Saturday, December 7, 2013

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, 2013

14 comments:

  1. That title struck a chord in my heart because of course being from West Virginia, I've been to a few of those old timey meetins'. I never walked but I got told story after story about how my mom walked with her mom and family over old country roads to get to church which was their only social life back in those days. Thanks Susie for sparking so many memories through your memory piece. Beautifully written and spoke to my heart. Hugs, Barb

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    1. Thank you Barbara. I'm glad you can relate. Hugs to you.

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  2. I remember revival meetings from when I was a small child in missouri

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    1. Thanks Beth.. Glad you can relate as well.

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  3. Susie, you described this so well. Sounds like you really enjoyed the singings, as did your grandma and your Dad. I enjoyed reading about it. Music is tied to a lot of memories for me too.

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    1. Thanks Daisy. I knew it was and I bet it's so wonderful.

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  4. Oh, Susie, what a blessed childhood you had!

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    1. Aww, thank you Elaine. We've all got our cherished memories.

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  5. Susie, What a beautiful memory of your father. Sharing the gospel in song with him, I love it. Those had to be special times for you. Blessings , xoxo,Susie

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    1. Aww, thank you Susie. Yes it was very special. Blessings to you. xo

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  6. Another wonderful memory stirred up inside me ~ thank you!

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  7. This was great, Susie~ my parents sang in a gospel quartet for many years and traveled to a lot of different churches. I can remember many nights falling asleep on a hard pew in the midst of a lot of shouting and singing!! Great memories~ thanks for sharing yours with us.

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    1. Thank you Paula. That must have been awesome and to have such cherished memories today is wonderful.

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