Wednesday, March 23, 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

Please help me pray for Brussels Belgium. Alot of people say this old world is getting more wicked each day but it's the people that live in the world and God will take care of it all soon. We are in the End Times. ~Susie

Friday, March 18, 2016

My Heart's Already Home

                                                      I can see it in the distance
                                                      sitting so humble there
                                                      an old childhood home
                                                      with springtime in the air

                                                      Children are laughing and playing
                                                      over the hills they roam
                                                      enjoying those simple pleasures
                                                      the best they've ever known

                                                      Oh it must be laundry day
                                                      the clotheslines are hanging full
                                                      quilts are blowing in the wind
                                                      there's sure to be an armful

                                                      The gardens have been plowed
                                                       there's potatoes in every row
                                                       soon everyone will gather
                                                       and each will have a hoe

                                                       The bounty will be plentiful
                                                        like that little, green onion bed
                                                        my goodness those onions are good
                                                        with a big piece of cornbread

                                                        Those chickens sure are happy
                                                        I bet there's nests everywhere
                                                        there'll be so many little ones
                                                        the hens will flog for sure

                                                        That old barn looks inviting
                                                         in that hayloft I'd love to play
                                                         while the cow's in the pasture
                                                         this pretty springtime day

                                                         I can see those old grapevines
                                                         they're still hanging over the creek
                                                         it'll soon be the first of May
                                                         time to go barefoot at the retreat

                                                         Maybe it'll help with the chiggers
                                                         come blackberry picking time
                                                         of course there'll always be plenty
                                                         and scratching if so inclined

                                                         It'll soon be time for supper
                                                         I can smell it in the air
                                                         cooked on that old wood stove
                                                         the best eating anywhere

                                                         There's so many things to enjoy
                                                         I could never get my fill
                                                         my heart's already home
                                                         like that old, rusted wagon wheel

                                                         The cherry trees are blooming
                                                         dogwoods are white as snow
                                                         oh what a blessing
                                                         to go back where I did grow

                                                               © Susie Swanson, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Jack Of All Trades

There’s two old fellers in the neighborhood and you gotta love em although they’re so often misunderstood.
Slim and Slick is not their given name but I’ll call em that if it’s all the same.
They’re a jack of all trades and they can do anything. They raise hogs, calves, chickens, grow gardens, the best you’ve ever seen, collect junk metal and haul wood, the list could go on and that’s just the upswing.
Anything that comes along, these fellers can do. They never back down, they always see it through.

They’ve cleaned up the community and the country side too. There’s no scrap metal or junk to be found and we all feel pride when we pass through.
 They cut and haul wood in their spare time, deliver and unload, no better service will you find.
If you need anything done, just give them a call. They’ll come running  even if they’re so tired they have to crawl.

You might find em at the barn bottle feeding a calf or running after a cow and it’s hard not to laugh.
One old cow named Oprah thought she had em pegged one day as she run. She was gonna show em it was her way or the highway before she was done.
They put her in the pasture to dry up some, hoping for a calf when the cooler weather come.
She got out of the pasture and was on the other side of the fence. It was early morning when it all commence. 
They run her all day on the other side of that fence. Their tongues were hanging out, it was a good thing they both had stopping sense.
She wore em plum out, they were tuckered don’t you know. That old cow thought that grass was greener on the other side and after it she did go.

Now old Oprah is usually a really good,ole cow. She’s produced a lot of milk, butter and buttermilk, done more than any other cow.
This time she wanted to be wild and free and who could blame her. She should have won the mother of the year award for feeding so many calves loyally.

 When they finally caught her and put her back in the stall. She was mad as a hornet and what happened next takes the cake and beats it all.
They keep an old box fan in the barn on when it’s hot. She flew mad and did her business at the back of the fan and it became windblown in every corner and spot.
I’m telling you the truth, yes-siree. That stuff blew all over the place and oh what misery.
You’ve heard the old sayin, the crap hit the fan. Well if you knew these fellers like I do, you’d understand.

Old Slim is lanky and quite tall and Slick is shorter and built kinda small.
If you ever see em you’ll know em and they’ll be easy to recall.
Slim was the one that discovered what she did and he hollered come quick Slick and lookiee here, and while you’re at it bring me another beer.
Slick said, what’s that on your face Slim, and why you got that big, ole  grin. Slim said, will you open your eyes and look around, where you been?
Apparently, Slick had been tending to a calf in the back of the barn. About that time something hit him in the eye and all he could say was I’ll be darn.

Not to many people know about this little incident but word has ways of getting around, and as long as they live they’ll never live this one down.
It’s things like this that happen all the time. These old boys are like two peas in a pod and two of a kind.
It seems if it wasn’t for bad luck they’d have no luck at all.
 They sure can get themselves in a mess and that’s their downfall.

It‘s even harder on em come winter time when the cold, north wind blows in. They build a big fire in the wood heater and all the chickens, dogs and cats gather in.
I call that barn their headquarters, so many things going on every day. Headquarters are very important to all working men when it’s the place they purt nigh stay.
Before ye walk in ye can smell a pot of beans, etc on the wood, burning stove or whatever suits their fancy, two old working fellers cooking up a tasty, treasure trove.

It doesn’t matter what the season is, they’ve always got work to do. You might even pass em on the road, hauling in feed. It keeps em really hopping too.
What time they’re not in the gardens, sweating to beat the band.
But it all pays off and harvest time is so grand.

They can grow the prettiest and biggest gardens you’ve ever seen. They do all this while raising calves and hogs and everything else in between.
And they believe in sharing their bounty with the neighborhood. They ain’t a bit stingy, they give more than they should.
I get my fair share every year. That kraut sure will taste good when cold
weather gets here.
 And those squash, beans, corn and maters are oh so fine. Nothing like
em anywhere, store bought ain’t worth a dime.

These fellers provide more services in one day then you’ll find in the phone book. If they can’t do it they’ll find a way, if you don’t believe me then come and take a look.
They should have won The Nobel Prize Award for being the most generous around. I’m gonna make sure their name’s in the pot the next go around.

 So every morning when they wake and their feet hit the floor, they grab a dip of Copenhagen and run out the door.
 Taking care of business like the day before, so much to do as they tend to each chore.
They go from one thing to another the live, long day, working hard with plenty of satisfaction and blessings as their pay.

So if you pass through my neighborhood and see it so clean, or two old fellers running after a cow and tending a garden in between, hauling wood or junk metal, they’re living the good life the best you’ve ever seen.

And be sure and watch for em next on the evening news. They’re real popular in these parts and the old cow too. She’ll be the one that moos and they’ll be the ones with manure on their shoes.

This is an older post but still remains true today some what. Please keep Slick, Aka my cousin in your prayers. He had a heart attack over the weekend and had to have stints put in. But he's on the road to recovery and should be home soon. I know Slim sure is missing him along with everyone else and their aunt and uncle too.  Many Thanks in Advance. ~Susie

P.S. Slim is Aka, my brother .

Monday, March 7, 2016

Our Best Childhood Friend

I know everyone remembers a favorite pet or two while growing up. We were blessed to have several dogs and cats but there’s one dog that stands out the most. His name was Ole Mack and he was a full bloodied collie and smart as a whip. He was like a human in a dog’s body and instantly became part of our family.

He’d obey every command. If we told him to sit he’d be sitting there into next week if we didn’t notice but we never did do him like that on purpose. It’s just the way he was and so kind hearted. Every step we made he was there beside us. We used to pull the blossoms off of clover after it’d bloomed and tie them together and make a necklace to wear around our neck. We’d even make one for Ole Mack and he’d just sit there and let us put it around his neck. When mama called us in to eat we’d go running and he’d run beside us with his clover necklace around his neck. The first time mama saw it she said, “what in the world have ye put around that dog’s neck.” He was our best buddy and did whatever we did.

 There was only one thing that scared him and that was thunder or the sound of a gun. Every time it’d thunder he’d run in the house and crawl under the bed. We’d leave him alone till it’d pass and coax him out. When we first got him we noticed that when my brothers or daddy grabbed the gun to go squirrel hunting we noticed the fear in him. We never did find out for sure but we always figured he’d been shot at before. We felt so sorry for him and he never did get over it.

 Back then we walked everywhere we went and every time we’d start down the road he’d be right at our heels waging that pretty tail.
Daddy worked away from home a lot and didn’t get to come home till weekends if he was lucky. Sometimes it’d be two or three weeks before he came home. I reckon mama got lonesome even with all of us youn’uns round her legs cause just about every evening in the summer she’d say let’s go see pa and ma. That was her mama and daddy and they lived upon the hill as we called it. I later realized mama got lonesome for some adult conversation.

About sundown we’d take off to see pa and ma and Ole Mack would tag along till we got to the footlog where we had to cross the little creek and we’d tell him to wait and he’d lie down at the end of the footlog till we returned later that evening. We were scared to take him with us for fear he’d tangle with other dogs. After all, he was getting older and we feared he couldn’t take up for himself as good. When we returned, he’d see us coming and run across that footlog to meet us like we’d been gone forever just wagging his tail. We’d all bend down and hug his neck and tell him he was a good boy till I think he got the big head. We always tried to get back home before dark for fear of stepping on a snake, of course Ole Mack would’ve killed it right there on the spot. He was very protective of us in a good way and always watched out for us.

Back then times were lean and not to many folks could find work and some just didn’t wanna work, they’d rather steal their way through.
Mama always had chickens that run loose and they had their favorite roosts every night. Most of em roosted in the little apple tree that hung over the branch of water that run down by the side of the house. Mama’s bedroom was on that side of the house as well and she never had to sleep alone. One or more of us always piled in the bed with her when bedtime came. She was always a light sleeper and could hear a pin drop. Ole Mack knew where her bedroom was and he slept right beside her bedroom under the porch and it was cooler on him there in hot weather. If anything moved or someone came around he’d always growl or bark to let mama know. We always called him our guard dog .

It all started one summer night when a bunch decided they wanted to steal the chickens off the roost. Mama was halfway asleep when Ole Mack started growling and then barking. They grabbed a couple of hens  and run after they heard Ole Mack growling and barking. Mama heard em too, but was afraid to go outside but she hollered at Ole Mack out the window to keep him from following em. She always said her being a woman she hated to go out on someone but if she had to she would. My oldest brother was big enough by then to use the gun but she wouldn’t let him for fear he’d shoot or get shot. But she didn’t have to worry about it cause the next night they came back.

Ole Mack first started growling and the next thing he did was tackle em. Mama and my oldest brother ran out at the same time and saw the shadows of em running fast as their legs could carry em and Ole Mack was right on their heels. They dropped the chickens in the middle of the road. On the way out the door my brother grabbed the gun and fired it straight up in the air. They run even faster and Ole Mack came running back towards the house so proud of himself. Mama said to my brother, “what’d ye do that for, they were already out of sight.” My brother said he did it more so for Ole Mack, cause he knew he was scared of guns and didn’t want him to get hurt by the chicken thieves.

Needless to say, the chicken thieves didn’t come back anymore. Mama figured it was a bunch that knew daddy was gone and could carry off what they wanted to. We really rewarded Ole Mack by trying to keep him in the house and feeding him anything he wanted as if he wasn’t fed enough. But he wouldn’t have any part of sleeping in the house at night.

Then one morning my brother went outside for something and he noticed Ole Mack wasn’t around. He called out his name and kept calling. We all went running out the door and joined in the search but no such luck.

We finally found him in the cow pasture later in the day and carried him back to the house and had the nicest memorial for him.

We buried a part of the family and our hero that day. Our hearts were broken and it was never the same anymore. He lived to the ripe ole age of fifteen and deserved his heavenly reward but there’s a place still void in our hearts today and we think about him often. I’m sure he’s up there where all good dogs go and having the best time of his life without any fears or worries about the thunder or loud noises anymore and running through the meadows with his clover necklace around his neck. Rest in peace Ole Mack, you’ll always be our Best Childhood Friend.

                                        © Susie Swanson, 2016