I don't have a bomb dropping on my head... I started that thought early in my childhood. When I couldn't get a new bathing suit. When my Mom didn't have a car. When there was no real meat. As my parents were splitting. When for thirteen school years it was peanut butter and jelly for lunch and a nickel for milk if I was at school for lunch. Rarely fresh fruit was had in our home.If you were hungry, it was bread w/margarine, and milk or water. Cake was for birthdays only. Ginger ale if you were ill. Root/Birch Beer three times a year. Mom made a batch for a soda on a hot summer day. One I had at the Volunteer Fireman's Labor Day picnic and maybe you got another one if there was extra that day. We got to swim two maybe three times in the summer. When Mom got a working car and she had enough change for gas and entry to the swimming areas.
There was No air conditioning, no washing machine, no dryer... We had a bathtub and a metal and wood scrub board and a good clothes line. I learned at age four how to scrub, rinse and hang wash with Mom on our clothes line. And a handful of times per year, we had enough change to go to the laundromat, when she got to use an old car here and there. I started cooking at age five. Changing diapers for a neighbor by age eleven. Changing diapers regularly at age thirteen for my Mom, who'd had my sister back then.
I lived on fresh garden vegetables from our 'Victory Garden' about four or so months a year. Most days outside of those days for the other 7-8 months of the year were mostly canned vegetables. Potatoes, rice was available. However, spaghetti was a bit of a treat certain years. I picked raspberries with my dad a couple times for hours so we could make our own jam. At age eight, I picked grapes for over eight hours for him to make wine one time.
I went to the movies about four times before age 18. We went out to eat about 1 to 2 times a year. If that.
Vacation was camping with our tent. Unless my Dad who built an outhouse up in Maine for some guys, then we got to live in a cabin two times I remember well. It was special.
I didn't get a backpack but for two years of my thirteen years going to public school. I always walked to and from school, all the years.
I was only driven once to school. By age ten, I was so skinny, my Dad threatened to put me in the hospital. No one knew the problem with my stomach. They knew I had foot problems and skin issues. But back then you didn't want to cost your parents money being discovered as 'sick'. I ignored those pains through physical activity. I wore my neighbor's sons old shirts for school at times.
I got a ride home in high school a few times.
When i was age four, it was repeated to me, as I was told that I had a roof over my head and food on my plate. If you didn't eat dinner, all of it, or you got it for breakfast.
I was told I was lucky because I lived in a free country, had shelter and food daily. So, I was. And I refused to feel sorry for myself, regardless of the abuse I witnessed and much I knew of as a child. It could always be worse. As well, I lived in a free country and no bombs were dropping on my head.
So what I will say to my audience here is... first no one should be abused. All of you should be respected and Loved. The next thing is, if you live in these United States, you have freedom and you do NOT have a bomb dropping on your head, or on your home currently.
And my dear audience through that knowledge, is where I get my healing, my energy and my faith... It is my Gratefulness that dresses up my life even in times of crisis.
I know who I am, and yes every day there are struggles even in my life as a free American. Yet, I remind myself of what I do not have happening and what we have going for US.
And as Americans, if you deem bashing one another for what I see as devisive, yet local thinking as well. And you cannot bring yourself to thinking Globally. Then there is no way in hell that you will understand your freedoms. You obviously will not allow Gratefulness to fulfill your life. And as such, you are part of the problem that deteriorates and brings on more devisiveness that will kill a free country such as the United States. ---Jody-Lynn Reicher