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The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

Calling on the Home Front

March 24, 2020

Our Generations before us were very resilient because they understood better than any of us today the hard times that may come at any time.

They lived a time before electricity and running water and yet they raised families, they grew food and preserved what they grew.  

For those of you new to my blog I welcome you. My blog is about living more like the past and my husband Charles and I love history. We have been researching for many years now and doing many experiments in trying to live as our generations before us. We do not believe we should live "in" the past but "like" the past to live a more sensible life. 

This photo above was my Great Grandfather, he was born in 1874.  We called him "Papa".  He was a farmer and also was a bridge turner. He would turn the swing out bridge to let steamboats go through in North Mississippi.

Papa lived through a economic depression, world war 1, a severe flu pandemic, a recession then a Great Depression, then world war 2, the Korean war and at the end of his lifetime was the Vietnam war.  

Papa and Mama raised 9 children, one of those my Grandfather. 

Papa sitting in the middle of the bottom row. My Grandfather bottom row left side and my Grandmother left side standing behind my Grandfather with her hands on his shoulders.

Papa lived 91 years and these people were my Aunts and Uncles that were in my life and they were the most wonderful and inspiring people I ever had had the privilege to know. 

They knew how to live with very little and without a large amount of the many things we have today.  This was my mothers side of my family.

They traveled dirt roads with horse and wagons, they hauled water and washed clothes by hand.  They sat on porches with pans of peas and butter beans and baskets of corn to shuck.

They made Poultices and pressed tobacco onto bug bites.  They knitted bandages and took care of their own.  They farmed and preserved their food.

This photo above is my Father when he was a baby. His father died of pneumonia during the 1918 flu pandemic even though he was a robust 26 year old lumberjack. (My Grandfather)

My Grandfather, top right, two years before he died from pneumonia during the flu pandemic. The other two were my Uncles, my Grandmothers brothers.

During the flu pandemic of 1918 it was a very hard time. Some of those that were not ill would make soup and deliver to the porches of those that were ill.  They helped one another through this difficult time.

Time moved along for my family, my father above with my Great Grandmother. My father was in Pearl Harbor during world war 2. 

Papa T, my other Great Grandfather on my mothers side.

I wanted to give you a glimpse of my Generations born before me but part of my life.

I lived different than they did because after ww2 ended, I came along and the world became more modern but they stayed strong and sensible as they had always been which has influenced me to want to resemble them. 

They did not waste and had unusual habits of saving string, paper and most anything. They saved every piece of cloth and old clothing and made quilts. They gardened and they walked the sides of the roads and gathered plums. persimmons and pecans.They fished and hunted for game.   They canned and preserved their food and kept pantries and larders to get them from one season to the next and because they knew hard times could come at any time.

I have letters and recipes from my mothers recipe box.  A letter from my Aunt Leona to my mother explaining her bread recipe and stated that she made 6 loaves of sweet bread every Saturday.  They did not eat bags of chips and cookies like many people do today.  They kept meal and flour, sugar, oil and butter and they ate what they cooked and bought nothing ready to eat unless it was fruits and nuts and such as that.

This brings me to today.

I have read and heard the news lately since our pandemic has hit about people ranting about people hoarding and now they cannot buy the food they want.  But I see this different and have not seen anyone to take a look at what has really happened. Yes, there are some hoarders but I feel that one of the reasons the stores are out of food is because in this modern world many people eat out very often.  Some actually eat all their meals out.

Now suddenly we have been thrown into a pandemic with a major part of our population that had no food in their house or apartment or where ever they live. We had a sudden surge to the grocery stores with adults that had no clue how to stock their homes for three days much less 2 weeks to a month.  Of course the shelves were going to go empty.  

I can tell you the preppers already had their food and the pantry keepers only needed to top off. 

We are at the point now that I am writing this article that some people have found the things they bought were not the right kind of food they needed to cook real meals for a longer period of time.  Many have gone back to the store many times to try and figure it out.  I feel very bad for all of the people that had no pantry stock because they just have not been taught to do this and some that have been taught to do so just did not feel it necessary.

We have several generations now that have no experiences or memories of a more simple time long ago and no older folks that were around to tell them or show them the things they did long ago and many people today have no pantry stock to rely on for any kind of emergency.

We are very far removed now from our generations that were able to live with very little and most people have never even seen a live chicken or cow or know where their nearest farms or produce markets are. Many more have never grown any kind of a garden and this scares me.

It is time to take back our home front and not get caught off guard again whether it be in a city or suburb. Charles and I live prepared for tough times because we learned our lesson the hard way.

We both knew how life was long ago when it was more simple and then life just happens and we move along through time and bought in to all the new gadgets and cars, electronics and new most everything.  Then before we knew it we owed money and had not been wise about things. If we had just kept that 1955 Ford, how wonderful that would be to have right now. 

Instead of being money wise we just followed along but we decided to get off the train that followed one train car after another.  Then we started studying history and we found we needed to go back even further until we found our roots.  

That was when we were able to live more sensible and we were glad we did.

My hope for all of you is to learn all you can during this serious time we are in right now.  Take time to study all you can about your generations before you and the things that people did to help them through hard times. Read this blog as we traveled trying to find our way back in time and the study of the home front. How we studied rationing as they did during ww2.

We all need to find ways to live below our means so we can ride out difficult times. We can change, Charles and I did and right now we feel we must do even more because this is a very serious time.

It is hard for me to describe how I felt when we started challenging ourselves to really cut back, to use no more than we absolutely needed and how that grew to a personal challenge.  I started washing clothes by hand, hanging out every load of that laundry.  We removed our dishwasher so we had no more need for that expensive dishwasher soap and the electricity to run the machine.

We turned off our hot water heater to further drop the electric bill.  We heated water when we needed.  This lead us to bucket baths which we love to do now that the weather is warming because it is refreshing and we are in control of the water we use since we stopped the flow.

This is the key, do all we can to stop the flow that comes into our home. For us here, the water that flows in is one charge and the water that flows out is twice that charge for sewer.  Our generations before us did not have these bills we have today because they lived without it. 

In hot weather long ago people would sit out on porches with their feet in a pan of water to keep cool. In the winter they would sit with their feet on a heated soapstone.  They put them in carriages to keep them warm and used them to warm their beds.

Charles and I had to decide what is necessary and what is just because we are spoiled. 

  As I have said many times before draw that imaginary line down on the floor and step over and then start over right now. 

To start a pantry, we leave off the junk food and in place of buying those things we buy food to built a stock. 

Grow some type of food even if it is just herbs. 

As adults we have to do the right thing and not live like nothing will ever happen.  We can learn to do things the old way, we can sew with a needle and thread and mend instead of throwing something out and getting a new one.  We can learn to knit and make our own dishcloths.

We can learn to cook on a camp stove in case of a storm and our power goes out. We can learn to not pull out a credit card and walk away for the sake of making things right and less stressed.

We can cut up old clothes or t-shirts or flannel fabric to make family cloths in case we run out of toilet paper.

We can make our home front stronger and we need to do this. This is a time to clear out the junk and slowly replace the decorative items with functional tools that will actually help us to run a household less dependent on frequent trips to the grocery stores and make our home less generic. We may need to change our reading material to learning, canning and gardening books that are from reputable sources. 

We can give up things that we can live without such as cable, we can cut out memberships and and things that have renewals. Take a sandwich or a bowl of soup to work instead of purchasing lunch. Electronics are a huge financial burden.  Somehow we have slowly been led into all these gadgets that have become addictive and have incredible monthly fees.  

I want for you to experience your home in a different way if you have not already. A home that you nurture and it nurtures you. 

Be very careful right now, get plenty of rest, read, learn and most importantly take this pandemic seriously and take no chances to become exposed. We do whatever we have to do to keep our family and ourselves safe, it does not matter what anyone else does, it matters what we do.  

Grandma Donna

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