Thursday, October 31, 2013


When I was ten years old we moved to this old two story house. I had mixed feelings about the place but I kept quite as a mouse.

It was an icon of the community, been there for many a year. Many families had moved in and out, I always wondered if ghosts did appear.

Haints they called them back then, and scary as could be. My daddy told so many haint tales he scared the living daylights out of me.

And there were quite a few told about the old house and how they came to be. That's why I had mixed feelings but I had to go along with the family.

I never told my brothers or sister for fear they'd tell. I let them find it out on their own. Being the scardy cats they were, they would have cried their eyes out wanting to go back to our old home.

They were all younger than me and looked up to me. I had to be a role model the best I could be.

That old place had the most beautiful and biggest yard we'd ever seen. We wasn't used to a yard with grass, much less green.

It stretched all the way to the main road and we could see cars go by. We'd never been used to that either, thought we'd died and gone to that home in the sky.

We'd run and play all the live long day, come in at suppertime starved half to death and go back outside and play.

Until dark thirty came and we'd all shiver and frown. We could hear them old stairs creaking and them haints coming down.

And there's something about an old creaky stairway. It'll give you goose bumps and make your heart stop night or day.

The whole time we lived there, we never slept upstairs. We'd all sleep together or in pairs.

Except for a few times when some us were brave enough to take the dares. Didn't last long up there, before we came running back down them stairs.

Mama said, you kids beat all I've ever seen. Ya'll will run up and down them stairs all day and then you're scared of your shadow, I ought to break me a limb that's keen.

I said, But mama there's haints up there, they only come out at night. And mama said, whoever told you that I do declare is in for a big fight.

Then I said, it was daddy that told us one time. He told us about a headless girl walking down them old stairs and other people has told it many a time.

She was fit to be tied by then. She was actin like an old sittin hen, getting ready to flog daddy and he wasn't even there to defend.

He was off at work somewhere down south. He was gone a lot and we always missed him but we got by with more and you didn't hear that come out of my mouth.
It was even more scary at night when daddy was gone. We'd go to bed and couldn't sleep, all we could hear was a moan or groan.

And it always came from upstairs somewhere. I swear that was the creakiest and scariest place I've ever slept at anywhere.

One night I could have sworn I saw a woman in a white dress standing in the hallway. I never slept a wink, just shut my eyes praying for the light of day.

And the very next night I saw her again. She had a little girl with her and they turned around and grinned.

I ran and jumped in the bed with mama, fast as I could run. Woke her up and after almost giving her a heart attack she said, your daddy's scary tale days are over and done.

And now that I think about it all today, I believe she did give him a good talking. But that didn't stop him none, he loved his talking.

I'll never forget when he told about the incident over in the lane. Said he was walking home one night and he heard a horse coming and it passed him on by, rattling a chain.

He said he never did see it, he looked really close but it wasn't there. Just the galloping sound, the chain and the horse in thin air.

After that night he said every time he walked through, he'd walk along the side of the road when the noise of the chain grew and grew.

He told about another mysterious happening over in that scary lane. People had told him they'd heard a baby crying in the distance so plain. 

He never paid much attention to what people said back then. My daddy was a brave and courageous man, he'd just grin.

But one particular night he was walking through there on his way home. He heard that baby crying so loud, it really disturbed him the worst he'd ever known. 

There had been a lot of tales about a baby being dropped in a well. According to what daddy said, that crying went on for quite a spell.

Then he told how someone run him all the way in home one night. He met a strange man up the road a piece, walking in the opposite direction and it gave him quite a fright..

The man had his head down and never said a word when daddy spoke. The next thing daddy knew he was coming up behind him, in a fast run and daddy said that was no joke.

He even had his face covered with a mask and needless to say daddy was scared to death. He didn't even take time to go across the little footlog while crossing the creek, out of breath.

And when daddy hit the front porch steps that feller was standing in the road at the top of hill. Daddy never did find out who he was, said he meant to kill him and that's for real.

After he told us that we knew why daddy never did like Halloween. All of those scary masks brought it all back the worst he'd ever seen.

Now after such talk as this, in that old house sleep never became our friend. That house was haunted and those haints wanted us out faster than we came in.

But we never did see or hear anything after daylight. It was only when we went to bed those haints came out, when everything got quiet.

And that old house had the most room. It had a living room, kitchen, dining room and I bet there were at least five bedrooms and of course no bathroom.

Yep, we had to run outside to do our business and such. Although we'd never had a bathroom before, after dark we didn't like that much.

One night my oldest brother went out the back door to take care of  business like all the nights before and we heard a blood curdling scream as he pounced through the door.

Said he saw somebody standing out there in the back yard. He said it was some old man and he was watching him and he was breathing really hard.

My mama was the braviest woman I've ever known. She told us kids to get in the bed as she grabbed a big stick over by the fireplace and went out the door and hollered, make yourself known or you're the same as dead.

We were all huddled together crying for fear we'd lose our mama when she came back in. She told us there wasn't anybody out there, get in the bed I'm not gonna tell you again.

Come mornings we were up and at em before a cat could lick. Except when it came time to go to school, we all came down really bad sick.

Especially when daddy was gone for quite a while. We used the excuse of having the belly ache and when the bus run we were in fine fashion and style.

Until the weekend rolled around and time for daddy to come home. I'll never forget many a time I put two pair of britches on.

We'd get him off on telling them old haint tales every time. It worked like a clock bell ringing it's chime. Until just before he left again and that hickory limb hit our behind.

We lived in that old house several years before we moved back to our old place. We were living there when President Kennedy died, such an awful time for the country to face.

Since we had managed to get our first ever TV with only one channel, it was on day and night constantly.

We'd run through the house stop and take a peep and run back down them old steps, fast as we could leap. Being kids, we didn't know or understand. We just knew our President was gone and mama said he was gone to that Promised Land.

But after all was said and done and I look back on it today, we really enjoyed living in that old house more than we would say.

Because the day we moved my brother said something that was on all of our minds. Goodbye old house, even if you are haunted we had a good time.

                                                   ©  Susie Swanson, 2013
                                                    Happy Halloween.

If anyone wants a copy of my New Book, Echoes Of Time  the info is at the top of the page under the pic of my book. thanks, Susie

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Halloween

October is almost gone, the leaves have shown their true colors this year. We had a big freeze yesterday morning and it got the rest of the tender vegetation. I kinda hate to see October go since it's my favorite. 
With Halloween this week I've been thinking about my childhood and how things have changed through the years. We never had a store bought mask or costume. We created our own, and oh the garbs we came up with. There was six of us and every year it was the same. We'd start rummaging  through the closets looking for something to dress up as. Since daddy wore overalls they were real popular every year. One or the other always wore a pair. Mama's old dresses did the trick too. But when it came to covering our face that was a different story. We either used soot from the wood heater or we'd use a brown paper bag and cut holes out for eyes and forget about the We only put it over our head long enough to knock on someone's door and get our candy.. When we got back home mama made us scrub the soot off of our face until it was raw . She said you young'uns are not going to school like that in the morning. It's funny how so many kids came in the morning after with lots of evidence left on their

We had to walk every year, didn't have a way of going and back then there wasn't many people if any that hauled their kids around, except for the ones that lived in town. We lived out in the country and was only allowed to go to kin folks house and people we knew. We knew everybody so we tried to cover a lot of ground since we were on a curfew and wasn't allowed to stay out late on school nights, weekends were a little different. We had an aunt that lived some five miles away and she always told us to be sure and come to her house on Halloween. We always went but only because we didn't want to disappoint her, she only gave one marshmallow every We always knew she and our uncle could have give more, in other words she was kinda tight as my daddy used to We didn't want to let her down none..By the time we got back home we'd eaten all of our candy cause we never got much to eat. Times were bad back then and people didn't have much to get with. We never worried about walking down an old road or scared of anything but today I wouldn't let  kids on the roads for nothing with all the goings on. 

I could go on and on with this post about my childhood memories of Halloween but I don't want to bore ya'll to death so I'll close for now and wish ya'll a Happy Halloween...

If anyone would like a copy of My New Book, "Echoes Of Time" just send me an email.. swansonsusie@gmail

It was released the first of this month and I've already sold almost all of my first order with more on the way.. I'm so overwhelmed at the response I've got from it.. I've sold several on here and I thank each one of you that bought one and wish you many hours of enjoyment.. Blessings, Susie

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Home At Last

                                             Faraway from the turmoil of this world
                                             there's a little house sitting on a hillside
                                             I want to go back to that childhood home
                                             where faith, hope and love chose to abide

                                             I can see the chimney smoke rising above
                                             oh the happiness packed in that humble abode
                                             A welcome warmth from today's stress and strife
                                             where unity came together and love growed

                                             I can hear the barking of that old squirrel dog
                                             upon that little hill he's treed him a squirrel
                                             It brings a world of comfort to hear it again
                                             an escape and refuge for this weary, country girl

                                            And the rooster crowing at the break of dawn
                                            still awakens my heart with a morning song
                                            A little, sleepy-eyed girl with a smiling, freckled face
                                            still knows exactly where she'll always belong

                                            There's so much beauty to be seen in my eyes
                                            like that pretty laurel hanging by the road
                                            There's nothing more refreshing to my bare feet
                                            then the little branch where the cool water flowed

                                            On those beautiful, sunny slopes and golden hills
                                            is where I spent my growing years so carefree
                                            I want to go back to that wonderful, old place
                                            where the living was good and life seemed so easy

                                           I have never known but joy in going back home
                                           in a changing world, only memories are made to last
                                           How I long to step upon that old, creaky porch
                                           then my homesick heart will cry, home, home at last

                                           © Susie Swanson, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Jack Of All Trades

There's two old fellers in the neighborhood and you gotta love em although they're so often misunderstood.
Slim and Slick is not their given name but I'll call em that if it's all the same.
They're a jack of all trades and they can do anything. They raise hogs, calves, chickens, grow gardens, the best you ever seen, collect junk metal and haul wood. The list could go on and that's just the upswing.
Anything that comes along, these fellers can do. They never back down, they always see it through.
They've cleaned up the community and the country side too. There's no scrap metal or junk to be found and we all feel pride when we pass through.
They cut and haul wood in their spare time, deliver and unload, no better service will you find.
If you need anything done just give them a call, they'll come running even if they're so tired they have to crawl.
You might find them at the barn, bottle feeding a calf or running after a cow and it's hard not to laugh.
One old cow named Oprah thought she had em pegged one day as she run. She was gonna show em it was her way or the highway before she was done.
They put her in the pasture to dry up some, hoping for a calf when the cooler weather come.
She got out of the pasture and was on the other side of the fence. It was early morning when it all commence.
They run her all day on the other side of that fence. Their tongue was hanging out, it was a good thing they both had stopping sense.
She wore em plum out, they were tuckered, don't you know. That old cow thought that grass was greener on the other side and after it she did go.
Now old Oprah is usually a really good cow. She's produced a lot of milk, butter and buttermilk, done more than her fair share.
This time she wanted to feel wild and free and who could blame her. She should have won the Mother Of The Year Award for feeding so many calves loyally.
When they finally caught her and put her back in the stall, she was mad as a hornet and what happened next takes the cake and beats it all.
They keep an old box fan in the barn on when it's hot. She flew mad and did her business at the back of that fan and it became wind blown in every corner and spot.
I'm telling you the truth, yes-siree, that stuff blew all over the place and oh what misery.
You've heard the old sayin, the crap hit the fan. Well if you knew these fellers like I do you'd understand.
Old Slim is lanky and quite tall and Slick is shorter and built kinda small. If you ever see em you'll know em and they'll be easy to recall.
Slim was the one that discovered what she did and he hollered, come quick Slick and lookeee here and while you're at it bring me another beer.
 Slick said, what's that on your face Slim and why you got that big grin. Slim said, Will You Open Your Eyes And Look Around, Where You Been.
Apparently Slick had been tending to a calf in the back of the barn. About that time something hit him in the eye and all he could say was, I'll be darn.
Not to many people know about this little incident but word has a way of getting around and as long as they live they'll never live this one down.
It's things like this that happens all the time. These old boys are like two peas in a pod and two of a kind.
It seems if it wasn't for bad luck they'd have no luck at all. They sure can get themselves in a mess and that's their downfall.
It's even harder on em in the winter time when the cold north wind blows in. They build a big fire in the wood heater and all of the chickens, cats and dogs gather in.
I call that barn their headquarters, so many things going on everyday. Headquarters are very important to all working men when it's the place they purt, nigh stay.
It doesn't matter what season it is, they've always got work to do. You might even pass em on the road hauling feed, it keeps em hopping too.
What time they're not in the gardens sweating to beat the band. But it all pays off and harvest time is so grand.
And they can grow the prettiest and biggest gardens you've ever seen. They do all this while raising calves, hogs and everything else in between.
And they believe in sharing their bounty with the neighborhood. They ain't a bit stingy, they give more than they should.
I get my fair share every year. That kraut sure will taste good when cold weather gets here.
And those beans, squash, corn and maters are oh so fine. Nothing like em anywhere, store bought ain't worth a dime.
These fellers provide more services in one day than can be found in the phone book. If they can't do it they'll find a way. If you don't believe me then come and take a look.
They should have already won the Nobel Prize Award for the being the most generous around. I'm gonna make sure their name's in the pot for the next go around.
And every morning when they wake and their feet hit the floor, they grab a dip of Copenhagen and run out the door. Taking care of business like the day before, so much to do as they tend to each chore.
Going from one thing to another the live long day. Two old boys working hard with plenty of satisfaction and blessings as their pay.
So if you pass through my neighborhood and see it so clean, or two old fellers running after a cow and tending a garden in between, hauling wood or junk metal, they're living the good life the best you've ever seen.
And be sure and watch for em next on the evening news. They're really popular in these parts and the old cow too. She'll be the one that moos and they'll be the ones with manure on their shoes.

© Susie Swanson, 2013

This is a true story folks, I couldn't have made it up if I'd tried 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Crystal Chandeliers

                                              The crystal chandeliers light up
                                               the paintings on their wall
                                              The music carried them away
                                               forty three years ago, I recall

                                               A young woman turned eighteen
                                               living out her childhood dream
                                               Her soldier finally home from war
                                               made her feel like a beautiful queen

                                               With a marriage proposal in hand
                                                written with paper and pen
                                               Two hearts joined together as one
                                               that beautiful day of October ten

                                               The marble statuettes still stand
                                               so grand and stately in the hall
                                               Fresh as the dawn, promises made
                                               forty three years ago, I recall

                                               Old yet young as the heart will allow
                                               the music still carries them away
                                               In their hearts there's still a song
                                               for that beautiful October day

                                               Hand and hand they walk together
                                               since the day that love came to call
                                               And the new will never wear off 
                                               of the crystal chandeliers at all

                                               © Susie Swanson, 2013

The above picture is a letter that contains my marriage proposal forty three years ago. It's postmarked on September 9th, 1970. I received it two days later. If you look close you can see the postage stamp was only 6 cents then and because he sent it in an air mail envelope, postage became 10 cents. Guess who paid the other 4 cents... He had just returned from Vietnam and was use to mailing them out air mail. That became the best 4 cents I've ever had to spend. Even the penny candy from the store and me having to save my money to buy it didn't mean as much as this letter... 

We started dating on August 22nd 1970 , got married on October 10th, 1970. I became an Army wife and oh did my life change. Here we are today forty three years later, have one son and three grandchildren and one great grandson. We have been blessed beyond measure.

The letter is now old and faded, the address has now changed. I still take it out and read it every chance I get and while I'm reading it I listen to our all time favorite song Crystal Chandeliers by Charley Pride. We listened to it on a 8 track tape in the car and an old record player And today, every time I hear it, it takes me back to that special place and time, when we stood before our family, friends and God and  made a promise  to love one another forever... Forever is not here yet!!

Happy Anniversary to my loving husband. Thank you for forty three great years. I love you more each passing day and Pray that hand and hand we walk together another forty three.. Love, Susie

Thursday, October 3, 2013

She's Here

Lookeee here what came knocking at my door today.. My baby that I've nourished for so long.
Almost a year to be exact. Whewww, it takes a lot to put a book together and lay it out. This one is much more thick and got a lot more in it than my first one did. 155 Pages with 102 Poems/ Stories.  I sure hope everyone enjoys it as much as I enjoyed writing it. As ya'll know by now this old gal is down home country and don't know any other way to be. What I write comes straight from my heart, nothing fancy or frilly. 

Like several folks have told me, writing and publishing a book is like having a youngun. You nourish it and baby it until it can walk on it's on and you nourish some more. I believe this with all of my heart and I'm quite proud of it if I say so myself. 

Echoes Of Time is just that, Echoes that have called to me from the shores of time and buried in my memories. Sometimes I get carried away when it comes to writing about my past but a dear friend reminded me that when we're gone the memories will go too. I want my family to look back upon those memories and they may not be able to comprehend it all but my hope is they'll cherish them and hold them close to their heart. My main reason for writing is the enjoyment I feel. There's nothing like it in the world. I'm in my own little world and sometimes I scare my own self, like when I got something on the stove or in the oven. Almost burnt the bread the other day trying to jot something down and got carried Oh well, my husband has come to know me and he tends to go behind me alot, that is when he's not working.. Ok enough of that. Hope ya'll have a great evening and night. As for me I probably won't sleep tonight..

If ya'll want one you can email me at   I will give you the info on it, price, address, etc. Many Thanks, Susie  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Welcome Beautiful October

                                   Welcome beautiful October, come on in and sit for a spell.
                                   You and your majestic colors can stay all winter if you choose to dwell
                                   Cool, crisp mornings with plenty of sunshine,
                                   you never leave anything behind
                                   What more could one ask for with such beauty so divine

I found this picture on Facebook and had to share with ya'll. It describes our mornings lately. We've had more fog since the first of September than we've had all summer. It takes it until noon for the sun to burn it off. Fall is my favorite season and October is my favorite month .. Not to hot , not to cold.

I'm sorry I haven't been visiting your posts lately and have really missed it. I've been so busy with late summer chores around the house and getting my New Book done. Well, I can finally say it's on the way. I got my proof last week and they shipped them out today, should be here in a day or two. Feeling excited is an understatement, been almost a year now. Whewww, there's a lot of work in laying out a book. I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed writing it. A New Book is somewhat like giving birth, minus the pain.. Thank ya'll so much for your sweet words and encouragement and for reading my little vereses.

Hope ya'll are enjoying the beautiful weather . Blessings, Susie