I Want to Remember


Today is my birthday. I tried to think of all the birthdays I remembered and I could come up with only a handful, most of which involved parties when I was little. Which led me to thinking about the ordinary days of life and how many of those I remember. You know, now that I am so old. Out of 365 days a year for oh so many years, there really are only those few that stick out each year over time, and maybe that’s sad or maybe that’s the way life is meant to be because we move on. But there are days that are worth remembering, even if they are ordinary. Maybe especially if they are ordinary.

I want to remember yesterday, the first really lovely spring day, and how Princess came home and said, “I’m going to walk down to the river and swim.” And how she could, because we live on a farm by the river.

She jumped right in, clothes and all, to that old swimming hole that her grandfather jumped in when he was a boy.

It’s deep, and for a hundred years and probably more there has always been a rope hanging from a tree over that swimming hole.

She took our big overgrown puppy, Bluebell, with her. Bluebell’s scared of the water so she barked at it.

Across the river is my great-grandfather’s new house. Okay, so it’s the house that was built on the spot that was my great-grandfather’s house, but I like to call it my great-grandfather’s new house. Cuz, you know, it’s still his farm, even if somebody else owns it now and built him a new house there.

See how the river turns shallow really quick when you come out of the swimming hole? Princess is walking the river.

And there’s the river ford where I drowned my car a few months ago. Looks benign now, doesn’t it?

And what is that?

Well. It looks like my car. Okay, so I drove down the driveway instead of walking down. Maybe it was the walking back up part that put me off. Or maybe, just maybe, there is a cosmic reason, understood by the Universe alone, that I drove my car down the driveway……

Oh, look! (Distraction tactic.) There is the old one-room schoolhouse where my grandmother taught. My father went to school there to eighth grade.

Wait, forget that! Princess has dragged the dog-who-is-scared-of-water into the river. This can’t be good.

Bluebell manages to escape–to the wrong side of the river.

And the chase is on.

Up and down the road and around my great-grandfather’s new house.

Until I realize why I drove my car down the driveway and I go back to it and drive it across the river ford to bring home my bedraggled overgrown puppy.

Those ears aren’t so perky now, are they, missy?

It’s going to be a long first spring and summer on the farm.

Thank goodness.


  1. tracey says:

    happy birthday, suzzanne!!! :birthday1:
    you will remember this birthday for years to come as the first bday you spent on your farm. nothing compares to country livin’…no matter what all those city folk say! :cowsleep:

  2. Sue says:

    :birthday2: Princess is making me chilly just looking at her swimming in the creek!

  3. Patricia Herman says:

    :birthday1: :birthday1: :birthday1: :birthday1:

    Suzanne – Happy Birthday to you. Hopefully this one you will remember for years to come – its the first one in you new farm house!

    How are the chicken eggs coming along?

    Tell Princess – she looks like she’s having so much fun down there at the river swimming hole.


  4. Snapper says:

    Awww…great pictures. Makes me wish we weren’t expecting snow today here in MI.
    Have a beautiful birthday!!!

  5. DeeBee says:

    It doesn’t look warm enough to go swimming. But maybe it’s just because I can’t imagine it, since it’s still too cool here in Oklahoma. Glad you are able to enjoy the warm weather.

  6. Heidi says:

    :birthday1: :hug: :birthday2: Happy Birthday my friend!!! I always say I am celebrating the anniversary of my 29th birthday.. LOL Like this year I am celebrating the 7th anniversary of my 29th birthday in october…. doesnt sound as bad as saying -36 *cough cough* SO, as a pregnant woman you know I have to ask your age?!?!? why being pregnant has anything to do with it I dont know, but it sounds la-git dont it? LOL

    There is NOTHING better for a kid than a good ole swimming hole and a rope to swing from – she will be in there for hours come the hot summer. 🙂 What a beautiful river/creek –
    Did you meet your deadline? or did they give you a little break with all the stuff that has been going on for you?

    Its rain/snowing here today…. so that green grass makes me SO ENVIOUS!!! but happy for you!!! :snoopy:

  7. Kim A. says:

    A very happy birthday to you, Suzanne. :birthday2:

    I can’t believe that water was warm enough to swim in!


  8. sara hardaway says:

    Happy cake day. Birthday cakes are my favorite thing. The real icing though please not that marshmellow stuff at the store. I wonder what 52 has planned for you??? I am sure you will let us know. Loved Loved Loved the picture of princess and bluebell!!!! The proch scene was lovely with all the trees in the background begging to come alive for spring and summer. I live in Lancaster Texas and as you may know from the news we had strong storms wed with many tornadoes. One came close to us about 10 min and our sirens went of at 4 am. I got Harry, my shitzu, and me in the closet, barely awake. we were there 30 minutes listening to the sirens. some of us are still without power and some schools are still closed.

    Well enjoy the day, eat cake, stand on your big proch and sigh and know how wonderful it all is.


  9. sara hardaway says:

    porch, porch – for goodness sake – too early here in texas 630 am!!! but hey i guess on the farm that is late in the morning for you all????

  10. Carol W says:

    Happy Birthday, how lovely to spend this birthday on your very own farm! Thanks for all the great pictures.

  11. sc says:

    Happy Birthday!!!!
    …sit back and soak it in….you’re on the farm now!

    Cheers, for a great day!

    …wonderful post.

  12. Cheryl S. says:

    Oh, Happy Birthday, Suzanne! :birthday2: Have a wonderful day.

  13. Gretchen says:

    Wonderful post. We are so impressed with your ability to capture the connectedness you and your family are experiencing on this very special area of land you are sharing with your forefathers. This is indeed a special birthday for you. Enjoy!!

  14. Hillbilly2 says:

    Happy Birthday, Suzanne!
    With a birthday gift to yourself, a farm, how can it not be good?! :birthday1:
    Seeing Princess in the river brings back so many memories.
    I grew up in Elkview within walking distance from the Elk River. Oh the memories!
    Have a great day! :birthday2:

  15. Amelia says:

    :birthday1: May today be an extra special birthday…one that is memorable!

    “Love and be loved!”

    Amelia in Oklahoma

  16. Connie says:

    :birthday2: :birthday1:

  17. Sandy N. says:

    :birthday2: Have a very Happy Birthday! I enjoyed your post and the wonderful pictures. :birthday1: Enjoy an “ordinary” day in an “extraordinary” way in your lovely new home on the farm.
    Love ‘N Stuff,
    Sandy N. :wave:

  18. Jen-o-topia in TN says:

    Hope you have a wonderful, wonderful birthday, and may the coming year bring all the BEST kinds of surprises! I am continuing to enjoy reading your wonderful blog ~ thank you for sharing your writing gifts with us!


  19. Tresha says:

    Happy Birthday from Oklahoma!!! Eat the ENTIRE cake yourself!! Calories do not affect you on your birthday…its an unwritten woman’s law! 🙂

    I am so envious of your property, the view and the history you have there! So great for the kids…I grew up on 40 acres and a big creek with high banks….that is what I remember about my childhood days….and of course at the time I totally did not appreciate it…I was in the creek because I was so bored! ha…but actually once I was out there with my Border Collie, Frisky, we would spend hours…many a days were spent catching tadpoles!

  20. midwestmom says:

    Happy Birthday to you!

    Really, that’s a river???? (okay so I’ve lived next to the Mississippi my whole life) What fun to just be able to go and jump right in!

  21. MARY says:

    :birthday2: Happy birthday, my dear OLD friend!! LOL! I hope your day is filled with happiness, love, and birthday bliss!!!! Tell Princess I’ll see her in that river…soon!! :butterfly: :butterfly: :butterfly: :birthday1: :flying: :bananadance: :elephant: :snoopy: :rockon:

  22. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Yes, it’s a river, though I can see how it would look like a creek compared to the Mississippi, LOL. It’s the Pocatalico River.

    Thank you, everyone, for the birthday wishes!

  23. Stephanie says:

    Happy Happy Birthday!!! I’m a lot like you… there are only a handful of birthdays I remember. Most memorable was probably when I was pregnant and turned 40! and my husband threw me a surprise party.

    BTW… how warm IS it there!!!???

  24. Suzanne McMinn says:

    It’s been in the 70s here lately–today it’s supposed to be 75! (I think we have a chilly spell coming, though.) Princess did say the river water was cold! But she dunked herself in there and got over it.

  25. Renna says:

    First off, a very (belated) happy birthdyay! :birthday2:

    Secondly, was that rive not freezing col??? :drowning:

  26. Kathleen in MI says:

    Happy Birthday, Suzanne! :snoopy:

  27. Michelle Willingham says:

    Happy Birthday! :friday: My favorite birthday was when I turned 8. My mother got a princess cake for me and I was allowed to bring my closest friends roller skating. Such fun. :snoopy:

  28. Remudamom says:

    Happy birthday. It’s good isn’t it?

  29. Shirley says:

    Happy Happy Birthday!

    Birthday’s were not celebrated when I was a child. No party, no presents, the only thing that set it apart was that mother cooked your favorite meal and there was always a cake of some kind. Nothing decorated, just your favorite kind.

    It wasn’t until my kids came along that I started having birthday parties for them. These usually consisted of family members.

    Now my grandchildren get parties and lots of presents and sometimes celebrate their birthdays multiple times.

  30. Melissa says:

    Is that a plank of wood under the tree? There, in the water. Is that to stand on?

  31. Melissa says:

    Oh, btw, happy birthday. What is 52 going to do? :birthday2: is he romantigal like that?

  32. Amy Addison says:

    The days you remember are the ones worth remembering.

    I love the swimming hole and the arrival of spring. Yay!

  33. Kim in WI says:

    Hmmm…. cosmic reason… What’s the cosmic reason? Is there a story here?

    We are having about 30 degrees below normal temperatures here, and the Mississippi looks big, scary, and not even warm enough to dip a toe in. The little creek in our village is roaring along, full of spring melt and rain.

    I want spring, okay? And more about the cosmic reason, or am I just reading too much into it all?

  34. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Hi, Kim! I just meant that as it turned out, I needed to drive across the river to get the dog! The Universe knew I needed to have the car down the hill that day. 😎

  35. Kim in WI says:

    Hee hee! I’m glad you answered, Suzanne. You don’t want to know what I was thinking!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :birthday2:

  36. Kim W says:

    :snoopy: Woohoo!!! Happy, happy birhtday!! :snoopy:

    Love all the green. I was just noticing today that everything was FINALLY gettig green…because of the late ‘winter’ we’ve had. I picked a few newly blossomed flowers for my kitchen table, before the in-coming storm beat them to death. Speaking of the storm…I hear rumbles…I’d better get off.

    Again…happy birthday.

    Blessings from Ohio…

  37. Linda says:

    Happy Birthday!! :birthday1:

    In Idaho we still have snow on the ground, so swimming in a river doesn’t sound fun at all right now!

  38. Maria says:

    You are so lucky to be surrounded by such great history!! Does Princess know how lucky she is? I think she must. What a beautiful spring!

  39. Jodie says:

    Happy Birthday! :wave:
    The river looks great, but I’m too old to get in water until it’s a bit warmer. Thanks for sharing your home, friends & family and life with us on the web.

  40. Brandy says:

    Happy Birthday! :birthday2:
    Just to let you know I laughed at the picture of the dog in the car! *G*

  41. catslady says:

    Happy, happy birthday, Suzanne, and have a fantastic day :birthday2: I’m sure this will be one of your special birthdays to remember :birthday1:

  42. Ann from Montana says:

    Happy Birthday and may you have many more!

  43. Tori Lennox says:

    Happy birthday, Suzanne!!! :birthday2: I hope you’re having a fabulous day!!!

  44. Estella says:

    Happy Birthday, Suzanne!
    I envy weather warm enough to swim. It sure isn’t where I live.

  45. Myrna Mackenzie says:

    Have a wonderful birthday! I love all the green. It’s warm here today (Chicago) but not nearly as warm and green as it is by you.

    I hope you get some nice birthday surprises, especially since it’s your very first birthday in your new house! A day to remember.

  46. Baby Island says:

    Happy Birthday!! Today is also my mothers 65th birthday (sigh). Have a great day on the farm!!!

  47. Susan says:

    :birthday2: Happy Birthday sweetie! :birthday1:

  48. Doris says:

    Happy Birthday ! Is this 44 ? or what ? Just asking ! lol ! I’m almost 64 so you could be my daughter. In fact i think you are younger than both my daughters . Wishing you the best. Where can I get a list of your books ? I would like to read some . :birthday2:

  49. lintys says:

    Happy Birthday Suzanne! :birthday2:

  50. Christine says:

    Happy Birthday from Oklahoma

  51. Claudia W says:

    Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you! Happy Birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to you! (Sung to the tune of well, you know, happy birthday!)
    What a nice post today, I could pretend I was right there with Princess in that swimming hole. It looked so refreshing!

  52. Karen Erickson says:

    :birthday1: I hope you’ve had a fabulous day! I really enjoyed the pictures – you live in such a beautiful spot!


  53. Flea says:

    Mmmm! I’m so jealous of all that farm and river fun! Have a happy birthday!

  54. Courtney KS says:

    Happy Happy Birthday!!! What a heartwarming post!


  55. Shimmy Mom says:

    Happy Birthday. That looks like soooo much fun. And I’m jealous that you have warm enough weather to be doing that already.

  56. Connie says:

    Happy Birthday!!
    I SO enjoy your blog..one country girl to another…I can so relate to the things you write about. Love the swimmin’ hole and we have a few crossings like that too!
    You make my day!

  57. Melissa says:

    I see 52 gave you a present you both can enjoy. Clever fellow! :love:

  58. Donna says:

    Well, looks like I had your birthday wrong..on the lava cake page. LOL When you showed your baskets, I assumed it was your birthday…..

    What a cute pup and I love the stories you share. The land is sooo pretty!

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