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

THE RESCUE

My husband and I were standing at our living room window, watching a man walking down the distant road. The man lived nearby in a broken down house.  Every day he walked two miles to a neighborhood bar where he spent his time.

“Night fell, darkness hid the two from sight”
He worked at walking.
Stumbling,
                                             weaving,
                                                                               tumbling,
                                                                                                                falling…
Each night at dusk he turned for home, deaf to traffic sounds.  Reeling into roadside ditch, he lay upon the ground in bleak half-conscious stupor.
With effort, he crawled to the ditch’s edge, then worked at walking
once again.  
The man continued through his nightly ritual.
 My friend approached the sodden hulk.  Bending down, he knelt beside the fallen man;  with strong and steady arms, he began “The Rescue”….
 My friend was not a hero.  I was only an observer.  Though years have passed, the vivid scene remains.
 Whose life was changed?  Whose journey reached a crossroad?  Whose path was interrupted by a chance encounter?  
Was it the man?  Was it the friend?  Was it me?
 What are you thinking now?
 Night fell. Darkness hid the two from sight.
 “The Rescue” had begun.
 copyright@2020
It has been many years since this incident took place.
 We were standing at our living room window, watching a man walking down the distant road. He lived nearby in a broken down house.  Every day he walked two miles to a neighborhood bar where he spent the long hours.
 We didn’t always see him traveling on the way to his daily destination. Nor did we see him when he was going home.  
But this day, we saw him walking toward his home.  
He staggered and stumbled, repeatedly falling into the deep ditch
beside the road.
For moments he was out of sight.  Then, once more, we saw him crawling up from the ditch and struggling to his feet.  Walking a few steps, he fell once more. Again he crawled up the side of the ditch on his hands and knees and attempted to stand.
 I became aware my husband had left my side.
Now, in his truck, he was driving down our driveway toward the distant road.  Stopping at the place where the man was lying beside the ditch, my husband got out of his truck and approached the figure.
 Taking him by the arm, he helped the man to his feet.
 He later told me he had intended to help him into the cab of the truck, but the man protested.  “I’m not clean enough to sit in your truck.  Help me into the back.  I’ll ride home there.”
 As this scene unfolded before my eyes, I was surely not aware it would remain in my memory and my heart, many years later.
 How many of us, including me, would leave the comfort of home to help a drunken, smelly man get safely to his home?
 This was a side of my husband about which I wasn’t aware at the time.  Yes, he was kind, gentle and caring.  The scene I watched was more than that.
 The experience changed me.  Maybe it has changed you.
 At this stage of life it has become clear to me, we all need to be rescued.
Our Friend is on His way.
————–
 As time passed,  we discussed the incident; facts revealed themselves about the man who was rescued.
 He was a veteran from World War 2.
 We have since become aware of the experiences our soldiers endured during that time which were too horrible for them to remember.
 We now call it PTSD.
 It has been found, for some of the veterans, it is easier to drink away the memories than to relive them in their minds.
 In our village, there were three World War 2 veterans who spent their days at the same local bar.  
The world called them drunks. Should we have called them heroes?
 How do you feel about it?

http://www.thatremindsme.net

A Wish Organization for Senior Veterans

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

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

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

 

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

IT ISN’T THE GAME – IT’S THE WAY YOU PLAY IT!

We are the most respected nation in the world.
We have no need for “factual” propaganda 
if such a thing exists.
* * *

Who’s On First?

A Masterpiece For The Taking

Musings of a Homemaker-Houghton Lake Resorter

1963

Some of our most respected state senators 
conduct endless filibusters.A few have ended in deadlocked debate
 over an outer space, 
government controlled, 
space communications network.  Russia continues to bombard us 
with undeniably 
magnificent advances  in the current space race.
 We are content to ignore, as much as possible, the daily reports of peace talks. 
  America is lacking 
in the mastery of space.In comparison to the USSR,
 we panic.We are disbelieving, angered and bewildered, 
 faced with a  grim fact. The industrially backward nation of Soviet Russia 
 has beaten our free, democratic society in such an important area;
 space exploration.We’ve listened, read and watched
with mounting dismay, 
the multi-orbital flight of two,
 now world renowned,
 Cosmonauts.
All but forgotten 
is the remarkable achievement 
Russia has accomplished.
All but forgotten, 
in favor of a race
 to be first.
This has become an obvious and 
often overlooked  habit
 of America.   We became so involved in the Game
 we lost sight 
of the objective.
How discouraging to feel, 
after decades of war, this unrest between nations.
There is now the imminent danger
 of a contest
 for the control of space.
America is on the verge of discoveries in space
 about which no one is certain. 
The possibilities 
may be unknown; 
beyond comprehension
  to the science community.
Understanding the complexities of space 
is impossible for the average person.
The intricacies 
of securing good personal and community relationships, 
are right at our fingertips and we know how to achieve them.
Our country would profit from renewing our personal, community and neighborhood relations.
A trip to the moon is not needed
in order to renew them.

 We are a free people. 

There is a need 
to spend more time
 improving our own planet.  There is a need to restore a people to people togetherness and care network.
Such restoration 
is important to our nation.
An ocean was crossed to find America.
The United States of America 
 has always searched 
to find the better place, the better way.
We are the most respected nation in the world.
We have no need for “factual” propaganda 
if such a thing exists.
* * *
* * *
2019
There I was at the age of 28, worrying about Russia.
As a country, we couldn’t accept the fact;
Russia had won race to the moon.
Where did I find such strong feelings of country,
 while facing responsibilities of raising three young boys
 while caring for a home and husband?
I became intensely involved in the state of the world,
 the politics of this country,
 and the need for person-to-person communication.
The future seemed far away.
 The present weighed heavily.
Perhaps my interest in politics came from my Dad.
 His interest was strong.
 However, my intense interest at twenty-eight
 was put aside
until much later in my life.
By the time I reached sixty, Dad had passed from this life.
    My renewed interest in politics, much like Dad’s, had once again intensified. We cannot ignore the state of this present world.
 Over the years
I have not changed my mind.
It all begins with “people”.
And now, I would add 
“Faith”.
copyright©2019
 Photography By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck
http://www.thatremindsme.net

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 (THREE-inch) SQUARES of material 
in a variety of PATTERNS.

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 MORE THAN 40 STATES,
 including one from Israel AND ANOTHER FROM cANADA.
 Eventually there were enough squares
 to make a full sized quilt, FORTY 24 INCH SQUARES ON EACH SIDE,
 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 OWN 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 11th
have been burned into the minds
 of those of us who witnessed it.

To many of our youth,
 September 11, 2001,
 WILL ONLY BE 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, 
who consider our very existence
 to be an affront to their god.

 It fell to president BUSH
 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 TO IT IN REAL TIME
while standing before a television in my home.
 

 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

http://www.thatremindsme.blog