Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Down An Old Dirt Road





Old country roads remind me of walking to church come Sunday morning and walking back come Sunday night. They remind me of walking to the little country store with mama's list in hand. Those early morning walks to catch the school bus and walking back in home at end of day, stopping long enough take our shoes off and wade across the little creek come warm weather, is priceless.

The fresh morning smells of honeysuckle, wild roses, mountain laurel or crabapple blossoms drifting in the spring time air, or walking in those big snows that were knee deep in the winter, rolling in the snow and throwing snowballs at each other along the way.

Taking refuge under a big tree come a hard, summer's rain and still taking a wetting and loving it to no end. Then we ran through mud holes with our bare feet, busting em wide open, never thinking about getting the toe itch till it was to late.

Ahhhh, how can I forget the huckleberries and that sweet taste. We knew exactly where they came up and picked em fast as they ripened, along side the road.

And those delicious blackberries we picked for mama to can and looking forward to that fresh blackberry cobbler, all the while eating more than we picked. Never thinking twice about the chiggers or poison ivy till it was to late.

Climbing over barbed wire fences and ripping our clothes to pick poke salat for mama. She didn't take to kindly to the ripped clothes or the dangers of getting snake bit but the poke salat changed the subject really quick.

  Riding an ole, rusted bicycle around every curve and bend, with nary a brake knowing we'd hit the ditch or the creek. It's a wonders we hadn't broke our neck or worse.

And trying to outrun the others to get the mail every day and stumping our toes along the way. They never did have a chance to heal. When cold weather settled in and we had to wear shoes we'd still hobble down those ole roads.

I couldn’t count how many trips we made to and fro carrying gallons of milk from the neighbors when we were between cows, hungry for some good cornbread and milk to go along with supper, sometimes making a complete meal out of it.

 And how can I forget taking a few poufs off of a cigarette butt after snatchin it outta the yard when daddy threw it down. Ahhhh, the sickness and turning green that followed, I'd sure like to forget and is still a reminder today. I said then and there, "never again.” Whewww.

It didn't matter the season or the weather, we made memories to last a lifetime and those ole dirt roads paved the way.

There's so many memories that still linger. I go back quite often and listen to the echoes of a childhood full of many seeds that's been sowed. How can we ever forget an old dirt road.

                                               © Susie Swanson, 2016

Saturday, July 16, 2016

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 2016

Sunday, July 10, 2016

We Walk In The Midst







We walk in the midst of beautiful flowers
They will return again come another spring
Though winter’s breath has quietly stolen
There is promise of new birth in everything

We walk in the midst of deep and darkened days
Of some that has become each our very own
The sun will shine through and return again
There will be another break of dawn

We walk in the midst of century old lands
As old fields do through storms and question why
Beneath the blinding sun and bitter rain
We too, should draw new strength as the years pass by

We walk in the midst of grassy hills, so green
Where the mighty winds of heaven blow
Straight from the breath of God, cool and clean
As anything the soul of man can know

We walk in the midst of memories and reflections
From another place and more simpler time
Hung upon the walls of many forgotten days
Are pictures of our ancestors they left behind

We walk in the midst of much anger and hatred
A thousand words can not describe
The soul is barren without peace and love
Hatred should never be inscribed

We walk in the midst of tears and heartache
Where pain, grief and suffering has no name
Without wings against the wind we tremble
For what else may come or still remain

We walk in the midst of blurred eyes and weeping
Crying out with hunger and homelessness
In a land where milk and honey flows
There should always be plenty and never less

We walk in the midst of wars and rumors of wars
Fulfilling the Bible more each passing day
The mercy of God is the most powerful sword
If we but only turn to him and daily pray

We walk in the midst of patience, trying to understand
And wonder how good is material things of earth
When we are gone, all of these will still remain
Just as it is from birth to death, what is it’s worth

We walk in the midst of each upturned prayer
Though agony may be to great for tongue to say
Even the unvoiced prayer he surely answers
If not in our way, in some better way

We walk in the midst of a troubled and lost world
Dying more and more with each passing day
Waiting for someone to unlock the chains
That someone is here, the stone has been rolled away

© Susie Swanson, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Best I've Ever Seen






                                                    Come sit with me
                                                    Beneath the weeping willow tree
                                                    We'll talk away the hours
                                                    In summer's peaceful tranquility

                                                    We'll watch the beautiful sunset
                                                    Sinking low over the horizon
                                                    Feel the breeze blowing gently
                                                    As the whispering branches liven

                                                    A bright full moon is shining
                                                    Casting shadows oh so bright
                                                    What more could we ask for
                                                    On this perfect summer night

                                                    Come sit with me
                                                    On the treasured, old porch swing
                                                    We'll swing away the hours
                                                    Listening to the crickets sing

                                                    The fire flies are dazzling
                                                    A perfect summer time show
                                                    Smell the honeysuckle blooming
                                                    With sweet fragrance to grow

                                                    We can listen to the whipper wills
                                                     As they make that unique sound
                                                    They never fail to please
                                                    My home is their stomping ground

                                                    Come sit with me
                                                    At the break of a new dawn
                                                    Say hi to the morning glories
                                                    Hear the birds sing each new song

                                                    The roses are cascading
                                                    A round every curve and bend
                                                    Pretty flowers are covered with dew
                                                    The mornings so happily send

                                                    Apple trees are blooming in the lane
                                                    Oh how sweet they can be
                                                    Decked out in pink blossoms
                                                    Waiting for you and me

                                                    All the cows are in the pasture
                                                    Nibbling on the fresh, green grass
                                                    Happy as can be in the sunshine
                                                    Basking in the warmth in high class

                                                    Come sit with me
                                                    On the bank of the little creek
                                                    We'll sip on a tall glass of lemonade
                                                    Then jump in with both feet

                                                    We'll enjoy every moment of the day
                                                    The nights are wonderful too
                                                    Here in my simple, country home
                                                    I promise it will all come true

                                                   There is splendor all around me
                                                   The sky is big overhead
                                                   I live in a heavenly paradise
                                                   Oh what a beautiful spread

                                                   The taste of heaven is sweet
                                                   The air is cleaner here
                                                   If you reach up your hand
                                                   On tip toe heaven is near

                                                   Come sit with me
                                                   In my paradise so green
                                                   This summer time country living
                                                   Is the best I've ever seen

                                                    © Susie Swanson, 2016

I may be stretching it a little with the summer heat baring down so hot and dry as a bone but I sure can't complain.. Some are being flooded out and I pray for them everyday. Dog Days began the 3rd of this month and they go through the 11th of August..All the older generation always said if ye don't get any rain during Dog Days it's gonna be a dry summer. I hope not cause I'm afraid it'll be a wet Fall and I love the bright, blue skies and cool, crisp nights . Oh well, it's a good thing we can't control the weather. Hope ya'll are having a nice summer and staying cool in your neck of the woods. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Grandpa, Ole Buddy and Me





Time moved much slower back then
Me and grandpa made sure of that
There was always plenty of time for a nap
When summer turned up the thermostat

The leaves rustling in the warm breeze
Laying in the shade of that old oak tree
We spent many a warm summer afternoon
Resting up for the next fishing spree

Chomping at the bits we could hardly wait
To dig those worms and grab that pole
The best memories were surely made
Sitting on the bank of that old fishing hole

Grandpa would use his old hat for a fan
All the while, telling his stories and tales
He taught me a lot about life in general
While fishing and walking down those pig trails

Awe, our ole dog Buddy, I’ll never forget
Every now and then he’d breakaway
On most days, he wore himself plum out
Oh how he loved to run and play

Running through those thickets and brairs
He’d chase those rabbits all day long
Then he’d come and lay down beside us
Those rabbits knew how to string him along

So many things to do and places to be
And we never missed an opportunity
To explore the world and lay in the shade
Grandpa, Ole Buddy and me

© Susie Swanson 2016

I found this photo on the Web and this is what I came up with. 
Hope ya'll have a nice week!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mama's Tiny Treasures






Many years ago mama found some tiny, odd looking seeds in her bird seed when she was feeding her birds one morning. They looked so strange and she was so intrigued by em that she decided to stick em in the ground and see what might come up.

She decided to plant em by the front porch post at the corner of the porch in case they had vines so they’d have something to climb on. She kept em watered for a few days and then one morning she walked by the porch and looked down and low and behold there were two or three little green plants that had topped the ground. She kept a watch on them for a while and found out they were a vine of some kind cause they started climbing up that porch post. Out of curiosity, we all got in on the mysterious vines and kept an eye on them every day. They climbed really high till they reached the ceiling of the porch and then they started running across what I call the wall plate (mantle) of the porch. They soon began to bloom and the blooms were white. By that time we were so excited and anxious to see what kind of flower they might turn out to be. Mama kept saying they were Morning Glories cause they had the same kind of leaves but we were all still skeptical.

Daddy fixed it all when he came in the door one day and said, ye better get rid of them vines, they’re them Ole Japany vines and they’re gonna get in this house and kill us all. We all laughed till we hurt. Anybody and everybody that ever knew daddy knew he made up his own words as he went along and we never knew what was gonna come out of his mouth next. If folks didn’t know what he was talking about they played like they did and tried not to laugh in front of him but sometimes that was hard to do. He even called people’s name wrong, like my cousin Keith. He called him Cheith and it wasn’t cause he couldn’t say it, he never had a speech problem in his life, that was just his way. Keith would answer him and go on his way just like everybody else.

Back to the subject at hand, I’ll never forget the day a tiny gourd appeared on those vines and we were in awe. Daddy was the one that noticed it first and said, these are some kind of gourds, maybe they ain’t them Ole Japany vines after all. Sure enough, as more and more appeared and grew more large they were gourds but each one had its own unique shape and color. Some even turned out to be very multi-colored and they all had different shapes. They grew about three inches and stopped. To say we were amazed is an understatement cause we’d never seen gourds like that. Mama and daddy had planted and grown many gourds before but none like those and the leaves were even different on the vines and that’s what threw us off. They hung down from those vines clear across that porch mantle like some kind of Christmas decorations and were so beautiful.

That whole summer everybody that visited was so amazed by those little gourds and even more amazed by how mama came by the seeds. She told everyone that was her lucky find. We’d always been amazed at her cause she could walk through the yard and look down and pick up a four leaf clover and I’ve never found one in my life.

When fall came in and it came time to harvest the tiny gourds mama gathered every one and put them in a big bowl. She said she was gonna let em dry out over the winter and keep a few seeds from some of em.

When spring time rolled around she planted those little seeds in the ground, nary a one came up. We were all as disappointed as mama even daddy, especially after he’d found out for himself they weren’t Ole Japany Vines.  We were looking forward to another summer of watching those gourds come up and grow.

Mama kept her little gourds for years cause they last a long time and they were her pride and joy. Mama is gone now and her little gourds too, and I only wish I could turn back time and watch her stick stuff in the ground and the enjoyment on her face when it came up. But that one particular summer it didn’t matter how many flowers or how big the gardens were she took the most pride in her little treasures.


She had a green thumb and everything she planted came up in one fashion or another. I know heaven is so much more beautiful with mama there cause she’s planted everything she can get her hands on. I can’t help but wonder how many tiny gourds are growing and hanging from the vines making more beautiful decorations in heaven.

                                              © Susie Swanson 2106

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Hero





When I go home across the hills at evening
 My little flock of memories gather in
A gentle peace and quietness will settle
I look back and remember my hero once again

The man I always knew and called daddy
That worked so hard to keep us fed
With a wrinkled brow and callused hands
He provided a roof and a place to lay our head

I see him in the garden, come early spring
With his overalls on and his favorite hoe
He stayed with it from the beginning to end
Nary a weed was allowed to grow

I see him in the winter, in the fallen snow
Splitting pine for kindling to start a fire
Gathering in the night’s water and wood
  In his plaid coat and gloves, his favorite attire

Each day I hear and see him with his dog Toby
I’m going out to the old place, he’d say
As they happily walked through my yard
Oh what a keepsake memory today

I see those big, apple trees he planted
Tall just like daddy, oh how they grew
So many treasures I have come to enjoy
When it comes to my daddy, I’m like glue

He’d tell straight out, he never had much school
Couldn‘t read and write, certainly no degree
The gift of knowledge flowed through his veins
For ninety four years, he taught constantly 

To all that listened and wanted to know
Wisdom from the most wise is a gift to behold
As my daddy eased on down through life
So much joy came in pouring out his soul

He walked each road, climbed every hill
He knew everybody for miles around
If they didn’t know him, they came to know
 He owned and had many a stomping ground

So many examples he set before me
So many memories, such good times
From when I was little and even grown
He taught me life lessons, only he could design

 My daddy is now walking and talking in heaven
Up there where fathers are a chosen kind
I’m now left with my precious flock of memories
And my hero’s love he gladly left behind

© Susie Swanson, 2016

Happy Father's Day to my Dad in Heaven and to all Father's. May your day be as special as you. Blessings