Tucker McBride

Return to a time when a boy could be a boy; when life was more clear from the top branch of a tree; when a kid could trade anger and disappointment for action and adventure; when the whole neighborhood was his playground; and the sloppy kiss from a dog could make everything right.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

In Memory Of ...

In the United States, Monday, May 31 is Memorial Day. It's a day set aside to remember those who have died while serving in the military. In other countries that follow this blog, I imagine you have days to remember those in your country who have fallen in wars. If you don't have a national holiday, families will remember their loved ones in their own way.

Tucker's family had a flag Uncle Jacob would run up the flagpole. In 1947, when Tucker was young, the American flag only had 48 stars. The stars represent the number of states in the United States. Do you know which two states were added to our union after that? Do a little research. Google the names of the states to find the last two. Find out a little about them: location, climate, special activities, where the people work.

If you are joining this blog from Europe or Southeast Asia, research the meaning of your nation's flag. Ask your family who they remember at this time of year. Do you hang out a flag?

Our activity for this weekend will be to design a flag that represents the activities you enjoy. If you have a special person you want to remember, add symbols that reflect their activities and talents to your flag. If you have a scrap material box someplace in your home. you can sew a cloth flag that completes that design you created on paper about yourself and/or your loved one. Hang the cloth one outside with the nation's flag. 

Many churches display the American flag and the Christian flag. There are pledges for each. Perhaps you can create written words too, that describe your personal flag.

Enjoy your days, every one of them. The Indianapolis 500 car race is also this weekend. Maybe you want to include your favorite car on your flag. Have fun with it. There is never a correct answer in creative activities. There is your answer and my answer. Though different, both are correct.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend. You have time to create something to make your day even more exciting.

Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Copyright 2021 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, May 17, 2021

Sew a Good Seam

Did you ever reach up to make a basket in the driveway and split the seam under your arm? That's happened to all of us. 

Tucker's Gramma mended and made clothes for her children and grandchildren when they were little. She taught Tucker to mend a seam and sew on a button by hand. 

I describe how a treadle machine works in my book, Tucker McBride's Perfect Day.

It's not electric. The power to make the machine sew comes when you pump the treadle, located at the bottom, with your feet. The needle goes up and down, connecting the upper thread with the second thread in the bobbin under the needle.

When I was very young, my mother had a treadle machine. As an elementary school child, I'd sit on an old kitchen chair in front of the machine, check the bobbin to make sure it was wound with thread, put a spool of thread on the spindle at the top of the machine, and guide the thread through the ins and outs of the machine as I made doll clothes. Mother's treadle machine was the same on which my great-grandmother sewed my grandma's baby clothes. 

Your family may not have a sewing machine. That's okay. You can still repair a small tear or rip in a seam. All you need is a needle and thread. Here is a link to a video on how to put in a hem, sew on a button, sew a seam, and other types of hand sewing. Copy and paste it into your search engine.


Long, isn't it? Be careful. You might prick your finger with the needle. Little pricks are part of living a full life. If a tiny prick is all it takes to walk around with your skin shining through your torn seam, then you will walk around hanging out for all the world to see for the rest of your life. 

I was so excited when I made a little gold satin dress for my doll. You can have fun too. 

Be a designer or at least a tailor who repairs a garment. Ask Mom for some fabric from an old shirt. Make something that pleases you. Enjoy life by jumping in and taking care of yourself. You can do it.


Copyright 2021 Doris Gaines Rapp

Friday, May 7, 2021

Mother's Day - Happy Day

Sunday is Mother's Day. Tucker and his brother and two sisters were reared by their grandparents. Tucker was a baby when his mother died. A family consists of one or two parents, grandparents, an aunt or uncle, a foster parent, or who God gave you to love. How do you want to celebrate the care they gave you on their special day?

Tucker might have picked flowers from the yard, made a bowl full of tapioca, helped Gramma run the sweeper, or made a special project. You can put together an envelope with a few self-made coupons. Your mom can select a coupon for that day, like "I will do the supper dishes for you." Perhaps you can do something like Tucker and make something for the "mother" who loves you.

You might ask her if she has some old costume jewelry, or a button box full of fancy shapes and colors. Ask her if she has some spare yarn or a shoelace she isn't going to use. String a few beads onto the yarn, or remake a broken pin into a necklace. A new, stronger thread for a string of fake pearls can make an attractive new piece. Whatever you use, get permission first, so you don't destroy a favorite necklace by mistake.

I took an old ring and a cross necklace and put them together with a bail to create a new piece of jewelry I first described in one of my books - Just in Time (a Murder, She Bogged book).

Enjoy what you are making and be proud of your work when you give it as a gift. Mothers of all types love the work of their children's hands. Your whole family will enjoy the day.


Copyright 2021 Doris Gaines Rapp

Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Vebetable Garden

In Indiana, Gramma would finally begin to see some of her vegetables peek out of the spring ground. The seed catalog would be put away in Uncle Jacob's stack of magazines on the over-loaded desk in the entry hall. Tucker rarely got into Uncle Jacob's things. His uncle was like an awakened bear when his things were moved. 

Grandpop did the planting. He got up early every day. So morning planting was not a problem. Although most of the time, weeding the garden was Tucker and his sister Betsy's job. By now, the hand plow would have been substituted for a hoe or two. 

The family loved most vegetables like the ones in the picture. In the summer, Tucker would pull a carrot out of the ground, wipe it off under his arm, and bite off a delicious, crunchy bite.

In our town, there's a community garden. Those who want to participate have a space to plant whatever vegetables their family enjoys. Perhaps you don't plant a garden. But you could still have fun with it.

Draw various vegetables you would plant in your garden on paper. Google the major vitamins in each one and add that to the picture - rows of tomatoes, corn stalks, and cabbage.

My grandmother was the president of the Garden Club in a town in Ohio. Her garden planting wasn't complete until she added a row of flowers on the outer edge of the garden, facing the street. A well-balanced, colorful planting was especially important to a well-balanced life.

Enjoy planning and drawing your garden. Get your hand in God's dark soil, and you will grow the peace He offers.


Copyright 2021 Doris Gaines Rapp

Tucker McBride and the Christmas Present

  It's December 1, and the stores are draped in red and green. It is the Holidays, the Christmas Holidays. The Christ Child came to brin...