Saturday, September 11, 2010

Well, What's Your Answer? 9.12.10

It's time for Well, What's Your Answer? The question this week is:

Were you or someone in your family affected by
The Great Depression?

This is my mom. She was born in 1935, so she was born smack dab right in the middle of World War II and the great depression. Whenever me and my mom would travel together she would tell me stories of when she was a little girl. Wow, can I just say, I'm so grateful that I live now.

Wasn't she just so cute!!!
I can so see some of my sibs in this picture.

One of the things that I remember most about her stories is how they would have to put their name on a waiting list for a bike. Can you imagine that? Do you think kids today would "wait" for a bike? It was a huge deal when they finally got one.

Dolls were another thing that they were on a waiting list. Back then, they were made out of china and porcelain. China and porcelain was being used to make things used in the war. So dolls were being sold few and far between. Rag dolls became a big thing because mom's could take old clothes and make dolls out of them for their girls.

Other things on waiting lists were bath tubs, toilets, refrigerators and anything made of metal like toy trucks and such. Metal was being used to make guns, ships and anything else that required metal for the war. Even fabric was hard to get so clothes were a big commodity too.

Because refrigerators were so hard to get, and they lived on a farm, in the warm weather they would make a concoction in their yards with burlap and boards. They would put these "safes" as they were called in really shaded places, especially under lilac trees because they were low to the ground. Many times during the day they would go out and "water down" the burlap to keep their milk, cream and butter cold. Can you imagine that? If you lived in the city, the ice man would come around and you could get ice from him.

They were rationed so many Green Stamps a month. With these stamps they had to buy their gas, tires for their cars, and baking goods like sugar and floor. Gardens were a big must in those days. Bottling fruits and vegetables were a way of life. They would build pits in the ground and cover them with boards for their carrots and potatoes since they would stay good for a long time if they were cold. They would have to use a ladder to go down and get some.

If they were lucky enough to buy food in tin cans, they would clean out the cans and stamp them down, like you do today with your soda cans. Then they would turn them in to help the country melt them down and reuse them.

There was a place called the WPA (but mom couldn't remember what it stood for) where the men would go stand in line for jobs, which were another thing hard to come by, and if they were lucky enough to get one they would earn about 50 cents a day. Yikes.

My grandmother died when my mom was 3. She died after gallbladder surgery. Can you imagine that? Such a simple operation now. Her dad had to go to California to find work. He ended up finding a job in a shipyard. Before the war ended in 1941, my great-grandparents, who were taking care of my mom and her older brother, took them to see their dad. All her Aunts and Uncles saved their green stamps for a long time so they would have enough to get gas and tires for the trip and back. For two days while they were there, they had "blackouts". This was where they couldn't turn on lights during the evening or nights. She told me she was really scared that they would get bombed while she was there. She was only 7 at the time. Her dad died a short time after their visit.

First of all, I can't imagine losing both my parents by the time I was 8. I also can not even fathom what life must have been like. How spoiled we are today. When we want something, we go buy it. We "don't want to wait", we want it "right now"!

Yes, the depression affected someone I know. I love my mom and dad. To have lived through something like that and not be bitter, bitter people because of it. They are good people.

Now it's your turn. Please link on up.

Till later