Monday, November 26, 2012

Nary A Rose

                                                     He hopped aboard a train
                                                     With no destination in mind
                                                     Only the clothes on his back
                                                     An old soldier left behind

                                                     Stored away in a boxcar
                                                     No one knows he is there
                                                     His stomach is mighty empty
                                                     His clothes are thread bare

                                                     He lives in a distant land
                                                     Far across the sea
                                                     Where mortars and shells
                                                     Are his only company

                                                    And the sons of mothers
                                                    Were his brothers more
                                                    He saw their bloodshed
                                                    All in the name of war

                                                    He prays to die each day
                                                    Has often questioned why
                                                    He was spared and left behind
                                                    To save them he did try

                                                    The images of their face
                                                     It seems, is here to stay
                                                    There's no room for living
                                                    He just tries to steal away

                                                    An old boxcar is his home
                                                    On every train he goes
                                                    He only finds the thorns
                                                    There's nary a single rose

                                                     Susie Swanson, 2012

I just want to let all of you know that I may be gone for a little while. I may be having some Dental Work done this week and needless to say I probably won't feel up to Blogging.. Hope everyone has a nice week. Blessings, Susie

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Christmas Cactus

                                                      My little Christmas cactus
                                                      means so much to me
                                                      sitting in the window
                                                      as pretty as can be

                                                      Those bright pink blossoms
                                                      are more beautiful than before
                                                      handed down from my mother
                                                      it's a treasure even more

                                                      Christmas is its favorite time
                                                      to bloom every year
                                                      it was also my mother's
                                                      she was so full of cheer

                                                       My mother and her cactus
                                                       they sure were a pair
                                                       Every time I gaze upon it
                                                       I can still see her there

                                                       Susie Swanson, 2012

The picture above is not my cactus but one similar.. Mine has not bloomed out enough to get a really good picture of it yet. And it is more pink than the one above. My mother had it for many years and I have the cuttings from the original one.. My sister and I have started several over the years.. The original was so round and beautiful. My mother surely had a green thumb.We always made a joke about how we'd get mom to plant our flowers and they'd grow for sure..I do think of her more this time of year and the cactus plays a big part but oh how she loved Christmas time..It was her favorite and she really did go all out.. Even after we were all grown she kept up the traditions of decorating, baking, cooking , etc.. I guess anyone that's lost love ones miss them more at the holidays.. But life does go on and we hold on to our memories and they keep us going.. Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. We got to spend our holiday with our son and new wife.. We really had a wonderful holiday. Now, it's time to get ready for Christmas..Wheww.. Susie

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Smoke Billows

                                                        It's that time of year
                                                        time to chug the fire
                                                        big billows of smoke
                                                        rising up near and far

                                                        Late in the evening
                                                        the sun is sinking low
                                                        every house in the distance
                                                        has a wood heater glow

                                                        Smoke covers the valley
                                                        a sure fire sign
                                                        when darkness takes over
                                                        the temps will decline

                                                        Frost is on the ground
                                                        waiting to greet the day
                                                        time to chug the fire
                                                        the smoke billows away

                                                        A big stack of wood
                                                        some kindling for show
                                                        the wood box is full
                                                        the wood heater is aglow

                                                        Susie Swanson, 2012

Even though we don't use wood for heat now, I can still look out over the valley at sundown and see the smoke rising from the wood heaters that some of my neighbors have.. It still brings back alot of memories of long ago when the whole valley would smoke up and everyone was chugging the fire or building a fire to knock off the chill.. There's not much smoke anymore as people have went to other forms of heat but I wouldn't mind in some ways having a fireplace or wood heater again.. We have an electric fireplace plus a furnace but I loved sitting by that old wood heater in the winter and listening to daddy and mama tell those old stories of long ago. Daddy could tell scary stories that would make the hair stand up on our neck. Mama always complained about the smoke and how it would black up her curtains and wall.. I remember us having to take down the curtains and clean the walls in the spring.. Spring cleaning was a hard task but we never stopped until every thing looked new.. I do the spring cleaning but it's not as bad as it used to be for sure. We washed and dried all the bedding and hung the clotheslines full.. On pretty sunshine days we'd drag the mattress out and let them sun  and the pillows too.. There's nothing that smells any more fresh than sheets that's been hung out to dry or mattress's and pillows that have been out in the sun all day. Those were the good old days for sure.

With the Thanksgiving week coming up  I will be taking a break from blogging with so much to get done.. I want to take this time to wish each one of you a Happy Thanksgiving and as we all gather together let's not forget to pray for the ones less fortunate and the troops that can't be with their families. They make it all possible for us to gather together and be with our families.. I have so many blessings to be thankful for I couldn't name all of them in a million years and I know you feel the same.. May God Bless Each One Of You..Susie 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Possum Drop

Here in our little neck of the woods in the Southern Appalachians, also known as Western N.C. an eighteen year old tradition is being threatened by a group that calls themselves P.E.T.A. Most of you have heard of them but for the ones that haven't it means People Against Ethnic Treatment of Animals...
Next to my community is a  small community called Brasstown  and each year on New Year's Eve a man called Clay Logan has an event called The Possum Drop. Now some may have heard of it since he has been on the morning shows in years past.. Clay owns a little country store known as Clay's Corner and right beside it, he has a little stage that's set up for the event. They have good, down home, clean fun. No alcohol what so ever on the premises . Clay sees to that.. They usually start off with good singing and picking and church groups come out and sing  then they have a Womanless Beauty Pagent. At the end of the night just before the clock strikes midnight they start the lowering of the possum and at twelve o'clock  the possum is on the ground in a Flexi Glass Cage. Weeks before this event Clay goes out and finds the scrawniest possum he can find, puts it in a pen and feeds it dog and cat food until its sides are sticking out.. He was quoted as saying he grooms it and bathes it, blows it dry with a hair dryer, all for the big event..The possum is taken care of so much and pampered that Clay said it didn't even want to leave after he puts it back out into the wild.. He also was quoted as saying, There's all kinds of possums running around on Brasstown holding up little signs that says "Take me this year".

Each year he goes by what the law says, he fills out all the necessary paper work and gets his permit that allows him to catch and hold a wild animal.. But P.E.T.A. has already been saying that it would be ok if he killed the possum and lowered its carcuse but not while it's alive. It scares it to much..Go Figure..
Well, today they finally found a Judge that agreed with them and he handed down an order that says Clay Logan can't lower anymore possums on New Year's Eve..

Now when one ponders on this , one would think there's a lot more pressing things in the country to worry about , like helping the Victims of Hurricane Sandy or helping to feed the needy and hungry. Before you go and jump to conclusions let me say this, I love animals to no end and they become our family. I would NEVER be mean to any animal or ever condone it...It's against my beliefs and the way I was raised. But if this is called being mean to an animal I'd hate to see what real abuse is..

As for Clay Logan, he said in the news paper that he would be having something but he doesn't know what .. Knowing Clay, he'll probably go out and get some Road Kill and puts it in a Flexi Glass Cage. I just hope he seals it really tight.
So our little Mountain Tradition will go on with or without the possum, it's not over yet.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thank You

                                                          They walk among us
                                                           in plain view
                                                           lay in vast graves
                                                           covered by the dew

                                                           The ultimate sacrifice
                                                           willing to give all
                                                           the stones a symbol
                                                           of the battlefield call

                                                           They walked into battle
                                                           with head held high
                                                           they fought for freedom
                                                           some had to die

                                                           They walk in heaven
                                                           the battle is won
                                                           mission accomplished
                                                           their job is done

                                                           Families are waiting
                                                           for love ones to come
                                                           walk through the door
                                                           then there are some

                                                           Respect and gratitude
                                                           let it so be
                                                           the price for freedom
                                                           they hold the key

                                                           One day of honor
                                                           once every year
                                                           the day of honor
                                                           is already here

                                                           They walk among us
                                                            a chosen few
                                                            let us be grateful
                                                            with a Thank You

                                                            Susie Swanson, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Showers Of Blessings

                                                    Each day there are blessings
                                                    sent from the Father above
                                                    For God is a great, lavish giver
                                                    and there is no end to his love
                                                    And his grace is more than sufficient
                                                    his mercy is boundless and deep
                                                    And his infinite blessings are countless
                                                    and all this we're given to keep
                                                    If we but seek God and find him
                                                    and ask for a bounteous measure
                                                    Of his wholly immeasurable offering
                                                     from God's inexhaustible treasure
                                                    For no matter how big man's dreams are
                                                    God's blessings are infinitely more
                                                    For always God's giving is greater
                                                    than what man is asking for

                                                     Helen Steiner Rice

This is one of my favorites from H.S.R. We surely can't thank him enough for his many blessings..

I may be taking a Blog break soon, as I'm working on my New Book. "The Echoes Of Time" I don't know for sure when it will be out.. The Publisher has it right now. I will give updates later and I'm so busy with other things going on.. Meanwhile I will be going to my son's much awaited Wedding Reception later this evening.. As I posted before, they got married August 14th in Key West Florida and waited until now to have their Reception.. I'm so looking forward to it.. Hope you all have a nice weekend, Susie

Monday, November 5, 2012

Letters From Home

Many years ago in a faraway land,
a soldier reads letters from an old mother's hand.
He felt her presence there though oceans apart.
 Every word came from a love filled heart.

Keep God in your heart and read your Bible son,
soon all trials of war you will have won.
And when you're down and out and need a friend,
just remember he'll stay with you until the end.

Daddy says hello and he loves you too.
 He's so proud of you in everything you do.
He walks to the mailbox everyday,
looking for a letter to come our way.

Son, just keep writing to us and do your best.
I sure do pray you're getting plenty of rest.
The family says hello and they'll all try to write.
Daddy still goes outside to work each morning before daylight.

He pushes the wheelbarrow up and down the hill.
 Maybe when you get home he'll finally be still.
I almost forgot to tell you Jane's got a new boyfriend.
 I wonder how long she'll go with this one before it comes to an end.

I wish you could see them, my roses are in bloom.
I'll try and get a picture and send one soon.
Emma's got a new cow. She gave us three gallons of milk.
Son I wonder, do you get any milk?

Since he got married, Bill thinks you're mad at him.
 She's a nice girl, you need to hurry and write them.
Remember that I love you and don't ever forget.
 I'll always be praying for you, don't you give up yet.

With words like that, how could he not survive.
With every letter it made him feel more alive.
No matter how hot or how long the days,
 they gave him hope in so many ways.

Those words of encouragement kept pushing him along,
 and helped him to forget that awful war, torn zone.
When he finally came home from the Vietnam war,
 only then did he see his mother's tears begin to pour.

A mother's love can reach across every sea
and come to rest where it needs to be.

                                                      Susie Swanson, 2012

I wrote and published this one in 2010 for my husband in Memory of his precious Mother. These are some of her own words in the letters that he brought back home in 1969. He had a whole stack of letters and after she passed away in 1991 we found a stack of letters that he wrote to her and his dad.. I hope you enjoyed it. Blessings, Susie

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Swirling Leaves

                                                 The leaves blow here, the leaves blow there
                                                 The leaves are blowing everywhere
                                                 They're tumbling, rolling, falling down
                                                 Upon the cool autumn ground

                                                 They clothe the barren garden path
                                                 Which soon will see the winter's wrath
                                                 They swirl across the country lanes
                                                 Where softly fell the summer rains

                                                 Beautiful are their colors too
                                                 A variety of rainbow colored hues
                                                 The leaves blow here, the leaves blow there
                                                 The trees are bare by brisk autumn air

                                                   Susie Swanson, 2012

The trees are almost bare here in my neck of the woods after this week's wind, just a few left hanging to fall another day. I'm so thankful that's all we got was the wind, could have been alot worse. I feel so bad for the ones that's less fortunate.. So much destruction and so many lives changed forever.. My prayers are with them. God Bless, Susie