Margaret Haun was my great-grandmother. Born in 1909, she died in 2000 and she was a fairly prolific writer, especially in the latter part of her life. I’ve been trying to collect some of her works but they are scattered across many different publications. She submitted to magazines and journals and from what I can find, wrote mainly in the 1970s and 1980s. It’s lovely storytelling that conjures sweet memories of our visits.
She did most of her writing for publication from her place in Santa Cruz, California so I’ve been able to find a few references to pieces from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
I’m putting this out there in hopes that someone else researching her writings can help fill in some missing pieces.If you have any other works I missed, please email me at email@example.com.
Luckily, some of her writings have been digitized. The Christian Science Monitor and LDS.org have been extremely helpful. I am including some excerpts and links below.
Flower for My Mother
by Margaret Walden Haun
May 1988A flower for my mother
Is the nicest kind of thing
That I can ever think of,
That I can ever bring.
My mother says she loves it.
I knew it all the while …
From the way it makes her hug me,
The way it makes her smile.
Out of the Hills
By Margaret Walden Haun
May 12, 1982A trip to town when I was a child on a Western wheat ranch offered more than the excitement of venturing from country quiet to sidewalk bustle or exchanging, however briefly, the atmosphere of farmyard, barn and outbuildings for general store, hardware, millinery shop. There was the sensation of being not surrounded for a few hours by swooping, dipping, sky-carving hills that folded one into another to the distant horizons on all sides.
The front porch of our square brown farmhouse faced, across the big dry yard, beyond the county dirt road, a hill that tilted the head if one wanted to see where it touched the sky. Too steep for farming, that hillside was given over to native bunch grass. (Mama said the butter tasted best in spring when the cows ate the green bunch grass. Hot weather later rendered it dry and useless.) After the snow was gone, we children picked bluebells and birdie bills there, walking great scallops over the shank of the hill on our two-mile trek to school.
Read the rest: http://www.csmonitor.com/1982/0512/051209.html
By Margaret Walden Haun
October 24, 1986Our little neighborhood grocery store’s pale new hardwood floor pleases me immensely. Surely, I tell myself, this third such floor in as many decades is almost a pledge that we devotees of the ambience found here can expect our love affair with the place to continue for years to come, despite the mushrooming of sleek supermarkets all over town. My fondness for the place probably stems from my memory of the country store I knew as a child, where farm wives met on Saturday afternoons to barter eggs for calico and catch up on their visiting. For months here, I may not see an acquaintance except for chats in our store while selecting bananas or artichokes.
You might almost call us another California cult, we shoppers who feel that bigger is not necessarily better. This is not to say our gem of a store is a hole-in-the-wall operation. It has five aisles, albeit they are short. Today lettuce is cheaper up the street. But broccoli is holding its own here. We faithful have found that prices even out, and many of us no longer bother to read the ads.
Read the rest: http://www.csmonitor.com/1986/1024/ujewel-f.html
How Sam Got Home
By Margaret Haun
February 1971One day Sam went for a walk with his big brother Eric.
“Don’t go too far,” called Mother as she waved goodbye.
Sam ran ahead. He came to a speckled toad in the road. He waited for Eric.
“Toad,” said Eric. “Toad,” repeated Sam. The toad hopped away.
Sam ran on. A long gray thing wiggled in the dust. “Snake,” said Eric.
“Snake?” asked Sam. He watched it slither away.
A big bird flew over the trees. Sam pointed a fat finger.
“Hawk,” Eric said. “Bird!” said Sam. He laughed and laughed. He knew a bird when he saw one.
Read the rest: https://www.lds.org/friend/1971/02/how-sam-got-home
By Margaret Haun
October 1973Kenny and Daddy were going to the barbershop to get their hair cut.
Kenny had never had a haircut. “Will it hurt?” he asked Daddy.
Daddy smiled down at Kenny. “No, it won’t hurt. The clippers will make a buzzing sound, and they might tickle but they won’t hurt a bit.”
Kenny held Daddy’s hand very tightly as they walked from the car to the barbershop.
“Good morning!” said the barber. He wore a white coat and was trimming a man’s hair. The man sat in a special chair. His clothes were covered with a white cloth.
Is Anyone There?
by Margaret Haun
November 1972″Have you ever had a moment when you felt the actual presence of God?” the television talk-show host asked his guest with a seeming wistfulness. It was a question he often asks, and I always wait with eager anticipation for the answer. Never yet, not even when the guest was a famous minister, has it been more than a vague generality, something about a “nice feeling. “
Once I would have been forced to make the same reply. But one morning changed all that. That day I got up, put on a robe, went into the living room of the small house where I live alone, and sat down in a chair. What I did next no one a few years previously could have convinced me I would ever want to do, let alone have the audacity to attempt. For I was about to declare an ultimatum to God that I would sit there until I had personal proof of his existence.
Strange as it may seem, my challenge did not seem unreasonable to me. I had recently been with others who had been touched by God’s presence, and they were
neither saints nor mystics but ordinary persons like myself.
My early experience with what is often referred to as “kooky fanaticism” had been limited to roaring with laughter outside what we called a “Holy Roller” church and that was long ago. Never in a million years would their excessive emotionalism have led me to my determination that morning. It took two gentle matrons, living in my former home town, to lead the way.
Several years earlier, Barbara. Emily, and I, deploring the lack of vitality in our churches had come together to seek a deeper meaning to life. Some of our prayers
were answered. A man to whom we prayed was told by his doctor that his recovery was a miracle. Things that might not have happened seemed to come about because we held them up in prayer. But with it all, for me at there was a persistent dissatisfaction. Did anyone actually listen when we poured out our heart longings? Or was God, as a friend insisted, only alive in our imaginations?
I remembered my high-school-class church-school teacher. A middle-aged, sincere woman, she confessed to us once, “I have been a Christian all my life, but I have never had a single proof of God’s existence.”
On Easter morning, when the congregation chorused loudly, “He lives! … He lives within my heart!” I sincerely hoped he lived in mine. But I never felt sure he
After Barbara, Emily, and I started our prayer group, I began a disciplined morning reading, meditation, and prayer period. Once in a while I seemed very near another dimension of awareness, but I could never overcome the feeling that it might be self-induced.
Eventually I moved to another state. I missed the prayer group more than my family and other friends. I had not realized how much it had helped sustain me.
On my first visit back, the next year, I noticed a change in Barbara and Emily. I detected an added enthusiasm, a barely suppressed excitement, the cause of which came out in the strangest tale I ever had heard.
With Emily’s husband and three other persons, they had driven half a state away for what they called “the laying on of hands” by a young minister, and they all had received “the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.”
I was appalled. We had experimented with many forms of prayer in the past — but this was going too far. Shades of the old Holy Rollers. The girls had gone off the deep end! The following year I wondered idly, when I thought about it at all, what had possessed my friends.
THIS ALL happened before the spread of the charismatic movement to college campuses had made headlines. The charismatic movement, it might be explained, is one of those periodic outbursts in the centuries since the beginning of Christianity when the scenes enacted at Pentecost and during the next 300 years are reenacted. People for some reason become discontented with both personal and universal states of affairs and this unrest seems to create a vortex into which a new infusion of spiritual life with its amazing gifts can be sent. The so-called Jesus People and Christian communes are part of the latest evidence of it.
When I returned to my old hometown the second summer, Barbara and Emily were ready for me with a tape recording. “Ignore the background,” admonished Emily. “This is an Episcopalian rector speaking to a group of Pentecostals.”
Dutifully I listened as the speaker explained how the experience that had given life and vitality to the early Christian church is still available and can be claimed by anyone today. He said people of all denominations were receiving it and bringing the real meaning back to Christianity. It was unlike any message I had ever heard.
To this day I do not know whether Barbara and Emily know that something happened to me while I was listening to this tape. Even more peculiar, I did not realize it then myself. It never remotely occurred to me to ask the girls how one came to this experience. I had a vague feeling one might be expected to work up to some frenzy of which I was not capable. So I returned home with a yearning but dimly discerned for something about which I knew almost nothing.
Glowing letters from Emily and Barbara did nothing to dispel my unrest. Members of their families were receiving the Baptism. A bishop in their church and many clergy had heartily endorsed the experience. Amazing stories of healing and guidance were being told.
“I was called to the hospital late one night,” Emily wrote. “My mother had been taken seriously ill from some unknown cause. I hurriedly dressed and as I drove across town, too frightened to think clearly, I began to pray in the Spirit. When I got to the hospital, Mother had recovered. The doctor could not understand it.”
This and similar stories sent me at last to a local minister. “Do you have anyone in your congregation interested in the new charismatic movement?” I plunged in. He hesitated so long I asked if he knew what I was talking about.
“We have no one here,” he finally said. At my obvious disappointment he added halfheartedly, “I believe there is a group at Father Paulson’s church in Redville.”
Thus I came among those who are, I often think, much like the first-century Christians must have been. Here were people praying for one another, finding release and joy and inspiration in song and prayer. How I wanted what these people possessed! But I was still too timid and too unaware of the universal availability of this baptism to make my wish known. Frankly, I could not conceive of a Supreme Being stooping to bestow such a treasure on me — maybe on others, but not on me.
By now Emily and Barbara were aware of my longing. One of them suggested that, if I needed help, a Father Irving some hundred miles from my home was having phenomenal success. So one night I called him to make an appointment. “My dear, you don’t need to come way up here. You can receive anywhere,” he said. I have forgotten what else he told me. I knew then that he would pray for me and I knew also that space is no barrier to things of the Spirit.
So there I was the next morning, sitting in my chair, my soul on tiptoe to receive this miraculous something my life was lacking. It is an awesome thing to present one’s soul naked and vulnerable to the Lord of the universe. One can never feel worthy but must come at last, humble and penitent for all one’s shortcomings, with an overwhelming desire to have one’s life become something of more significance.
After a time of quiet I recalled Emily’s saying that praying in the Spirit is mainly for one’s private devotions so I began to sing Praise God from whom all blessings . . .
And then — it happened. What someone aptly has called a “rush of love” seemed to descend and engulf me. My entire body was alive and vibrant. Here was surely the “strangely warmed heart” which sent John Wesley out to change the lives of countless thousands. I was given both a keen awareness of the presence of the Lord Jesus and beautiful words with which to praise him.
At long last I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that Someone indeed is there.
Edited and adapted from Together, by the United Methodist Church. Sourced from: https://archive.org/stream/together1611unse/together1611unse_djvu.txt