Friday, January 23, 2015

When I Think Of January




                                                     When most people think of January
                                                      they think of the cold
                                                      winter's wrath has settled in
                                                      with a powerful hold

                                                      When I think of January
                                                       my heart dances to a song
                                                       I can hear the sewing machine now
                                                       as it hums on along

                                                       All of those quilts
                                                       I patiently piece together
                                                       will surely keep somebody warm
                                                       in January's harsh's weather
                                                       
                                                       I can't forget those trips
                                                       I take to distant lands
                                                       in my mind I travel often
                                                       with my pen in hand

                                                       With every little poem
                                                        my spirit surely does climb
                                                        and I live every moment
                                                        in every little rhyme
     
                                                         So when I look out my window
                                                         and see the January snow
                                                         I don't mind at all
                                                         if time is moving kind of slow

                                                         I know it can't be long
                                                         until spring rolls around
                                                         and it doesn't matter one bit
                                                         if I stay house bound

                                                         © Susie Swanson, 2015

    The above poem is somewhat misleading in many ways. Nope, haven't done any quilting this winter. I managed to cut some pieces out but can't sew because I can hardly lift my arms. I've been helping my husband put together a couple of jigsaw puzzles. Well...let's be honest, I may have found one or two for him if you can call it helping. Still trying to get balanced out on my Thyroid Meds. and having stomach problems to boot. Went to my GI doctor this past Monday and he did the Endo light in my stomach on Wednesday. He didn't find anything out of the ordinary, said my Hiatal Hernia looked good so I'm to try eating a little more and if the gas continues he'll look at my gallbladder. It's not hurting so unless something changes they will not be messing with it anytime soon till I feel better other ways. ..So, I'm starting Probiotics and praying for good results. Enough about me.. hope all is well with ya'll and will be back soon as I'm able. I sure do miss ya'll's posts and keeping up with ya. Blessings, Susie

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Beneath The Fog




                                                      She walks through the blinding fog
                                                      it engulfs her morning stroll
                                                      Her mind is stuck in marsh and mud
                                                      waiting for something to unfold

                                                      Underneath the shrouded veil
                                                      lies a poem waiting for wings
                                                      To take flight in earnest sail
                                                      in the midst of misty dreams

                                                      Each voice she hears, echoes back
                                                      whispering in the brisk breeze
                                                      Like bells along the aerial track
                                                      amidst the flutter of leaves

                                                      Her heart beat is dancing strong
                                                      soul searching for each rhyme
                                                      Through the dense pathway on
                                                      The bells are beginning to chime

                                                      Drawing her ever so close by
                                                      beneath the fog and bitter rain
                                                      She pulls the sun from bending sky
                                                      her muse plants each tiny grain

                                                      The shadows of mere words
                                                      bounce upon the ground
                                                      Awakens the morning birds
                                                      as silver rays are shining down
                                                
                                                      A perfect foggy morning beams
                                                      although words are hard to find
                                                      In the pathway of misty dreams
                                                      Inspiration is never far behind

                                                       © Susie Swanson, 2015

Yep, this is the way I feel right now folks. I'm at a loss for words and left with nothing but memory fog. I haven't had the mindset to write much at all and it's no wonders. Between dealing with trying to get balanced out with Thyroid Meds. after my Thyroidectomy and my long time Stomach Problems rearing their ugly head, it's a wonder I've got any brain left at all. I want to try so bad and I get on the computer to write and the next thing I know I'm miserable. So.. I'll wait it out and hope for better days ahead and the Fog will have lifted FINALLY... Blessings to all of you. ~Susie

Friday, January 2, 2015

Reminiscing




When I look at these beautiful mountains surrounding me and these old roads I've traveled down, I think of the many memories made every time my feet hit the ground.

It may not mean much to some but it's worth more than money can buy. An old country girl having lived the good life and praising God until I die.

So many paths I've taken, my yearning heart has always brought me back, to this grand old place where the simple life is still intact.

Walking down a little trail to my grandparents house many a yesterday. Helping grandma with her canning, peeling peaches, apples and anything else I could get into made my day.

Slipping down below their house to the little plum tree. my goodness those plums were sweet as could be even when I had to shake the tree.

Even after I became a teenager I walked that little trail many a time. Just to sit, talk and listen awhile, brought so much joy to my heart and peace to my mind.

Sitting in that little porch swing listening to them talk about their yesterdays, really stuck with me and shaped me in so many ways.

Then after I went to work and had a little money to spend, I couldn't wait to take them a present every now and then.

One Christmas in particular I bought Pa a brand new pair of Hush Puppy Shoes. Christmas Eve was his birthday and it was even more special. He sure did love those shoes.

Of course I never did leave grandma out, she always thought of me. I sure did love those cathead biscuits she kept in the little cabinet, I ate one every time I got the opportunity.

Me and my girlfriends flattened out many a trail, since we walked quite often to the store. We surely did enjoy it when we got a little money, we let the hammer down more.

A few pennies in our pockets, burning the most you ever seen. That RC and Moon pie sure did taste good when you save your money by working in between.

There wasn't many hills and trails we didn't manage to find, and plenty of trails that wasn't there until we made our own kind.

And the pleasure of walking down an old dirt road, picking wildflowers and the smell of honeysuckles and looking at my other Little Ma's roses that she planted and growed.

She planted those roses clear across the country side, a legacy that keeps on giving. Every spring when I see those roses I think of her and it feels like a part of her is still living.

And my other grandpa I never had the privilege to know. He died before I was born but there's a big part of him that I see everywhere I go.

I can hear his voice and see his face in that little gristmill he owned. Today I live on the very spot where all the gristmill commotion went on.

My grandpa's not gone, I've wrote about him before. He's still alive today in my heart and the echoes I hear everytime I walk out the door.

And his blood and grit will always run through my veins. His strength and determination became what I am today. I can still see him down every road, trail and lane.

There's so many places I've walked, especially to church with a whole gang tagging along. Made me feel quite big, brave and strong.

Oh how I loved those night time revivals, they made me happy as a lark. Even though I was scared to death of those haints that everyone told about lurking around after dark.

So many scary stories were told by so many older folks around. A headless woman, a crying baby, it's no wonder we thought the booger man was after us everytime our feet hit the ground.

One would think after coming straight from church after being renewed we wouldn't have been so scared of the booger man waiting to perch.

We were all scared of our shadow if the truth be told. But it didn't stop us one bit from being out after dark, we acted really grown up and bold.

Even on Halloween we'd walk a mile or two for one piece of candy. Now days kids doesn't think walking is much fun and to be honest it ain't to smart and dandy.

And playing outside was the only video games we knew. Sometimes our imagination got the best of us and we got into trouble a time or two.

Throwing rocks and accidentlly hitting one another in the head. Knowing fully well we could have killed someone, we paid the price when we hit the bed .

It's like the old saying, I threw a rock at my brother and I got there first and so did my mother.

And we rode an old bicycle without any brakes, flying through the air, brairs brambles and snakes.

It's a wonder we ain't all dead but it was not meant to be. Kids being kids, curious and free. But our daddy and mama didn't agree.

My mama bless her heart we just about drove her crazy sometimes. She once said, we wouldn't have made it if The Good Lord hadn't been watching over us all the time.

But now when I look back upon it all and remember when, I wish a thousand times I could do it all over again.

Well most of it anyway, some I'd rather forget. Like the time I almost died trying out my grandma's sweet snuff, I might as well have been dead.

And maybe all the times I hit my brothers over the head with a broom. Nay, They deserved it and so much more, that's certainly a presume.

But that was just our way of showing that we loved one another. It may sound odd to some but it was our way of looking out for one another. Of course we tried to convince our mother.

In all honesty, our daddy and mama taught us right from wrong. We may not have had many material things but in our house God and Love was mighty strong.

Our clothes may have looked ragged and worn but mama always said, rags are honorable as long as they're clean and she made sure of that every wash day morn.

I carried many buckets of water from that little spring, filling up those big wash tubs on wash day and taking baths to keep clean.

Those big wash tubs had two handles, one on each side and we'd set them in the sun. It was a sure way of having warm water to take baths when the day was done.

We considered ourselves lucky since the spring was close by in the back yard. Some had to carry their water a lot farther and up hills, bound to been hard.

I'll never forget the little dipper that hung up above the spring on a limb. Nothing like a drink of cold, spring water on a hot, summer day from the little dipper, it sure was a gem.

Especially after hoeing in the garden since the break of dawn. Running for that dipper of water and going inside for dinner (lunch) eating them fresh veggies, fresh grown.

After a long day at school, a piece of cornbread and a little green onion tasted really good. All part of an old country girl's life and childhood.

Carrying milk home from the neighbors when we got without a cow. We could drink a gallon a day and buttermilk to, if mama would allow.

I remember churning that buttermilk all day in that churn jar. Thought to my soul my arms were gonna fall off. It took that butter a long time to come to the top of that jar.

Awe, there's so many things I could write about. I feel like a queen sitting on her throne, without a doubt.

And when the echoes start calling me back to my past, I listen and tell my stories , fresh as the morning dew on the green grass. It rekindles my heart to go back to that wonderful, old past.

And there's nothing that I'll ever forget or leave behind. An old country girl living in a country world where God hung the moon, stars, and sun out to shine.

                                                    © Susie Swanson, 2015

I know some of you are bound to have been wondering about me lately. I know I've been Missing in action but I'm still wrestling with these thyroid meds, trying to get balanced out, plus the holidays. They flew by before I could blink. It seems all of last year was a blur with me for that matter. I wish I could have got a new thyroid for Christmas but since that's not possible I'll have to settle for what God has in store for me along this long journey. It sure doesn't end with having it removed as some may have already found out. Don't get me wrong, I'm so glad it's gone as diseased as it was and all the suffering but a person never really knows how much that little gland does to keep the body going. Maybe in time there will be light at the end of the tunnel, God's Willing. I put it in his hands a long time ago and he's carried me through some pretty rough patches and brairs and he's not gonna let me down now. I'll stop with the wining and take time to say I hope all of you had a nice Christmas and I wish everyone a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year.  I'll be back soon as I'm able. I sure have missed ya'll.  Many Blessings, ~Susie

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I Must Wait




Time has not kept its promise to me
It came and went like yesterday’s wind
I once was useful as could be
Now I sit here where grasses bend

Each day the voices still pleasantly ring
Of happy days that were well spent
 That old hayloft meant everything
The animals were always so content

A place to lay their heads at night
Those pesky chickens I miss more
 Many things were never far from sight
Coming and going through that big door

I lay hold upon many enduring things
Bitter winds and rain have come my way
Children’s voices still flies with earnest wings
And many old timers kneeled down to pray

Now I too, like any old timer must lie
In wait for someone to walk in
To tell my stories and not question why
So I can draw strength from it time and again

© Susie Swanson, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Christmas Card To You

 



                                                      Every name is a blessing
                                                      upon this list of mine
                                                      somewhere our paths have crossed
                                                      in another place and time

                                                      Perhaps it was years ago
                                                      or only yesterday
                                                      but every person on my list
                                                      has changed my life someway

                                                     A simple hug or conversation
                                                     a friendly smile or meal
                                                     a spoken prayer to God above
                                                     has helped me grow and heal

                                                     Perhaps God went through you
                                                     and wove his magic twine
                                                     in some small or kindly deed
                                                     to touch this heart of mine

                                                     You wished the gray clouds away
                                                     and prayed for rain instead
                                                     I raised my eyes to heaven
                                                     and found a rainbow overhead

                                                    Worldly things that trouble me
                                                     just seems to disappear
                                                     knowing you are always there
                                                     across the miles or near

                                                    You restore my faith, love and hope
                                                     a bond that will never cease
                                                     so many wonderful family and friends
                                                     brings to me an inner peace

                                                    Each day my list continues to grow
                                                    and each name I hold so dear
                                                    each one has brought Christmas joy
                                                    everyday of the year

                                                   This Christmas Card I give to you
                                                   is more than just a wish
                                                   it's a thank you to God above
                                                   for putting you on my list

                                                   © Susie Swanson, 2014

                       From my home to yours May you have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Memories








Christmas is a time for joy and happiness, spending time with family, remembering Christmas past when times were so different, simple but grand.
Sadly, a lot of the old ways have been left behind and Christmas has become a commercial holiday. Not so, back in the day when all we had to wake up to was an orange and apple or one present a piece if we were lucky. We felt rich as a king in our hearts. We’d search through the woods for the perfect tree and sometimes that took days and every year it looked the same. We had to tie the top of it to the curtain rod to get the star to stay in place. It was cut from cardboard with aluminum foil wrapped around it to make it shine. Our decorations were holly berries and popcorn strings wrapped around the little droopy tree. The stockings were hung near the tree the night before, anticipating our once a year Christmas treat.
Then as I grew older I noticed something was missing, mama and daddy never did get a present. I felt so bad on Christmas morning when we all opened our stockings or the one present that Santa had managed to bring each one of us. So one year I fell on a plan to make sure daddy and mama had a present. I started saving every little penny I could save, mostly pay from an older lady that hired me to come in the summer and do some house cleaning and yard sweeping. I put them in an old quart jar in my bedroom closet. I didn’t want anyone to know about them so I kept quiet as a mouse. When Christmas Eve rolled around I kept asking mama if she needed anything from the store for her baking or cooking. I knew she always made a black walnut cake from the walnuts we’d cracked and hulled out earlier in the fall. We always saved some for our Christmas cake. She also made a homemade apple sauce cake too. The rest of Christmas dinner consisted of food we’d canned from the gardens in the summer and fresh hog meat that had been killed just before Thanksgiving or Christmas.
I prayed she would need something really bad, bad enough to send me to the store. We always walked to the little country store just over  the road from the house. I kept asking are you sure you don’t need anything from the store and finally she spoke up and said, well if you want to hoof it bad enough I need a dozen eggs for these cakes. Just what I’d been waiting to hear.
 Since our hens didn’t lay much in the winter we only had enough eggs for breakfast if we had any at all.  I ran as fast as my legs would take me towards that quart jar and grabbed those pennies and put them in my pocket. Mama gave me a list to fill and I found out she needed more than she thought. I just about run all the way to the store. When I got there I gave the list to the storekeeper to fill as usual while I looked around. I already had in mind what to buy for mama and daddy’s Christmas present. When he got done filling the list and I paid him with the money mama gave me and stuck what little change she had left back in my other pocket I reached in and brought out the handful of pennies I’d saved. I handed them to him and said will this much money buy a small box of Garrett Strong Snuff and a pack of Camel Cigarettes? He said, well let me count what you got. He counted each penny and told me I had just enough, which I surely doubt today every time I think about it.
He put the little box of snuff for mama and the cigarettes for daddy in a small, brown bag and I stashed them in my pocket so they couldn’t be seen. I felt happy as a lark walking back home. I didn't even stop but long enough to sit mama’s eggs and stuff on the table and took off towards the bedroom. I took out the little bag and looked for something to wrap the presents in. I came up with a plan to wrap each one in a piece of brown paper cut from the paper bag  that I carried mama’s groceries in. I slipped in the kitchen and found the paper bag mama had emptied and grabbed some scissors and run back into the bedroom and cut a big enough piece to wrap each present in. I felt so much joy in my heart and couldn't wait to see their eyes come morning.  I was all set, come bed time I’d slip back up after everyone went to sleep and put mama and daddy’s Christmas presents under the tree. I laid there so quiet and listened to the old clock tick away until everyone was fast asleep. I had the presents hid under the bed covers. I eased up and tip toed into the living room and laid the presents under the tree. Then I slipped back into bed and finally fell asleep. The noise woke me up come morning and I jumped straight up and ran for the living room. Everyone was there opening their presents and we all got one present. Daddy and mama must have had a little extra money to pay Santa with that year. I got a puzzle cause Santa knew I loved putting puzzles together. After all of us kids had opened our presents I crawled under the tree and got mama and daddy’s present and handed it to them. They both looked really serious and said what’s this? I told them it was something Santa left for them. They opened it up and their eyes lite up more so than the tree. Daddy said, I wonder who told him what kind we used. Mama said, I wonder the same thing but I sure can use it.
At that moment I had the most joy in my heart and worth more than diamonds and gold. Now, I know a lot of folks reading this are thinking how did she buy that snuff and cigarettes and her being just a kid. You gotta remember it was a very different time and era and everybody knew each other. We’d patronized that little store so much and the storekeeper was kin to us. I remember sometimes when we went in there and he had some bananas that were getting to ripe to sell he’d give us a bunch. Times sure have changed today and like I said the old ways have fell by the road side, left behind to fade into the past. Christmas is not about buying presents and spending big bucks just to make sure the kids are happy. It’s about love of family, sharing, thinking of the less fortunate, being satisfied with what you have, teaching your kids the true meaning of Christmas. The little things are the most important in life, not the big things and putting God in our hearts every day of the year.  I cherish those long ago Christmases, although we weren't rich in money, we had wealth a thousand ways more. I wish I could go back to that simple old time when the little things were treasures and worth more than money could buy.

                                                           © Susie Swanson, 2014

I haven't been able to take many pics this year of our Christmas decorations, what few we have out . These are some from last year as well as the story. May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Most Aged




                                    They are a timeless treasure
                                    sitting in an old rocking chair
                                    no amount of time can measure
                                    the silver, gray in their hair

                                    Much knowledge fills their soul
                                    and flows from the most wise
                                    worth more than mountains of gold
                                    shining through crystal, clear eyes

                                    With a face that's wrinkled and worn
                                     joy still finds room to abide
                                     for lost years they've never mourned
                                     and happiness still sits by their side

                                     Their thoughts are never at end
                                      to a time long since past
                                      time has become their friend
                                      with much prayer it will surely last

                                      Burdens they have carried long
                                      in life they continue to steer
                                      embracing the world with a song
                                      refusing to make room for fear

                                     They've known hardships in life
                                     and worked their hands to the bone
                                     no stranger to struggles and strife
                                     just thankful for the light of dawn

                                     Advice may be to much for some
                                     and floats like the weight of a feather
                                     it should be taken as fast as it comes
                                     and hand and hand walk together

                                     Twice a child and once a man
                                      that's how the saying goes
                                      the most aged are priceless and grand
                                      the heart of a child surely grows

                                      When the curtain of time does fall
                                      as the body grows weary and tired
                                      the empty chair will be left for all
                                      and the path to follow will be hard

                                      © Susie Swanson, 2014