Saturday, December 27, 2014

I Must Wait

Time has not kept its promise to me
It came and went like yesterday’s wind
I once was useful as could be
Now I sit here where grasses bend

Each day the voices still pleasantly ring
Of happy days that were well spent
 That old hayloft meant everything
The animals were always so content

A place to lay their heads at night
Those pesky chickens I miss more
 Many things were never far from sight
Coming and going through that big door

I lay hold upon many enduring things
Bitter winds and rain have come my way
Children’s voices still flies with earnest wings
And many old timers kneeled down to pray

Now I too, like any old timer must lie
In wait for someone to walk in
To tell my stories and not question why
So I can draw strength from it time and again

© Susie Swanson, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Christmas Card To You


                                                      Every name is a blessing
                                                      upon this list of mine
                                                      somewhere our paths have crossed
                                                      in another place and time

                                                      Perhaps it was years ago
                                                      or only yesterday
                                                      but every person on my list
                                                      has changed my life someway

                                                     A simple hug or conversation
                                                     a friendly smile or meal
                                                     a spoken prayer to God above
                                                     has helped me grow and heal

                                                     Perhaps God went through you
                                                     and wove his magic twine
                                                     in some small or kindly deed
                                                     to touch this heart of mine

                                                     You wished the gray clouds away
                                                     and prayed for rain instead
                                                     I raised my eyes to heaven
                                                     and found a rainbow overhead

                                                    Worldly things that trouble me
                                                     just seems to disappear
                                                     knowing you are always there
                                                     across the miles or near

                                                    You restore my faith, love and hope
                                                     a bond that will never cease
                                                     so many wonderful family and friends
                                                     brings to me an inner peace

                                                    Each day my list continues to grow
                                                    and each name I hold so dear
                                                    each one has brought Christmas joy
                                                    everyday of the year

                                                   This Christmas Card I give to you
                                                   is more than just a wish
                                                   it's a thank you to God above
                                                   for putting you on my list

                                                   © Susie Swanson, 2014

                       From my home to yours May you have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Memories

Christmas is a time for joy and happiness, spending time with family, remembering Christmas past when times were so different, simple but grand.
Sadly, a lot of the old ways have been left behind and Christmas has become a commercial holiday. Not so, back in the day when all we had to wake up to was an orange and apple or one present a piece if we were lucky. We felt rich as a king in our hearts. We’d search through the woods for the perfect tree and sometimes that took days and every year it looked the same. We had to tie the top of it to the curtain rod to get the star to stay in place. It was cut from cardboard with aluminum foil wrapped around it to make it shine. Our decorations were holly berries and popcorn strings wrapped around the little droopy tree. The stockings were hung near the tree the night before, anticipating our once a year Christmas treat.
Then as I grew older I noticed something was missing, mama and daddy never did get a present. I felt so bad on Christmas morning when we all opened our stockings or the one present that Santa had managed to bring each one of us. So one year I fell on a plan to make sure daddy and mama had a present. I started saving every little penny I could save, mostly pay from an older lady that hired me to come in the summer and do some house cleaning and yard sweeping. I put them in an old quart jar in my bedroom closet. I didn’t want anyone to know about them so I kept quiet as a mouse. When Christmas Eve rolled around I kept asking mama if she needed anything from the store for her baking or cooking. I knew she always made a black walnut cake from the walnuts we’d cracked and hulled out earlier in the fall. We always saved some for our Christmas cake. She also made a homemade apple sauce cake too. The rest of Christmas dinner consisted of food we’d canned from the gardens in the summer and fresh hog meat that had been killed just before Thanksgiving or Christmas.
I prayed she would need something really bad, bad enough to send me to the store. We always walked to the little country store just over  the road from the house. I kept asking are you sure you don’t need anything from the store and finally she spoke up and said, well if you want to hoof it bad enough I need a dozen eggs for these cakes. Just what I’d been waiting to hear.
 Since our hens didn’t lay much in the winter we only had enough eggs for breakfast if we had any at all.  I ran as fast as my legs would take me towards that quart jar and grabbed those pennies and put them in my pocket. Mama gave me a list to fill and I found out she needed more than she thought. I just about run all the way to the store. When I got there I gave the list to the storekeeper to fill as usual while I looked around. I already had in mind what to buy for mama and daddy’s Christmas present. When he got done filling the list and I paid him with the money mama gave me and stuck what little change she had left back in my other pocket I reached in and brought out the handful of pennies I’d saved. I handed them to him and said will this much money buy a small box of Garrett Strong Snuff and a pack of Camel Cigarettes? He said, well let me count what you got. He counted each penny and told me I had just enough, which I surely doubt today every time I think about it.
He put the little box of snuff for mama and the cigarettes for daddy in a small, brown bag and I stashed them in my pocket so they couldn’t be seen. I felt happy as a lark walking back home. I didn't even stop but long enough to sit mama’s eggs and stuff on the table and took off towards the bedroom. I took out the little bag and looked for something to wrap the presents in. I came up with a plan to wrap each one in a piece of brown paper cut from the paper bag  that I carried mama’s groceries in. I slipped in the kitchen and found the paper bag mama had emptied and grabbed some scissors and run back into the bedroom and cut a big enough piece to wrap each present in. I felt so much joy in my heart and couldn't wait to see their eyes come morning.  I was all set, come bed time I’d slip back up after everyone went to sleep and put mama and daddy’s Christmas presents under the tree. I laid there so quiet and listened to the old clock tick away until everyone was fast asleep. I had the presents hid under the bed covers. I eased up and tip toed into the living room and laid the presents under the tree. Then I slipped back into bed and finally fell asleep. The noise woke me up come morning and I jumped straight up and ran for the living room. Everyone was there opening their presents and we all got one present. Daddy and mama must have had a little extra money to pay Santa with that year. I got a puzzle cause Santa knew I loved putting puzzles together. After all of us kids had opened our presents I crawled under the tree and got mama and daddy’s present and handed it to them. They both looked really serious and said what’s this? I told them it was something Santa left for them. They opened it up and their eyes lite up more so than the tree. Daddy said, I wonder who told him what kind we used. Mama said, I wonder the same thing but I sure can use it.
At that moment I had the most joy in my heart and worth more than diamonds and gold. Now, I know a lot of folks reading this are thinking how did she buy that snuff and cigarettes and her being just a kid. You gotta remember it was a very different time and era and everybody knew each other. We’d patronized that little store so much and the storekeeper was kin to us. I remember sometimes when we went in there and he had some bananas that were getting to ripe to sell he’d give us a bunch. Times sure have changed today and like I said the old ways have fell by the road side, left behind to fade into the past. Christmas is not about buying presents and spending big bucks just to make sure the kids are happy. It’s about love of family, sharing, thinking of the less fortunate, being satisfied with what you have, teaching your kids the true meaning of Christmas. The little things are the most important in life, not the big things and putting God in our hearts every day of the year.  I cherish those long ago Christmases, although we weren't rich in money, we had wealth a thousand ways more. I wish I could go back to that simple old time when the little things were treasures and worth more than money could buy.

                                                           © Susie Swanson, 2014

I haven't been able to take many pics this year of our Christmas decorations, what few we have out . These are some from last year as well as the story. May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Most Aged

                                    They are a timeless treasure
                                    sitting in an old rocking chair
                                    no amount of time can measure
                                    the silver, gray in their hair

                                    Much knowledge fills their soul
                                    and flows from the most wise
                                    worth more than mountains of gold
                                    shining through crystal, clear eyes

                                    With a face that's wrinkled and worn
                                     joy still finds room to abide
                                     for lost years they've never mourned
                                     and happiness still sits by their side

                                     Their thoughts are never at end
                                      to a time long since past
                                      time has become their friend
                                      with much prayer it will surely last

                                      Burdens they have carried long
                                      in life they continue to steer
                                      embracing the world with a song
                                      refusing to make room for fear

                                     They've known hardships in life
                                     and worked their hands to the bone
                                     no stranger to struggles and strife
                                     just thankful for the light of dawn

                                     Advice may be to much for some
                                     and floats like the weight of a feather
                                     it should be taken as fast as it comes
                                     and hand and hand walk together

                                     Twice a child and once a man
                                      that's how the saying goes
                                      the most aged are priceless and grand
                                      the heart of a child surely grows

                                      When the curtain of time does fall
                                      as the body grows weary and tired
                                      the empty chair will be left for all
                                      and the path to follow will be hard

                                      © Susie Swanson, 2014


Thursday, November 27, 2014

We Walk In The Midst

We walk in the midst of beautiful flowers
They will return again come another spring
Though winter’s breath has quietly stolen
There is promise of new birth in everything

We walk in the midst of deep and darkened days
Of some that has become each our very own
The sun will shine through and return again
There will be another break of dawn

We walk in the midst of century old lands
As old fields do through storms and question why
Beneath the blinding sun and bitter rain
We too, should draw new strength as the years pass by

We walk in the midst of grassy hills, so green
Where the mighty winds of heaven blow
Straight from the breath of God, cool and clean
As anything the soul of man can know

We walk in the midst of memories and reflections
From another place and more simpler time
Hung upon the walls of many forgotten days
Are pictures of our ancestors they left behind

We walk in the midst of much anger and hatred
A thousand words can not describe
The soul is barren without peace and love
Hatred should never be inscribed

We walk in the midst of tears and heartache
Where pain, grief and suffering has no name
Without wings against the wind we tremble
For what else may come or still remain

We walk in the midst of blurred eyes and weeping
Crying out with hunger and homelessness
In a land where milk and honey flows
There should always be plenty and never less

We walk in the midst of wars and rumors of wars
Fulfilling the Bible more each passing day
The mercy of God is the most powerful sword
If we but only turn to him and daily pray

We walk in the midst of patience, trying to understand
And wonder how good is material things of earth
When we are gone, all of these will still remain
Just as it is from birth to death, what is it’s worth

We walk in the midst of each upturned prayer
Though agony may be to great for tongue to say
Even the unvoiced prayer he surely answers
If not in our way, in some better way

We walk in the midst of a troubled and lost world
Dying more and more with each passing day
Waiting for someone to unlock the chains
That someone is here, the stone has been rolled away

© Susie Swanson, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings to all !!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Old Country Store

She’s seen many a season come and go 
That old country store was one of a kind
Those big welcome doors were always open
It was the place to go and buy on time

A watering hole for the community
Meeting up with the locals was a daily trend
They traded many stories and bartered too
A way of life they all came to depend

A weekly, anticipated trip to the that old store
To pick up supplies or pay on a bill
Was a pleasure that could never be denied
To everyone that came, it was certainly a big deal

 Wagons carried chickens, eggs and cream
That good homemade butter was the best of all
For a pound of coffee, sugar, a sack of flour
They were all in it for the long haul

Many rabbits came straight from the traps
In exchange for tobacco or a Christmas gift
Those big bolts of yard goods looked so good
To the women folks, their spirits did lift

Oh how those candy jars stood out the most
Sitting on the counter so large and tall
That array of penny candy sure looked tasty
Plenty of children would still recall

Or those big barrels sitting in the corner
Filled with pickles, potatoes or seed
With a little extra money in the pockets
A chance for some much needed chicken feed

That old pot bellied stove sitting in the middle
 Became a familiar sight for all to see
Always surrounded by plenty of chairs
And the famous spittoon and its popularity

And that old building acquired so many names
The local post office was in the back
Many jobs for the proprietor surely did grow
Even an undertaker, nothing did he lack

That weathered old building gave so much
A useful, old place where wonders never cease
Where skills became plentiful for pulling teeth
Or when the need arose, justice of the peace

The welcome sign was always there
From the time they entered till closing of day
 A busy, old place filled with warmth and cheer
Open Monday through Saturday, closed on Sunday

Now it sits empty and feels so all alone
Knowing things will never be like it was before
Where many came and went and the living was good
And anything could be found at the old country store

© Susie Swanson, 2014

May you all have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hog Killin Time

With Thanksgiving fast approaching I can’t help but remember my childhood memories many Thanksgivings ago. We called it Hog Killin Day. It always came at Thanksgiving cause the weather became cold enough by then to keep the meat. Sometimes if there were two hogs to kill, one was done at Thanksgiving, the other at Christmas. 
 It all began early in the morning before daylight. Daddy would build a big, roaring fire and sharpen all the knives. We’d get all the pans ready in the kitchen. The kitchen is where I stayed, didn’t want any part of the killing.

Everybody would start gathering in about daylight. Family, friends neighbors and some we didn’t even know but they claimed to be kin. They all took part helping cause everybody wanted a big mess of fresh meat. When it came hog Killin Day, everybody pitched in and when it came their turn at their house it was the same.

It was an all day event and the working was hard. Those big shoulders, hams etc. were salted down and taken to the smokehouse to cure. There was nothing wasted but the squealer when it came to a hog. Every part was saved including the feet and I’ll leave out the part about the brains. The head was used to make souse meat and there was always plenty of sausage to can. We never knew what a freezer was until I was almost grown. A big pan sit on the back burner of the stove for days on end, rendering the lard. That sure did save on the grocery bills.
 We looked forward to those big pans of tenderloin with hot biscuits come suppertime. We even had ham or tenderloin for breakfast with gravy and biscuits. Then the next day we’d have back bones and ribs, so on and so forth. And of course the Thanksgiving table was graced by hog meat. To say I was sure glad to get some chicken, is an understatement. That didn’t come to often either, just when we had a bunch of young fryers to thin out. They usually graced the Sunday dinner table when the preacher and all  the other folks gathered in. Mama would throw in a big homemade banana pudding for good measure. We cleaned the bowls, regardless of what kind of meat we had or not. In a big family you learn early on to eat what’s on the table. We eat three meals a day and there were no snacks of sweet doings as mama used to call them. Our snacks were a big piece of left over cornbread with some little green onions from the garden. Especially after we got in from school in the evenings before we done our chores. That was in the warm months of spring and summer.  By the time it came Hog Killin Day our mouths watered for some meat . I can honestly say I’ve never went to bed hungry a night in my life. If we didn’t have anything but cornbread and milk it was more than was promised. 

I know a lot of things have changed today, some for the good and some not so good but I can’t help but wonder what people would do if they had to go back to the old ways. My daddy used to say they’d starve to death for lack of knowing how to do. I long for that simple life when it didn’t take much to satisfy and what we had was worth all the money in the world. We were truly blessed and for that I’ll always be grateful.

                                         © Susie Swanson, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Special Gift

A week ago today I arrived home from my hospital stay and having my surgery to remove my Thyroid Gland and walked upon my porch and there sit a box that my mail carrier had left for us. She always brings our packages to our front door but when we're gone she leaves them in the rocking chair on the porch. But we have an agreement with our neighbors that live behind us across the creek to accept their packages as well from the regular mail delivery since the mail  carriers are not allowed to cross the creek and delivery them personally. Our Mail Carrier always leaves notes in their mailbox telling them we have their packages. The UPS and FED Ex crosses the creek and delivers them but since it's a private drive the regular mail is not allowed.
We've been doing this for years and when my husband and I saw the box we automatically thought it was one of our neighbors since we wasn't expecting anything. We were tired from a long two hour trip and I had to lay down a while and rest. All the while the package was sitting over in the floor where we had placed it when we came in the door.

We laid around just resting up till almost bedtime when my husband walked over to the box and picked it up to place it in our spare bedroom till the owner came forth to claim it. He looked at the address to see which neighbor it belonged to and noticed it had my name on it and our address. I got up off the sofa and we opened it up and this was my surprise.

It was sent to me by a very dear friend on here that has a heart of gold. the pattern is called Snowballs and I hope I'm right about it if not I hope she'll forgive me. She posted it on her blog the very day it arrived saying it was on its way to the owner. I only discovered the post today since I haven't been on here much this week. It wouldn't have done me any good if I'd seen it cause like all of her other beautiful Quilts that she makes and passes down to others she never tells who they're for. 
I'm overwhelmed with the kindness, generosity and love she has in her heart and always thinking of others and amazed at her beautiful creations and the many quilts she makes. They take my breath away every time I visit her blog. 

My heart is overflowing with gratitude and I will cherish it forever. As you can tell, it's already made itself at home on the back of my sofa where everyone that walks in my Living room can see it and be amazed at its beauty and the love that was placed in every tiny stitch that came from a quilter's soul.

Thank you so much Muddling Through Blog and your sweet, loving and kindhearted owner Elaine for my beautiful and cherished gift. May God Continue to Bless you my sweet friend just like you've blessed so many with your acts of kindness and love.  ~Susie

P.S. Tell Mr. Muddling thanks for me. I know he's bound to have known about it and played a large part in my surprise.

This one is a closer look at the snowballs. Soooo beautiful.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thank You For The Flowers

                                               A few kind words, I cherish
                                               worth more than any gold
                                               given when much needed
                                               feeds my weary soul

                                              A simple handshake or nod
                                              spreads the fragrance around
                                              lifts my daunting spirits
                                              when I'm low and quite down

                                              A much needed prayer
                                              a rose of elegance and grace
                                              really touches my heart
                                              I humbly accept and embrace

                                              Ever close beside me
                                              beautiful flowers does grow
                                              or many gardens away
                                              by some I hardly know

                                              Thank you for the flowers
                                              you give to me each day
                                              each petal is worth more

                                               Thank you for the flowers
                                               you give to me each day
                                               a blanket of warm sunshine
                                               a smile's brightest ray
                                              than words can ever say

                                              © Susie Swanson, 2014

Just a little update,

The surgery went well and I'm now home. Praise be to God.
I've still got a ways to go and having alot of discomfort but there will be  better days ahead.
Since my Thyroid is gone I'm now feeling the affects of Hypothyroidism full blast but it will take time to get my meds adjusted . Many thanks to all of you for your messages, cards, emails and gifts of friendship but most importantly your PRAYERS. They have been heard and answered. It means so much to me and I will never forget . I think of ya'll often and will be back soon as I'm able. I'm looking forward to my visits with ya'll and your great posts make my days. May God Bless, ~Susie

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Soon It Will Be Knocking

                                           Soon it will be knocking at my garden gate
                                           It fills me with grief that has no name
                                           The remaining marigolds stands so straight
                                           Their brilliant orange warms them like a flame

                                           Bathed in the clear light of an autumn sky
                                           The lovely dahlias they too, will soon go
                                           When the evening comes and the winds die
                                           Oh if only there were an aftermath glow

                                           Pretty morning glories will close for good
                                           As the ice crystals cover each tiny stem
                                           The berries are already red on the dogwood
                                           As they welcome the little squirrels in

                                           Pretty flowers that have dotted the land so bold
                                           Will bow and make a grand exit like the rose
                                           As autumn's shadows turn to winter's cold
                                           My oh my how swift this beautiful season goes

                                           Though it may seem sad when all is gone
                                           And old Jack Frost covers instead of dew
                                           So much beauty known is yet to be shown
                                           When the spring returns and all is brand new

                                                © Susie Swanson, 2014

It's knocking at our door folks. They're calling for a few snow showers this weekend and a big freeze. I sure do dread winter but looking forward to making quilts. I done my PreOp today and the surgery is a go next week, the 6th.  Many thanks to all of you for your prayers and I'll be back soon feeling like brand new, minus a Thyroid Gland. Ya'll take care and I'll be around to visit your blogs soon. God Bless, ~ Susie

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Journey

Dear Friends,

I'm usually posting a poem or story on here and for once this is not the case. I've been wanting to write this for a long time but have been putting it off. My health issues prevents me from getting on here long at a time but I feel like this is long over due. First of all I'd like to thank each one of ya for the emails, cards and sweet messages ya'll have sent me and most of your prayers.. Ya'll mean so much to me and I cherish your friendship.

As most of ya already know I've been on a long journey this year and haven't been on here much. This journey started ten months ago and still ongoing. I've been to many doctors and had many tests and it took them till the first of August to find my problem. I've had Thyroid Disease for 22 years, Hypothyroidism, (Low) and all of my numbers were coming back good every time they checked them in my blood.
Back the end of July I was at my wit's end after being shuffled back and forth to many doctors and going to the ER four times with my Blood Pressure sky high that I finally.threw a hissy fit on my Primary Care doctor and told him I wanted him to check everything and anything to do with the glands, hormones, etc. WHAM, the long awaited mystery started coming to life.
 Let me explain first that anyone with any type of Thyroid Disease has what they call Antibodies and I'd never heard of them .Yep, after 22 years one should know all about them but no doctor had been willing to check them so how was I to know. I'd already been doing alot of research on the web. I guess you could call it looking for a diagnosis.

 He checked them among other things and they came back sky high, which meant something was terribly wrong but his words were , "I don't know what it means".  I went straight to my computer and pulled up Antibodies and it told me what I needed to know. My body was attacking my Thyroid Gland and destroying it. That's when something goes wrong with the immune system like a lack of Vitamin D and they'd already found that back in April.  He'd also told me I was in Full Blown Menopause. I blew a gasket for sure when he told me that. I said, "no way, I had a complete Hysterectomy  17 years ago and went through all of that". My research told me when the Thyroid gets messed up it throws off the hormones in our body. And everything else for the matter. The Thyroid controls our whole body from our head to our toes. I'd already found that out many years ago but I never knew just how important and how much damage it can do till now. So that meant going to a Gynecoligist and starting Hormone Shots once a month.

Then I really took the bull by the horns and went out on my own.  First, I found another Primary Care Doctor that was willing to listen to me and go farther by doing an Ultrasound on my neck and what she discovered wasn't pretty. My Thyroid was swollen and full of inflammation.
 She said I had some type of Thyroiditis and she didn't know what kind but I needed to see a Specialist right away. I told her I'd already seen four and she just looked at me when I told her.
 I took it upon myself to do what I had to do. After all it was my body and I was the one living in the agony of a diseased thyroid so bad that was sending me into a tail spin day in and day out. One minute I'm Hypo (Hypothyroidism) and the next Hyper (Hyperthyroism) . burning up with heat all day long with nary a drop of sweat  or freezing to death the next. When my feet hits the floor in the morning I never know what to expect. Everyday is a challenge and never ending battle. But there is light at the end of the tunnel Finally.

Who says ya can't get into a Specialist without a referral. I did and I found one that told me exactly what I had been  needing to hear and long over due. He said I had Hashimoto's Disease a type of Thyroditis that is the worst kind and the thyroid gland was burning itself out in my neck and had to come out .

The surgery has been set for November 6th for a Thyroidectomy (complete removal of the thyroid gland) .
I know my journey is not over but finally I can see the light and it's gonna take time for them to get me balanced out on my Thyroid Meds afterwards but Praise Be To God I'm on the right track.

I'm sorry to make this post so long and drawn out but ya'll deserve to know everything and this is just the icing on the cake. Ya'll wouldn't believe me if I told ya all of it cause I can't believe it myself. My goal now is to feel better again and get back to doing the things I love to do. I've missed so much but God has plans for me and he's been there every step of the way. There's been lots of days he carried me and he's not gonna drop me now. We serve an awesome God and his mercy is everlasting. I know in my heart there's lots of ya that are fighting your own battles and I want ya to know I'm sending up prayers for ya everyday. Just remember this, where there's a will, there's a way. My mama used to say this all the time and how true it is.

I'll close for now by saying many thanks to all of ya for your prayers. They have been heard and answered. I will be back as soon as I'm able and who knows between now and then I may be putting up more posts but if ya'll don't see me for a while at least you'll know I've not forsaken ya.

 God Bless, ~ Susie

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Word Backards

The word backwards only has one definition in the dictionary but it can mean lots of things. It also can be spelled anyway ya like and mean whatever ya want it too.
Example, “she fell backwards when she busted her hind end” or “she’s backwards when it comes to meeting people”. But the one I grew up hearing all the time and sayin was spelled b-a-c-k-a-r-d-s .

The older generation used the word backards all the time. My mama used to say, “uns younguns act plum backards sometimes”, or she’d say, “ya’ll are so backards it’s a wonder ya don’t crawl under the bed when someone comes to the door”. And the one I always liked the most, ‘ uns younguns have drove me so crazy everything I try to do is backards”. Mama sure knew how to use the word backards and used it quite often.

I’ll never forget when I was a young sprout and we got our first phone. It was an ole wall phone and none of us had any experience talkin on one. The first time it rung I ran and answered it backards. I tried to talk into the ear piece.  I kept sayin hello, hello and no one answered. One of my know it all brothers said, “turn it around ya got it plum backards”. I asked him how he got so smart all of a sudden.

Even when I got old enough to go out with boys I was backards as they come. I tried to pay my own way into the movies one time. Ole backards me didn’t know ya suppose to let the gentleman pay ya way. I felt like crawlin under a rock and stayin there.

I’ve come a long ways from being backards since I found out I had a mouth. Sometimes what I say may come out backards. That’s why I’ve told my family many times over the years to take me at what I mean, not what I say. I think the most of em have me figured out by now.

My daddy used to say I’d talk to the president if I ever run up with him and he wasn’t any different, the pot callin the kettle black. I can just hear daddy now, “being backards ain’t gonna get ya nowhere in life”.
There was nothing backards about daddy and everyone he ever came in contact with can attest to that.

But I do recall one incident of him being backards. He was plantin okra one spring and run out of seed before he got to the end of the row. He stuck a little stick in the ground where he left off at and when he came back to the row with more seed he started plantin it backards. He’d forgot which end of the row he started first. Mama told him, you’re plantin it backards and he wouldn’t listen. When that okra came up he had the prettiest and thickest half row of okra ya ever seen. Of course, he had to get down on his knees and crawl through the middle backards to thin it some.

I can honestly say I still feel backards when it comes to getting my picture taken. I’m not ashamed of what I look like but I fell kinda backards admiting it and I do look plum backards in most of em. I've either got my mouth wide open or my hair looks like it hasn’t been combed since a week from Sunday.

I’m my own worse critic about my clothes too, and if they don’t fit to a Tee I feel backards out in public.

So I guess I’ll have to admit that being backards is a hard nut to crack. It rears its ugly head when ya least expect it. But one thing I’ve learned, ya can go around backards all ya life and jump through hoops backards and it doesn’t really matter to anyone but you. There’s a lot more backards people in the world than we know. I can’t count how many times I’ve done stuff  backards or said the word backards instead of backwards.  Yep, that’s me, just ole backards.

                                                         © Susie Swanson, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Seasons Of Our Love

                                                       He came to me in the summer
                                                       when meadows were lush and green
                                                       my heart melted in his hands
                                                       a young woman, turned eighteen

                                                       Our love shined like the stars
                                                       under a clear, August sky
                                                       held captive by its presence
                                                       so beautiful, we couldn't deny

                                                       We walked together in September
                                                       when wild Asters were in bloom
                                                       a perfect show of Golden Rod
                                                       for an October bride and groom

                                                       Two hearts joined as one
                                                       I now carried his name
                                                       as October leaves were falling
                                                       before the first frost came

                                                       Through the cold, winter season
                                                       with wings against the wind
                                                       the radiance of love's embers
                                                       warmed our hearts once again

                                                       In the spring time of our love
                                                       the dawn washed it with crystal dew
                                                       it blossomed in rare form
                                                       like the flowers, it grew and grew

                                                       God surely did design it all
                                                       with his love, and us in mind
                                                       the seasons of our love
                                                       will continue to forever shine

                                                       © Susie Swanson, 2014

It doesn't seem like forty four years when a young woman and her soldier stood before God, family and friends and pledged vows that would last a lifetime. Time has passed and brought a few gray hairs and wrinkles but the love we both share grows stronger with each passing day.
Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband. I love you with all my heart.  Thank You so much for my beautiful Rose and for your enduring love. ~ Susie             10-10-70----10-10-2014


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Old Timey Meetins

I don’t reckon I’ve ever been in any better church meetings than when I was a young girl and we went to those spirit filled revivals and singings. The whole church house would rock from the preaching, shouting and singing. They were called meetins back then and everybody for miles around packed in those little churches and it was standing room only if one was lucky. A lot of the time most folks would just stand outside and listen.

I’ll never forget the night the Lord spoke to my heart. It was during one of those old, timey meetins that I hit that altar faster than a cat could lick. I was 13 years old and remember it as if it was yesterday. I got baptized in a little swimming hole called the Tadpole Hole.  In that moment in time my life surely changed and it gets sweeter by the day.

We had to walk to get to most of em but that didn’t sway anyone from going. Very few people owned a vehicle and there wasn’t many on the roads. 
I started out walking with my grandma when I was very young. There wasn’t any roads that were to long or wide for her to hoof it on. She was a shoutin woman for sure. She’d shout the hills out come Decoration Day and Dinner on the ground, and when we’d get in one of them kind of meetins she never stopped from the time she walked through the door, never knew when to hush. Mama and daddy went when they could but it was hard on em with a whole gang of kids to drag along.

After my grandma passed away things changed. More folks got a vehicle and were able to haul their families to church. My daddy loved a good old, timey spiritual singing better than anything. When he found out where one was gonna be, he’d always ask me if I wanted to go with him. Needless to say, me and daddy went to a lot of singings together.
He’d put on his Sunday go to meetin clothes which always consisted of his best pair of overalls, best shirt and his cap of course and his polished and shiny slippers.

 Daddy loved to run his mouth outside the church and knew everybody there and they knew him but when he entered the door and pulled his cap off he became a different man. I enjoyed those singings but I enjoyed watching daddy’s reactions too. He’d get in such a way and so caught up in that spiritual singing that it touched my heart so much and oh what joy just to see that smile come upon his face and watch him shake his leg , pat his foot or take his old cap and slap it against his legs. He really enjoyed it so much and had his own way of praising the Lord.

We’d go far and near in that old truck of his, didn’t matter what church or affiliation. He didn’t care how big the crowd was or how small, he made himself at home.
My grandma had her way and daddy had his way but I sure did enjoy going to those old timey, meetins and good, spiritual singings with daddy.

A lot of things have changed over the years but there’s still plenty of singings around and every time I go to one I think of daddy and can just see him there with that big smile, pattin his foot and slapping his cap against his legs. I know he’s there in spirit and enjoying it as much as me. I can only imagine the many singings he’s enjoying in heaven each day and mama’s right there beside him and they’ve both got a big smile on their face. I’ll see you both real soon, save a place for me in the front right beside both of you

                                       © Susie Swanson

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Not A Care In The World

Every year when fall starts comin in with that cool nip in the air and the skies are crystal, clear and blue as far as the eye can see, it takes me back to some good memories of those long ago falls, when we didn’t have a care in the world.
Having to hit the ole school bus after tromping through the thickets all summer wasn’t somethin we looked forward to but after we got back into the groove of things we found it wasn’t so bad after all, till we got the yellow bus fever. We found out the hard way after cryin wolf a few times, it doesn’t work.
Mama used to say she wished school went the whole year round. But that was because we worried the daylights out of her.
I asked her one time what worrying the daylights out of her meant and she told me it meant driving her crazy as a bess bug and since we were always into one thing after the other, it was no wonders she had so many gray hairs in her head. I never did ask her what a bess bug was.

They had some funny, ole sayin’s back then but we grew up listening to em so much we took em at what they meant, not what they said.

Every year when the remnants of the garden were gone and mama had canned everything she could including the leftovers from which she made the chow chow, ( man was that stuff good with a big pot of pinto beans )  the whole family pitched in and took up all the taters and carried em to the tater hole. Daddy and the boys would get busy clearing off the patches before cold weather set in. They’d be nice and clean come spring when garden plantin time came in.

They’d pile all the corn stalks, bean vines, etc. in a big pile in the middle of the patch. Sometimes they’d have to make two or three piles. Us younguns could hardly wait till daddy decided to burn em. That’d usually come on a nice calm night or late evening when the wind was still. He always said it was better to wait till after a good rain and the ground was kinda damp. He worried about catching the woods on fire a lot. He’d only burn one brush pile at a time and let the others go till later on.
If we were lucky we’d manage to save a little money and have some marshmallows to roast. We sure did look forward to playin in that fire and roastin marshmallows.
Mama would scold us by sayin, “every one of ya is gonna wet the bed tonight, playin in that fire.” I don’t remember any of us ever wetting the bed but it sure got me to thinking sometimes. Just another ole sayin to get us out of the fire .
We loved to poke at it with sticks and throw a little kindling on it as we called it. The longer that fire burned and the higher the flames, the more we liked it.
It’d smolder all night even after daddy got it burnt down enough to risk leavin it till morning.
Before we had to leave to catch the school bus come morning we’d run back out to the smoldering fire, grab a stick and poke some more till mama’d put us out of it and tell us to get out the road before we missed the bus. She said, “uns are gonna ruin your clothes and they’ll smell like smoke all day long.” We were used to that since we had wood heat in the winter we smelled of smoke anyways, didn’t bother us none.

All the brush piles would be burnt by frost and we had to figger out other ways to have fun. We never did have to look far. We made up our own fun as we went along.

We always had to walk out to the main road a purty good ways to catch the school bus. We’d dare one another to stick their tongue to the mailbox on a frosty morning. It’d freeze our tongue to it and it was hard to get lose without pullin the skin off. One morning my youngest brother stuck his to it just about the time the bus came and he tried to get it lose and finally had to jerk it off. When we all got on the bus I looked at him and he was close to tears but wouldn’t let on. I knew he was hurtin somethin fierce.
After that happened and mama and daddy found out about it they put a stop to it in a big way, or so they thought.

When the weather came in even more colder and daddy was home and not off workin he’d walk out with us to the road and build us a fire so we could get warm. He’d tote a little kindling out and just enough wood to get it going good so we could warm our hands and when the bus run he’d be the one to put it out before he went back to the house.
My oldest brother kept on till he talked him into letting him build it and it’d save daddy walkin out with us. Daddy didn’t take much to that idea at first but he finally gave in. I’m sure he came along behind us and checked on it after we caught the bus.

My brother was always good at building fires in the wood heater and cook stove and he could build a nice little fire, if I say so myself. The only problem was, when the bus came one or two of the other boys like to kick it and send that fire sailin.
After a couple times of doing this, it all came to a kietis and we had to do without a fire. It’s a thousand wonders it hadn’t caught the woods on fire or worse.

When the first snow flakes started fallin we jumped fer joy. We loved the big snows that came in knee deep. We’d get outta school quite a while. One time I remember schools shuttin down fer two weeks. It was all we could do to plow through it to get to the barn to feed the cow or to milk, but that didn’t stop us.
All we had to put on our hands was an ole pair of worn out socks. We were in one door and out the other. We’d throw snowballs at one another, make snowmen and slide down the hill on anything we could find. Sometimes it’d be an ole piece of cardboard or if we were lucky an ole car hood. It’s a wonders we didn’t all get killed with all the chances we took.
We’d run inside long enough to warm up and eat a bite and back out we’d go. We’d eat enough snow cream to get the sore throat but as fer playin outside in the cold it never hurt us none. We were use to playin outside come spring, summer, fall or winter.

 Some of the stuff we got into and done may not seem like much fun to some but we were just a bunch of younguns having the best of times and enjoying the simple pleasures in life and puttin more and more gray hairs on our mama’s head.

There was always plenty to do and we never had a care in the world.

                                 © Susie Swanson, 2014

                               In Memory of my sweet Daddy and Mama