Saturday, October 22, 2011

Grandpa And The Gristmill

                                             There was once a way of life
                                              many long years ago
                                              most people could never imagine
                                              or even believe it was so

                                              Things were hard to come by
                                               my daddy always said
                                               like the food on their table
                                               and a place to lay their head

                                               Everybody had their own struggles
                                               they all needed a friend
                                               and that's where my grandpa
                                               and the old gristmill came in

                                               Electricity was never heard of
                                               its power source, a big water wheel
                                               the water running straight from the creek
                                               it ground the corn and turned it into cornmeal
                                               Some came by horse drawn wagons
                                               with their corn on the back
                                               some walked every step of the way
                                               with the corn tied up in a big, toe sack

                                               They came from far and near
                                                as it was used for one thing
                                                to provide bread for their family
                                                from the corn they would bring

                                               With determination on his side
                                                my grandpa worked hard everyday
                                                even on the sabbath
                                                if someone came his way

                                                Today I can't help but wonder
                                                why people don't walk the same road
                                                and do what grandpa did
                                                and help carry some of the load

                                                Grandpa and that old gristmill
                                                surely did play a big part
                                                in helping to calm the struggles
                                                of a generation's hungry heart


                                             © Susie Swanson  

I never had the privilege or honor to meet my grandpa, on my dad's side of the family.
He died in 1937 at a young age. But in his short life, he left a legacy that is still talked about today. My dad filled his shoes for years, alongside his brother. They kept the old gristmill running because so many people depended on it for their bread and to feed their families. They changed it around somewhat, they switched the power source from water to gasoline which worked the same.
In the very place and exact spot where I live today is where that old gristmill was located. Sometimes, I can imagine hearing the roaring of the millstone and the grinding of the corn and I can see the people lined up waiting for their turn and I then can hear them saying Thanks alot Seb, we'll see you next week.
Hope you enjoy...Blessings, Susie



  1. Eddie was just today telling us about the gristmill and grounding corn. Things have changed, some for the better and some for the worse. Even though things are much easier these days there is still something to be said for living a simple life. I don't grow my own corn and wheat but I buy 100-200 lbs. of wheat berries at a time and grind my own wheat. It makes the best bread and it's very healthy compared to store bought sliced bread. I want to learn to do more things. You may have to give me a quilting class someday. So many things are going by the wayside. Love you, Tammy

  2. This is such a nice poem and story, Susie. Very lovely tribute to your grandpa too. I hope you have a nice Sunday. :)

  3. Thank you Tammy, that is so awesome. I'm so impressed. That is the best bread of all. Times sure have changed but How I would love to go back to the simple times.. We love you all too and looking forward to seeing your new cabin, hopefully soon. Thanks for the visit. We love you all too..

    Thank you Daisy, you are so loyal a visitor and appreciate you so much. Hope you have a nice Sunday also..

  4. That is a lovely poem – I can visualize the grist mill. The last one I saw was in Long Island, New York, about a month ago – but it was closed for the season. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  5. Maybe such ways WERE meant to last, but we dropped the ball.

  6. Sometimes when things live on in our memories, and in our words like on this post, they become even more valuable. A beautiful tribute to your grandpa ...

  7. Beautiful tribute and such wonderful lessons that should come to life again.

  8. Susie, Thank you for sharing with us about your grandpa and his loyalty to his neighbors. I really enjoyed your poem and learning more about where your home is located. Have a blessed Sunday.

  9. Thank goodness I did not miss this post! I would of missed a wonderful poem and tribute.
    It is a blessing to have you to come to and enjoy your writing

  10. Loved this! My folks raised sorghum cane for making molasses; that too is mostly a lost art.

    Thank you for your comments about my quilts. Just dig in on your scraps and show us some of your lovely quilting.


  11. Gosh, I'm overwhelmed and at a loss for words which is very rare for me. I thank each one for their beautiful comments. I'm so happy you all like my keepsake memories. @lil red hen, I'm digging into my scraps and will post pics as soon as I get something to post with. My camera is on the blink. I feel like I live in the stone age myself and probably Thanks again, Susie

  12. Simply beautiful Susie! I love those old grist mills,next to the church they were the center of the community.

  13. Aww, thank you Carol. So glad you have them to look at and visualize.. Susie

  14. What a lovely poem and tribute. Your words have painted a beautiful picture in my mind of what the times must have been like back then.

  15. Susie,
    What a wonderful poem about your grandpa and the gristmill. Mama recalls as a child taking corn to the mill to get ground into cornmeal. This brings back many memories of the good old days and it's so true, we need to help one another carry burdens. I liked this very much.

  16. Thank you Country Whispers and Brenda Kay, glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the visit..

  17. Hi Susie, such a lovely poem about your Grandpa! I never knew what a grist mill was until I moved here to Georgia a few years ago. This weekend I went to the county fair and they had a grist mill exhibit set up and were selling bags of fresh milled corn!

    I also thought about you when I toured the original farmhouse that was on the fair ground property in the 1880's. It is all restored and made of hand cut pine logs. I think you would have really got a kick out of it. It was so neat to see it all furnished inside with the original antique furnishings and kitchen tools.

    Your poem is just wonderful Susie and your Grandpa sounds like he was a hardworking and generous man. Have a lovely evening! Delisa :)
    P.S. It's getting chilly here too. Had to wear my denim jacket for the first time today, and I threw another blanket on the bed last night.

  18. Susie this was great-it made me wonder if any of my family ever went to your mill-I bet they did : )

  19. Thank you Delisa, oh how I wish I could have been there. I would love to have seen that. I'm a history buff for sure. I figured you were cool too. We are suppose to be even cooler this weekend. Thanks Again..

  20. Thank you Tipper, I'm almost certain your grandpa visited it when my dad and his brother run it. Your grandpa and my dad were great friends..

  21. Thank you for sharing these memories in your wonderful poem, Susan!

  22. Thank you Connie, your poem is so beautiful and I look forward to your writings..

  23. Hi Susie, just popped by to say hello! This week just feels like it has been flying by. I hope you are having a nice day. I drove by some beautiful sycamore trees today that were filled with bright gold leaves. We are at the peak for our autumn leaves and they will probably blow away in the next couple of weeks or so. I am looking forward to next month because the cotton will be ready to harvest. When the cotton is all in bloom it looks the fields are covered with snow. I have been here in Georgia six years now and it never ceases to amaze my ex-city girl heart! :) Have a lovely evening ahead! Delisa :)

  24. So glad you stopped by Delisa, you're a little later than we ar on the leaves. Ours are about gone. Oh how I would love to be there and see that cotton. Take some pics and post them for us..