ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Glimpse From The Depression

Updated on March 2, 2009

The difference between a recession and a depression is about looking to save money (recession) and looking to survive (depression). 

I have always loved listening to the stories about my grandparents during the depression.  My grandparents never told them; they never talked about those rough times.  My parents never told them; my parents were both youngest, late in life children and born after the depression—baby boomers.   The stories were always from my aunts and uncles, and my grandparents friends—everyone who was there to see things first hand.  It always amazes me the strength they exhibited.  It served them well later in life.

My paternal grandfather always had the most amazing garden when I was growing up.  There were rows of corn, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, potatoes, and a few other things I’m sure I’m forgetting.  The yard was filled with trees.  Not any trees though, apple trees.  Every fall when they’d come to visit they would bring wooden barrels filled with green apples and more wooden barrels filled with red apples.  Nothing ever went to waste; all things were used.  The garden was cared for lovingly.  My grandfather would also hunt wild game—squirrel, rabbit, birds.  He was an excellent shot.  Whenever anyone would comment, he’d simply say when he learned to shoot, bullets counted. 

That might not seem like much to most, but it was the only way they ate.  There were no trips to the grocery store.  Living in the rural parts of Michigan, there wasn’t even a bread line to join.  No, my grandparents were left their own devices.  They grew their own food.  They ate what they had and shared with others in need.  They took what was left and replanted, or used as compost.  Were there was a need they found a way to fill it. 

I’ve come to learn that my maternal grandmother is one of the most amazing women ever.  And not only was I privileged to have known her, I’m related!  I hope every day to be half the person she was.  She may not have fought for civil rights, but she showed the most amazing strength and preservation.

They couldn’t afford clothes, but it wasn’t just my grandparents—they had four children.  So my grandmother scrapped up enough money to buy some material.  She then made each child an outfit and a pair of pajamas.  Every night, she put the kids in their pajamas (not much more than a long shirt) and washed their clothes and underwear.  She said being poor was no excuse for being dirty.  Every hole was mended and every tear fixed.  This didn’t just apply to their selves.

During the height of the depression, my grandparents’ house burnt down to the ground.  There was no insurance.  There was no option of receiving help from anyone else.  Almost everyone they knew was suffering.  My grandmother didn’t cry and ask “why me?”  She didn’t go begging for help from those who may have been able to help.  No, not my grandmother.  She dusted the kids off and put them to work cleaning out the chicken coop.  They swept, they dusted, and they washed.  That night and for several more months they lived in the chicken coop until there was enough money to rebuild the house; which they did themselves.  The jokes were that she never allowed for a dirty chicken coop again; would even make curtains for the chicken coop.

Where was my grandfather during this time?  Working.  Jobs were scarce and they didn’t pay much, sometimes only food, but my grandfather was working.  Every day he got up and went to find a job—any job.  If he didn’t know how to do something, he learned it.  He adapted at every twist and turn.  He learned skills that many didn’t have.  These were the things that allowed him after the depression to propel himself upwards and become quite successful. 

There are more stories, but these were always my favorite.  They took what they experienced during the depression and held onto it as lessons learned.  They never felt self-pity.  They never asked for someone to help them.  They picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and moved forward.  They held themselves to a high standard, but always remained compassionate towards others as long as they were trying.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      9 years ago from California Gold Country

      Yes-- great histories. Most of us have certainly lost our IN-Dependence. We need to get back to doing things for ourselves-- even if times aren't as bad as they might be. people today don't know how to take care of themselves like our parents and grandarents had to do.

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 

      9 years ago from USA

      I love history!! The real stuff, anyway. Our kids should know these things!

      I admire your grandparents. I wish people today were more like that.

      When we watched the Kit Kitteredge American Girl movie, my daughters really understood the stories I had been reading to them in our history studies.

      We could learn alot from people back then. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. I'd love to hear more!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)