Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Memories Never Age

From the time she was a little sprout
She walked with a happy song
Old dirt roads were the common route
Where so many feet traveled upon

Walking hand and hand together
Her little grandma by her side
Eight short years seemed forever
A happy little girl with joy and pride

She came to learn so much more
As she listened along the way
Visiting many, walking to the store
Was the usual routine each day

Or sitting upon an old fence rail
Eating an apple under the tree
Grandma gathering apples in her apron tail
The taste of that apple, what a memory

Skipping along, looking for a pretty rock
Running through the creek, busting it wide
Hardly a shoe, never a sock
Stumping her toes, she never cried

Her mouth running ninety miles an hour
Asking questions, curious as could be
Grabbing a crabapple, oh how sour
Her grandma warned her aimlessly

Walking to church many a time
Decoration day was an annual event
Dinner on the ground, a sure fire sign
The whole day they rejoiced and spent

So proud of her pretty, little, church dress
Her mama made, especially for the day
And those pretty roses, were the best
Sitting on the graves in a big bouquet

Carrying that little doll her grandma gave
With piercing eyes, blue as the sky
The smallest things are worth the save
Worth more than money can buy

So many memories for a small girl
Tucked away of a few short years
Her grandma was short for this world
Golden memories wipe away the tears

In her mind, she’ll never lose sight
Of her grandma on that distant shore
Her voice she still hears each night
Go to sleep, tomorrow we’ll do even more

Today she smiles with a happy heart
Turning back time and each cherished page
She and her grandma will never part
Although she’s grown, memories never age

© Susie Swanson, 2018

Just a little update. Please continue to keep me in your prayers. I'm having a very hard time and trying to get the right dose of steroids daily in me. They may have to change them to another kind since these are not picking me up at all. This is the life of an Addison's Disease Patient. They're also running other tests to try and find out about my other glands also. I'm waiting on the results of a CT Scan to come back to see if my pituitary gland is damaged or if I might have Hypoptituitaryism which means my gland is not working at all. I'm trying to keep my spirits up and leaning more on God every day. I get out of breath easily when I walk to the restroom and very weak. God has a plan and I'm clinging to his promises. What I'd give to be able to go back to that little girl again that I've wrote about for so long but I cling to my memories more each day. Thanks so much for the prayers and I'm praying for you all as well. I miss visiting with you all and hopefully soon I can more often. May God Bless each one of you.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

I'm From Appalachia

I’m from Appalachia where the mountains are home
And the land is pregnant with age old meaning
The gardens are planted by the wisdom of the signs
The corn grows tall with jointed stalks bending

Fresh winds sweep across these ancient hills
The echoes evoke like fragrant honeysuckle vine
The stars are more nearer and the sun shines brighter
On those old familiar pathways that were left behind

One can never know what lies beyond a hilltop
Clothes on clotheslines blowing in the wind
That dear, sweet voice calling, come to supper
Gathering around the table, where love is akin

Learning very early how to cook, can and preserve
From the rich earth that many wise have laid feet upon
Given freely and worth more than wealth of money
Such joy, knowing that now it has become my own

Such a rich heritage passed down through the years
Sweet as the apples, pears and each juicy plum
A way of life that no one can ever lose, take or break
Fine as that childhood wagon made from a black gum

And those spirit filled churches, oh what joy to be had
Plenty of preaching and shouting echoes across time
Age old faith handed down through the generations
God surely did design it all with his grace in mind

Wonders never cease across this beautiful Blue Ridge
The water runs crystal, clear down every hill and trail
Sweet as molasses from sugar cane stripped at the mill
Such a treat and humbly I accept, this life is so swell

These mountains I call home just beyond the horizon
My spirit dwells and in tranquil peace does shine
I will plant it firmly for those who follow after
In hopes they’ll never leave the chimney smoke behind

© Susie Swanson, 2018

Just a quick update, I got a diagnosis this past week that I didn't expect and sure didn't want to hear. I've told before about having Adrenal Gland Fatigue, well they run a Test on my Adrenal Glands this week and they're barely putting out any cortisol at all which is a very important hormone that keeps the body functioning and our defense against stress. The Endocrinoligist said I had Addison's Disease and I'm having a hard time accepting it but God is in control and he will help me through this like he always has. It'll be Steroid city for me the rest of my life and those things are hard to live through. I'm having a very hard time with them now and I'm just starting out on a child's dose, can't even imagine the how's or what's that's to come. I'm depending on God for that cause he holds the future. I wanted so much to get better news cause I'm not getting any younger. I just want to live my life again and do the things I love to do. Just keep me in y'alls  prayers and I'm praying for you all as well. May God Bless!!  ~Susie~

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dog Days And Weather Signs

The forty dog days of summer begins in the United States on July 3rd and End August 11th according to history and The Old Farmer’s Almanac. They’re so often said to be the hot, sultry days of summer, July and August being the two hottest months of the year.
The older generation had a lot of sayings about Dog Days. One being, “it’s dog days and snakes are blind, ye better be careful cause they’ll strike at anything that moves.” We surely did listen to that one cause we were reminded enough, especially while playing outside after dark or catching lightning bugs.

Another one is getting Dew Poisoning which means if you get a cut on your finger or hand and get the morning dew in it the cut will never heal. My daddy got dew poisoning one summer. He’d cut his finger with his pocket knife and was picking beans one morning and got dew in it and he went around all summer with his finger bandaged up and it finally healed come Fall. Mama told him, “ye know what did that and ye should have bandaged it up before ye hit the dew.”
I heard daddy and mama say it was hard for a cut or any open wound to heal during dog days many times. This pertains to anything even getting one’s ears pierced. I got mine pierced in the summer months after I got up the nerve to have it done. Mama told me, “ye shouldn’t have done that. They’ll never heal.” I can honestly say she was right about that. I had one to get infected and I thought it was going to rot off. If it hadn’t been for lots of peroxide and alcohol and babying, I would have given up and let them grow up. I still have to baby my ears and bathe them in alcohol quite often. I very seldom take my ear rings out except to change them.

There were a lot of weather sayings as well and I don’t know if any of them pertains to dog days but thought I’d add a few.
Here’s one,
If you’re hoping for a nice, dry day check for dew on the ground

When the dew is on the grass
Rain will never come to pass
When grass is dry at morning light
Look for rain before the night

There’s also one that helps to tell what the weather is going to be pertaining to cattle and horses, which means if you see a cow or horse take notice of which way the wind is blowing their tails. Cows and horses prefer not to have the wind blowing in their faces so they usually stand with their backs to the wind.

Tails pointing west
Weather’s at it’s best
Tails pointing east
Weather is least

Summer fog means fair weather is on its way and you can look for a sunny day.

Summer fog for fair
A winter fog for rain
A fact most everywhere
In valley or on plain

And the one I like the most is

If the rooster crows at going to bed
You may rise with a watery head

I just don’t know about this one but my mama sure hated to hear one crow at bedtime. She’d throw a rock at it every time just to get it to stop. She claimed it meant bad luck.

Just a little folk lore and I hope you enjoyed. I’ll try to post more later as they come to me.
Thought I’d add a little poem for some humor as well, concerning the fogs in August because of the most heard one of all. “For every fog in August there will be a snow come winter.” This one is kinda worrying me with August upon us cause we had quite a few fogs last August and quite a few snows. 

I counted forty, foggy mornings in August
an old lady once said
I wondered how can this be
as I scratched my head

Thirty one days in August
is all I’ve ever known
unless the calendar has changed
and the months have grown

I worked so very hard
to try and figure it all in
But the forty, foggy mornings
I didn’t know where to begin

And then I thought to myself
and I came up with a good try
When summer’s heat lingers on
there’s forty, hot days in July

In January’s snowy weather
there’s at least forty flakes
that lies on the ground
forty days for goodness sakes

How can I forget March
with so many windy days
The wind probably blows forty
I just don’t count the days

No, that can’t be right
I thought to myself
When thirty one days are gone
in a month, there’s none left

So I’ll just keep on waiting
August is soon to end
If there’s forty, foggy mornings
Will winter ever end??

© Susie Swanson, 2018

Monday, July 23, 2018

If We Could See

If we could see beyond a sorrow
Beyond a present grief, as God can see
We would be braver, knowing some tomorrow
Will still hold happiness for you and me

If we could only glimpse through other eyes
To see the things that is God’s plan and design
We would be more strong and would be keeping
In our hearts, peace and hope through every darkened time

If we could see beyond blurred eyes and weeping
Knowing again the road will smooth before our eyes
By putting our full trust in God and his promises
The lessons of life will unfold to make us wise

We are so blinded by our grief and heartache 
The suffering of so much sickness, sorrow and pain
That we forget the joys beyond believing
God’s promise of healing and peace will be ours again

© Susie Swanson, 2018

I'd like to put up a little Update on my health issues. I haven't mentioned anything on here in a long while but I'm still struggling so to speak. My Adrenal Glands went down back in 2016 and now all of my glands are out of whack all due to them not being able to get me balanced out on any meds. after they removed my thyroid in 2014. It's an every day struggle and I'm not able to do much anymore. I now have Home health coming in once a day to help me with my baths, etc. I know God is the great Physician and it's in his hands. Just got back today from yet another Appt. with the Endocrinoligist and she's setting up more tests to try and find out if I now have one or more other Autoimmune Diseases as well.  Our health is so important and it can go in the blink of an eye. I'm grateful to God for waking me up to see another day every morning and it's in his hands. He still has us all here for a reason and he's not going to let us down. I cling to him every day. Please continue to pray for me and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  May God bless you all. ~Susie~

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

If You Pass Me By

                                Perhaps you'd call it plain
                                this simple house I live
                                nothing fancy to the eye
                                with plenty of love to give

                                I'm sure you wouldn't notice
                                the memories tucked inside
                                of so many happy years
                                with my family by myside

                                You might not notice the flowers
                                 in my yard nestled away
                                 or the pretty, little birds singing
                                 that cheerfully make my day

                                 Oh if you could only see
                                 the squirrels I call my own
                                 frolicking around at play
                                 outside my simple home

                                 The enchantment of a sunset
                                 each evening comes to call
                                 end of day's perfect show
                                 you may never see at all

                                 Perhaps you'd see me plain
                                 with simple clothes and worn
                                 overlook my grateful heart
                                 for the simple things I adorn

                                 If things are hard to find
                                 much like where you have been
                                 beauty lies within the heart
                                 close your eyes and look again

                                 My simple life of treasures
                                 is more than gold can buy
                                 you'll never know paradise
                                 if you pass me by                                                                                                                    

                                 © Susie Swanson, 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

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 somethin 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, 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Come Sit With Me

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
Around 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 each 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 so 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 home so green
This summer time country living
Is the best I’ve ever seen

© Susie Swanson, 2018