Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Old Country Store

She’s seen many a season come and go 
That old country store was one of a kind
Those big welcome doors were always open
It was the place to go and buy on time

A watering hole for the community
Meeting up with the locals was a daily trend
They traded many stories and bartered too
A way of life they all came to depend

A weekly, anticipated trip to the that old store
To pick up supplies or pay on a bill
Was a pleasure that could never be denied
To everyone that came, it was certainly a big deal

 Wagons carried chickens, eggs and cream
That good homemade butter was the best of all
For a pound of coffee, sugar, a sack of flour
They were all in it for the long haul

Many rabbits came straight from the traps
In exchange for tobacco or a Christmas gift
Those big bolts of yard goods looked so good
To the women folks, their spirits did lift

Oh how those candy jars stood out the most
Sitting on the counter so large and tall
That array of penny candy sure looked tasty
Plenty of children would still recall

Or those big barrels sitting in the corner
Filled with pickles, potatoes or seed
With a little extra money in the pockets
A chance for some much needed chicken feed

That old pot bellied stove sitting in the middle
 Became a familiar sight for all to see
Always surrounded by a couple of chairs
And the famous spittoon and its popularity

And that old building acquired so many names
The local post office was in the back
Many jobs for the proprietor surely did grow
Even an undertaker, nothing did he lack

That weathered old building gave so much
A useful, old place where wonders never cease
Where skills became plentiful for pulling teeth
Or when the need arose, justice of the peace

The welcome sign was always there
From the time they entered till closing of day
 A busy, old place filled with warmth and cheer
Open Monday through Saturday, closed on Sunday

Now it sits empty and feels so all alone
Knowing things will never be like it was before
Where many came and went and the living was good
And anything could be found at the old country store

© Susie Swanson, 2014

May you all have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hog Killin Time

With Thanksgiving fast approaching I can’t help but remember my childhood memories many Thanksgivings ago. We called it Hog Killin Day. It always came at Thanksgiving cause the weather became cold enough by then to keep the meat. Sometimes if there were two hogs to kill, one was done at Thanksgiving, the other at Christmas. 
 It all began early in the morning before daylight. Daddy would build a big, roaring fire and sharpen all the knives. We’d get all the pans ready in the kitchen. The kitchen is where I stayed, didn’t want any part of the killing.

Everybody would start gathering in about daylight. Family, friends neighbors and some we didn’t even know but they claimed to be kin. They all took part helping cause everybody wanted a big mess of fresh meat. When it came hog Killin Day, everybody pitched in and when it came their turn at their house it was the same.

It was an all day event and the working was hard. Those big shoulders, hams etc. were salted down and taken to the smokehouse to cure. There was nothing wasted but the squealer when it came to a hog. Every part was saved including the feet and I’ll leave out the part about the brains. The head was used to make souse meat and there was always plenty of sausage to can. We never knew what a freezer was until I was almost grown. A big pan sit on the back burner of the stove for days on end, rendering the lard. That sure did save on the grocery bills.
 We looked forward to those big pans of tenderloin with hot biscuits come suppertime. We even had ham or tenderloin for breakfast with gravy and biscuits. Then the next day we’d have back bones and ribs, so on and so forth. And of course the Thanksgiving table was graced by hog meat. To say I was sure glad to get some chicken, is an understatement. That didn’t come to often either, just when we had a bunch of young fryers to thin out. They usually graced the Sunday dinner table when the preacher and all  the other folks gathered in. Mama would throw in a big homemade banana pudding for good measure. We cleaned the bowls, regardless of what kind of meat we had or not. In a big family you learn early on to eat what’s on the table. We eat three meals a day and there were no snacks of sweet doings as mama used to call them. Our snacks were a big piece of left over cornbread with some little green onions from the garden. Especially after we got in from school in the evenings before we done our chores. That was in the warm months of spring and summer.  By the time it came Hog Killin Day our mouths watered for some meat . I can honestly say I’ve never went to bed hungry a night in my life. If we didn’t have anything but cornbread and milk it was more than was promised. 

I know a lot of things have changed today, some for the good and some not so good but I can’t help but wonder what people would do if they had to go back to the old ways. My daddy used to say they’d starve to death for lack of knowing how to do. I long for that simple life when it didn’t take much to satisfy and what we had was worth all the money in the world. We were truly blessed and for that I’ll always be grateful.

                                         © Susie Swanson, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Special Gift

A week ago today I arrived home from my hospital stay and having my surgery to remove my Thyroid Gland and walked upon my porch and there sit a box that my mail carrier had left for us. She always brings our packages to our front door but when we're gone she leaves them in the rocking chair on the porch. But we have an agreement with our neighbors that live behind us across the creek to accept their packages as well from the regular mail delivery since the mail  carriers are not allowed to cross the creek and delivery them personally. Our Mail Carrier always leaves notes in their mailbox telling them we have their packages. The UPS and FED Ex crosses the creek and delivers them but since it's a private drive the regular mail is not allowed.
We've been doing this for years and when my husband and I saw the box we automatically thought it was one of our neighbors since we wasn't expecting anything. We were tired from a long two hour trip and I had to lay down a while and rest. All the while the package was sitting over in the floor where we had placed it when we came in the door.

We laid around just resting up till almost bedtime when my husband walked over to the box and picked it up to place it in our spare bedroom till the owner came forth to claim it. He looked at the address to see which neighbor it belonged to and noticed it had my name on it and our address. I got up off the sofa and we opened it up and this was my surprise.

It was sent to me by a very dear friend on here that has a heart of gold. the pattern is called Snowballs and I hope I'm right about it if not I hope she'll forgive me. She posted it on her blog the very day it arrived saying it was on its way to the owner. I only discovered the post today since I haven't been on here much this week. It wouldn't have done me any good if I'd seen it cause like all of her other beautiful Quilts that she makes and passes down to others she never tells who they're for. 
I'm overwhelmed with the kindness, generosity and love she has in her heart and always thinking of others and amazed at her beautiful creations and the many quilts she makes. They take my breath away every time I visit her blog. 

My heart is overflowing with gratitude and I will cherish it forever. As you can tell, it's already made itself at home on the back of my sofa where everyone that walks in my Living room can see it and be amazed at its beauty and the love that was placed in every tiny stitch that came from a quilter's soul.

Thank you so much Muddling Through Blog and your sweet, loving and kindhearted owner Elaine for my beautiful and cherished gift. May God Continue to Bless you my sweet friend just like you've blessed so many with your acts of kindness and love.  ~Susie

P.S. Tell Mr. Muddling thanks for me. I know he's bound to have known about it and played a large part in my surprise.

This one is a closer look at the snowballs. Soooo beautiful.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thank You For The Flowers


                                               Thank you for the flowers
                                               you give to me each day
                                               a blanket of warm sunshine
                                               a smile's brightest ray

                                               A few kind words, I cherish
                                               worth more than any gold
                                               given when much needed
                                               feeds my weary soul

                                              A simple handshake or nod
                                              spreads the fragrance around
                                              lifts my daunting spirits
                                              when I'm low and quite down

                                              A much needed prayer
                                              a rose of elegance and grace
                                              really touches my heart
                                              I humbly accept and embrace

                                              Ever close beside me
                                              beautiful flowers does grow
                                              or many gardens away
                                              by some I hardly know

                                              Thank you for the flowers
                                              you give to me each day
                                              each petal is worth more
                                              than words can ever say

                                              © Susie Swanson, 2014

Just a little update,

The surgery went well and I'm now home. Praise be to God.
I've still got a ways to go and having alot of discomfort but there will be  better days ahead.
Since my Thyroid is gone I'm now feeling the affects of Hypothyroidism full blast but it will take time to get my meds adjusted . Many thanks to all of you for your messages, cards, emails and gifts of friendship but most importantly your PRAYERS. They have been heard and answered. It means so much to me and I will never forget . I think of ya'll often and will be back soon as I'm able. I'm looking forward to my visits with ya'll and your great posts make my days. May God Bless, ~Susie

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Soon It Will Be Knocking

                                           Soon it will be knocking at my garden gate
                                           It fills me with grief that has no name
                                           The remaining marigolds stands so straight
                                           Their brilliant orange warms them like a flame

                                           Bathed in the clear light of an autumn sky
                                           The lovely dahlias they too, will soon go
                                           When the evening comes and the winds die
                                           Oh if only there were an aftermath glow

                                           Pretty morning glories will close for good
                                           As the ice crystals cover each tiny stem
                                           The berries are already red on the dogwood
                                           As they welcome the little squirrels in

                                           Pretty flowers that have dotted the land so bold
                                           Will bow and make a grand exit like the rose
                                           As autumn's shadows turn to winter's cold
                                           My oh my how swift this beautiful season goes

                                           Though it may seem sad when all is gone
                                           And old Jack Frost covers instead of dew
                                           So much beauty known is yet to be shown
                                           When the spring returns and all is brand new

                                                © Susie Swanson, 2014

It's knocking at our door folks. They're calling for a few snow showers this weekend and a big freeze. I sure do dread winter but looking forward to making quilts. I done my PreOp today and the surgery is a go next week, the 6th.  Many thanks to all of you for your prayers and I'll be back soon feeling like brand new, minus a Thyroid Gland. Ya'll take care and I'll be around to visit your blogs soon. God Bless, ~ Susie

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