Wednesday, July 23, 2014

God Is Near


                                           Looking back along the years
                                           I can see the hand of God
                                           Leading me down every path
                                           that my feet have trod

                                           I can see the long, steep hills
                                           that I dreaded so to climb
                                           Now I know he went with me
                                           up them everytime

                                           And I think he walked with me
                                           when I thought I walked alone
                                           Through those far away shadows, dark
                                           valleys I have known

                                           And the times I could not walk
                                           he carried me on through
                                           The sorrows and heartaches
                                           he lessened them too

                                           Though I am only human
                                           he knows me very well
                                           Without him by my side
                                           I would be nothing but a shell

                                           So today why should I doubt
                                           and today why should I fear
                                           Sometimes I shall look and see
                                           even now, God is near

                                          © Susie Swanson, 2014

For several months now I have been in a battle with Health Issues. For reasons I don't care to go into I can not give any details at this time.. I'm now under three Specialists and still have a long ways to travel. Even though my journey has been a long one there's lots of folks out there in far worse shapes and I'm praying for all of them and ya'll as well. I know ya'll have been praying for me and that's what's kept me going. The power of Prayer is an awesome thing and we serve an awesome Father that loves us and sticks by us through thick and thin. What can I say, God is Good All The Time. I want to thank each one of you for your prayers,. Because of my Sickness I'm taking a break from my Blog until my health improves. It has become increasingly difficult for me to keep up with anything these days. I miss all of you and visiting your posts. I have always looked forward to all of them but since I got sick it's been very hard to keep in touch. I'll be back as soon as I can and until then ya'll hold down the fort and May God Bless each one. ~ Susie

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Old Barn

                                                 There's an old barn
                                                 sitting all silent and still
                                                 what a story it could tell
                                                 out there in that big, open field

                                                 Back when times were different
                                                 there were alot of things going on
                                                 to look at the old barn today
                                                 no one would never have known

                                                 It was very fond of the cows
                                                 that used to all gather in
                                                 when it came milking time
                                                 and the milk they were willing to lend

                                                 Oh those pesky chickens
                                                 they were always running around
                                                 looking to build their nests
                                                 for then they were homeward bound

                                                 It could never forget the horses
                                                 that each evening had to be fed
                                                 especially during the winter
                                                 before they were put to bed

                                                 Oh how it loved the children
                                                 when they used to come and play
                                                 up in that big, old hayloft
                                                 each and everyday

                                                 There the old rope is still hanging
                                                  they used to swing on that old thing
                                                  with all their child-like noise
                                                  what joy it did bring

                                                  The old barn surely did feel needed
                                                   in that other place and time
                                                   it seems so sad today
                                                   just to walk away and leave it behind
                                                   In my mind I'll hold on to the picture
                                                   when I walk through that big, old door
                                                   then it'll stay with me forever
                                                   and never be forgotten anymore

                                                  © Susie Swanson, 2014

Hope all is well with ya'll. We've had a rainy few days but that's fixing to change. Cool weather coming in. Practically unheard of this time of year. Canning season is in full swing and I haven't been able to do much this year. Mostly freezing alot of stuff. But like the old sayin, "It'll beat a snowball anyday" Ya'll take care and don't work to hard. Blessings, Suse

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

That Ole Toe Sack

It hangs on a nail in the old smokehouse
An ole toe sack that’s tattered and worn
Placed there for a reason and it's held up well
Especially, during the days of carrying corn 

I can still see him in his overalls and cap
And that ole toe sack slung on his back
Loaded for barrel, heading for the gristmill
 Fresh cornbread for supper, nothing did we lack

When it came time for the harvest to begin
It carried everything that was put there to grow
There was nothing left behind or forgotten
Walking ever slowly back and forth, to and fro

It carried many big taters dug from the patch
Straight to the tater hole and buried in the ground
There was many a sack full of cabbage each year
 The uses for that ole toe sack continued to mound

When the cold, wind blew, it carried in the kindling
That started the fires to knock off the cold
Hued from the pine knots on the side of a tree
He’d turn it wrong side out and use it twofold

It seems some things are never meant to last
Awe, it so often brings a big smile and a sad tear
Knowing fully well those little apples on the tree
Would surely be picked and used every year

Today that ole toe sack is still hanging on a nail
Left behind as a reminder to all that opens the door
In my mind I still hold on to that cherished picture
And it’s slung over his back like always before

© Susie Swanson, 2014

Happy Wednesday to Ya'll. It's a rainy day in our little neck of the woods but can't complain. We've had beautiful weather for the past week.  I haven't been on here much lately and haven't been writing to much either. This is all I could come up with this morning. I'm still ailin some but hoping for some news soon. Many thanks for all of your prayers. They have surely been felt in more ways than one. God Bless each of ya. Blessings, Susie

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Let Us Not Forget

                                                   Let us not forget the ancient wisdom
                                                   With which our ancestors walked their days
                                                   Let us carry on with great determination
                                                   With a grateful heart, to God we give the praise

                                                   Let us not forget the mountains they climbed
                                                   In the darkest valleys where they found light
                                                   Footprints are abundant down every path
                                                   All of their yesterdays can be found in plain sight

                                                   Let us not forget the sound of their voice
                                                   In the distance they are still calling us home
                                                   The place where many a prayer was heard
                                                   Shaping our tomorrows until we were grown

                                                   Let us not forget the love that was given
                                                   All under the same roof, each night at bed
                                                   The teachings of God's word, the Bible
                                                   Food for our body and soul, we were always fed

                                                   Let us not forget the many sacrifices made
                                                   Working from sun up until sun down
                                                   The love of family, there's no boundaries
                                                   How proud we must be of them, so profound

                                                   Let us not forget the place from which we came
                                                   May our hearts stay humble and proud
                                                   And listen to the wisdom of all the ages
                                                   Can you hear, the echoes are calling so loud

                                                   © Susie Swanson, 2014

I hope all of my Blogging friends have had a nice 4th. As for me it was just another day this year. I'm still ailing  and hopefully they're getting closer to finding the root of the problem. Strangest thing I've ever went through and that's sayin alot. But, there's people in far worse shapes and I remind myself everyday. Still praying for ya'll and will get around to visit soon I hope. Blessings, Susie

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sacred Ground

                                                     Today I hear the echoes
                                                     so many ways and more
                                                     this place where I live
                                                     my mind goes back to explore

                                                     The ground was not barren
                                                     it was trod upon each day
                                                     the busy sound of a gristmill
                                                     I still hear the old time way

                                                     Wagon tracks were plenty
                                                      back and forth, to and fro
                                                      hauling corn to make bread
                                                      from the fields where they'd grow

                                                     The grinding noise still lingers
                                                     I can hear it so plain
                                                     turning corn into cornmeal
                                                     for everyone that came

                                                    A clear picture I cling to
                                                    as I go on my way
                                                    I see my dear grandpa
                                                    with hair and beard of gray

                                                    The door was always open
                                                    he was everybody's friend
                                                    his goal was to make sure
                                                    they had bread once again

                                                    Oh what a wonderful, place
                                                    and a privilege so much to be
                                                    this cherished, simple time
                                                    in my mind each day I see

                                                    This ground where I live
                                                    nestled away with each sound
                                                    it's an honor to walk upon
                                                    I call it sacred ground

                                                    © Susie Swanson, 2014

In memory of the Grandpa I never had the privilege to know. He died in 1937 but he lives on in the Legacy he left behind and in the many hearts he touched.. Today, I live on the exact same spot where he had his Gristmill. I can just hear it sometimes in my mind. So many people depended on him to help put bread on their table. Rest In Peace Grandpa, you will never be forgotten as long as the words from my pen never runs dry.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Milk Factory

When I was growing up everyone tried to keep a cow fer the milk. Comin from a big family, a gallon of milk wouldn’t go through the house. We wanted our milk every meal and when we were between cows, we’d get it from the neighbors.
Some didn’t charge a dime cause they had more than they could use and they’d got milk from us before. The few that did, we never paid more than fifty cents a gallon. We’d leave an empty gallon jug and pick up a full one. I couldn’t even count how many gallons I’ve carried before.

In the summer we always went barefoot and after they paved the road I stumped my toes almost off. And it seemed to be my big toe that got most of the licks. It would just start to heal and it‘d happen again. One evening I was carrying a gallon of milk home and stumped it one time to many. The jug went flying and milk spilt all over the road. You’ve heard the ole sayin, “cryin over spilt milk” I just knew I was in hot water when I got home but what hurt me the most was knowin we wouldn’t have any milk to drink till the next day. We thought we couldn’t go a day without it. I was ready to gag at the thoughts of drinking that awful, powdered milk. That’s the reason daddy and mama always tried to keep a cow and we had several different ones over the years.

I remember this one ole cow we named Ole Bessie the most. She was always so gentle and anyone could’ve milked her. She’d just stand there chewin her cud and switching her tail back and forth.  But some of us never did learn to milk and some could care less. Since my oldest brother learned how to milk early on he wanted to be the one to do it all the time and we let him. He’d go out towards the barn and holler, “Suk Heff” (that’s cow language in our neck of the woods) and she’d come down through the pasture towards the barn just a trottin. He’d milk her so fast it’d make ya head swim. He used both hands, beat all we’d ever seen. He’d take time every now and then to squirt a little in the cat’s mouth sittin over in the corner waitin patiently. He’d be done before Ole Bessie even knew what hit her. Mama’d strain it through a white rag into a glass milk jug and put it in the frigerator to get cold. Before we got a frigerator we kept it in the spring house.
She’d churn some later fer buttermilk and that butter was the best I’ve ever eat. When it came time to churn, me and mama would trade off. She’d churn till her arms got tired and then me. We’d open that churn and ya could see that milk when it started curdling and the butter rising to the top. When it was done, mama would take it in and skim the butter off of the top and pour it into a mold and put it in the frigerator to chill. Ya talk about good eatin at the breakfast table the next morning, if there was any left after supper the night before. Daddy, mama and the others liked it with sweet molasses or jelly. I could eat it on a hot biscuit by itself. It was good smeared on anything, even new taters when they first came in. It never did have the chance to go fer cause we’d eat it fast as mama churned and drink the milk too. Sittin down to a big bowl of milk and bread fer supper is the finest eatin in the world. Daddy had to have buttermilk and bread. Us younguns didn’t care fer the buttermilk except to pump it as mama used to call it. She always said, uns younguns can pump more milk than two cows could give.

 And Ole Bessie sure could produce good milk till she got into the wild onions. Yep, every now and then she’d find a patch of wild onions in the pasture. They always came up in the early spring and I can still hear mama now when my brother walked through the door with the bucket of milk, “Take that milk to the hog pen and throw it in and get it outta this house now.“ Needless to say, those hogs sure did live in hog heaven as if they wasn’t fat enough.

I’ll never forget the evening my brother grabbed the milk bucket and headed towards the barn and we heard an awful commotion. Us younguns were all outside playin and daddy was over at the chopping block splittin the night’s wood fer the cook stove. Daddy dropped that axe and went trottin towards the barn, when out came the bucket wham bang, bang. Next came my brother runnin like the dickens with his cap in his hand. Daddy asked him what was going on and he just scratched his head (he always had that habit when he got excited)  and after he caught his breath he said, I don’t know, she’s never done me like that before. She just went crazy all of a sudden. I thought she was gonna kick me out the door. Daddy took off towards the barn really fast and we were all scared to death fer him. Everything was quiet, to quiet and we thought she’d done and killed daddy when he walked out and said come here son, I wanna show ya somethin. My brother was skittish about going back in there around that crazy cow but he mozed on in tryin to be brave. By that time we’d all got up the nerve to make it to the door and peep in. Daddy leaned down some and said, here’s the trouble. It seemed Ole Bessie had been in the briar thicket sometime during the day and scratched up the milk factory. When my brother grabbed it with both hands and started to milk, it was sore as the dickens and she went to kickin. He admitted he jumped back against the wall and stood till he could make his escape.

After that daddy took over the milkin fer a few days till the factory healed and my brother had gained enough courage to tackle it again. Then when he finally went back to milkin, he’d tell us siblins to stay away from the barn while he was milkin. We thought he was awful bosey fer his age till daddy told us the same. He said, “uns younguns stay away from the barn and let him do his job.” Not that we really cared one way or the other cause we loved drinkin the milk better than wrestling with Ole Bessie any day.

Daddy knew a lot about handlin cows and  knew how to doctor em when they got sick. Folks would come far and near to get daddy to come doctor their cow. He helped deliver many a young one too. The calves were bad to get the scours and he knew what to do for em. I never did rightly know how he became a cow doctor but he helped save many a milk factory. When we’d ask the only answer we ever got was, “ya learn early on in this life or you’re in a whole heap of trouble.”
 He also knew a lot about doctoring mules and horses. I vaguely remember him using a lot of natural medicine. Most of it probably was the same that folks used fer their own sickness. Back then nobody went to a doctor, they doctored their own self.

Now days people buy their milk and pay big prices fer it. It makes me appreciate Ole Bessie even more. Although, she’s long since kicked the bucket fer the last time and that good, ole milk and butter has played the hob. I know she’s bound to have received her grand reward along with all the others that quenched many a milk thirst by keeping the milk factory going.  She’s probably up there in some brair thicket in the green onions right now

                                                   © Susie Swanson, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Come Sit With Me

                                                    Come sit with me
                                                    Beneath the weeping willow tree
                                                    We'll talk away the hours
                                                    In summer's peaceful tranquility

                                                    We'll watch the beautiful sunset
                                                    Sinking low over the horizon
                                                    Feel the breeze blowing gently
                                                    As the whispering branches liven

                                                    A bright full moon is shining
                                                    Casting shadows oh so bright
                                                    What more could we ask for
                                                    On this perfect summer night

                                                    Come sit with me
                                                    On the treasured, old porch swing
                                                    We'll swing away the hours
                                                    Listening to the crickets sing

                                                    The fire flies are dazzling
                                                    A perfect summer time show
                                                    Smell the honeysuckle blooming
                                                    With sweet fragrance to grow

                                                    We can listen to the whipper wills
                                                     As they make that unique sound
                                                    They never fail to please
                                                    My home is their stomping ground

                                                    Come sit with me
                                                    At the break of a new dawn
                                                    Say hi to the morning glories
                                                    Hear the birds sing each new song

                                                    The roses are cascading
                                                    A round every curve and bend
                                                    Pretty flowers are covered with dew
                                                    The mornings so happily send

                                                    Apple trees are blooming in the lane
                                                    Oh how sweet they can be
                                                    Decked out in pink blossoms
                                                    Waiting for you and me

                                                    All the cows are in the pasture
                                                    Nibbling on the fresh, green grass
                                                    Happy as can be in the sunshine
                                                    Basking in the warmth in high class

                                                    Come sit with me
                                                    On the bank of the little creek
                                                    We'll sip on a tall glass of lemonade
                                                    Then jump in with both feet

                                                    We'll enjoy every moment of the day
                                                    The nights are wonderful too
                                                    Here in my simple, country home
                                                    I promise it will all come true

                                                   There is splendor all around me
                                                   The sky is big overhead
                                                   I live in a heavenly paradise
                                                   Oh what a beautiful spread

                                                   The taste of heaven is sweet
                                                   The air is cleaner here
                                                   If you reach up your hand
                                                   On tip toe heaven is near

                                                   Come sit with me
                                                   In my paradise so green
                                                   This summer time country living
                                                   Is the best I've ever seen

                                                   © Susie Swanson, 2014