Sunday, March 17, 2019

An Addy Butterfly

The air is filled with fluttering wings
a cascade of blue struggling on through
holding in their hearts such wonderful dreams
of so much living they'd still love to do

Though eye can not see nor heart feel their pain
only to one who listens although the answers are plight
a soul that searches for sun instead of rain
will surely make it on life's downward flight

The suffering is so real, they so often hide
only the creator knows what they endure
each little butterfly was created with pride
oh how they long for a much needed cure

Many wings fly onward trying their best
to take what life offers and hold on tight
never able to explain and never able to rest
each day they awaken ready for another fight

Take comfort in knowing each is a worthy soul
God always cradles them in his loving arms
he gives them strength and shows them to be bold
he created them in his image like blue charms

Dewey eyed and charming they face each day
though the valleys may be deep with fear and dread
they flutter their wings and take time to pray
then the light shines even more from the hills ahead

One can even light beside you like a sunbeam
in all of its beauty and glory for a little while
it may show happiness with a huge gleam
depending on the master with a hopeful smile

So when a blue, Addy butterfly flutters on by
it could be someone you cherish and love
take time to treasure it and remember why
it's a heaven sent creation from God above

© Susie Swanson, 2019

Not something you all would expect me to post on here but I wrote this as a tribute and honor to all the Addison Disease sufferers out there like me since the blue butterfly is a symbol of Addison's disease. I know this is one of those rare diseases that not even doctors know enough about to be able to treat it in so many ways.

Recently I wrote a letter and managed to get my local newspaper to publish it to bring awareness to Rare disease Day which was on February 28th. I especially wanted to bring awareness to the medical community and hope it did some good since I've experienced first hand how hard it is to get the right kind of treatment after two ER visits last Fall. If I hadn't carried in my paper work from the National Adrenal Disease Foundation and gave it to the attending physcians they wouldn't have known to give me a high dose of an emergency injection steroids and also in my IV and my organs would have shut down in a matter of minutes because my cortisol was so low. Steroids are the lifeline to an Addison patient and we live on them every day and have to learn how much and what amount it takes to keep our bodies going. 

I had never come to know of anyone else in our town or community that has it till that letter was published. Two more ladies got in touch with me and that was a God answered prayer for sure. We keep in touch and support one another now. I have come to know some on facebook and one in particular and we stay in touch that way. When I first got diagnosed she introduced me to some facebook groups and I have learned so much following these brave but awesome people and feel so blessed more each day to be able to know what's going on with my body and be able to learn so much.

This is a very hard disease to live with and hard to explain just what it can do to our bodies. It's changed my life in ways that I could never explain. But I feel so blessed that God is walking this path with me and carrying me when I need him the most. Thank you all for your patience, support, encouraging words and most of all your prayers. May God Bless you all. ~Susie~

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Funny Papers

When I was growing up I loved to roam through the neighborhood and visit the neighbors, especially the older folks. Walking by myself down an old road was safe back then. I never had any worries or fret about anything happening. It was a very different time, unlike today. Everybody walked everywhere they went. There wasn’t many vehicles on the roads and the few that we saw were people we’d known all of our life.

 There was this one older lady we called Miss Maude and I loved to visit her every chance I got. She lived by herself and loved to see me coming. She wore her hair up in a little bun in the back and always had on a little apron like both my grandma’s wore.
She always saved me the Funny Papers out of her Sunday newspapers. She subscribed to every newspaper there was and they only put the funny papers in the Sunday editions.
For the ones that don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the comic strips. We always called them funny papers.
She found out early on that I loved to read em cause when I’d visit her and we’d sit on her little porch and I’d pick up her newspapers that she’d laid down and start reading em. I loved sitting in that little porch swing, swinging back and forth, listening to her talk while she rocked in her rocking chair.
She’d tell me about how it was when she grew up and I could see the sparkle in her eyes when she got in a big way of talking. I kinda figured it out that she got lonesome and that’s one of the reasons I loved to visit. The other reason was to listen to her tell about her memories. That always intrigued me so much. I loved to listen to the older folks talk about the way it was for em in their childhood and the things that happened way back then. They lived in a very different time and saw so many things, stuff that I could only see through their eyes and relive in their heart.

It’d be close to suppertime before I’d leave for home. She’d say, don’t forget your funny papers and I’ll have you some more in a few days if you’ll come on back and see me. I’d tell her that I’d try. I’d head towards home cause mama always told me not to stay so late and be back by suppertime. I’d wear those funny papers out reading em so much.

Then one day she told me to ask my mama if I could help her do some house cleaning chores. That tickled me to death and I asked mama if it’d be alright and she said as long as I wasn’t so late getting in. I never neglected my chores at home. We all knew what needed to be done and we did it without being told.
I’d help Miss Maude put out her wash and hang it on the line. She’d wash one day out of the week and even then she only had an armful compared to what me and mama had. I knew all about washing clothes in the wringer washing machine cause I’d helped mama enough. Sometimes I did her dishes, dusting, etc. She’d give me a quarter or fifty cents for helping her. That was big money to a kid back then. It burnt holes in my pockets till I could get to the store.

 She then told me to ask my mama and daddy if one of my brothers could come and mow her yard occasionally. Mama said it’d be alright but she’d only let my oldest brother. He was the only one she trusted to run that push mower. It was the kind of mower that didn’t use gas and ye had to really push. Since her yard was small, flat and not big, it didn’t take him long to do it. I’d be doing something else in the house for Miss Maude while he was busy mowing. She’d give us a little money and we’d run to get home and show it to mama and daddy. It made us feel so big and proud that we’d earned it on our own. I’d put a little back and save it for Christmas, just waiting for the chance to go to the Dime Store in town. I knew mama and grandma tried to go just before Christmas each year. I always had in mind to at least get mama and daddy a present since they hardly ever got anything. Of course, they always said if we had food on the table and a place to lay our head we had plenty.

 That would always be in the summer. When school started in the fall we’d try to go in the evenings as much as we could and we’d sit on that little porch and listen to the crickets and katydids and Miss Maude talk about her memories. It’d be dusky dark when we left for home.

I miss those days and all of the older generation that lived around us. I loved visiting with em and listening to what they had to say. It was a goldmine of wisdom and knowledge.

Today the little house is gone, along with so many more. They’ve all been replaced by new ones. But every time I pass by I can see Miss Maude sitting in that rocking chair and me in the porch swing, swinging back and forth. I can still hear her talking and see her eyes light up when she tells how she walked to that one room school where they said a prayer each morning and the Pledge of Allegiance and how they got by during the Depression. My daddy had told some of the same but it never got old. It always brought sunshine to my heart and food for my soul.

 Back when times were simple people enjoyed life more, and oh how I miss those funny papers.

                                         © Susie Swanson 2019

Friday, March 1, 2019

Memories Of March

March can come in like a lion and go out like a lamb or vise versa. We never know what it's gonna bring. Sunny and warm one week, a blizzard the next, and it's the beginning of tornado season in my neck of the woods, but I love March and it's windy days. I guess because it usually brings so many early spring time signs. I look out and see daffodils, forsythia's, crocuses, tulips, and other early flowers in bloom and it warms my heart even on a chilly day. The wind usually blows every day of the month and sometimes late February and certainly April borrows from March. There's nothing like hanging clothes on the line in March and April. Shoot, I always start hanging them out in February when it start's borrowing from March. Nothing like fresh, laundry hung on the line in a good, stiff wind all day.

I remember back when I was a young'un mama would start as soon as the March wind came in, dragging out the quilts and all the bed linens and whatever else she could drag out. You talk about many an all day job that surely was, and every line was filled to the brim and those quilts and sheets would flap all day on those lines. The next pretty day she'd start taking down curtains, dragging out all the winter coats and anything else she found laying around. Whewww, after all of that we thought she would be done but oh no. She'd tell daddy to pull off those long handles , they were going in the wash. I can hear him now, “I ain't pullin em off to catch my death of cold till the first of May and ye ought to know that by now.” Of course he had several pairs but he acted like it was the only pair he had to save his life. Let's just say mama always won the debate.
Oh, I can't forget how she'd get us all together and we'd have to drag the mattresses outside to sun all day and the pillows were hung on the line to air out as well. But we always did this several times a year in the warmer months.

Spring cleaning came early with mama and March was her month. She always said, “waitin's what broke the wagon down and I've gotta get in that garden soon.” But what she really was hankering for was not just the vegetable gardens but the flower beds. While daddy was out looking for certain types of tater seed (and he wouldn't stop till he found them if it took a week or two) mama was buying up more flower bulbs. He'd always tell her, “I hope ye know, ye can't eat them flowers.” Oh boy, what came next wasn't to purty. Mama loved her gardens and worked hard in them just like all of us but she loved her flowers more. I do believe daddy finally figured that one out cause he kinda kept his mouth shut in later years. But in all honesty she did have a green thumb and everything she put in the ground came up. Mama did take pride in her gardens too. I know why she started her spring cleaning so early. She knew when that garden stuff came in she'd be busy in that hot kitchen canning all summer with the sweat dripping off of her brow.

The only thing I don't like about March is those stinky skunks. They always start passing through mostly in the early mornings and it's hard to stick ye head out the door. We sure did dread walking out the door to go catch the school bus when that stink was lingering. It made us feel like it was on our clothes and just knew someone would get a whiff and turn their nose up at us but if they ever did they never let on. And that's the one thing that has delayed a lot of laundry hanging for me. There's been times I would leave the laundry basket sitting full till the March wind got up enough in late morning to blow the scent out. You talk about pitching a fit when one had passed through when mama started to hang her laundry out. She called them pole cats and she always said, “ if it wasn't fer getting stunk up so bad a body ought to tie a paper poke to their tail and set it on fire.” I still laugh today when I think of her saying that and it comes to mind every time one passes through. But one good thing about the March wind, the scent doesn't last long be it March or April.

I'll never forget one March day our dog Ole Mack tangled with a skunk. He was a full blooded collie and with that long hair it was the dickens getting him cleaned up. We couldn't stand it when he came near us, poor ole feller. I never in my life seen as much water carried from the spring and boiled in an old iron pot in the back yard for his bath or I should say several baths. That was the one time I saw mama part with some of her canned tomatoes. She opened those cans and poured several of them in that old wash tub. Shoot, we never did buy anything like tomato juice from the stores. It took us a while to get him clean enough not to smell it and it worked. Ole Mack was the most gentle dog we'd ever seen and I think he quite liked it cause the scent just about got him too. After we got him cleaned up we had to start over and all of us had to take a bath as well and after that we prayed really hard we'd never have to do that again. Of course, skunks come and go and leave their mark just for show and I do believe they laugh as they spray and go.

March can surely bring in anything including those stinky skunks and if I look close enough I might see wild ducks swimming down the creek at the back of my house. And I love hearing the frogs start their croaking late in the evenings but the sweetest sound is the spring birds and their serenading.

But in spite of all the things that can happen in March I focus on the good things and good memories. All of life's pleasures and treasures awaken from their long winter nap. It awakens my heart and soul to new birth and a refreshing feeling comes over me of what's to come. And sometimes it can start as early as February when it takes a notion to borrow from March.

© Susie Swanson, 2019

Happy March Everyone