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 any 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 and 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 em talk about their yesterdays, really stuck with me and shaped me in so many different 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 left my 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 had the opportunity.
My girlfriends and I flattened out many a trail, since we walked quite often to the store. We surely did enjoy it and when we got a little money, we let the hammer down even more.
A few coins in our pockets, we’d run as fast as you’ve ever seen. That RC and Moon Pie sure did taste good when you save ye own 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 came along and made our own kind.
And the pleasures 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 roses clear across the country side, a legacy that keeps on giving. Every spring when I see those beautiful 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 lives in me, everywhere I go
I can hear his voice and see his face in that little gristmill he owned. I live on the very spot today where all of the commotion went on.
My grandpa’s not gone, I know I’ve wrote about it all before. He’s still alive today in my heart and the echoes I hear every time I walk out my 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.
And there’s so many placed I’ve walked, especially to church with a whole gang tagging along, made me feel 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 lurkin around after dark.
So many scary stories were told by so many of the older folks around. A headless woman, a crying baby, it’s no wonder we thought the booger man was after us every time 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 but that ole devil sure was crude.
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 ever knew. Sometimes our imagination got the best of us and we got into trouble a time or two.
Throwing rocks and accidentally 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 plenty of snakes.
It’s a wonder we ain’t all dead but it was not meant to be. Kids being kids just 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 looking down on us all the time.
But now when I look back upon it all and remember when, I wish a thousand times over I could do it all again.
Well most of it anyway, some I’d rather forget. Like the time I almost died trying out grandma’s sweet snuff, I might as well have been dead.
And maybe all the times I hit my brothers over the head with the broom. Nay, they deserved it and so much more. Especially, messing up the house after cleaning it. They never missed a room.
But that was just our way of showing that we loved one another. It may sound odd to some but we believed in looking out for each other. Of course we tried to convince our mother.
In all honesty, our dad and mom 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 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 have 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 that dipper, it was a gem.
Especially after hoeing in the garden since the break of dawn. Running for that dipper of water and going in for dinner (lunch) eating them garden veggies fresh grown.
After a long day at school, a piece of cornbread and a little green onion straight from the garden tasted 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 too, if mama would allow.
I remember churning that buttermilk all day in that churn jar. Thought to my soul my arms would fall off. It took that butter a long time to rise to the top of that jar.
Awe, there’s so many things I could tell about. I feel like a queen 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.
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 the sun out to shine.
© Susie Swanson, 2017