Once a Fair Wife on the Shores of Lake Michigan - Eighteen Years in Manistique

by Ruth Kirkpatrick
(Bend, Oregon)

2020 in masks at home.

2020 in masks at home.

About Ruth Kirkpatrick by Ruth

My views of life are with a heart of todah, thanksgiving, and I'm a conservative woman of nearly 78 years of age presently.

Born in Minnesota during WW2, to a family of Norwegian descent, then growing up in Wisconsin on my mother's farm, one of seven children; life was family. Life was meager but blessed.

Aging with memories, as a young wife and mother, raising our family in the 1960's, when a lot of our youth went to war in VietNam, turmoil was present then, as now. The memories are bittersweet. Those years of a young family stretched into the 1980's when a divorce tore the family apart.

In my novel, many understandings bring to bear how we can live life anew out of the turmoil, by utilizing a view of the past in perfect 20/20 hindsight. Learning from the past enables one to convey a message for our times. Wisdom gained.

It is with this thought, in the year 2020 and continuing; the novel chapters are born, using a bit of 20/20 hindsight set down in words to read.

Maybe you will identify with some of my thoughts and perhaps inspire you enough to find your own pen and paper, or keyboard, to write your own thoughts and experiences of life.

Living a solitary life as many seniors do, especially in latter years, can challenge. It can also reward. Writing of life is one of the best gifts we as older persons can give on our family, friends, and youth. Youth who have lost a true understanding of the principals of true freedom.

America was founded upon gratitude. We were so privileged to grow up with the old meaning of family. If you look hard in small places, you can still find that element of family driven towns still exists; but they are becoming rare.

Ruth, writing as Megan, is her life in a novel form. Each chapter will have some essence of those lessons. You will get to know Ruth through Megan.

My encouragement to readers is to share your own story, save it in


Eighteen Years in Manistique
1993 ~ 2013 Living Alone Again
Megan’s World of Solace
Once a Fair Wife mon the Shores of Lake Michigan
The Series

Ruth Kirkpatrick
Rann Kirkpatrick ~ Megan Herself
1993~ 2013~ 2020- Continuing Today

Eighteen Years in Manistique

The years of recovery and growth, education and finding new life after a chaotic, abusive divorce are the story-line. In December 1992, Megan’s world crashed for the second time in 10 years, and she had to find a time and place to recover.

Her dream of returning to Ludington and her gift shop, ‘The Rustic Waterwheel’ would have to wait.

She was a broken woman and destitute.
But that will not stop her.

Those stories left behind now. She is going to make a new life all on her own.

This novel is not about the past, it is about living life in the present, not becoming a perpetual victim and learning how to overcome disastrous circumstances.

The drama of divorce over with her life is on stable ground once more. Opting to settle in Manistique, Michigan to rebuild her life; leaving the shop in Ludington to run out its lease. The couple who are running it, loving it, enjoying their life as shopkeepers, are an answer to time itself.

Shall we say, God already knew, and God already provided.

Megan will not return to her shop until 2014, hence, these eighteen years are the first chapters of. . .

The Epilogues of Megan.

In the spring of 1993, she settled in Manistique to rebuild her life alone as a solitary.

Manistique was familiar to her as she had lived there some years back, so it was a respite place to grow.

It was small, close to her sister’s in Wisconsin, and she wanted a fresh start away from the area of all the trauma she suffered.

At first she needed time to recover from the devastation of not one, but two divorces in less than ten years. The first in 1983 was tragic. A marriage ending after twenty-five years.

Then a terrible mistake made of loneliness, took her into a world of domestic abuse and the second divorce.

That is when a friend with a summer home on the west coast away in Europe on a trip, allowed Megan to stay in her home.

It was the end of January 1993, and the stormy Pacific of winter matched her mood.

Megan took a long sabbatical, flying away for a three-month stay alone on the Pacific Ocean, near Port Orford.

It was just what she needed. Like healing balm to a battered soul. Tears and frustration gradually gave way to joy and light, when wildflowers appeared on the bluffs.

She would return to Michigan at the end of April.

It is now the spring of 1993 in Manistique. Beautiful! When this part of life began in Manistique, she is barely 50 years of age.

Megan is not a man hater, lest one think she is a bitter, spiteful, divorced woman with an agenda. Quite the contrary, in fact she enjoys talking to the male of our humankind, the attentions and mental stimulus of men are welcomed. They are our amazing match of life.

Humanity is God’s beautiful creation with all of its endearing complexities. Men are amazing and incredible human beings, meant for us as women. They complete us.

No, Megan is not a man hater with an agenda.

That said, she made a choice to live a quieter, solitary life alone from this point on.
But remember, we are but human, not god.

Manistique was good to her.

She has learned her lessons, or has she?
During those years of recovery, Megan faced many challenges, including health issues. Getting through them all took a unique set of courage and extraordinary strengths. Many health issues became a daily struggle to work under, but she persevered and overcame them in time, by opening her own domestic home service, so working hours could accommodate her own schedule.

Megan worked for nearly fifteen years as a domestic and care provider to elderly clients. All of them were gracious and generous with their understanding.

She lived meagerly during these years, enough, but the lease on her small business in Ludington sustain.

Then a miracle happened.

In 2012, just after she turned 70 years of age, Megan landed a dream position working for an author-publisher.

When she went to work for Joanne, her education expanded in a working position that will follow her into age as a gift of God’s provision and His word of restoration to her.

He turned what they meant for evil to good. Just like the story of Joseph and his brothers, Megan will reap the wonderful gifts of knowing that God is faithful.

It is a matter of faith, and His love for us.
During the two years working for the author/publisher, she has become proficient at formatting novels, designing book covers, managing online sales and shipping books. She also works in the bookstore with shoppers.

Megan’s education of multi-tasking excellence and knowledge honed by putting herself into a youthful mode of attitude. Worth every long hour she put into this schooling, on-the-job training is so underrated, in her opinion, way better than institutionalized.

Megan is in her element for the time; meaning, it is a gift education handed to her, that will bring her future progressive to play when the dream in her heart becomes reality.
Yup, that’s her goal.

Home in her cottage, running her shop and writing stories. She is living a life she enjoys; however, her intentions are always to one day return to her shop in Ludington and live in the cottage behind it.

Her education pertaining to the publishing world will one day come into a plan of action for her own book publishing.

The year is now 2014 and the shop in Ludington lease is about to expire. Life is in signing mode and the tune is giddy with joy.

Megan is in her 71st year and the summer days are beautiful. She is almost ready to make her way back home to her own business and cottage in Ludington.

The events that take place during this last year in Manistique will become a part of The Epilogues of Megan, as ‘Once a Fair Wife on the Shores of Lake Michigan’ series continues.

Megan has rolled with many punches, but maintained her positive outlook and attitude of gratitude throughout.

The following book and chapters in her life begins the next transition back to the western shores of Michigan, and her own business.

But not before . . .
She has an encounter that spins a mysterious man into her life, and a story that will follow her one day into the future.

The story begins here:
It is a beautiful August morning, 2014 in Manistique, Michigan.

On this day, she will work at home on a manuscript deadline while her employer; the author/publisher will cover the bookstore. This is a rarity, she savors.

Comments for Once a Fair Wife on the Shores of Lake Michigan - Eighteen Years in Manistique

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A very Long Time, and Changes in Life
by: Anonymous

2023, and it's already Fall. Time passes so quickly.

I'm not even sure this comment will show up, as my participation in the retirement-online site has been non-existent for a couple of years. But, here goes.

The original novel series has changed to an audio version, and is online to read free. I received an email from Wendy, that prompted me to look again here, so my update is, the site information to listen.

Still not finished, Hope some will find it, as I've used AI voices. The reader is Jane.
At 80 years of age, now or never.

I read the post by Irwin, and found his Blog. Inspired me to submit this. Here is my site, and the audio files.

This is the book about going back to work at 70, it was great. An adventure I would not trade for anything.
Click to visit book or audio site!

The Book
by: Ruth in Oregon

It is not published yet, in process, thank you will keep on posting chapters here for now, soon, perhaps. Ruth

by: Anonymous

I was spellbound from the first paragraph and couldn’t stop reading. Well done. I can’t wait to continue reading Megan’s story, please, please please, more. Where oh where do I purchase the book?

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