DOORWAY TO MY MEMORIES

“Memories exploded as I stood in the doorway”
* * * 
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.
The neighboring town of West Branch 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
  “About Mrs. Kelly”,
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,
I realized 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.  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 West Branch United Methodist Church
 gives memories of pleasant days of 
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.
In my memory,
 the chicken coop is there.
The pasture where the sheep were kept,
exists in my memory also.
 
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.

****

On the day of our committee’s visit, 
long ago, 
I could feel emotions rising in my throat,
I was glad I was standing at the door alone.
I couldn’t have spoken to anyone right then.
The view was recalling a memory.
 It 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
 at the doorway in the church.
No one seemed overwhelmed by my revelations.
Should they have been?
A few days later,
 traveling to a meeting with my Dad for which I served
as secretary and he as a board member,
I shared my experience of recalling the treasured memory
of the County Farm
Once again, it was difficult for me to speak.
Regaining my composure,
I shared with my Dad my emotional visit
to the United Methodist 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 people who were important to them
who have passed away 
or are no longer living nearby.
Buildings 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©2019
 
Photography By Mary Anne Tuck

 

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 

 
 
 
 
 
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About maryannetuck

The future is right ahead of me. At the age of 83, all new projects are interesting and old memories and friends of the past are with me every day. I love to share my thoughts along with my comments of this day and these times. Photography is my hobby. The world view is everywhere I look in the north woods of Michigan. Let's get together for a visit!