The Doorway To My Memories


Memories exploded as I stood in the doorway”
* * * *
It was the early seventies, and 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.
Our neighboring town  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
  “Banished But Not Forever”
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,
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. I had entered here many times to visit with my friend.

 

It really didn’t matter if the blueprints showed my estimate of the location to be true, or not to be true.

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 beautiful  church,
 gives me memories of pleasant days of my 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, but remains in memory, as does the chicken coop and the pasture where the sheep were kept.
 
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…a little.

****

On the day of our committee’s visit, 
long ago, I could feel emotion rising in my throat. Glad I was standing at the door to my memories alone; I couldn’t have spoken to anyone right then..
Memory 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 standing by the door at the end of the hall.
No one seemed overwhelmed by my revelations.
Should they have been?
A few days later,
I was traveling to a meeting with my Dad,
for which I served as secretary 
and he, as a board member.

I began to share my experience
of the treasured memory of the County Farm as we drove along the highway..
Once again, I found it difficult to speak.
Regaining my composure,
I shared with my Dad my emotional visit
to the 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 folks who were important to them who have either passed on or are no longer living nearby.
Buildings they remember 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©2020

 

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt.6:21)
Photography 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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