Wednesday, November 16, 2022

"Dear Old Days"

 "Thus saith the LORD, 'Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.'" Jeremiah 6:16

Does anyone else miss the good old days—back when life was simpler and people were kinder and more God-fearing? I think the older we get, the more we think about those carefree days of childhood when we were home under the umbrella of our parents' love. Nostalgia becomes more a part of us as conditions in our current world become more and more upside down, and we miss the normalcy and decency of days gone by.

"Dear Old Days" is a song I wrote about a young girl leaving home, heart filled with hope and dreams, searching for "better things to come," but discovering that nothing out there could ever compare to what she left back at home. 

Haven't we all come full circle and to the same conclusion? 

When we are young, old age seems so far away. Days feel so long until we hit middle age and suddenly realize that we have more than likely already lived more years than we have left to live. The closer we get to the end of life, the more we realize how blessed we were way back then in years of carefree childhood with so much life ahead of us. I doubt if there are any of us who wouldn't go back if given the chance. But if, by some miracle, we were offered that opportunity, would we still see "those dear old faces we grew to love in those dear old days?" Would everything be the same—the way it was back then?

Of course, life teaches us that things would not be the same. Many, if not all of those "dear old faces" have gone on to their eternal reward. Life has sped along in the name of "progress," and we now find ourselves in such strange, unfamiliar life circumstances and a society that in no way resembles those dear old days.

I can't remember exactly when I wrote the song, "Dear Old Days," but I know it was sometime after Kevin and I were married and while we were still living in Florida. Having grown up in Southwest Ohio and never having lived in Carolina, up to that point, I find it so ironic now that Kevin, Zach, and I actually did move there when Zach was eight months old, and we lived there for nearly 15 years! When I wrote the song, I never dreamed I would one day live in Carolina, nor did I even imagine how hard it would be for me to leave our home there when God called us to minimize, get out of debt, and move. (If you're interested, you can read our minimizing story in our book Biblical Minimalism.)

While the location and some of the details in the lyrics to "Dear Old Days" aren't my exact life story and creative/narrative/artistic license aspects were mixed in for dramatic effect, the lyrics were wrenched from a place of deep longing—for my childhood, my Mom and Daddy, old family times, and the mountains near where my Daddy was raised.

In the video, during the first chorus of "Dear Old Days," you will see a picture of a little gray house. 

If you know my story, you will probably remember that we moved about 47 times as I was growing up. There are some houses and addresses I would rather forget, but there is one I remember with great fondness time after time. It was the house we lived in longest, as Mom and Dad actually signed not one, but two rental leases there! I remember how secure I felt knowing they had re-signed and we would stay put for at least one more year.

I loved that house and remember it well. Our basement had a ping-pong table, and there was a bar in the corner, where my Daddy and I used to play our guitars and sing. I can still see us sitting there—Dad so vibrant and healthy, and me—head packed full of dreams of becoming a singer one day.

A few years ago, Kevin, Zach, and I went back to Ohio for a family reunion, and a plan began to form in my mind. What if I could take Kevin and Zach to see that little house? What if I could find it, and we could stand where Mom, Dad, and I stood so many years ago?

At first, I was excited, but then I started wondering if I could handle it, emotionally. All those memories rushing back, knowing Mom and Dad are gone, realizing how everything has changed since I left there all those years ago—eyes filled with tears, heartbroken when we had to move. I finally mustered the courage, and I can't quite describe how I felt when I saw this sign.

The rush of emotions and memories that washed over me felt like a tidal wave and was hard to process. We made the turn, and soon we were there—sitting in front of that dear, little house. Not much had changed other than it used to be white with black shutters, and the shrubbery is gone that used to line the sidewalk. Other than that, it felt like stepping into a time warp—it felt a lot like home.

We drove around to the parking lot of the big church that is located behind the house so I could see the backyard where I used to play. All that really seemed to be missing was Mom and Dad and a young girl with a head and heart full of dreams.

When I finally felt ready to pull myself away, it felt like I was leaving someplace sacred—like Mom and Dad should still be standing there in that yard like they were in this picture.

I still remember taking this photo of them by the shrub-lined sidewalk in front of that house. Those were happy days. When it came time to renew that lease the third time, we ended up moving, and I cried like a baby. Seeing that house again brought it all back.

When Mountain Hope Band was asked to perform a three-hour live radio broadcast on 96.3 "The Possum" Canjoe* John's Mountain Matinee Radio Show, we included "Dear Old Days" in our setlist. 

Pat Hull, my dear friend and fellow band member, is also an amazing photographer. You can find his photos here. He so graciously allows us to use them when creating lyric videos for our music, and you will find a lot of them in the "Coal Miner's Daughter" video and this one, also.

Your "dear old days" may look worlds apart different from my "dear old days," but I think we can all relate to the message in this song. I hope you enjoy watching and listening to it, and if you do, please consider clicking over to YouTube to give us a like and subscribe to our channel. We deeply appreciate your support and encouragement!

God bless you all and keep you always in His tender, loving care.


  1. Beautiful Cheryl.
    Just loved it, and I popped over liked and subscribed.
    Thanks for sharing.
    We moved every 4 years as children growing up in our family of 6, with four chn.
    I thought that was a lot as a teacher's daughter, dad went with promotions, but 47 times that is unbelievable.
    I do sympathise with you as I don't like moving. I've lived here since 1985 ( it was my 15th move in 32 yrs as moved a lot after left home), so thats heading into my 4th decade now.

    I consider I am very blessed to live a block and a bit from where I was saved!
    God is amazing.
    Thanks for sharing, and may God bless you and keep you and all whom you love safe and well.
    Prayer hugs, Shaz in Oz. X

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

    1. Thank you so much, Shaz! Your kind words meant so much to me! Yes, it was very difficult moving like that. That is incredible that you live a block from where you were saved. Praise God for His many blessings! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! May the Lord bless you always.

  2. Awww Cheryl, what memories you’ve shared with us through your words and music. 47 times of moving is such much for a child. I guess all those moves finally led you to Kevin, your living soulmate. I moved several times as a child, but the hardest was moving right before my first year of high school and not knowing anyone; all turned out well though. Thank you for sharing the beautiful song of yours and the video. God bless you and prayers for you, your family and musical family.

    1. Thank you so much, Kitty! I so appreciate your kind words and sweet visit. It was very hard to move that many times. No wonder I have so many issues! LOL! I'm so sorry you had to move right before your first year of high school. That must have been so hard. I remember being "the new girl" so many times, and I absolutely detested starting new schools. I remember one year, I changed schools when there was only one month of school left. It was awful. Come to think of it, that happened when we lived right there in that little house. I remember distinctly the night before I started that new school with one month left of the school year. I was sitting down by the bar in the basement that I spoke of in this post and reading my Bible and that is the very first time God gave me Isaiah 41:10. All of that just came back to me as I typed this. Precious memories, even though they were peppered with lots of moving, changes, financial hardship, and insecurities. God was there and so were my dear Mom and Daddy, so I was okay. I am so thankful you enjoyed the song, and I appreciate your prayers for my family, my musical family, and me. God bless you always.

    2. And, YES!!! Thank the Lord, those moves did lead me to Kevin!!! God bless that broken road that brought us together! God is so kind and good.🙏❤

  3. Cheryl, I absolutely loved the song and the video with photos of the homeplace you loved so much, and of course, the pictures of your parents. Yes, I find myself waxing nostalgic the older I get, especially with my own parents having passed on. Sadly, I can't return to the home I grew up in as the whole neighborhood was bought out about 20 years ago - every home was razed for a new development. So sad!
    God bless!

    1. Thank you ever so much, Martha. I so appreciate your kind words and also your sharing of your experiences. I am so sorry you can't return to your homeplace. Bless your heart. I remember when you were having to sell your Mom's home, too, and how hard that was for you. I totally get it. I had the most awful time going through my Mom's little apartment on the day after she died. We had to hurry and get her things out before her rent was due again. It was so hard doing that so soon after losing her. I don't know how in the world I got through all that—it was all the grace of God that sustained me. I don't think I could go through it again. May the Lord bless you always and keep you and Danny in His care.

  4. I loved this! I'm so glad you went back and looked. It's a darling house! I'll have to read your back story next. I visit my "old" home every week, because my mom still lives there (60 years!), and I love it and don't take the steadiness for granted. I know it is rare.

    1. Aw, Janine! Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so glad you loved the song. And so thankful you still have your Mom and can still visit her and spend time together in that special house. May God bless you with many more years together!

  5. It's so funny as a friend and I were talking this morning ... when you are young, you truly cannot imagine yourself as one day being "old". Having lived in our home for 31 years, I cannot imagine what it would be like to live elsewhere. "Home" truly holds a special place in our hearts. I pray your memories will always bring you comfort and joy. And I am glad you linked up and hope you will find community and friends here too! Blessings!

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet visit, Joanne. That is amazing that you have lived in your house for 31 years! Wow! I so appreciate you and your kind words. God bless you!

  6. oh Cheryl, those trips down memory land can be overwhelming ... that you have the gift of putting words and music together is so powerful. i hope that even sharing with us has been a healing, peaceful gift for yourself. Thanksgiving blessings to your sweet family.

    1. Thank you, Linda! They surely can be so overwhelming, especially when those dear loved ones are gone and you realize there will be no more memories made with them. I appreciate your sweet visit and kind words, and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, sweet friend!

  7. What a lovely song Mrs. Smith. Thank you for sharing. That must have been hard moving all those times. I pray God surrounds you with his peace and that you have a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving. <3

    1. Thank you so much, dear Ashley! It was so wonderful to see your sweet comment. I trust you have a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving, too, and hope you are able to be home and spend it with your family. Much love to you, sweet friend.

  8. Cheryl,
    What a wonderful post and thanks for sharing...I have lived in this house now for 44 years and my oldest son is 40...Hard for me to imagine at times...Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks for your kind words!! I am so glad that my post on my journey toward a healthier life inspired you!! It is not easy but the way I feel now makes it all worth while....We can do this!! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!!

  9. Cheryl, I am so sorry I am late in commenting. I love the song that you wrote and it’s heartfelt message of home. I am sixty-nine years old and I have lived in four houses. I can’t imagine so many moves that required you leaving what was familiar. Thankfully, it led you to your soul mate. Butch and I were talking a few days ago that we are in the fourth quarter of life. That really makes you stop and think. Blessings to you dear one. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  10. Dear Cheryl, I'm sorry I'm so slow in commenting! Your memories are so precious to share with us. And your song is beautiful. I too grow so nostalgic, but I remember my Mom telling me the same thing when she was about my age. She would laugh & say that she was an antique herself, & that must be why she liked antiques so much. I too long for that day when we will have our Heavenly reunion! What a day that will be, when Jesus makes everything right! Blessings and love to you dear friend!