Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Old House Where No One Lives

There’s an old house that sits down the road from me
The trees are more tall and the flowers have grown even more
With it’s weathered boards, echoes and each sweet memory
I walk past it often and still think of happy days like before

When we sit on that old porch swing and drank iced tea
Listening to her stories became abundant food for my soul
Or watching her weave on her loom will last an eternity
An experience by far worth more than any money or gold

Those beautiful roses she loved are still booming each year
The mornings still finds them covered in glistening dew
Remembering is easy when a legacy is left so revere
I stop, look and listen every time I walk through

I loved raking her leaves and walking on her foot bridge
Or sitting by the fireplace on a cold winter’s evening
She and the old house sure did share, such a privilege
On any given day the warmth was always stirring

So many years of growing, I watched her hair turn white
Her hands grew tired and her voice became low
Soon the house would be empty and dark as the night
 What a beautiful old place filled with memories to hold

When I think of so much joy, the old house draws me in
I walk by it often and cherish the love that it gives
Her soft voice still whispers, welcome my little friend
At the old house where no one lives

© Susie Swanson, 2014

I wrote this one in Memory of my sweet and dear neighbor. She lived to be in her 90's and left such a hole in our hearts. She was a wonderful soul to all and everyone loved her.She taught Weaving classes for many years out of her home and at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Her Looms are still on display today at our Historic Museum ... Her mother was a well known Midwife in our area. She delivered my mother among so many others... She taught school for many years at the very same school my dad went to. The building is the pic on my new book Echoes Of Time.
 She's been gone quite a few years but her house (the pic above) stills sits within walking distance of my house. It's such a Landmark in the community and surrounding areas. I have passed by so many times over the years and it always warms my heart to no end. So many memories left behind, it feels like she's still there either sitting on the porch or waiting to open the door to a little, freckled face girl that visited her so often and even her son after she grew up... He has his own memories today, especially raking her leaves every Fall.   I'm sure there are many more that stepped upon that little porch and sit in that little swing .. She left a lasting impression on us all, especially the children that grew up with their sweet memories of a very wise woman that taught them so much.  God Bless her for leaving such a legacy behind. We all love and miss you so much Miss Wilma. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Twenty Five Long Years

                                                      She sat so all alone
                                                      on her porch upon a hill
                                                      the rocking started at dawn
                                                      in the early morning chill

                                                      Each day became the same
                                                      as her yesterdays did grow
                                                      her tears fell like rain
                                                      her hair white as snow

                                                      So much time had passed
                                                      since the day he went away
                                                      but wars continue to last
                                                      and mothers continue to pray

                                                      Separted by an ocean
                                                      each day she longed even more
                                                      to see her smiling son
                                                      walk through her front door

                                                      Each night when she went to bed
                                                      she left a candle bright
                                                      a flame in the window red
                                                      to guide him home at night

                                                      But no one did appear
                                                      upon her doorsteps there
                                                      she laid her worries and fear
                                                      upon God's shoulders in prayer

                                                      Today the rocking chair is empty
                                                       no candle can be found
                                                       just the wind blowing peacefully
                                                       with leaves covering the ground

                                                      The son she so yearned for
                                                       she's now crying joyful tears
                                                       he'd been waiting on another shore
                                                       for twenty five long years

                                                       © Susie Swanson, 2014

This is a repost from a couple of years ago. Most of you have probably read it . I'm still not feeling up to par these days and haven't been around as much as I'd like but hopefully soon. I'm waiting for some test results to come back now. It's always a hurry up and wait game with the doctors. They're checking my Adrenal Glands along with all of the others. Praying for some answers soon. I appreciate ya'll being so patient and understanding and I want to thank you for your prayers. I have surely felt them . I hope ya'll had a nice Memorial Day and God Bless each one of you. Susie

Friday, May 23, 2014

Heroes Among Us

There are signs of freedom
Clear across this land
The battlefield scars are many
A fighting soldier’s brand

They wear the armor proud
So honored and glad
To serve this great country
They are patriots with bravery clad

The stones a constant reminder
Of brothers who are gone
When the bloodshed was over
They were left to carry on

Some have marched into battle
So earnestly and young
Many wars there have been
Much fighting they have done

They soon became a man 
A fighting soldier’s creed
To defend this great land
They all took the lead

Freedom sails on wings
They paid the ultimate price
We should never forget
Their courage and sacrifice

Let the bells of freedom ring
For the red, white and blue
There are heroes among us
Let’s wave old glory too

©  Susie Swanson, 2014

Happy Memorial Day everyone. May we wave it proudly and always remember their great sacrifices.

Monday, May 19, 2014

My Heart's Already Home


                                                      I can see it in the distance
                                                      sitting so humble there
                                                      an old childhood home
                                                      with springtime in the air

                                                      Children are laughing and playing
                                                      over the hills they roam
                                                      enjoying those simple pleasures
                                                      the best they've ever known

                                                      Oh it must be laundry day
                                                      the clotheslines are hanging full
                                                      quilts are blowing in the wind
                                                      there's sure to be an armful

                                                      The gardens have been plowed
                                                       there's potatoes in every row
                                                       soon everyone will gather
                                                       and each will have a hoe

                                                       The bounty will be plentiful
                                                        like that little, green onion bed
                                                        my goodness those onions are good
                                                        with a big piece of cornbread

                                                        Those chickens sure are happy
                                                        I bet there's nests everywhere
                                                        there'll be so many little ones
                                                        the hens will flog for sure

                                                        That old barn looks inviting
                                                         in that hayloft I'd love to play
                                                         while the cow's in the pasture
                                                         this pretty springtime day

                                                         I can see those old grapevines
                                                         they're still hanging over the creek
                                                         it'll soon be the first of May
                                                         time to go barefoot at the retreat

                                                         Maybe it'll help with the chiggers
                                                         come blackberry picking time
                                                         of course there'll always be plenty
                                                         and scratching if so inclined

                                                         It'll soon be time for supper
                                                         I can smell it in the air
                                                         cooked on that old wood stove
                                                         the best eating anywhere

                                                         There's so many things to enjoy
                                                         I could never get my fill
                                                         my heart's already home
                                                         like that old, rusted wagon wheel

                                                         The cherry trees are blooming
                                                         dogwoods are white as snow
                                                         oh what a blessing
                                                         to go back where I did grow

                                                          © Susie Swanson, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I've written a lot about the older folks over the years because there’s so may things to write about. How they lived their lives, and the things they seen. It’s priceless and pure gold to my heart. I've always loved to listen to their stories and watch their eyes light up when they’re talking. They take me along with them and put me in a place that I long to be . I've traveled to a lot of places and seen a lot of things through their eyes and to this day I can still see it all in my mind.

 And to think how things have changed so much and come such a long ways, they wouldn't even recognize it today. I hardly recognize it myself. All the modern day technology and gadgets, they wouldn't know what to do with em. Some got to sample a few and others never had the opportunity.
I can just see the look on their faces to see so many things we take for granted everyday like an automatic washing machine or an electric stove, maybe something small like an electric coffee pot. A far cry from an old wringer washing machine or rub board. Instead of building a fire in the old cook stove and trying to cook, all they’d have to do is turn a knob on an electric cook stove.
My grandma on my mama’s side had one for a long time before she passed away. Some of her kids bought it fer her. It sit in the corner of the kitchen and I never knew of her ever turning it on let alone cook on it. She used her old woodstove come winter or summer. It didn't matter how hot it got she’d build up a fire in that old woodstove and start cooking or canning. The sweat would drip off of her nose she’d be so hot and she’d wipe it with her apron tail.

 I remember my mama getting up in the mornings and pouring water  in an old coffee pot that sit on the back of the stove and adding coffee straight to the pot. Most folks didn't even have or know what an electric percolater was. They all had the kind ya sit on the stove. They’d take the guts out of it and just boil the coffee, and keep on boiling. My mama and daddy loved their coffee so black and strong it’d float a fifty cent piece on top. I guess that’s why I’m not a coffee drinker today.  They still used the old coffee pots without the guts in em as long as they lived. In later years mama got an automatic drip coffee maker and she only used it when company came or around the holidays when everybody gathered in. She said it didn't even taste like coffee and it was to weak.

My mama got a food processor one Christmas. Everyone told her that it’d be sooo much faster to chop her cabbage when it came time to make her sour kraut. Yeah right, she used it one time and threw it back in the cabinet. She said all that thing is fit fer is to make a mess all over the kitchen. She went back to using her very sharp cream cans to chop with.

I can just see my other little grandma grabbing that little pocketbook and slinging it on her arm and walking these paved roads with so many cars flying past her, not being able to have free rein of the roads and not being able to smell the flowers or pick a few along the way. I can just hear her now, “I’ll Be Rotten Take, Ya Can’t Get Out On The Roads Anymore Or Somebody’ll Try To Kill Ya., What‘s The World Comin To.”
I’ll be rotten take was her by words, as the older folks called it. I hate to think what kind of spell she’d have right there on the side of the road when one flew passed her. She’d probably pick up rocks and throw at em and stomp her feet.

There were only a few vehicles that passed through back then and we knew every person that passed by. Daddy would hitch hike to town but he never walked far before someone he knew picked him up.
Someone else would bring him home and set him out at the door.
Today it’d take him all day to walk there and back. All the ones he knew is dead and gone and everybody’s afraid to pick up a hitchhiker and vis versa. As my daddy would say, “They Just As Soon To Knock Ya In The Head As Look At Ya.”

 We never had a TV till I was half grown and the first one we got was a black and white. We wasn't allowed to turn it on till dark thirty came. On Saturday night we got to watch Hee Haw. The whole family gathered around the TV. We loved to watch Gun Smoke and Bonanza on Sunday night. That’d be after mama watched her Lawrence Welk show. Gosh, we hated that show. I can still hear it now, “And A One, And A Two”. We’d go outside and play, all the time counting down the minutes till it was over. Then we’d all try to get through the door at the same time and there’d sit daddy with his legs crossed watching it too.
Every Thursday night we all had to watch The Waltons. They kinda reminded us of ourselves. The only thing missing was all of the goodnights said at bedtime. We fell asleep the minute we said our prayers and hit the pillow.
Of course that all happened after our little grandma passed away. All she ever knew was an old radio and listening to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night. She’d probably kick her foot through a TV today with all the filth as mama called it.

And back when we were younguns we could hear a plane go over and we’d run outside and watch it go clear out of sight and marvel at the white tails it left behind. We didn't miss anything that went on outside. We loved to play marbles, jump rope, jacks, or in the woods where we built many a playhouse.
And the kids today have got me plum bum fuzzled with so many electronics to play with. They got I Pads, computers, smart phones, etc. They never see the outside. We never seen inside the house till it came suppertime. We’d all cram around the big eatin table daddy made, fighting over the back bench and mama always had to break it up. But when it came time to eat we were quiet as a mouse. We knew to watch our manners at the table and keep our mouths shut. We eat three square meals a day and there was no junk food on hand. Our junk food was a big piece of leftover cornbread and a little green onion out of the garden, especially for an after school snack.

I can just see that table spread with all of those garden fresh veggies topped off with a big glass of cold, sweet milk or buttermilk that we’d kept in the spring. We even placed our watermelons that we grew in the spring till time to eat em.
We didn't have a frigerator till I was half grown. Shucks we didn't have electricity till I was 12 years old. You talk about being in hog heaven, we were when we got the first frigerator. It was so small it wouldn't hold much but we sure did stand with the door open. Mama jumped onto us all the time. She’d say, “Shut That Frigerator Door And Get Outside Before I Get My Limb. Uns Can’t Be Hungry, Ya Just Eat A Bushel”. We were mesmerized by it.
It even came with ice trays in the top. They used to sell koolaid in big packs that already had the sugar in em. We’d mix that koolaid up and pour it in those ice trays and the trick was to let it freeze. That was a sure, fine treat on a hot day. Don't knock it till ya tried it. It’s no wonders mama jumped our humps fer standing with the door open. We’d check every time we passed through the kitchen.

Now we've not only got big frigerators with ice makers but we got freezers to put our food in. We managed to get a small deep freezer later on in life but mama still canned and put everything she could in jars. She still canned the sausage that we’d grind up from the fresh hog meat. She said it just tasted better out of a can. One day daddy asked her, “How Do You Know How It Tastes Out Of The Freezer, Ya Ain't Never Tried It”. That didn't go over to well and I’ll leave it at that.

There’s been a lot of changes over the years. Some fer the better and some fer the worse but one thing’s fer certain, if the older folks were still here a lot of things would stay the same and they’d see to that. If it works don’t fix it, that was their motto. And I can still hear it today, these modern day gadgets and changes are gonna be the death of us yet.

                                                      © Susie Swanson, 2014

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Grandma's Apron

The principle use of grandma’s apron
Was mostly to protect her dress underneath
Since she only had a few flour sack dresses
They had to do and were scarce as hen’s teeth 

Many a time it served as a quick potholder
Grabbing those cathead biscuits and hot pans
That old apron was used for everything
Including drying off her wrinkled and useful hands

It carried many apples from the apple trees
It was wonderful for drying children’s tears
An ideal hiding place for a kid when company came
On occasion it was used for cleaning dirty ears

So much kindling was carried with that apron
 Over a woodstove, it wiped many a perspiring brow
When supper was ready she’d stand on the porch
Fanning her apron till the men laid down their plow

Awe, so many eggs it brought from the hen’s nests
And apples that fell from the trees in the fall
When unexpected company was coming up the road
In five seconds flat, there was no dust at all

It carried in many vegetables from the garden
Carried out the bean strings and pea hulls too
She used it to sit her hot pies on the window sill
The uses continued to mount, oh how they grew

There will never be an apron quite as handy
As the one left hanging behind the kitchen door
And grandma’s voice still lingers so fresh
Here’s ya a few pennies from my snuff pocket once more

© Susie Swanson, 2014

Hope ya'll don't think I've forgot you. I sure have missed visiting your posts but maybe soon I'll be back to stay. I went to a Gland Specialist today and she's checking all of my glands out. I'll not go into specifics but I'll say this, I sure do dread trying to fill each of those big gallon jugs on three separate occasions in the bathroom. LOL..
I'll try and visit ya'll soon as possible and Please don't give up on me. Many thanks to all for the emails, Prayers, comments and sweet words of encouragement. May God Bless, Susie