Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Echoes





                                                 The steeple stands so proud
                                                 The echoes are still there
                                                 When I listen very close
                                                  I hear singing in the choir

                                                 And preaching was a plenty
                                                 The Sabbath was its day
                                                 That old alter was the key
                                                 Most humbly they did pray

                                                 Those old weathered boards
                                                 Oh what stories to be told
                                                 The congregation was all there
                                                 And the bell chimes were gold

                                                 They came from far and near
                                                 Parked under trees with shade
                                                 In the dirt where they sat
                                                 Many wagon tracks were made

                                                 The mules were so content
                                                 As they grazed on green grass
                                                 Slightly peaking their ears
                                                 When a big Amen was passed

                                                 Plenty of shouting and rejoicing
                                                 Still hangs in every crack
                                                 No memories will ever be lost
                                                 Nor echoes will it lack

                                                 Such a big part of history
                                                 And a grand, old Godly place
                                                 It touched so many hearts
                                                 With beauty, dignity and grace

                                                 That old door is still open
                                                 Just like it was before
                                                 Calling, calling to someone
                                                 Come on in there's still more

                                                 Listen closely to each sermon
                                                 There's many left to hear
                                                "Amazing Grace" still echoes
                                                 Through the wooded path so clear

                                                 © Susie Swanson, 2015

The picture above is an Abandoned Church in Lincoln County, Wisconsin. Built in 1907.

A little update.. I am very sorry I haven't been around to visit ya'll lately and read your wonderful posts. As most of you know I had my Thyroid removed this past November (Complete Thyroidectomy) and they've been trying to get me balanced out on Thyroid Meds. Well, I've had a terrible setback. A week after surgery they raised my meds to high and I've been in what they call a " Shocked Hyperthyroid Stage". That's when it runs to high and they can not get it to come down. I went back to the doctor yesterday and I'm now being lowered to a very low dose which is very dangerous without a gland but they can't take me off of it all together and start over due to the dangers involved when there's no Thyroid Gland. To top all of this I'm scheduled to have Gallbladder surgery two weeks from today, 17th of March. If it was out now it wouldn't be to soon. It's stocked full of stones and I can hardly eat anything at all. But God is in control and I will get through it just like I always have. Without him we can not make it. I have laid it in his hands a long time ago. I know ya'll are sending up prayers for me and they are most humbly appreciated. I felt that ya'll deserve to know and I will be back soon as possible. God Bless , ~Susie

Sunday, February 22, 2015

That Little Backyard Spring



Our family was so blessed when we were growing up in so many different ways. We came to appreciate what we had more everyday. We didn’t care if there wasn’t any indoor plumbing, we made do with what we had. And unlike so many people that didn’t have well water like us and had to tote their water all uphill, we had a little spring in the back yard. All we had to do was grab the bucket and step off the back porch and walk a few feet. That was the best drinkin water in the world and we always had a little dipper hangin on one of the hedge bush limbs that grew out over the top of the spring. We also kept one in the house as well. Those were the handiest little dippers and the water even tasted better.
 Every time one of us came through the back yard we’d grab a cold dipper of water. After workin in the garden we felt like drinkin the spring dry. But we never had to worry about it going dry cause as long as I can remember that spring stayed full all the time, even in the hottest part of the year.

 It run out down the side of the yard as a little branch and we liked to catch spring lizards in the summer.
We also loved to wade that little branch and play in it what time we wasn’t playin in the creek. Sometimes mama would pitch a bar of soap at us when we headed towards the creek and say while you’re at it take a bath. We didn’t care that the creek water was just as cold in the middle of the summer as the winter like the little spring. We’d lather up good with the soap and throw it on the bank of the creek and keep on playin and splashin till suppertime. We’d go in home wet and wrinkled up like a prune and the first thing mama’d say, “did uns wash with that soap like I asked uns to.” She sure did believe in being clean.

That little spring came in handy for many things. Back before we got a frigerator we’d put our milk in the spring to keep it cold. We even put our homemade butter in there too. Mama would put it down in a glass, milk jug or bowl with a lid and stick it in the spring. That cold, spring water sure took care of us in more ways than one.

And the many buckets of water that we carried, I could never count in a million years. Come wash day we’d carry so many our arms felt like they’d fall off, some to heat outside in the big black pot over the fire in warm weather or on the wood cook stove in the winter. And there was plenty of rinse water to carry as well. It’d take the whole day cause we had so many clothes, bed linens, etc.

In the summer we’d carry buckets after buckets to fill up the wash tubs and sit em in the yard in the sun all day to warm so we could get our weekly baths that evening in the bedroom or the ole smokehouse. In the winter the tubs were placed in the kitchen by the wood cook stove. We had to heat our bath water in big pots on the cook stove in the winter.
 We took baths in between too, the only way we could in a wash pan.

Mama made sure we never went dirty to school, church or anywhere for that matter. Her motto was, “there’s to much soap and water in the world to go dirty.” And the one I liked the best was, “rags are honorable long as your hind end ain’t shinin and they’re clean.” She always made sure we washed behind our ears and she’d tell us to be sure and clean them rusty ears. I don’t think there was ever any rust behind our ears, except for the boys and that was cause they‘d been out playin in the dirt and runnin through the thickets.
I do recall her scrubbin some of the younger ones ears before with a wash rag and soap. I heard her say one time, “if I catch that rust on them ears one more time I’m gonna scrub em till they’re raw.” She’d even tell daddy the same thing. I heard her tell him one time, “you’re worse than a youngun to let your ears go rusty.” He must of remembered it cause later on in life after we all were about grown and we had indoor plumbing he hollored at me one day to come and check his ears after he’d took a bath. I inspected his ears and he looked like he’d scrubbed em raw they were so red. I told him they were clean as a whistle and he said, “ I just don’t know about your mammy anymore, she sure is bossy.” It was all I could do to keep a straight face.

Yep, that little spring was a life saver. Before dusky dark every evening we’d grab the water buckets and carry in the night’s water, come morning they’d be empty again. My name became,” Go Fetch.”

We all had our own share of chores to do and tried to take turns but sometimes it fell on the one that was the most handy. The boys helped daddy chop, split and carry in the wood. In the winter time it was worse. They had to keep both wood boxes filled, one for the heater and the other for the cook stove. And there was always plenty more water to be carried from the spring.

That little back yard spring sure was a God send and kept us going for many, long years.  Times have changed and I admit I wouldn’t want to carry those buckets of water again unless I had to but back then it was a necessity and I’d do it all again if I had to. And we never know just how much water we use till it’s gone. Water is a precious commodity and having it close by is an even bigger blessing.



Back when times were different
Water was a most useful resource
And carryin plenty of buckets
There was never any remorse

The dishes needed washin
Clothes were hung out to dry
And washin those dirty ears
Was a rule to always comply

Havin water nearby and handy
Was something to be admired
A cold dipper of spring water 
Is something to be desired

And fightin over the dipper
With plenty of glasses around
Was worth every drop of spring water
There’s none better to be found

Awe, how useful that water could be
And bath time was worth it all
Even if those big wash tubs
Held so much ya had to crawl

 The branch was an added bonus
With quite a runnin spree
It felt so good on bare feet
Flowin to the next stream or sea

Even catchin spring lizards
Was such a joy and thrill
Just to make a few pennies
To a kid is surely a big deal

I still miss that little spring
And will forever be grateful for
The many buckets I carried
And my go fetchin chore

© Susie Swanson, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In Her Corner Of The World




She came from humble beginnings
A place she grew, learned and loved so
Across many mountains, hills and valleys
There was nary a trail she never came to know

Where a simple, little home became a mansion
And laughter sounds a stronger note than tears
Still holds their rhythm in the scheme of life
 In the wind’s sweet insistence from yesteryears

How many childhood days did she play and run
So happy and carefree through those ancient fields
Feeling the wind and rain brushing against her face
So many praises rise above for the joy it still yields

When she closes her eyes she can still see it clear
And hear the humming of the little, honey bees
Under crab apple trees that still bloom in the spring
She faintly smells the perfumed, petal rippling breeze

And the gathering of family around the fire at night
So many cherished memories still fresh in her mind
A father telling his life stories to each of his young
A mother sewing on quilts, a sure legacy left behind

An old oil lamp sits in the window, guiding her path
Leading her onward to that little mansion home
Where the door is open and the light shines bright
She steps inside to a welcome, the best she’s known

Those familiar voices she hears are music to her ears
Gathered around the table, giving blessings galore
The simple, little things in life, are the best of wealth
Even a bowl of milk and bread is worth so much more

Many seasons have come and gone like yesterday’s wind
 The memories will always be close beside all of her days
For the pleasures of this world is found only in the heart
Perhaps across some shadowy valley or ridge, in joyful ways

 And when she is bearing a load up some steep hillside
Familiar echoes are there, pulling her homeward bound
The cool, mountain air upon her face is still just as fresh
Yet still the earth beneath the paths lie packed and brown

A cool drink of water straight from a mountain spring
Where the mountain still hold its kingdom and crown
Crystal, clear waters flow from it’s downward sloping
Can quench a thirsty soul better than any to be found

She’ll never forget where she came and where she’s been
Or the many miles while spreading her wings to fly
 Trying to find the end of a rainbow takes an eternity
But the gold lies within her heart underneath the same sky

In her corner of the world the mountains are her legacy
She never knows what lies beyond a hilltop but delight
For the things that cause memories to awaken her soul
She so yearns for, she shall sit down and write and write

© Susie Swanson, 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

If We Could See



If we could see beyond a sorrow
Beyond a present grief, as God can see
We would be braver, knowing some tomorrow
Will still hold happiness for you and me

If we could only glimpse through other eyes
To see the things that is God’s plan and design
We would be more strong and would be keeping
In our hearts, peace and hope through every darkened time

If we could see beyond blurred eyes and weeping
Knowing again the road will smooth before our eyes
By putting our full trust in God and his promises
The lessons of life will unfold to make us wise

We are so blinded by our grief and heartache 
The suffering of so much sickness, sorrow and pain
That we forget the joys beyond believing
God’s promise of healing and peace will be ours again

© Susie Swanson, 2015

I hope all of you are well and surviving the winter. Some are having it really rough and others like us have been blessed so far. Our winter has been in and out but nothing like last year. 
I'm still having health issues but I'm getting by, God has seen to that. 
I wrote the above poem to help others and the very fact that we've had two deaths in our families this week. Mine and my husband's nephew lost his sweet wife Wednesday. She lost her battle with cancer. Then yesterday morning the phone rung around 6am telling us that my first cousin had died suddenly. He has had Chron's Disease for many years and he woke up around 3am hurting and his wife called an ambulance and he died on the way to the hospital. He was only 51. He practically stayed at our house all the time when he was little. Since I had four brothers already, he among several more just blended in and when one decided to hightail it home we missed them. But ya don't have to be old to die and we know they're both in a far better place than we are ,It's the miss that hurts so bad. Thanks for ur patience and understanding and most of all your prayers this past year for me. I know there's lots in worse shapes and I do pray for them also and ya'll are in my prayers daily... Blessings, Susie

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