Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Home Away From Home

                                           Children's voices can be heard
                                           through the winds of time
                                           the rhythmic sounds of echoes
                                           down hallways left behind

                                           The busy sound of classrooms
                                           from morning to evening bell
                                           a place where many childhoods
                                           took wings in flight to sail

                                          A home away from home
                                          a wealth of knowledge each day
                                          instilled into young minds
                                          to carry along life's way

                                          Just a weathered old building
                                          to so many young now old
                                          it spent a lifetime of giving
                                          worth more than any gold

                                          The voices that still linger
                                          will forever hold the key
                                          to unlock all of yesterday's
                                          happy school day memories

                                          Susie Swanson, 2012

The picture above is the old High School Building in my hometown. It was later vacated for the new building that was built across town. I never had the good fortune to attend it.. They had already moved into a new building by the time I entered high school..The old School House where I went, first grade through eighth grade burned to the ground in the summer of 93... My mother, myself and my son all went there.. My heart lays heavy to see old buildings torn down today, so many memories and history left behind. Oh well, all in the name of progress..Hope everyone is enjoying the Hot, Humid, Hazy, Long,  ( did I forget one ) Dog Days of summer...Blessings, Susie

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I grew up in a time when things were alot different than today. I was raised in a family of six kids, me being the oldest. I have four brothers and one sister. We never was much for celebrating birthdays, just an occasional happy birthday or something of that nature. One reason being there wasn't any money to buy gifts and cards. We were lucky to get an apple or orange for Christmas and birthdays were no exception.But one paticular birthday I'll never forget, I turned six years old that year and something very special happened. Now at that age it's hard to remember details but some things just have a way of sticking with you like it was yesterday.
My uncle and aunt ( mama's brother ) lived up the road a piece within hollering distance of our house. They had six kids as well, the two oldest boys were twins and then two more boys and two girls. The girls being the youngest.With this being back earlier on they only had the four boys at the time.. What time they weren't at our house playing we were at theirs..
Back in those days people had a hard time trying to get to the store. They only went when they had to or got  the money to go with. That's why the old store truck ( also known as the Rollin Store ) became such an asset to people living out in the country and they depended on it for alot of things, mostly the basics. It came around once or twice a month. We always had to walk out to the main road to meet it.
This paticular Hot July day my aunt Kathleen and her four boys came walking down the road while I was playing outside. She hollered and told me to run in the house and ask mama if she needed anything from the store truck and to ask her if I could go with her and see if the boys could stay and play with my brothers. Needless to say, I ran in the house as fast as my legs could carry me and asked mama.. When she told me I could go, if I'd had wings I couldn't have flew any faster out that door and down those steps.. While we were walking out the road she said I heard it through a little birdie that today is your birthday. I asked her how in the world did that bird know.. She just grinned and we went on and met the store truck.
I liked walking up on that big truck and looking at all those grocery items on those shelves. It was amazing to me how that big truck could haul that much stuff around. I'd been on it before lots of times with mama and every once in awhile if mama had a few pennies to spare, left over from her groceries she'd get us some penny candy. I never asked for anything, I knew better, mama would get it anyway. This day was no different, I didn't ask aunt Kathleen to buy any candy either but she bought a little bag for me and all of the kids and she let me pick it out. Then she told me she wanted me to help her pick out some cake mix , that she wanted to bake a cake and add her own homemade choclate frosting. Back then cakes were usually made from scratch and the frosting too. She must have saved up a little money and decided she wanted to make it easier on herself. Well needless to say I was excited about baking a cake , then maybe I'd get a piece of it. When we got back home she told me to run in the house and ask mama if we could all come up to her house and play awhile. I ran in and asked mama  and she said it'd be alright as long as we got back by suppertime. The others were just as excited as me and I was hoping she'd bake that cake .. When we got there she opened up the little candy bag and gave us all two pieces each. That's all she could give and have enough.Then  she told us to all go outside and play she had lots of work to do. We played quite awhile before it dawned on me to run inside and see if it was time to go home, I knew mama wanted us back by suppertime. When I entered the door I smelled cake baking . I asked her if it was time to go home and she said no I'll let you all know. I went back outside and played until she called us all to come in and there in the middle of that table was a big chocolate cake. But I was afraid I was gonna have to go home and wouldn't get to eat any of it. Back then people built their own dining tables and that table was no exception. My uncle could build anything with his hands and it must have been  made to seat twelve people at the least. She started putting plates on the table and told us all to find a seat.. Some grabbed the chairs and some sit on the long bench that my uncle made at the back of the table.. Then she said something that floored me. She said, today's Susie's birthday and we're all gonna help her celebrate it.. Let's bow our heads and Thank God for the cake and sing happy birthday to her. I just sit there stunned while they sang. Then she cut the cake and gave us all a piece of  it and you could've heard a pin drop.. We were all to busy eating to talk and had always been taugh to keep our mouths shut while a meal was going on. After we all got done and cleaned the dishes up she told us we could go on home it was about suppertime.. Then she said, don't worry about your mama I 've already fixed it up with her..I ran and gave her a big hug and thanked her for my birthday surprise.
Needless to say we weren't ready for any supper when we got home but that was the best cake I've ever eat.. I never did tell mama that for fear of hurting her feelings but now that I look back upon it all it wouldn't have hurt her feelings one bit.
Two years later my aunt died after getting severly burned one morning while trying to start a fire in the cookstove. My uncle left for work earlier that morning and wasn't there when it happened. She poured gasoline instead of kerosene on hot coals and it caught the house on fire. She manage to get all of the kids out. She and her little, two year old girl got burned the worse. The little girl (Sue Ann) died in the hospital two days before her mother did and nobody never did tell her.
This woman died a hero and a legend and people still talk about it today. She surely was an angel sent from God to live on in the many hearts she touched her whole life through.And with my 60th birthday coming up the 28th of this month I think of it even more so. So many years and distance has come between ,me and that six year old girl but I remember it as if it was yesterday.. Rest In Peace Aunt Kathleen, you deserve it and thanks for the gift that keeps on giving.

                                               Susie Swanson, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let's Start Over Again

A little boy walked to school, ready to face the day. Just like the morning before, in his chest a heavy heart lay.
His clothes were worn and tattered, ragged shoes upon his feet. he walked quietly through the door and slowly took his seat.
With all eyes upon him,the children snarled and grinned. It was the usual daily routine, each morning they started again.
He was the black sheep of the class because he was less fortunate to be, wearing new clothes and shiny shoes for all their eyes to see.
This day was a little different though, he could feel it in his heart. He raised his hand to speak, it was tearing him apart.
The teacher gave her permission and he walked to the front of the class, ready to take on the world, each one looked as he passed.
I know that you don't like me he said, my clothes are worn not new. You see my mom doesn't have the money to buy things she needs or wants to.
I haven't told my mom yet because it would make her so sad. She works hard everyday to feed us, she's the best mom I could have ever had.
My dad is not with us anymore, he lives very faraway. I can't see or touch him, but in my heart he'll forever stay.
He died several years ago, while fighting in the war, and each day that' he's gone, I miss him more and more.
But heaven is his new home now although he would've like to stay, a little longer with us both to watch me grow and play.
But I talk to him every day and every night when I say my prayer. He tells me not to worry, that he'll always be there.
He tells me to hold on and he'll never leave my side. I know he's here with me now, I can feel him deep inside.
He looked across the classroom and saw tears in every eye. He said, don't be sad for me, someday we're all going to die.
So you see I'm not different from you, I just want to be your friend. My dad taught me to love everyone, now let's start over again.

                                                    Susie Swanson, 2012

This is an older post but I thought some might like to read it again, especially my new followers..With Canning Season in full force, needless to say I've been pre-occupied..Hope you enjoy..Blessings, Susie

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Among The Orchids

                                                         Among the many orchids
                                                         there's beauty so divine
                                                         crystal, clear waters flow
                                                         the sun never fails to shine

                                                         Lillies dance around them
                                                         an enchanted and glorious array
                                                         the roses climb even higher
                                                         and birds sing as they pray

                                                        The stars are nearer there
                                                        the winds of heaven blow
                                                        orchids stand among it all
                                                        God did arrange it so

                                                        In beautiful, bright tranquility
                                                        a haven from distress and care
                                                        the shining path is heaven
                                                        among the orchids there

                                                        The garden gate is open
                                                        in the midst of silvery dew
                                                        loved ones are the orchids
                                                        waiting for me and you

                                                         © Susie Swanson, 2014

Friday, July 6, 2012

Send Them My Way

The definition of a hand me down can be defined as something someone else has worn on their back or behind.

They're already broken in with plenty of room to grow, no fading when they're washed, always fit and ready to go.

Hand me downs are riches and worth so  much more, than anything that could ever be bought new from the store.

I'm proud to say I've worn them my whole life through.Me and hand me downs go together like the grass and the morning dew.

My mama once told me even my diapers were hand me downs. I thought it was quite funny how diapers could make so many rounds.

Even my brothers wore britches of hand me downs too, handed down to the next one as fast as they out grew.

Unless they wore the knees out, which was most of the time. Mama would patch them or cut them off and make shorts for summertime.

And each year before school started, she'd buy a couple a pair, knowing fully well they'd all eventually share.

Mine was a little different, I wore hand me downs from friends. Since I was the oldest there were no hand me downs to begin.

I thought I was a queen strutting around in a new hand me down dress. To think I almost wore one for my wedding dress.

I'll never forget the time I needed a white dress bad. For eighth grade graduation I wore a hand me down dress and was so honored and glad.

And the friend that gave it, I can never forget. She gave it from her heart, I still think of her yet.

It was the most beautiful dress in the whole world. It sure did make a night full of dreams come true for a young girl.

I even tried to save it for my wedding day but the age took its toll, the old dress turned yellow and faded away.

And like that old dress all good things must come to an end, they either fade away or get passed down to someone else again.

Today my memories are still so vivid and clear, so many stories of hand me downs I could tell for a year.

And if you've got any hand me downs just send them my way. I promise I'll wear them, I'll wear them everyday.

Hand me downs are special, they don't make me feel poor. They do just the opposite, they make me feel rich a thousand ways more.

                                                     Susie Swanson, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Look And You Will Find

                                             It blossoms in rare form
                                             so graceful and tenderly
                                             engulfs the strongest heart
                                             with flames of purity

                                             It strides through valleys
                                             across the ocean wide
                                             nothing can deter it
                                             on wings it can glide

                                             A beautiful flower in bloom
                                             always willing to share
                                             or creatures of nature
                                             spreading wonders everywhere

                                              With a song upon its lips
                                               beautiful lyrics so grand
                                               follow, it will lead you
                                               clear across the land

                                               Years can not stifle it
                                                nor chains can not bind
                                                love is there for the taking
                                                look and you will find

                                                Susie Swanson, 2012