(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.

I shouted.

It was the fall of  1964.  I 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 their coming is a given

during this precious season of THANKSGIVING in northern Michigan.

There will be no time for me to fix turkey and pumpkin pie this year.

With my three boys to keep an eye on, laundry to do, and dishes always in the sink,

where would I find the time?

As is often the case,

Mother and Dad will rescue me.

They will calm our appetites with an invitation to a bountiful table at their peaceful home.

The joy of the annual THANKSGIVING family gathering

fills us with good food, a pleasant time and memories of being together.

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.

Little boys in need of attention at unexpected times,

assure the notes 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 remembered to prepare them

when pressing family matters used her time too.

I can assure you,

 there were no snakes in jars at the home of my parents

during the growing up years of my sister and me.

The two of us did not consider such creatures pleasurable.

 Mother was ever faithful with her early holiday greeting.

She 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 Mother’s traditions fall to me as the years go by.

* * *

New Memories


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 in the month of February.

Two of our little boys are now grown men.

Our middle child died four years ago.

The experiences of all our lives

have taken a very different turn.

The joy of grandchildren and the arrival of two great-granddaughters,

Willow and Eva,

 has filled my heart to overflowing.

At the age of eighty-three, 

it may be a bit too much for me to entertain the entire extended family

here at the farm for THANKSGIVING and Christmas holidays.

Looking at it in a different way,

it will become a memory in the making for some of the younger folks

to host pleasant family occasions.

There is a large electric cooker in the cupboard.

 Recipes for pumpkin pie,

handed down from generations past,

 lie inside the recipe box

which once belonged to my Grandma.

Four packages of pumpkin pie filling wait patiently in the freezer,

  prepared last year by my husband, from real pumpkins.

 Canning and freezing foods for the winter from the garden

was always part of his helpful preparation for winter.

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,

no matter the changes the years will surely bring.

It really is the season for living and loving.

Those things will never change.


Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

By maryannetuck

The future is right ahead of me and new projects seem to beckon... Friends and memories of times past remain with me today. I love to share my stories along with comments and opinions (of course) of today's challenges. Photography is my hobby and opportunities to capture the scenes before me are mine for the taking. Born and raised in Michigan, the peaceful woods and wildlife trails have always attracted me. Graduating from high school in the early fifties, college was of no interest to me. I have learned one important fact about life; whover decided when a person becomes "old"...didn't know what they were talking about...My theory is; you're as old as you think you are....(I'm thinking about it..haven't decided yet.)

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