Monday, October 20, 2014

My Journey




Dear Friends,

I'm usually posting a poem or story on here and for once this is not the case. I've been wanting to write this for a long time but have been putting it off. My health issues prevents me from getting on here long at a time but I feel like this is long over due. First of all I'd like to thank each one of ya for the emails, cards and sweet messages ya'll have sent me and most of your prayers.. Ya'll mean so much to me and I cherish your friendship.

As most of ya already know I've been on a long journey this year and haven't been on here much. This journey started ten months ago and still ongoing. I've been to many doctors and had many tests and it took them till the first of August to find my problem. I've had Thyroid Disease for 22 years, Hypothyroidism, (Low) and all of my numbers were coming back good every time they checked them in my blood.
Back the end of July I was at my wit's end after being shuffled back and forth to many doctors and going to the ER four times with my Blood Pressure sky high that I finally.threw a hissy fit on my Primary Care doctor and told him I wanted him to check everything and anything to do with the glands, hormones, etc. WHAM, the long awaited mystery started coming to life.
 Let me explain first that anyone with any type of Thyroid Disease has what they call Antibodies and I'd never heard of them .Yep, after 22 years one should know all about them but no doctor had been willing to check them so how was I to know. I'd already been doing alot of research on the web. I guess you could call it looking for a diagnosis.

 He checked them among other things and they came back sky high, which meant something was terribly wrong but his words were , "I don't know what it means".  I went straight to my computer and pulled up Antibodies and it told me what I needed to know. My body was attacking my Thyroid Gland and destroying it. That's when something goes wrong with the immune system like a lack of Vitamin D and they'd already found that back in April.  He'd also told me I was in Full Blown Menopause. I blew a gasket for sure when he told me that. I said, "no way, I had a complete Hysterectomy  17 years ago and went through all of that". My research told me when the Thyroid gets messed up it throws off the hormones in our body. And everything else for the matter. The Thyroid controls our whole body from our head to our toes. I'd already found that out many years ago but I never knew just how important and how much damage it can do till now. So that meant going to a Gynecoligist and starting Hormone Shots once a month.

Then I really took the bull by the horns and went out on my own.  First, I found another Primary Care Doctor that was willing to listen to me and go farther by doing an Ultrasound on my neck and what she discovered wasn't pretty. My Thyroid was swollen and full of inflammation.
 She said I had some type of Thyroiditis and she didn't know what kind but I needed to see a Specialist right away. I told her I'd already seen four and she just looked at me when I told her.
 I took it upon myself to do what I had to do. After all it was my body and I was the one living in the agony of a diseased thyroid so bad that was sending me into a tail spin day in and day out. One minute I'm Hypo (Hypothyroidism) and the next Hyper (Hyperthyroism) . burning up with heat all day long with nary a drop of sweat  or freezing to death the next. When my feet hits the floor in the morning I never know what to expect. Everyday is a challenge and never ending battle. But there is light at the end of the tunnel Finally.

Who says ya can't get into a Specialist without a referral. I did and I found one that told me exactly what I had been  needing to hear and long over due. He said I had Hashimoto's Disease a type of Thyroditis that is the worst kind and the thyroid gland was burning itself out in my neck and had to come out .

The surgery has been set for November 6th for a Thyroidectomy (complete removal of the thyroid gland) .
I know my journey is not over but finally I can see the light and it's gonna take time for them to get me balanced out on my Thyroid Meds afterwards but Praise Be To God I'm on the right track.

I'm sorry to make this post so long and drawn out but ya'll deserve to know everything and this is just the icing on the cake. Ya'll wouldn't believe me if I told ya all of it cause I can't believe it myself. My goal now is to feel better again and get back to doing the things I love to do. I've missed so much but God has plans for me and he's been there every step of the way. There's been lots of days he carried me and he's not gonna drop me now. We serve an awesome God and his mercy is everlasting. I know in my heart there's lots of ya that are fighting your own battles and I want ya to know I'm sending up prayers for ya everyday. Just remember this, where there's a will, there's a way. My mama used to say this all the time and how true it is.

I'll close for now by saying many thanks to all of ya for your prayers. They have been heard and answered. I will be back as soon as I'm able and who knows between now and then I may be putting up more posts but if ya'll don't see me for a while at least you'll know I've not forsaken ya.

 God Bless, ~ Susie

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Word Backards




The word backwards only has one definition in the dictionary but it can mean lots of things. It also can be spelled anyway ya like and mean whatever ya want it too.
Example, “she fell backwards when she busted her hind end” or “she’s backwards when it comes to meeting people”. But the one I grew up hearing all the time and sayin was spelled b-a-c-k-a-r-d-s .

The older generation used the word backards all the time. My mama used to say, “uns younguns act plum backards sometimes”, or she’d say, “ya’ll are so backards it’s a wonder ya don’t crawl under the bed when someone comes to the door”. And the one I always liked the most, ‘ uns younguns have drove me so crazy everything I try to do is backards”. Mama sure knew how to use the word backards and used it quite often.

I’ll never forget when I was a young sprout and we got our first phone. It was an ole wall phone and none of us had any experience talkin on one. The first time it rung I ran and answered it backards. I tried to talk into the ear piece.  I kept sayin hello, hello and no one answered. One of my know it all brothers said, “turn it around ya got it plum backards”. I asked him how he got so smart all of a sudden.

Even when I got old enough to go out with boys I was backards as they come. I tried to pay my own way into the movies one time. Ole backards me didn’t know ya suppose to let the gentleman pay ya way. I felt like crawlin under a rock and stayin there.

I’ve come a long ways from being backards since I found out I had a mouth. Sometimes what I say may come out backards. That’s why I’ve told my family many times over the years to take me at what I mean, not what I say. I think the most of em have me figured out by now.

My daddy used to say I’d talk to the president if I ever run up with him and he wasn’t any different, the pot callin the kettle black. I can just hear daddy now, “being backards ain’t gonna get ya nowhere in life”.
There was nothing backards about daddy and everyone he ever came in contact with can attest to that.

But I do recall one incident of him being backards. He was plantin okra one spring and run out of seed before he got to the end of the row. He stuck a little stick in the ground where he left off at and when he came back to the row with more seed he started plantin it backards. He’d forgot which end of the row he started first. Mama told him, you’re plantin it backards and he wouldn’t listen. When that okra came up he had the prettiest and thickest half row of okra ya ever seen. Of course, he had to get down on his knees and crawl through the middle backards to thin it some.

I can honestly say I still feel backards when it comes to getting my picture taken. I’m not ashamed of what I look like but I fell kinda backards admiting it and I do look plum backards in most of em. I've either got my mouth wide open or my hair looks like it hasn’t been combed since a week from Sunday.

I’m my own worse critic about my clothes too, and if they don’t fit to a Tee I feel backards out in public.

So I guess I’ll have to admit that being backards is a hard nut to crack. It rears its ugly head when ya least expect it. But one thing I’ve learned, ya can go around backards all ya life and jump through hoops backards and it doesn’t really matter to anyone but you. There’s a lot more backards people in the world than we know. I can’t count how many times I’ve done stuff  backards or said the word backards instead of backwards.  Yep, that’s me, just ole backards.

                                                         © Susie Swanson, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Seasons Of Our Love




                                                       He came to me in the summer
                                                       when meadows were lush and green
                                                       my heart melted in his hands
                                                       a young woman, turned eighteen

                                                       Our love shined like the stars
                                                       under a clear, August sky
                                                       held captive by its presence
                                                       so beautiful, we couldn't deny

                                                       We walked together in September
                                                       when wild Asters were in bloom
                                                       a perfect show of Golden Rod
                                                       for an October bride and groom

                                                       Two hearts joined as one
                                                       I now carried his name
                                                       as October leaves were falling
                                                       before the first frost came

                                                       Through the cold, winter season
                                                       with wings against the wind
                                                       the radiance of love's embers
                                                       warmed our hearts once again

                                                       In the spring time of our love
                                                       the dawn washed it with crystal dew
                                                       it blossomed in rare form
                                                       like the flowers, it grew and grew

                                                       God surely did design it all
                                                       with his love, and us in mind
                                                       the seasons of our love
                                                       will continue to forever shine

                                                       © Susie Swanson, 2014

It doesn't seem like forty four years when a young woman and her soldier stood before God, family and friends and pledged vows that would last a lifetime. Time has passed and brought a few gray hairs and wrinkles but the love we both share grows stronger with each passing day.
Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband. I love you with all my heart.  Thank You so much for my beautiful Rose and for your enduring love. ~ Susie             10-10-70----10-10-2014

                                                 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Old Timey Meetins






I don’t reckon I’ve ever been in any better church meetings than when I was a young girl and we went to those spirit filled revivals and singings. The whole church house would rock from the preaching, shouting and singing. They were called meetins back then and everybody for miles around packed in those little churches and it was standing room only if one was lucky. A lot of the time most folks would just stand outside and listen.

I’ll never forget the night the Lord spoke to my heart. It was during one of those old, timey meetins that I hit that alter faster than a cat could lick. I was 13 years old and remember it as if it was yesterday. I got baptized in a little swimming hole called the Tadpole Hole.  In that moment in time my life surely changed and it gets sweeter by the day.

We had to walk to get to most of em but that didn’t sway anyone from going. Very few people owned a vehicle and there wasn’t many on the roads. 
I started out walking with my grandma when I was very young. There wasn’t any roads that were to long or wide for her to hoof it on. She was a shoutin woman for sure. She’d shout the hills out come Decoration Day and Dinner on the ground, and when we’d get in one of them kind of meetins she never stopped from the time she walked through the door, never knew when to hush. Mama and daddy went when they could but it was hard on em with a whole gang of kids to drag along.

After my grandma passed away things changed. More folks got a vehicle and were able to haul their families to church. My daddy loved a good old, timey spiritual singing better than anything. When he found out where one was gonna be, he’d always ask me if I wanted to go with him. Needless to say, me and daddy went to a lot of singings together.
He’d put on his Sunday go to meetin clothes which always consisted of his best pair of overalls, best shirt and his cap of course and his polished and shiny slippers.

 Daddy loved to run his mouth outside the church and knew everybody there and they knew him but when he entered the door and pulled his cap off he became a different man. I enjoyed those singings but I enjoyed watching daddy’s reactions too. He’d get in such a way and so caught up in that spiritual singing that it touched my heart so much and oh what joy just to see that smile come upon his face and watch him shake his leg , pat his foot or take his old cap and slap it against his legs. He really enjoyed it so much and had his own way of praising the Lord.

We’d go far and near in that old truck of his, didn’t matter what church or affiliation. He didn’t care how big the crowd was or how small, he made himself at home.
My grandma had her way and daddy had his way but I sure did enjoy going to those old timey, meetins and good, spiritual singings with daddy.

A lot of things have changed over the years but there’s still plenty of singings around and every time I go to one I think of daddy and can just see him there with that big smile, pattin his foot and slapping his cap against his legs. I know he’s there in spirit and enjoying it as much as me. I can only imagine the many singings he’s enjoying in heaven each day and mama’s right there beside him and they’ve both got a big smile on their face. I’ll see you both real soon, save a place for me in the front right beside both of you

                                       © Susie Swanson

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Not A Care In The World




Every year when fall starts comin in with that cool nip in the air and the skies are crystal, clear and blue as far as the eye can see, it takes me back to some good memories of those long ago falls, when we didn’t have a care in the world.
Having to hit the ole school bus after tromping through the thickets all summer wasn’t somethin we looked forward to but after we got back into the groove of things we found it wasn’t so bad after all, till we got the yellow bus fever. We found out the hard way after cryin wolf a few times, it doesn’t work.
Mama used to say she wished school went the whole year round. But that was because we worried the daylights out of her.
I asked her one time what worrying the daylights out of her meant and she told me it meant driving her crazy as a bess bug and since we were always into one thing after the other, it was no wonders she had so many gray hairs in her head. I never did ask her what a bess bug was.

They had some funny, ole sayin’s back then but we grew up listening to em so much we took em at what they meant, not what they said.

Every year when the remnants of the garden were gone and mama had canned everything she could including the leftovers from which she made the chow chow, ( man was that stuff good with a big pot of pinto beans )  the whole family pitched in and took up all the taters and carried em to the tater hole. Daddy and the boys would get busy clearing off the patches before cold weather set in. They’d be nice and clean come spring when garden plantin time came in.

They’d pile all the corn stalks, bean vines, etc. in a big pile in the middle of the patch. Sometimes they’d have to make two or three piles. Us younguns could hardly wait till daddy decided to burn em. That’d usually come on a nice calm night or late evening when the wind was still. He always said it was better to wait till after a good rain and the ground was kinda damp. He worried about catching the woods on fire a lot. He’d only burn one brush pile at a time and let the others go till later on.
If we were lucky we’d manage to save a little money and have some marshmallows to roast. We sure did look forward to playin in that fire and roastin marshmallows.
Mama would scold us by sayin, “every one of ya is gonna wet the bed tonight, playin in that fire.” I don’t remember any of us ever wetting the bed but it sure got me to thinking sometimes. Just another ole sayin to get us out of the fire .
We loved to poke at it with sticks and throw a little kindling on it as we called it. The longer that fire burned and the higher the flames, the more we liked it.
It’d smolder all night even after daddy got it burnt down enough to risk leavin it till morning.
Before we had to leave to catch the school bus come morning we’d run back out to the smoldering fire, grab a stick and poke some more till mama’d put us out of it and tell us to get out the road before we missed the bus. She said, “uns are gonna ruin your clothes and they’ll smell like smoke all day long.” We were used to that since we had wood heat in the winter we smelled of smoke anyways, didn’t bother us none.

All the brush piles would be burnt by frost and we had to figger out other ways to have fun. We never did have to look far. We made up our own fun as we went along.

We always had to walk out to the main road a purty good ways to catch the school bus. We’d dare one another to stick their tongue to the mailbox on a frosty morning. It’d freeze our tongue to it and it was hard to get lose without pullin the skin off. One morning my youngest brother stuck his to it just about the time the bus came and he tried to get it lose and finally had to jerk it off. When we all got on the bus I looked at him and he was close to tears but wouldn’t let on. I knew he was hurtin somethin fierce.
After that happened and mama and daddy found out about it they put a stop to it in a big way, or so they thought.

When the weather came in even more colder and daddy was home and not off workin he’d walk out with us to the road and build us a fire so we could get warm. He’d tote a little kindling out and just enough wood to get it going good so we could warm our hands and when the bus run he’d be the one to put it out before he went back to the house.
My oldest brother kept on till he talked him into letting him build it and it’d save daddy walkin out with us. Daddy didn’t take much to that idea at first but he finally gave in. I’m sure he came along behind us and checked on it after we caught the bus.

My brother was always good at building fires in the wood heater and cook stove and he could build a nice little fire, if I say so myself. The only problem was, when the bus came one or two of the other boys like to kick it and send that fire sailin.
After a couple times of doing this, it all came to a kietis and we had to do without a fire. It’s a thousand wonders it hadn’t caught the woods on fire or worse.

When the first snow flakes started fallin we jumped fer joy. We loved the big snows that came in knee deep. We’d get outta school quite a while. One time I remember schools shuttin down fer two weeks. It was all we could do to plow through it to get to the barn to feed the cow or to milk, but that didn’t stop us.
All we had to put on our hands was an ole pair of worn out socks. We were in one door and out the other. We’d throw snowballs at one another, make snowmen and slide down the hill on anything we could find. Sometimes it’d be an ole piece of cardboard or if we were lucky an ole car hood. It’s a wonders we didn’t all get killed with all the chances we took.
We’d run inside long enough to warm up and eat a bite and back out we’d go. We’d eat enough snow cream to get the sore throat but as fer playin outside in the cold it never hurt us none. We were use to playin outside come spring, summer, fall or winter.

 Some of the stuff we got into and done may not seem like much fun to some but we were just a bunch of younguns having the best of times and enjoying the simple pleasures in life and puttin more and more gray hairs on our mama’s head.

There was always plenty to do and we never had a care in the world.

                                 © Susie Swanson, 2014

                               In Memory of my sweet Daddy and Mama

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Do You Remember Me




Autumn whispers, do you remember me
with all my splendor and glory
Skies so clear vivid and blue
mornings crisp with sparkling dew

When summer fields are tan and lean
it is autumn that appears upon the scene
In its fancy suit and season attire
spreading farther and more higher

Splashing hills with red and gold
a lovely picture so bright and bold
Tall maple trees along the lane
wear rainbow halos in autumn's domain

The mighty oaks stand proud and tall
when autumn's foliage turns to fall
Even the ivy climbing each tree
turns a crimson red generously

The golden rod in the meadows bright
a canvas of yellow, a glorious sight
Orange pumpkins lay in the field
a splash of orange seals the deal

A sunset's flame of crimson red
wonders never cease, its beauty spread
Leaves us breathless wanting more
as summer goes softly, shutting the door

Every head bows in praise and prayer
amidst autumn's glory everywhere
No other journey is so grand
as when autumn takes us by the hand.

© Susie Swanson, 2014

 Update... I saw the surgeon last week and he said the Thyroid has to come out but he's raised my Thyroid Meds a lil higher to see if it will slow the Thyroid down some and relieve some of my symptons . He said it was burning itself out. I've not been this sick in many years but I know there's some in worse shapes. I'm sorry I haven't been around to visit ya'll but I will get around to it soon. Many thanks for the prayers and sweet words of encouragement. God Bless. ~ Susie

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Quilt Holes.





Just a little Update to all of my Dear Friends on my health issues. First let me say I'm very sorry I haven't been around to visit ya'll lately. My health problems have got much, much worse and I will be seeing a Surgeon Monday on possibly having my Thyroid gland removed. The surgery is not in stone just yet but as far me, the decision has been made. This has been a long, hard journey and the mountains just keep getting more harder to climb. I've had Thyroid Disease (Hypothyroidism) for 22 years and it's now become Hashimoto's Disease. It's when something goes wrong with our immunine system and it attacks the Thyroid causing extreme inflammation and.all kinds of problems. It's amazing at how much that little gland controls our body and how much damage it can do when something happens to it. My days are basically spent laying around either burning up with heat, freezing to death, aches from my head to my toes, etc., etc. The list goes on and on but hopefully the surgeon will take pity sake on me and be willing to go ahead and remove it rather than wait till my body destroys it or worse turns to cancer and I Do Not want to even think about that.
But I want ya'll to know how much I appreciate each one of you and your friendship but most of all your prayers. I'll be back around to visit ya'll as soon as I'm able. I miss you and I'm praying for each one of you as well. God Bless, ~ Susie


As I faced my Maker at the last judgement,I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.
Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles: an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.
But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.
My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.
Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise.
My gaze dropped to the ground in shame.I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life and laughter, but there had also been trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it. I had to start over many times.I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would melt within my skin beneath the judgemental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.
And now I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.
An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.
Then I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in his eyes. He said " Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let me shine through, until there was more of me than there was of you".

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

Author Unknown..