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..

 

The SHEPHERD CALLED THEM HOME

The Shepherd’s Barn

The Shepherd Called Them Home

 The quaint old man in knee high boots prepared to call them in…. 
“Get behind the barn,” he said. “If they see you they won’t come.”
“How many sheep?” I asked.  
‘Bout 300, lambs ‘n all,” he replied.  
Now, gesturing toward distant fields, no movement was revealed.
Obligingly, I took my place behind the aging barn.
 Waiting, watching as I hid, chuckling as I did his bidding.
Toward a crumbling fence he moved, following a trampled path.
Now he stood near leaning gate and I began my wait.
With steady steps, he called and walked.
No words escaped his weathered lips, just eerie, high toned wailing sounds known only to his flock.
Behind the barn I waited…
 and peeked toward leaning gate.
 All I saw were endless fields.
He stood alone to wait.
Suddenly a far off hill was filled with moving masses. 
Now, out of sight, no movement seen.
 A quiet moment passes.
At the crest and nearer, all racing through the fields
toward Him,
who waited, calm and still.
 His presence did not yield.
Three hundred creatures fell in line
behind the One whose voice they knew.  
Now through the gate, into the fold, now safe at last.
The Shepherd brought them home.

copyright©2020

Photography by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

 

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

Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

http://www.thatremindsme.blog – RECIPES FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS

ON HER WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE

Never indulging in self-satisfaction,
Nor pursued by dreams of personal success,
Her simple life was unadorned with expectations.

Unattractive,
    Uneducated,
          Uninformed.
Not practiced at correctness,
  Mary lived her life     
One
Simple
Uncomplicated day
At a time.
Never indulging in self-satisfaction,
Nor pursued by dreams of personal success,
Her simple life was unadorned with expectations.
Knowing no pretense
Mary cast her lot
With God.
God first
Love
Worship
Prayer
Service
Family second
Love 
Prayer
Care 
Service
Country third
Love
Service
Prayer
Respect
No unexpected event
No shortfall
No misfortune
Could cause her simple faith
To waver.
“God knows all about it,” Mary would say.
Her countenance always displayed
Unflappable peace.
Mary’s life was uneventful,
Her faith unshakable.
Her example unforgettable.
Never doubting the unquenchable supply
Of God’s love and care,
Mary lived to the fullest;
The abundant life
Of a saint.
Her legacy to those who knew her
Was a trail of unerring discipleship
On her way to eternal life with God.

March 31, 1996
copyright©2020
http://www.thatremindsme.net

THE JOURNEY BEGINS

Remember the promise to beloved schoolmates?
“Our class will be different. 
We’ll keep in touch and we won’t forget.”

Summer begins.
The school year ends. 
Sheltered and familiar halls of learning
will be left behind.
 It’s time to venture into an unknown future.
For some, the promised journey is exciting.
Others are hesitant to take the next step
into an unfamiliar and very large world.
Emotions are deep. 
All paths lead to life.
Many  have traveled
along this road; hopefully long, sometimes narrow.
It’s always a winding avenue. 

Complete with side trips,

choices may lead to
 higher education, 
marriage 
or family.

One decision will lead

 to service of country.

 All will hopefully lead to success.

 Each traveler uses their personal key 
to open the door to the future.
Ahead lie many unexpected opportunities. 
While one may lead to exciting outcomes, 
another may lead to a detour or temporary failure.

The insight needed

 to understand complicated directions
can help to find 
individual happiness.

 Life’s journey 
 takes us
 through trial and error.
Remember the promise to beloved schoolmates?
“Our class will be different. 
We’ll keep in touch and we won’t forget.”

 Friendships of high-school and college days

 are never forgotten. 
Names may slip from mind,
  faces may fade,
 but memories of the times spent with friends and comrades 
will remain for  years.
It matters not
which path is chosen.
 There will always be
 fond recollections 
 of the time of graduation.

Let The Journey Begin…

One step 
and then another.
(Musings of a Homemaker  By Mary Anne Tuck – Houghton Lake Resorter newspaper – 1964)

copyright©2020
Photographs By Mary Anne 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

 

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.

ANN…
 

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 ann 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.

 

coming home to spend her remaining days
 in her own bed and 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 joyful.

I’ve shared my feelings
 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
http://www.thatremindsme.net

http://www.thatremindsme.blog