was my plan?

If I could see ahead just a little,

maybe I could unravel the thread.

 

Walking into our spare bedroom this morning,

the view turned from dark

to sunshine.

A scene exploded in my memory.

 

I could see my father lying on the bed we borrowed

from hospice.

 

We wanted his last days

to be spent with a view of our peaceful world;

the trees,

our flock of sheep,

the horses in the pasture.

 

I hope he loved the quiet scenes before him.

Fall yard

The Lord is my Shepherd…

He makes me to lay down in green pastures. 

He restores my soul”.

 

I hope my Dad’s soul was restored.

He knew what he was facing.

He wouldn’t talk to us about it.

That was his way of dealing

with the impending transition.

(A visiting minister later revealed that Dad had asked him what heaven was like. I think we all may have that question in our hearts.)

 

We visited with Dad as often as we could,

as did many friends

in those last few days.

We could only face the situation

by continuing our daily routines.

He did his best

to honor our game.

 

Dad didn’t retire

until the age of sixty-nine.

It seemed like a grand old age in those years,

but now it seems rather young to me.

He always had a plan,

a routine,

an interest, and a goal.

He was disciplined,

determined,

loving and reliable,

 committed to his family.

 

What about me?

There are many questions;

 not many answers.

I want my life to count for something.

 Have I stopped counting?

 

What happens in the single parent family

when the parental balance

does not exist?

 

What happens to the marriage,

with no plans for commitment?

 

 The last two generations have given us a preview of a very different society.

 

Has the media become the parent?

Is the media making our moral judgments?

Everyone is doing it, and I want to do it too.

 

Blame for bad outcomes can always be affixed to someone,

somewhere,

somehow.

By what moral standards does this new generation make its’ decisions?

 

There is a new intensity in my nightly prayers.

 He is much closer.

 My time to see Him face to face

is much nearer than before.

I’m beginning to see a thread.

 
copyright@2018
Photography By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A Holiday Of Love

Holiday Of Love

As published in the Houghton Lake Resorter Newspaper
1963
Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck
“Musings Of A Homemaker”

February is the month of sweethearts and historical birthdays. Gifts and cards of caring are abundantly given and received.
Red is the color of this holiday of love, representing the warmth and caring which doesn’t end with the passing of time or the graying of crowns. From grade school parties to a valentine for teacher, the bloom of romance or the joy of marriage, an annual pledge of sentimental thoughts produces moments of love and friendship.

From a commercial standpoint, the greeting card industry prospers from every holiday. But, talk to a Hallmark store owner and they will tell you Valentine’s Day is the best card selling season of the year.

Some holidays have been long standing. Others have been more recently incorporated into our lives.

The card purchasing public sends a card of congratulations for many celebrations. From birth to graduation, weddings to anniversaries, operations to get well, there is a card suitable for every occasion.

Are your friends leaving town or have they just arrived? Have they recently purchased a new home or remodeled one which they already own? Good wishes from you can be found in the card shop in just the language you wish to use.

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas and the New Year rate high on the holiday card list. But as the years go by, St. Valentine’s Day remains the sentimental favorite. Send a card or a gift; the affectionate gesture is always thoughtful and pleasantly received.

To Mom and Dad, friend and lover, children and neighbors…

Happy Valentine’s Day 1963!

* * * * * *

2021

Looking Back…..

The thoughts above were penned in 1963, when I had been offered to write a weekly column in the local paper.
I was a twenty-eight year old, stay at home Mom with three little kids; the youngest was one year old.

Mary Anne


That made me much closer to Valentine’s Day grade school parties than to browsing through a Hallmark shop to find the perfect card to send to family and friends.

As often happens in life, my future was unknown. I couldn’t have imagined that twenty-two years later, at the age of fifty, I would become the owner and operator of
Mary Anne’s Hallmark Shoppe.


For fourteen years I observed first-hand my caring customers who took very seriously, the choosing of the perfect card; with just the right sentiments for their celebrations of
love and caring.

Valentine’s Day truly is the most heartfelt “card-sending” day of all the many holidays during the year.

My most intensely involved customer was the gentleman buying a card for his wife or sweetheart. No amount of time spent was too much, when choosing that card with the special message of love to celebrate…

“THE HOLIDAY OF LOVE”

Happy St. Valentine’s Day
2021

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

TV Addiction-Not Me

MUSINGS OF A HOMEMAKER-1964

If your memory doesn’t go back as far as 1964, you may want to get someone to help you read this.

It should be of increasing concern to America at large that we are becoming hopelessly addicted to the 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. 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 as interesting to me any more, not with my busy mornings.”

Later, as my young sons left for school, I noticed Mr. Green Jeans was showing Captain Kangaroo some baby chicks, and 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.)

While clearing up the kitchen and absorbing the intricacies of “American Government” on the tv screen, my thoughts strayed to carefree summer days when I could relax and watch the “Detroit Tigers” ball games, which are all televised. After exercising with “Ed Allen” and enjoying my mid-morning coffee break with “Lucy”, it was time to turn off the television and turn on the radio for “Pete and Gladys.

My kindergarten son was off to afternoon session when the “CBS Mid-day News” had finished. After lunch I took some time to watch my favorite serial, “As The World Turns”, which I’ve watched 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 about twenty minutes after “The Secret Storm” and twenty minutes before “News, Weather, and Sports”. I usually try to have supper on the stove so I can watch the forecast to see what tomorrow’s weather will be.

On Monday night, my husband leaves for his bowling league just before “The Donna Reed Show”. Tuesdays find me missing “Mr. Novak and the “Red Skelton Show”, (but not by far), as I leave for my own bowling league at the local lanes.

We try to visit our folks on Wednesdays at five 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. By ten minutes to “Jack Paar” I’m ready to rest. The 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…..

2020

I’m not sure my viewing schedule has changed too much. I have many more choices. My television screen, (58inches), is much larger. Programs are many and I have more 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-five, 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, and the government.

Occasionally I switch to the “Andy Griffith Show” or “The Golden Girls”. They bring back some laughter and sweet memories. Sometimes a good laugh is relaxing.

When all of the above has filled me with as many political reports and sweet memories as I can handle, I can always return 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 Merle, 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?)

copyright@2020

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

My New Year Resolutions 1964

MUSINGS OF A HOMEMAKER

“The time has come’, the walrus said, “to speak of many things, of sailing ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings” (and my New Year resolutions.)

To sum it up, each of us in the farthest reaches of our mind, is guilty of harboring “I knew better” feelings which emerge annually on January 1. (These feelings become submerged on January 2 or thereabout.)

* * * * * * * * * * * *

For instance, “I know better” than to let the ironing pile up week after week, while stashing the clothes I like to do least in a separate basket. When that basket overwhelms my utility room, the guilt sets in.

Therefore: I resolve to keep my ironing up to date.

“I know better” than to chide my friends in far off places for not being regular in their correspondence with me. To be honest, I am equally as irregular with mine.

Therefore: I resolve to keep all my correspondence up to date.

“I know better” than to drive and drive and drive our car without putting gas in it. My husband has repeatedly explained to me, in his most gentle manner, that he doesn’t care to run out of gas on his way to work in the morning.

Therefore: I resolve to keep gas in the car at all times.

“I know better” than to let my bank statements pile up in a drawer until my checkbook balance requires service charge subtractions each time I overdraw my account.

Therefore: I resolve to balance my bank statements promptly upon their arrival.

Here is a word of warning.

Mention to no one that this list exists. Immediately upon its completion, place it in an envelope, seal it, and promptly convert it to ashes and smoke.

Your ironing will continue to pile up, your corresponding friends will think of you warmly at Christmas time, your husband will get good exercise, the bank will feel that you accept and respect their bookkeeping procedures and your conscience will be free to glide into 1965 in friendly and familiar surroundings.

2020 and continuing……

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve made a New Year’s resolution. Please don’t think ill of me. I learned years ago that such an endeavor was a complete waste of my time.

Thank heaven for permanent press clothing that needs no ironing.

I remember the days when grandma took my clothes needing ironing and sprinkled them with water, rolled them up, and put them in the freezer for me to iron later. I also learned something that may be of use to you.

If sprinkled clothes are stored in the freezer for two weeks or longer, they will be surprisingly damp when you thaw them. If the time is more than a week or two, your clothes may have to be sprinkled again. (Grandma never approved of that.)

While I’m thinking of it, thank heaven for the invention of the computer and emails. I am now able to respond within minutes to correspondence from my friends. (Why didn’t someone think of this before?)

I try to fill up the gas tank as soon as I see that there is a little space after “full”. The price of gas has reached an unthinkable $1.88 per gallon. When you fill the tank as soon as you’ve used a gallon or two, it doesn’t cost as much. (You can check that out, math was never my favorite subject.)

Although I require the bank to send printed statements to me, I also have my bank records on the computer. I let my printed statements recline unopened in a drawer. There is always the possibility of being without electricity. This would restrain me from checking my account on the computer. (Now, the unopened, printed statements in the drawer come in handy.)

I do not recommend New Year’s resolutions.

If you feel the need to put resolutions in writing, this is my advice.

Use a sealed and unmarked envelope. Destroy it as quickly as possible after January 1st. Fire is the most reliable solution. (The envelope may also be thrown in the garbage but there is always the possibility someone could find it at the dump.)

Listen to your conscience.

Happy New Year 2021

http://www.thatremindsme.net

One More Package Of Memories

Christmas Memories

1963

(As printed in the Houghton Lake Resorter Weekly Newspaper- MUSINGS OF A HOMEMAKER)

The pine tree stands in the corner, colorful but lonely. Gaily wrapped gifts beneath its branches have disappeared.  The sweet smell of pine is no longer in the air.

Shiny bicycles and curly haired dolls have gone from view.

Our annual celebration of the birth of the Christ Child has filled expectations.

Glittering and once lovely wrappings lie crushed in empty cartons awaiting the end of their usefulness. Under the tree lies a ribbon of red. Nearby lie wrinkled bows;  red and blue, gold and green promising new life in the coming year.

Mixed emotions now wrap our package of memories; sadness and laughter, hope and regret, there remain faith, tenderness, and a colorful memory of the quickly fleeting twelve months.

 1963 has flown away swiftly, never pausing for a moment.

Ahead lie twelve unfolding months of new experiences.  Once more, at the end of the year, we will reminisce about our newfound treasures.

We’re starting anew. The final design will be original and personal, full of twists and turns.

Gracious living to you and yours in the exciting new year of 1964.

2016

The sweet smell of pine can always be purchased in a spray can from the store.

The artificial tree is stored in a box to be retrieved from the storage room next December. There are no pine needles to be vacuumed and no shiny bicycles on display. There are no more snowy excursions to the nearby woods to look for the perfect tree.

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.

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 in their early thirties now but determined to spend Christmas morning with Grandpa and Grandma. Our Christmas morning tradition is to have breakfast together and open our gifts.

It’s a happy time.

We once gave our 6-year-old granddaughter a goat for Christmas. Recalling her expression when she found “Peppy” in a special pen in the barn with a big red bow tied around his neck, brings a sweet memory each year.

 We’re starting anew.

Life has become more precious as each year passes.

The future is shorter and the past went by too quickly.

 Life is good!

2018

Tomorrow is Christmas.

Awaiting the morning, there are new memories to be made.

My husband and a son have passed on to another life.  I’m blessed with two 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.

2020

The snow has been slow to arrive this year, but the joys of family are exciting. We have four great-granddaughters to celebrate Christ’s birthday with us this year. Wonderful memories are here and now. Looking forward to the treasures of the future bringing love and happiness to the family.

Memories Are Made From This

http://www.thatremindsme.net

copyright@2020

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck