Monday, April 21, 2014

Making Do

My mama came from a family of ten kids, two girls and eight boys. She grew up in a close, knit family that believed in working fer ya keep and learning early on how to survive and get by. Many times she told how they survived the depression and made do with whatever they had.

Back then everybody grew their own food but the basics were hard to come by. During the depression they gave out coupons and they’d pick em up at the little local store. The storekeeper would hand em out each month according to how many was in a family. He always had to keep records of what he handed out fer the government. He helped people out a lot too. They’d bring their canned goods in and exchange em for something they needed. There was always someone in need and he knew he would be able to get rid of it all.

Mama said most of the time they’d just get a couple pounds of coffee to do a month or five or ten pounds of flour, and a bucket of lard with their coupons. If they were lucky to get an extra coupon they’d get a small bag of sugar or an extra five pounds of flour.The flour came in cloth sacks and their mother saved them up and sewed them into dresses and shirts.

 Mama said that grandma would boil the same coffee grounds over and over till that coffee was so thin ya could see through it. Even after the depression started easing up and grandpa went to work fer the WPA and they had a little more to live on grandma was still in the saving mode and kept boiling the coffee grounds over and over. My grandpa got tired of it and told her one day, now Sarie (Sarah) stop boiling them coffee grounds over so much. What  ya doing, straining it through a white rag, you can stop now I want some real coffee not stained water. It was hard for grandma to change, she’d been in the saving business to long.

They always had plenty of cornmeal for bread since they grew the corn and grandpa carried big toe sacks to my other grandpa’s old grist mill every week. She said they only used the flour for breakfast cause they sure did love them cathead biscuits and gravy.  There was many a morning they had to eat cornbread cause they didn’t have any flour. Of course cornmeal gravy and cornbread is just as good and my mama and her mama made the best there was.

She and her brothers used to trap rabbits and take them to the little country store in exchange for some of the basics they needed. This was after they cleaned the rabbits up good and the head had to stay on them. My grandma knew exactly what the rabbits were worth by how many they had caught. He paid by the pound and she knew it. She’d make out a list of what she needed and send them to the store to fill it.

One time she and one of her brother’s that was the closest to her in age caught ten rabbits and took off towards the store with the rabbits on a stick and grandma’s list. On the way to the store her brother told her we’re gonna get us somethin good today. Mama told him, no we can’t cause mommy knows exactly how many rabbits we got, she’s made her list. He stuck his hand up under his coat and pulled out another rabbit. He said, I told you we’re gonna get us somethin good today. The only problem was the rabbit didn’t have a head. Apparently, while they were cleaning them one lost it’s head someway and he’d stuck it under his coat. The storekeeper always wanted them with their heads intact. He had a little shed over to the side of the store building that people hung their rabbits in.

When they got to the store and hung their rabbits they went in and told him how many they had and gave him their list. He walked outside and went in and looked at the rabbits from the door and counted them. He said, well,  somebody’s counted wrong this time, you’ve got eleven instead of ten.  Mama said her brother spoke up and said Alrighttt,  we got enough to get us something good this time. The storekeeper told him ya sure do , so pick out what ya want. Her brother pointed to a big jar of candy sitting on the counter and said we want a whole, little bag of that candy. He filled their list and the bag of candy and they headed home. The candy was  chocolate drops and can still be bought today, especially around Christmas time and they’re rich as can be.

On the way home they eat the whole bag of chocolate drops and by the time they got home they were sicker than a buzzard. They started puking and they puked all night. My grandma didn't know what in the world to think. She was up with em all night trying to clean up the messes and do what she could for em.
The next morning they felt and looked like death warmed over. When grandma seen they were on the mend she asked em what did they eat to get so sick. They’d been taught all of their life not to lie and knew if they did they’d be in worse shape than they already were so they told her the truth. She marched them back over the road to the store and made em tell the storekeeper what they’d done. He just stood there and looked at em fer a bit and then he spoke up and said, well I guess they've been punished enough this time but it better not happen again.
From that day forward they didn’t take another rabbit without its head and they never eat another chocolate drop as long as they lived.

To say times were rough is an understatement but they survived the best way they knew how and mama said they never went to bed hungry a night in their life. They always had something to eat even if it was an old possum baked in the oven. I wonder why mama never did care much for possums either.

                                               © Susie Swanson, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Come Spring

Come spring, there is a lovely picture that I see
I cling to this very hope, my mother waiting for me
It leads me home, I pause and breath a prayer
Thanking God for his great promise she’ll be there

When the roses bloom again and the birds sing
On heaven’s bright shore, oh what joy it will bring
To see her smile and feel her warm embrace
My mama’s been gone to long, I miss her sweet face

With the sunlight shining upon her snow, white hair
Beside her flowers, fragrance drifting in the air
Just to be in her presence will warm all my days
I will cherish each one and give God the praise

To see her well without heartaches and pain
The way I remember her, all else is mundane 
We will walk together down streets of pure gold
So much to say, more than my heart can hold

In a land of silver grasses that sparkle with dew
My mama is waiting patiently for me to come too
She taught me young how to spread each tiny wing
Oh what a joyous reunion, come spring

                                                    © Susie Swanson, 2014

Tomorrow the 19th would've been my mama's 87th Birthday. She's spending it in heaven again this year. I miss her more each passing day but long to see her smiling face. Happy Birthday Mama, I love you!!

Here's wishing all of you a Happy Easter

Monday, April 14, 2014

Old Rugged Cross

                                                       It stood on a hillside
                                                       An old rugged cross
                                                       The emblem of suffering
                                                       For sinners that were lost

                                                       His bloodshed was eminent
                                                       To crucify they were bound
                                                       He wore a crown of thorns
                                                       Destined for heaven's crown

                                                       They mocked and smote him
                                                       They placed thieves by his side
                                                       My God Why Has Thou Forsaken
                                                       He cried before he died

                                                       They wrapped him in linen
                                                       Placed him in a borrowed tomb
                                                       They rolled a great stone
                                                       In the doorway to entomb

                                                       On the third day they came
                                                       At the rising of the sun
                                                       The stone was rolled away
                                                       They could not hold God's son

                                                       On that old rugged cross
                                                       His bloodstains washed away
                                                       All the sins in this world
                                                       He surely lives today

                                                       Thank you Lord for that old cross
                                                       You made the ultimate sacrifice
                                                       Like the thief on the cross
                                                       I'll see you in paradise

                                                       © Susie Swanson, 2014

Many thanks to each one of you for your prayers, emails, and cards. Every prayer has been felt and heard. God is working it out one day at a time. I go to the Specialist this week and that's an answered prayer for sure. My appointment wasn't till the 13th of May and they had a cancellation .
I have my good days and bad ones. Whatever it is sure has me bum fuzzled. Right when I think I've seen it all, something else will pop up. But I keep in mind there's alot more people in worse shapes and God will take care of it. It may not always be in our time but he knows all things and has a plan already in place.
I've missed all of you and your awesome posts but will get around to each one as much as possible. I wish each of you a very Happy Easter and May God Bless !! Susie.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Quick Update


                                             The whole world is seeking one who understands
                                             A million prayers rise upward from the sod
                                             If they would only listen as they speak
                                             Out of the silence they would hear you, Dear God

                                             The sad who seek to find you through their tears
                                             The broken hearts crying out in agony and pain
                                             You've always been there through toil and strife
                                              Faith of a mustard seed is but a tiny grain

                                             Though mountains are high and valleys low
                                             There is splendor above and light over head
                                             You've heard each cry and saw each tear
                                              And every prayer that's been spoken or said

                                             The human heart you placed within the breast
                                              Set there to run untouched from birth to death
                                              Is where faith should dwell and laughter ring
                                              Every day and night as long as there is breath

                                             All the promises you made should stand above
                                             A world of despair and cries should not dismay
                                             You are the rock from which we should stand
                                             Those who seek the highest shall never lose their way

                                             © Susie Swanson, 2014

I want to give ya'll a quick update as some of you are bound to be wondering about me. I've been down quite sick for a while and they've turned me upside down and determined it's some kind of Auto Immunine Disease. I'm waiting to see a Specialist to evaluate me and try to find some answers. It could be Lupus, Fibro etc. They just don't know because all of that is clinical and can't be found in a blood test.

I can't sit up for long periods of time since I get so sick and the tremendous weakness. I know alot of you have sent Emails, posted comments and I'm so sorry I haven't got back to some of you yet or visited your Blogs and read your wonderful posts. You all are very special to me and I wish I had the strength to visit each of you and do what I love to do. But maybe in time they will find what it is and with God's help and if it's his Will I'll be back to my old self and feel more up to it. Many thanks to each one of you for your prayers and I have surely felt them. God has carried me for a while and he will continue to stick by me, regardless of the outcome. I want you all to know I'm thinking of you and praying for you as well. May God Bless all of you and thank you for your patience and understanding. God Bless, Susie

Monday, March 31, 2014

God's Way

                                                            He calms the mighty ocean
                                                            with the whisper of his breath
                                                            heals the sick and afflicted
                                                            restores a lost soul from death

                                                            His eyes are always wide open
                                                            to this world of peril and woe
                                                            he rises to each occasion
                                                            and miracles continue to grow

                                                            He is the road to salvation
                                                            our mighty sword and shield
                                                            the rock of all the ages
                                                            he proved on Calvary's hill

                                                            I'll look to his love in all things
                                                            in the wave of each swaying branch
                                                            in each breath, each step and moment
                                                            I'll pause to my God and give thanks

                                                            So when turbulent waters surround me
                                                            and clear skies turn to gray
                                                            I'll look for sunshine beyond them
                                                            and let God have his own way

                                                            © Susie Swanson, 2014

I want to give ya'll a little update. I'm having some sickness right now that's been going on for quite some time. I'll not go into details but I wanted ya'll to know I've missed your wonderful posts and visiting your blogs. It always makes my day. I will be back soon God's Willing,  and please keep me in your prayers and I'm praying for ya'll as well. Hugs and love, Susie

Monday, March 24, 2014

Barbed Wire And Roses

                                                      The beauty is twined along the fence
                                                      Where roses grow amidst the wire
                                                       Across the green meadow
                                                       In greenbrier

                                                      They appear in spring so luminous
                                                      Kissed by the morning dew
                                                      In sweet insistent wind
                                                      Refreshing and new

                                                      One single red rose among the thorns
                                                      Placed with love and certainty
                                                      A rose of crimson red
                                                      Bright and lovely

                                                      A young girl's heart is mesmerized
                                                      For a thing of beauty so strong
                                                      She stands breathless
                                                      Such beauty strewn

                                                      Across the years and distant shore
                                                      My grandma smiles upon me
                                                      The red roses she placed
                                                      Lives in my heart
                                                      Through eternity

                                                      What shall we leave behind when gone
                                                      For those who follow behind
                                                      Twined in barbed wire
                                                      Roses so divine

                                                      © Susie Swanson, 2014

It's that time of year again . Time to watch for grandma's roses to take a bow. She planted them many years ago clear across the community. Up and down the roadsides, in the fields, tangled in the old barbed wire fences, anywhere and everywhere she could stick a sprout. They've thinned out over the years but there's enough left to find when they are in bloom. I have some in my yard along with lots of the other neighbors. Her Rose Legacy lives on and what a beautiful Legacy it is.  Hope ya'll are enjoying the few and far between spring days. Blessings, Susie.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring's Parade


                                                    The sun arose this morning
                                                    against a clear, blue sky
                                                    The birds sing a new song
                                                    a sign that spring is nigh

                                                    Trees awaken from their sleep
                                                    and long winter's rest
                                                    Tulips raise their little heads
                                                    all fancy, frilly and dressed

                                                    Meadows are green and lush
                                                    sparkling with morning dew
                                                    Daffodils join the parade
                                                    of spring's march brand new

                                                    Dogwoods will soon reign
                                                    in snow covered bloom
                                                    Honeysuckle will cast a spell
                                                    of sweet, fragrant perfume

                                                    A fresh and welcome breeze
                                                    spring is such a thrill
                                                    Winter's last whimsical stroll
                                                     bows down to kneel

                                                    © Susie Swanson, 2014

Yep, tomorrow is the first day of spring on the calender that is. I know everyone feels the same as me, bring it on. This has been one of the roughest winters we've had in many years and it just doesn't want to let up. As my daddy used to say. "It's gonna be a late spring". Hang in there folks it won't be long now, I hope.