Saturday, April 23, 2016

Is It Time Yet?

Is it time yet mama, can I go barefoot? That was the number one question come spring. We’d see the dogwoods in bloom or the redbud trees and always commence to pull our shoes off. The older people always said wait till the first of May or you’ll catch ye death of cold. I know for a fact my daddy never pulled his long johns off till the first of May. He still wore his long sleeve shirts till mama made him change to short sleeves. He always said he was afraid he’d take cold. It didn’t matter if it got ninety degrees in the shade and in his older years he had such bad circulation that we might see him put his overcoat on in the middle of the summer.

As for going barefoot, when the shoes came off they stayed off all summer long till school started. When we hit the door in the evening, off came the shoes. We’d toughened our feet so and stumped our toes off so bad it was hard to put on a pair of shoes and wear em all day. We walked the paved road so much going to the store or getting milk from the neighbors that we stumped our toes till there was nothing left but a stub.

It wasn’t that we didn’t appreciate a new pair of shoes when school started we just couldn’t stand wearing em and it hurt our stumped toes and calloused feet. We knew we had to make them shoes last as long as possible cause there was no money to run back and forth to the store buying a new pair. The boys were more rough on their shoes than me and my one and only sister which happened to be a lot younger than me was the biggest tomboy to ever come along. She wore out as many pairs as the boys and had her head stuck in something all the time.

We run through the thickets and brairs till our feet were tough as a pine knot. Those mud holes just about did us in. We’d bust every one of those suckers dry and that toe itch was a killer. Mama would say, “don’t complain to me, ye know what did it.” That never stopped us none cause those mud holes were hard to resist.

I never see or hear of a young’un anymore going barefoot and it’s a shame. I even admit in my older years my feet are so tender I can’t stand to walk on the ground to save my life. I walk around barefoot in the house all day long but I gotta have an old pair of flip flops on when I go outside.

I sure do miss those days of going barefoot even if we wore our feet out and the joys of running through those big, grassy fields will last a life time.  And every spring I still hear those words, is it time yet mama, can I pull my shoes off ?

                                            © Susie Swanson, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

Plenty More Left To Tell

Seek a cool, green hilltop close to the sky
Where the refreshing winds of heaven blow
And the birds spread their wings as they pass by
Seeking some destination that they only know

Then close your eyes and listen…… You will hear
Calling, calling out your name
Old voices that you once knew so dear
Calling you back to where they laid claim

Upon the mighty land they loved so well
Across this beautiful Blue Ridge they called home
There’s so many stories they are waiting to tell
Left behind for all of us, to share and carry on

Winds of time sweep many golden memories
Paths of ancestors become streets of gold
Like the tall, tall mountains born from the trees
These are the things to cherish and lay hold

They tell their stories of hard work and sacrifice
With plenty of satisfaction, joy and pride
Knowing those big fields of corn was suffice
Putting bread on the table, knowing how to provide

Riding a wagon on an old gutted out road
If we look closely the roads are still there
Those mules worked hard and pulled many a load
Can’t ye hear the Gee’s and Haw’s still in the air

And when the noon time sun was mighty hot
They snaked out wood for the winter’s cold
Always thinking ahead and on many a trot
A way of life that should never become old

The gardens were a plenty and always bountiful
Leaving a harvest of knowledge behind
Going by the signs is a priceless jewel, so beautiful
For planting and canning from a mastermind

When the fog lays stretched across the horizon
Remember a father’s feet hit the ground at dawn
His work never done, even at setting of sun
Leaving his footsteps and pathways to travel upon

 A mother’s calloused hands scrubbing the way she knew
Washing clothes on an old rub board many a day
 Toil and labor for her family only grew and grew
  Love and dedication became her reward in every way

And they set an example of people coming together
On hog butchering days everybody was akin
Neighbors helping neighbors through all kinds of weather
When sickness hit, help was just around the bend

 There’s nothing as spiritual than an old timey meeting
Many a spirit-fed soul is now walking through eternity
 Can’t you still hear those old church bells ringing
Music to our ears, food for our soul through all adversity

 And when we drift far away and travel many miles
Let’s not forget where we came from, our ancestral plan
Our great heritage will surely bring tears and smiles
If we but only go back to where it all began

Seek a cool, green hilltop close to God’s creation
Climb on up and let’s sit a long spell
Mountain hospitality needs no invitation
Believe me, there’s plenty more stories left to tell

© Susie Swanson, 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Older Mothers

They draw me to them
these women of old
A rare polished gem
more precious than gold

Wisdom from the wise
through the years have grown
So much certainty in their eyes
long-suffering they have known

They have prayed long
and surely learned how to pray
For everything that’s wrong
in each and every way

They are always there
through darkness of night
With each humble prayer
until the first morning light

With a patient heart
down through the years
To many burdens from the start
they’ve shed to many tears

They’ve conquered many things
with such beauty and grace
Captured what life brings
like the beauty of white lace

Such a gentle soul
and life’s most loving friend
Caring they surely do hold
on them you can depend

Many have been their days
through long countless time
They walk with God’s praise
in heaven they will shine

When their life is at end
and they’ve drawn their last breath
An angel God will send
to walk with them in death

© Susie Swanson, 2016

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Conversations In the 1950"s

'I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going
the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a
week's groceries for $20.00.'

'Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It
won't be long before $2 ,000.00 will only buy a used one.'

'If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going
to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous.

'Did you hear the post office is thinking about
charging a dime just to mail a letter?'

'If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will
be able to hire outside help at the store.'

'When I first started driving, who would have thought
gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be
better off leaving the car in the garage.'

'Kids today are impossible. Those duck tail hair
cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you
know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls.'

'I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any
more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying
DAMN in GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new
movie has either HELL of DAMN in it.'

'I read the other day where some scientist thinks
it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the
century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts
preparing for it down in Texas .'

'Did you see where some baseball player just signed a
contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It
wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making
more than the President.'

'I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen
appliances would be electric. They are even making electric
typewriters now.'

'It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I
see where a few married women are
having to work to make ends meet.'

'It won't be long before young couples are going
to have to hire someone to watch their
kids so they can both work.'

'Marriage doesn't mean a thing any more, those
Hollywood stars seem to be getting divorced
at the drop of a hat.'

'I'm afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open
the door to a whole lot of foreign business.'

'Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when
the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes
wonder if we are electing the best people to congress.'

'The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice
weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.'

'There is no sense going to town anymore
for a weekend, it costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel.'

'No one can afford to be sick anymore, at $35.00 a
day in the hospital it's too rich for my blood.'

'If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut,
forget it.'

Author Unknown