Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mama's Chickens

My mama loved raising chickens better than anything besides growing her flowers and always managed to have some when we were growing up. I can’t remember a time when chickens weren’t running around scratching all day or hearing the ole hens cackling when they’d laid their eggs. And there’s nothing like being chased by an ole sittin hen when she gets the mindset to be ornery when she thinks her chicks might be harmed.
 When spring time came in mama kept an eye on those ole hens when they took off to build their nest. Mama knew where every nest was and if she didn’t she’d watch them till she knew just about the exact location.  Daddy tickled all of us to death. He’d stand on the porch and say, “lookie yonder at your mamie, she’ll follow them ole hens till one of these days she’ll get a snake around her neck.”

There were a lot of varmints to contend with like hawks, foxes, etc. but that didn’t detour mama from doing what she loved to do. Sometimes an ole hawk would dive down and grab a baby chick.
One ole hawk really was bold one day and dived down in the middle of the yard. Mama run down those steps faster than a cat could lick and grabbed the first rock she could get her hands on and threw it straight up at that hawk. The rock didn’t come close to him but it scared him enough to drop the little chick. The poor little thing died on impact if it wasn’t already dead.  It broke mama’s heart and she said, “I’ll kill that thing if it’s the last thing I do.” Daddy wanted to put his two cents in but knew better and turned around and walked back in the house. Those varmints were brave to show themselves around mama.

When an ole varmint grabbed a hen on her nest mama would take the eggs and put them under another ole hen. We never could keep up with how many ole hens and chickens mama really had but she knew each one of the hens and had most of them named and knew where each one built their nest.
When it came time for all the baby chicks to hatch out there’d be several ole hens and their baby chicks running around to feed and those hens were mean as a striped snake. We knew better to get their feathers riled. 
 Those ole roosters were awfully cocky as well.  Mama never could stand to hear an ole rooster crow in the middle of the day. She said it meant bad luck. She’d throw rocks at one to get him to stop. It was usually the young roosters that had just learned how to crow and thought they were something. Daddy told her that one day she was wasting her time and she said, “well it’s about time they learned when to crow and I’ll teach em.”

She’d put as many of the ole hens up in chicken pens as she could and the little ones would go in and out through the chicken wire till roost time. When the chicks got a little older she’d let them out of the pen to make room for more. Every now and then a fox would reach through or under the wire and get one of the hens and leave the babies to fend for themselves. Mama would catch the babies and put them in a cardboard box and feed them. She’d take them in the house at night and cover them with an old rag. They’d peep for a little bit and then get quite as a mouse till morning. When morning came she’d carry the box back out on the front porch and let them out for the day.

She did this many times and they thought of her as their mama cause every evening at about the same time they’d come up the front door steps looking for mama. Someone would holler here comes your babies mama. If she was in the house she’d come a trotting. If she was already sitting on the porch she’d stick her legs out and they’d climb up both legs and onto her lap. Sometimes they’d climb up on her shoulders. She’d say, “awe, come on and I’ll put you to bed, I know you’re ready fer it.” She’d carry each one and place them back in their box till morning.  This became a daily routine for mama till they grew big enough to fend for themselves. They’d grow so big they already had their little tail feathers and they kept on prancing up those steps for mama to put to bed.  It’d finally get to the point she had to run them back down the steps and I can just hear her now, “ uns go on now and find ye a place to roost, you’re plenty big enough to fend fer yourself.” 

My uncle was visiting late one summer evening and was sitting on the porch talking with mama and daddy when a batch of those chicks came up those steps and walked towards mama. She straightened her legs out and they climbed up her legs as pretty as you please and onto her lap.  He asked her about it and she told him they did that every evening wanting to be put to bed. He said he’d never seen anything like it before in his life. He told mama she had those chicks spoiled and she said, “spoiled or not, someone has to take care of the little fellers.”

Mama also loved to raise those pesky guineas and we all hated those things with a passion, daddy included. An ole guinea ain’t got any sense and can do the craziest things. When they sit on a nest of eggs till they hatch out they practically abandon their little ones. We’ve watched ole guinea hens stand out in the pouring down rain and look straight up and never try to hunker down so the little ones could get under them and stay dry. They’d walk around with their head in the air and let the little ones drown. The only thing they were good for was letting us know when a snake crawled through the grass. They’d all gather around it and you never heard the beat and of course the chickens had to join in as well. It’s a wonder the snake didn’t die of a heart attack on the spot.
They also loved going to the main, paved road and just stand in the middle of it.  When one or two would meet their waterloo we’d shout in secret for our own sake. She lost quite a few in that road but always managed to triple even more so come spring.

The only thing an ole guinea is fit for is keeping bugs off of stuff. They sure did keep the bugs off of mama’s flowers. They’d even eat ole stink bugs, shewww.  I do believe that’s one of the reasons mama liked to raise them. She sure prided herself on those flowers.

Mama did some funny things when it came to raising chickens and guineas. When an ole guinea was sitting on a nest of eggs mama would watch her till she left the nest for a while and then slip and take those eggs out of the nest and put them under an ole sittin hen while she was off of her nest. She’d remove all of the hen eggs except ONE and replace them with the guinea eggs. It was the funniest sight you’ve ever seen to see that ole hen walking around with a bunch of baby guineas and one little chick in the bunch. 

We always said, there was never a chicken or guinea that built a nest that mama couldn’t find, even if it meant going into the snakiest places there were. Mama prided herself on her chickens and guineas. My mama was an inspiration to us all and even though we didn’t always understand her motives or love for certain things she sure did know her stuff and taught us a lot of life lessons along the way. 

I love going back to our childhood home in the spring. I can still hear those ole hens cackling when they lay their eggs and see them running around with those little chicks behind them and yes, I can still hear those ole guineas as well. I can also see mama standing in the yard watching an ole hen take off towards her nest.  It’s like turning back time and I’ll always cherish those sweet memories of mama and her chickens and the ole guineas too. 

                                          © Susie Swanson, 2018

Happy Spring everyone !! Sorry my Text is black but I've only got office now because my Microsoft Word went down. I've tried to work with the text but so far no luck. I'm still working with it because I do not like this text color at all . As for spring, where has it gone? The second day of spring and we've had snow showers all day with brutal, cold wind. I'm trying not to complain with so many of you having it far worse and I'm praying for you all. blessings, ~Susie~

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Window Of Time

As I look through the window of time
there's a deep peace of content and hope that cheers
for the things I see so clearly my spirits does climb
as I step into the light of my childhood years

A family all together on many evenings long ago
gathered around the table what joy it does bring
the supper hour, a magnet drawing love to glow
I listen to the voices that makes my heart sing

My mama's cooking is the best to be found
the aroma of the smells are oh so inviting
her reward is her family gathered all around
a table full of love prepared from summer's canning

I see my hard working daddy with his wrinkled brow
washing his face and hands like always before
after the end of days work and milking the cow
they all bow their heads and give Thanks even more

The old oil lamp in the middle of the table, is still there
with darkness settling in waiting for daylight
it shines so bright on mama and daddy's silver hair
and the love will forever linger in plain sight

Then comes the morning of another yesterday
with many little feet running all through the house
anxious to eat and waiting patiently for school or play
before the break of dawn it was quiet as a mouse

Walking to catch the bus and crossing the little creek
some are anxious to get to school and some in a fuss
till the sight of a long neck crane with a minnow in it's beak
so engrossed till we all just about miss the school bus

So many memories still tucked away around that old road
a place to ride an old worn out bike or play and roam
walking home from the bus in the evening in a tired mode
till I see more welcome sights that await me at home 

Awe, I see mama's pretty quilts blowing in the wind
every little stitch was sown with love in her heart
the first signs of spring has slipped around the bend
quilts and flowers in my heart will never part

All of the gardens are planted and pretty as can be
so many little hands knowing how to plant and hoe
taught when to work and when to play so patiently
the bounty is worth it, nary a weed is allowed to grow

The rewards of summertime is splashing in the creek
or running through those trails the whole day long
catching lightning bugs in a jar and playing hide and seek
in that place called childhood my heart will always belong

When the bounty is ready to harvest I see the skies so blue
soon the cool, crisp nights of Fall will give way to the cold
as the snowflakes fall so gently, the playing is way over due
down those snowy hills we own and sliding makes us bold

So many things to see through that window glass
brings joy to my heart and a hunger like I've never known
for the precious memories I hold nothing can ever surpass
in a place where childhood memories were so easily sown

Oh how I love that wonderful, old window of time
those sweet, familiar faces I see just like always before
that ageless old mantle clock will forever chime
through that window even if time has shut the door

© Susie Swanson, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Memories Of March

March can come in like a lion and go out like a lamb or vise versa. We never know what it's gonna bring. Sunny and warm one week, a blizzard the next, and it's the beginning of tornado season in my neck of the woods, but I love March and it's windy days. I guess because it usually brings so many early spring time signs. I look out and see daffodils, forsythia's, crocuses, tulips, and other early flowers in bloom and it warms my heart even on a chilly day. The wind usually blows every day of the month and sometimes late February and certainly April borrows from March. There's nothing like hanging clothes on the line in March and April. Shoot, I always start hanging them out in February when it start's borrowing from March. Nothing like fresh, laundry hung on the line in a good, stiff wind all day.

I remember back when I was a young'un mama would start as soon as the March wind came in, dragging out the quilts and all the bed linens and whatever else she could drag out. You talk about many an all day job that surely was, and every line was filled to the brim and those quilts and sheets would flap all day on those lines. The next pretty day she'd start taking down curtains, dragging out all the winter coats and anything else she found laying around. Whewww, after all of that we thought she would be done but oh no. She'd tell daddy to pull off those long handles , they were going in the wash. I can hear him now, “I ain't pullin em off to catch my death of cold till the first of May and ye ought to know that by now.” Of course he had several pairs but he acted like it was the only pair he had to save his life. Let's just say mama always won the debate.
Oh, I can't forget how she'd get us all together and we'd have to drag the mattresses outside to sun all day and the pillows were hung on the line to air out as well. But we always did this several times a year in the warmer months.

Spring cleaning came early with mama and March was her month. She always said, “waitin's what broke the wagon down and I've gotta get in that garden soon.” But what she really was hankering for was not just the vegetable gardens but the flower beds. While daddy was out looking for certain types of tater seed (and he wouldn't stop till he found them if it took a week or two) mama was buying up more flower bulbs. He'd always tell her, “I hope ye know, ye can't eat them flowers.” Oh boy, what came next wasn't to purty. Mama loved her gardens and worked hard in them just like all of us but she loved her flowers more. I do believe daddy finally figured that one out cause he kinda kept his mouth shut in later years. But in all honesty she did have a green thumb and everything she put in the ground came up. Mama did take pride in her gardens too. I know why she started her spring cleaning so early. She knew when that garden stuff came in she'd be busy in that hot kitchen canning all summer with the sweat dripping off of her brow. 

The only thing I don't like about March is those stinky skunks. They always start passing through mostly in the early mornings and it's hard to stick ye head out the door. We sure did dread walking out the door to go catch the school bus when that stink was lingering. It made us feel like it was on our clothes and just knew someone would get a whiff and turn their nose up at us but if they ever did they never let on. And that's the one thing that has delayed a lot of laundry hanging for me. There's been times I would leave the laundry basket sitting full till the March wind got up enough in late morning to blow the scent out. You talk about pitching a fit when one had passed through when mama started to hang her laundry out. She called them pole cats and she always said, “ if it wasn't fer getting stunk up so bad a body ought to tie a paper poke to their tail and set it on fire.” I still laugh today when I think of her saying that and it comes to mind every time one passes through. But one good thing about the March wind, the scent doesn't last long be it March or April.

I'll never forget one March day our dog Ole Mack tangled with a skunk. He was a full blooded collie and with that long hair it was the dickens getting him cleaned up. We couldn't stand it when he came near us, poor ole feller. I never in my life seen as much water carried from the spring and boiled in an old iron pot in the back yard for his bath or I should say several baths. That was the one time I saw mama part with some of her canned tomatoes. She opened those cans and poured several of them in that old wash tub. Shoot, we never did buy anything like tomato juice from the stores. It took us a while to get him clean enough not to smell it and it worked. Ole Mack was the most gentle dog we'd ever seen and I think he quite liked it cause the scent just about got him too. After we got him cleaned up we had to start over and all of us had to take a bath as well and after that we prayed really hard we'd never have to do that again. Of course, skunks come and go and leave their mark just for show and I do believe they laugh as they spray and go.

March can surely bring in anything including those stinky skunks and if I look close enough I might see wild ducks swimming down the creek at the back of my house. And I love hearing the frogs start their croaking late in the evenings but the sweetest sound is the spring birds and their serenading.

But in spite of all the things that can happen in March I focus on the good things and good memories. All of life's pleasures and treasures awaken from their long winter nap. It awakens my heart and soul to new birth and a refreshing feeling comes over me of what's to come. And sometimes it can start as early as February when it takes a notion to borrow from March.

                                              © Susie Swanson, 2018

                                               Happy March Everyone

Friday, February 16, 2018

Going To The Ten Cent Store

My grandma lived with us till she passed away. We all called her little ma cause she was skinny as a rail but could handle her own. She was a firecracker when it came to certain things but she was a humble, God fearing woman. She surely believed in the power of prayer and shouting the house down every time she entered the church. She and daddy had it by themselves till he married mama since his brother had already married and left home.

After mama moved in little ma turned all the cooking over to mama and she liked her three meals a day. But she always tried to put a little money each month in the pot to keep food on the table and her little boxes of snuff. She never did draw much of a pension but each month when she got her little dab of money she always made sure to keep a little to go to the ten cent store. That's what people called the 5 & 10 store back then. It was actually called Lay's 5 & 10 store.

She knew mama needed to make a trip to town for a few monthly necessities and she would grab that head rag (head scarf) and tie it on her head for fear she'd take her death of cold. She'd also grab that little purse that she carried on her arm and away we'd go.

When we'd get there mama would tell us to stay close to her for fear if we followed little ma we'd get lost in the store. She knew that little ma would stop and talk to everyone there and never pay any mind to her surroundings. I'll never forget those old wooden floors and how they squeaked when we all walked through there. Squeak, squeak all the way to the back of the store and the smell of that fresh pop corn hit us smack -ka -dab in the face when we entered the store and our mouths started watering. We prayed really hard for some popcorn or candy before we left there.

They had so many tables filled with do dads and what knots plus plenty of shirts and clothes of all types among other things all stacked so neat on those big tables. And those ladies were always so busy making sure those clothes and other items were laying so neat. Mama always told us we better not break anything or we'd be in a whole heap of trouble. For the life of me, I've never seen so many breakables in my life. Of course, little ma always came away with a few more breakables like flower vases, dishes, etc. every time and the best part was she didn't pay over 10 cents or 50 cents for either one. I reckon she just loved flower vases and anything breakable.

After we'd spend an hour or what felt like two in that store she'd put her head scarf back on her head and ask mama if she was ever gonna get done. Mama had been done ten minutes after we'd entered the store. She was waiting on little ma to get tired of running her mouth and get her breakables. When mama got to the checkout she'd pay for her stuff she'd tell them she wanted a couple bags of that popcorn and boy did our eyes light up. It was just what we'd waited on and the smell had already about killed us by then. Little ma would check out her stuff and it took the store clerk forever cause she'd wrap every little breakable with an old newspaper before she bagged them up.

I tell you the truth when I say we loved going to the 10 cent store. But for the life of me we didn't know why little ma bought so many flower vases. We knew she always loved her roses and flowers and that was most likely the reason. We've still got some of them today in our families that she left behind. Daddy and mama just couldn't bring themselves to pack them away after we lost her that cold, snowy, winter day.
And just like little ma the 10 cent store is now gone as well but my memories are still fresh as the morning dew especially since the 20th of this month is the 58th anniversary of her death. And even though it's been that many years it seems like yesterday when she'd tie her head back up with that head rag and say, “I'll be rotten take if ye all don't beat all. I've been ready to go since I entered the store and here ye all are lolly gagging around just like always.”
She sure was a corker but oh how I miss those words today and going to the 10 cent store.

© Susie Swanson, 2018

In Memory of my grandma

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Old Rolling Store

Years ago people didn't get to go town much for the things they needed like staples, chicken and hog feed etc. That's why the old Rolling Store came in so handy. It ran all over the county mostly in rural areas. It came through once a week in our area on Tuesdays and we looked forward to walking out the little dirt road that led to the main road where it made its stop. Me or my older brother went with mama the most to help her carry back her merchandise or feed. Sometimes we both went when she needed a sack of flour, hog and chicken feed.
As young'uns it tickled us to death to walk upon that big, old store truck (as we called it) and look up at those big, high shelves filled with just about anything we needed.

One good thing about the Rolling Store is they'd buy eggs from mama and other people as well. When mama's hens were laying good she'd gather up a couple dozen of eggs and sell them to have a little extra money. Sometimes she'd take that money and buy us some candy. I remember they had three pieces of gum for a penny and something called B B bats. Those little things were made out of caramel and hard as a rock but they sure were delicious. Since we didn't have much sweets back then and when we did get something like a sucker we'd make it last long as there was a lick left.

Then there was the rock candy and orange slices along chocolate drops and so many other kinds and it made our eyes pop out on a stem. They also had those big cookies sitting in a cookie jar and looked so tasty. In other words, plenty of sweets to make a young'un wild as a buck, as mama used to say. That's what they called it back then when young'uns climbed the walls from eating so much sweets.

After Mama got all of her necessities up and if she had any change left she'd always go towards that candy. We'd watch her really close cause we looked forward to it but the times she didn't have any change left for candy we knew not to complain cause she always told us not to be disappointed. Now days young'uns would probably cry their eyes out if they didn't get what they wanted but mama always said, “ ye wants won't hurt ye.” Sometimes it took every penny she had including the egg money to get what she needed.

Every two weeks mama bought the hog feed and they sold it in fifty pound bags. It was called Shorts. She'd get two fifty pound bags at a time. When it came time for the hog feed my oldest brother next to me (I'm the oldest) would push the little wooden wheelbarrow along . That was his job and he could only push one fifty pound bag at a time back home. He'd unload it and go back and get the other one. My grandpa built the little wheelbarrow and it was all wooden except for the steal wheel he'd put on it and it had a flat bed. My brother always knew he couldn't cross the foot log that we had to walk across to get to the other side of the creek . He'd push that wheelbarrow through the middle of that creek. The creek was shallow where he had to cross and it only came up to his ankles. He did the same thing with the chicken feed and sometimes the twenty five pound bags of flour that mama bought. She tried to space it all out so she could afford it all. She'd get the hog feed every two weeks and then the chicken feed the next time. The basics like flour, meal, sugar, lard, coffee, etc.

Those hogs surely did get fed good too. They not only eat the hog feed but they were fed corn and of course plenty of slop from the slop buckets. It's no wonders they were so fat come hog killin day. And those chickens sure did like that scratch feed and crushed corn also. Those young fryers tasted so good come Sunday Dinner.
And the preacher thought so as well.

We all eat good and no one went hungry a day in our lives. We grew our own gardens and mama canned everything she could get her hands on but like she always said, “ye gotta have a little bread and some grease to put in it along with a dab of snuff and a good cup of coffee to wake ye up and clear ye head in the mornings.”

I'm happy to say that old Rolling Store helped to provide all the necessities families needed and then some. And my mouth still waters when I think of that penny candy and how good it tasted.. As my daddy used to say when he was eating milk and bread, “it'll make ye tongue slap ye brains out.” I'm so glad I got to live through such good times and thankful for my childhood and the old Rolling Store.

                                        © Susie Swanson, 2018

                                         Photo courtesy of my good friend Joyce.


Thursday, February 1, 2018


There’s something about the month of February
It warms my heart despite the ground hog day
He tries to ruin it thinking he’s a know it all
 He can’t predict the weather, there’s no way

Two presidents would roll over in their graves
It’s a very good thing they don’t have a clue
They’d pull out all the muzzle loaders and cannons
Knowing that groundhog was overshadowing them too

 If he thinks he’s going to take over Valentine’s Day
He’s got another thing coming that’s for sure
That’s the one day of the year set aside for love
And cupid’s arrow will not pierce him, I assure

I don’t even know why they want to give him a holiday
He thinks cause he saw his shadow it’ll be six weeks more
Spring will be here soon enough, we don’t need him around
He’s waiting for garden time so he can slip in the back door

I got news for that groundhog and he better listen close
February may be short and sweet but it can stand its ground
There’s no little bushy tail critter going to take it over
Get back in that hole before it becomes your burial mound

© Susie Swanson, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Gone But Never Forgotten

I've wrote a lot about my grandpa from my daddy and even my mama's memories. I never had the opportunity to know him but those memories have been shared in poems and short stories. I've wrote about how much he was respected and how much he helped so many people in so many ways.  I've also mentioned how he and my daddy and uncle run a little gristmill for so many years and the gristmill was located on the exact, same spot where my house is today. I've also told how I can sometimes hear the echoes of that little gristmill and the many happenings that surrounded it. Many people came from far and near, some with wagon loads of corn and some with toe sacks on their back.  That little gristmill sure was a popular place since so many came to depend on it and my grandpa for their bread.

I've been told by many older folks how well he was loved and how much his hard work and dedication never went unnoticed. Many said that if they needed bread for their families they knew he would open the gristmill up even on the sabbath just to grind their corn so their families wouldn't go hungry. In one of my poems I wrote a verse that included this stanza, “ He worked hard to feed a generation's hungry heart.” And that he did, in so any memorable ways.

I can't express enough how much it means to have his obituary from an old local newspaper. We never did know much about him and his ancestors except what daddy told about his dad and mom.  Daddy told how they'd come to visit for a week or so. His daddy had about 3 or 4 brothers and a sister. Daddy talked about some of them, especially one uncle and how he used to spend the night with him and his wife. That was the one he told about his aunt piling the quilts on the bed and when he awoke the next morning there's be snow laying on top of the quilts that had blown through the cracks during the night.

My grandpa passed away on a cold, winter morning on January 21st 1937 and his obituary was printed in the January 28th 1937 edition of our local paper. It was found by my son Chris and we'll forever be grateful to him for finding it.  To some a simple little obituary might not mean much but when there's so much history attached to it of a man that was bigger than life it means the world to me and my family.
It says at the time of his death he had one grandson but he actually only had his oldest grandchild which was a granddaughter. Today he has 8 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 16 great, great grandchildren. 

According to my daddy and mama he'd had problems with his legs for many years. Back then they didn't go to doctors and only used home remedies. He dragged his old legs around and never complained for years. It didn't matter how bad they hurt he always went about his business of planting big corn fields, gardens, snaking out wood for the winter's heat and running the little gristmill. My daddy and his brother helped him and he taught them so much about determination and hard work and that no matter how hard things get not to give up. My daddy told that the only schooling he and his brother got was a day here and there. They'd take off towards the little one room school house and stay a few hours and hurry home to help their daddy plow the fields or run the gristmill, etc. My daddy said, that my grandpa insisted they get all the schooling they could but it just wasn't possible back then.  My grandpa kept dragging his old legs and going till they set up blood poison and God called him home on that cold January day.

As I read this obituary which is very small, many memories came to mind of what my daddy told not only about my grandpa's life but also about his death. Back then folks kept their loved ones at home because there wasn't any funeral homes and if there had been they couldn't afford the expense.  And other family, friends and neighbors would come in and help them sit up with the body, especially at night.
My daddy told how he and his brother helped to build their daddy's coffin and helped to dig his grave. He also said that he and his mother laid him out in the coffin. She washed the body and cleaned him up nice and he placed coins on his eyes till they stayed shut. I can only imagine how hard that must have been. Since my daddy was born January 18th 1904 he was considered a young man at 33 years old and since my uncle was born in 1914 he was only 23 years old.

When it came time for the service they loaded the coffin on the old wagon that cold January day. My daddy said it was the very wagon that his daddy taught him how to drive and handle the mules and used for so many other purposes over the years. There was nary a road that old wagon didn't travel down.

When they got to the church they helped carry his body inside the church for the service and to the cemetery for burial.  My daddy told how hard it was to say good by to a man that stood so tall in his eyes and he admired so much. He said it was the hardest thing he ever had to do at that time in his life. His daddy was his hero and every day that my daddy lived he practiced what he was taught and lived by the standards he grew up with and set before him. He and his brother continued on running the little gristmill for many years and kept many families from going hungry. My dad always said, “if you have bread and water it's more than ye was promised.”

We go back quite often to visit his resting place. His beloved wife (my grandma) was put beside him in February 1960. I've always heard to give flowers to the living but in my heart I know the flowers we place are a token of the love that we will forever hold dear and I just know that they both are waiting for the day when we will all be together again.

Today as I write this I think about the many changes that's taken place since those long ago days. Now days if folks don't have their funerals prearranged they're in a whole heap of trouble and can not even imagine how high a shopping trip it can be. And the funeral homes want their money up front before they'll even embalm the body or announce their obituary, etc. In this very newspaper which happens to be our local paper where my grandpa's obituary was found it now costs 80 dollars to place an obituary in the paper.
I know the funeral homes are scared they won't get their money cause some may have not paid their bill but it sure makes it hard on poor folks that's from paycheck to paycheck to come up with it on the spot. When a person's life is over and God calls them home I think they should be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve and their families should receive that same respect. Sadly, today it's about the all mighty dollar.

 My husband and I prearranged ours back in 2012 and it cost over 7 thousand dollars for each of us. I can only imagine what folks are having to come up with today, especially the ones that don't have it prearranged.  Most are having to take out loans. It costs more to die now days than to be born. I personally think if folks would go back to the old days when they kept their folks at home and all the men in the community came together and helped dig the grave and build the coffin it'd hit the funeral homes a happy natural. But with all the new laws now days that's not apt to happen. I know for a fact if my dad, his brother and my grandpa were still here they'd be willing to jump in and dig graves over the community and whatever it took to help their family, friends and neighbors out, laws or no laws. They'd even use dynamite if needed like daddy said they had to do back then when they hit those big rocks and I guarantee it not to cost a war pension like it does today.

Reading this little obituary has brought back to life a giant of a man that left a legacy behind so big 81 years later that will forever linger in the many hearts he touched. He's sure touched my heart and old memories have a way of bringing the past back to life and the forever love that's filled this granddaughter's heart even though I never had the chance to meet him.

In Memory of my Grandpa
Forever in our hearts
Gone but never forgotten

© Susie Swanson, 2018