Depression era life lessons from my Nana

 

   A repost from the past- I am going through and cleaning up some of my posts from the past. Getting ready to redesign my website, organize and try to finally figure out an Etsy shop, and I just registered Our Little Red House for YouTube vlogging when I came across this old post.

It got me thinking about all those seniors that lost their lives in nursing homes when the pandemic first started. The highest cases of nursing home deaths seemed to be in states like New York, California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, etc…look into it if you can find real information on it that is.  It is shocking and disheartening to see the similarities between all those states….hmmm.

Now days, anymore it seems, it is those independent citizen journalist out there reporting news as it happens and when it happens as the only news you can some what trust, and I say that half heartedly. 

For all you history buffs out there you know what happened in those nursing homes is also very   similar to another time and part of our ugly history on this planet.  Way back  from the past when the weakest and most vulnerable also died first. If you don’t know or weren’t taught about this ugly history from our past in your public schools then research People with disabilities during the Holocaust.

So, I am reposting this post of mine in memory of not only my Nana but also to all those old souls we lost this past year in all those nursing homes in my country. You, my friends, built our world, you raised generations, you taught us empathy, compassion, and real knowledge.

You taught us the most important lesson of all and that is that those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it. Thank you to the greatest generation, you will be missed. May God comfort and keep your family members safe from harm.

Now it is our turn to keep this world safe, healthy, kind and beautiful for our children and the children coming after us. Remember good always wins, no matter how hard it may get or seem…good always prevails, so never loose your faith and courage.  Hope you all enjoy this repost from the past and if you know or have any older family members and grandparents still alive call them, text them, somehow let them know today at this moment that you love them. 

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“ Grandparents can have a profound influence on their grandchildren. Their time is generally not as encumbered and busy as the parents’, so books can be opened and read, stories can be told…Children then obtain a perspective of life which not only is rewarding but can bring them security, peace, and strength.”

Ezra Taft Benson

We all remember growing up and spending time with our grandparents when little. Sometimes during those moments our grandparents would talk to us about life and things they knew. If you were one of those children born with an old soul as they say, then you were one of those kids who listened to that advice from our past generations.

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There is nothing really new under the sun and even though technology can grow all around us there may or may not come times when technology fails. During those times we have to go back to basic life principles, at least until the switch gets turned back on again. Kind of what we are all going through together right now with shortages and lock downs.

 Technology when it pertains to medicine and science, is a good thing. There are some pretty amazing things being discovered to help us all, every day in fact. At least that should always be it’s intentions, but there are some bad apples out there not really following the Hippocratic oath in my opinion.

Instead they are following the green trail that leads to sinister things, greed is never good. I wish this wasn’t the case, but there are many intelligent minds that are being exploited right now and turned into machines themselves to keep that green greed and power machine going. People want to heal, they want to help, but sometimes they are manipulated into following someone else’s set of rules. I hope and pray this changes soon, I really do. We all need to trust the ones we put our lives in their hands with.

Looks like I got off track there for awhile, if you are one of my followers, you know I tend to do this. Anyway back to Nana’s lessons. I know technology is good but those basic lessons from the past are important too. My Nana taught me things when I was little, but it wasn’t just my Nana. It was many older people in my life as a little girl that shared their knowledge with me. Our older generation are so precious. We need to remember that about them.

Thought I share some of that with you all. I know your grandparents did the same with you all as well. So if you have any good tips about life and doing things yourself then please share in comments below.

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Nana as a young woman.

Lesson 1. Conserve.

Nana was never wasteful. When she prepared food she made sure to save left overs to be turned into other meals.

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Fat from meat became gravy mixes, old bread was turned into stuffing, croutons and even French bread for later. Old clothes were turned into rags for cleaning and older children’s clothes were put away to be shared with younger children, New babies were born and some neighbors and friends would have a need for clothes later. Nothing was wasted nor thrown away.

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  1. Use what you have-

Back in the day everything was kept and stored away for car repairs, and home repairs. If clothes got damaged or a buttons fell off we were taught to repair the shirt and sew another button on. People made and repaired their own furniture. Throw away items like oatmeal containers and meat foam trays  were kept for kids to use for arts and craft projects. Somewhere down the line we were taught that doing these things, being self reliant and taking care of the things we have were bad. That it was bad and frowned upon if we lived like this.

Some people and their children were taught to sneer and bully the ones who had clothes they mended themselves. Or people were picked on who lived a more frugal way. Yet these same people that judged and sneered at others were also trying to convince everyone how great they were with protecting the environment, when all along they themselves were the most abusive with the planet. 

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  1. Share with others as much as possible.

If we had something we no longer needed before dropping it off at the thrift shops we would see if someone else in our family, friend circle or neighborhood needed it. Now days some people don’t even donate some of these things, they just toss them into the garbage to be taken to the dump. Back then things were given to others before anyone even thought about wasting something by leaving it somewhere to waste away. When anyone needed something we would ask someone else if they had it first before heading to a store. When we borrowed sugar or items from others we always made sure to give back some as well. Cookies were shared, and meals were left with others as thank you gifts. Neighbors got to know each other and were there for each other more. 

  1. Learn from others

If someone was really good at something, whether it be cooking, car repair, home repair, sewing, whatever it was, we all tried to share those skills and knowledge with each other. Everyone did this, everyone knew who to go to for different areas of problems or things that needed done. When you know people in your community you learn where to go to for help. My father was a roofer and some of my uncles were plumbers. There were many times they did these services without getting paid. Many church roofs were done by my father.

  1. Always have something growing

In my Nana’s garden she had lots of citrus trees, aloe, and even peppers. Most of the neighbors had gardens back when I was little, at least the older neighbors did. The ones that grew up during the great depression always had two things happening in their backyards, some type of food was always growing and there were always chickens around.

  1. Save for rainy days.

Mostly this was money. Nana would save her money because you never knew when you would have those days when you would need more. There were times when more money was coming in but it wasn’t spent foolishly, no,  instead it was put away because everyone knew storms are always waiting around every corner.

  1. Have a menu plan

When you stick to a budget and write out a meal plan you don’t go out to eat or buy fast food as much. Buying a lot of meals outside the home can add up. I have noticed a lot of these premade box sets where everything is set up for people. I am sure these food delivery systems are pricey and keep young adults reliant on someone else beside themselves. During a pandemic it is always nice having the skills to cook something yourselves. Going out to eat was a special treat in my family. We would go out once a week and we always enjoyed that but it wasn’t something we did every day.

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  1. Use natural remedies in your home

We didn’t have magic pills for every little element we would come down with. Antibiotics were never overused. If we got sick, we mostly stayed home in bed away from others until we got better. Now I wouldn’t go doing that with the bug we have now, It’s  a bad one. If it was bad of course we would head to the doctor but in the early stages of all illnesses we would try to take care of it on our own first. Coughs were soothed with hot tea and honey. Cuts and scrapes were always kept cleaned and wrapped everyday. Aloe was used for everything, for bug bites, burns and even cuts. We spent a lot of time outside getting fresh air and sunshine. We played outside a lot in fact and we ate fruit everyday. Mostly oranges because we have so many here in Arizona. Something there with Vitamin C.

  1. Be clean and separate the sick from the healthy

I remember watching Nana boil silverware when ever anyone came down sick in the house. I was always afraid of the boiling water, watching as she used tongs to pull out the hot silverware after boiling them. She would talk to me about germs, almost desperately in a way, making sure I was paying attention. I never understood this as a young child when she would talk obsessively with me about this.

This was a hard thing to witness back and forth between my Nana and Dad…I blamed it on the alcohol. I tend to be more on the sensitive side and as a child I was very sensitive to my surroundings and the energy people gave out when under stress. 

I blame it on lies though. Lies turn people,  all around the world, against each other. It isn’t about a lie being loud enough and long enough anymore in order for people to believe it. Now all you need to spread lies and hate are little screens with adorable little emojis, and wow, do they work great. That’s the virus we need to worry about the most, yeah the other one is bad too, but it’s the lying virus that destroys much more. 

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Photo above-Nana and I.
My father as a child had to go through nuclear drills as a student in his classroom and my Nana was around during World War two, that explains the tension they both had with war games around the world. Anyway, those two would get into arguments all the time and I would just shake my head staying away from their ridiculous ideas, and least I thought this as a kid. Little did I realize that that old war game never stopped and is still being played to this day.

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I of course would always pray for world peace as a child because what my father and Nana always argued about really freaked me out. 

  1. Always find things that make you happy.

What would life be like if we didn’t have passion and happiness in it. What are those things that bring you Joy. Is it reading, writing, helping others, watching sports?…doesn’t matter how small it could seem to others. It is your happiness and you know where to get that hopefully. I love doing arts and crafts projects. This has always been where I am most happy, just creating and working in colors. All our grandparents, all the older generations were wise to this. Happiness keeps you wanting to live everyday, looking forward to what happiness that day will bring. If we get stuck in those sad moments in our life we have to fight our way out of that before it takes over.

Find a new hobby, join a club, learn a new skill, volunteer helping others but whatever you do… find your happiness.

Hope these are all helpful tips for you all. Please share any you have in comments below. Our older generations lived through tough times. Every little line and wrinkle on their skin has a beautiful story to tell. We all need to listen to what they say and then pass this on to each and every generation out there. Some of the younger generations being raised now are not being taught how important the older generation was and are to us all…we need their knowledge. To the ones with the great memories, you know who you are out there, please start writing this knowledge down so we can always leave it for the younger generations to read. I would have loved to have had a journal like that from all the older people I once had in my life. God gave me a very detailed memory for a reason, and now I try to share what I can with my own kids hoping that some of it sticks.

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Nana as a little girl.

“Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.”

Deuteronomy 32:7

 

41 Comments Add yours

  1. Gersom Clark says:

    Thank you for this post, Our little red house. This is timely because, some economists would say that we might be heading that way. I browsed into the main bullets and I will read tomorrow the detailed lessons. It is still 2:04 AM in the Philippines.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re very welcome. Hope everything is okay over there and you and your family are safe and well. Have a beautiful Sunday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gersom Clark says:

        Going back, thank you so much again for posting this; very helpful. Thank you also for your concern. We have an extended lockdown here but with GOD’s grace we are staying home. Thinking of quails sometimes. GOD bless Little Red House. -Moses Kent Borinaga aka gersom clark

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good words of advice. I grew up with these too. Both my parents were children of the Depression and WWII.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jeanne, they had great lessons from long ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They sure did. If only people would listen and learn from those lessons today, the world would be a much better place.

        Like

  3. Eliza Ayres says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
    Grew up this way… yes, I’m older, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Eliza, me too. I am 52 so we know a thing or two when it comes to life. Always good to pass on that knowledge.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eliza Ayres says:

        Mother used to save rubber bands, paper clips, nuts and bolts in small jars. Etc. Saving lots of reusable items.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My family did that as well. My husband saves egg cartons because we have chickens and now we have discovered there is a shortage of those as well. I think he said they were selling for $3 . It is so strange what shortages show up like toilet paper and now paper products are becoming rare. This is what happens when all the factories in the world are in one area.

        Like

      3. Eliza Ayres says:

        Yes, not a wise thing to do… Globalism is dying as a result as people wake up to this little problem.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jane Fritz says:

    Nice post, Little Red House. Your Nana gave very good advice. I think those of us who started out in that kind of environment, in a world before credit cards and easy credit, have an advantage over those who came after, when it became too easy to get what you want before you can afford it. The banks’ encouragement hasn’t helped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jane, so true. We always saved for anything we wanted and that included appliances and new television sets. We try to live a frugal life.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Cheri, have I told you lately that you’re one of my very favorite all time people and blogs,
    I love everything you write, every story told, every adventure you take us on, every artful idea? You’ve simply done it again, given us another great post …..AND, girl, you can preach this all day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my gosh, this is so sweet, thank you so much Laura. You and I are very similar. I am feeling a little down about the older generation that is suffering so much right now with this pandemic. . They are lonely, and they are scared and they have so much to teach us all. I wish more people realized how truly important every soul, all ages really are but it is the ones that have been alive the longest that have the most knowledge to share with everyone. We all need to really respect that. I know you are doing your part, you hold a lot of good advice and memories from your life, just pass that down and hopefully there are others in your family that can continue that too. We all need to start keep journals to leave with our families.

      Like

      1. I completely agree with every word! We should be so much more like the cultures who revere their elders and reverence their wisdom and experience.
        If we don’t, so much will be lost with them and we’ll be lost because of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know, I agree with you 100%.

        Like

  6. Talitha says:

    Reblogged this on Talitha's World and commented:
    “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.” – Deuteronomy 32:7

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Talitha, that is so kind of you.

      Like

  7. simplywendi says:

    Thank you for this lovely post……….it brought back some very fond memories of spending time with my beloved grandmother……..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome Wendi, I miss my Nana so much right now. I wonder what she would say about all of this.

      Like

  8. cheriewhite says:

    Awesome advice! Our older should be respected and not tossed aside like so many people shamefully do. And like yours, my grandmothers were also kids during the Great Depression and they didn’t allow waste either. My Uma was very wise with money and always-ALWAYS taught us to save, save, save! And luckily she past that little nugget down to us and it’s how I’ve gotten through the toughest of times. I miss both of them so much!
    Thank you for posting this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…I bet you Uma was so sweet. I miss my Nana and grandma too.

      Like

  9. I like your sunny optimism. Thanks for the practical tips and for sharing your process.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this post! Besides all of the awesome tips and ideas, it was lovely remembering some times with my grandparents. Hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grandparents are the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. rachelward11 says:

    I’m 29 and now I’m wondering if I’m secretly older than I thought. Except for the drinking and smoking, I could check off everything on your list that your grandma did. People think I’m odd too, but I try to re-purpose and re-home everything too.
    I loved reading this ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rachel, you are what they call an old soul. I am also an old soul. Sometimes people think we are strange and too serious sometimes but the world would not be balanced if we all did the same things. I like the savers and recyclers of the world. They (we) make great teachers too. And it is so nice sharing the knowledge our older generations taught us. So glad you enjoyed this post, think this would have made my Nana really happy knowing that her lessons would be shared with others.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is awesome…
    Keep up the good work…
    Very well expressed..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. rothpoetry says:

    Your Nana was a very smart and wise women. Such good advice. Much needed today!
    dwight

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I miss her in person wisdom that’s for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. ruthsoaper says:

    I was blessed to learn and appreciate a lot of Grandma’s and Mom’s frugal ways. I love reading books about people who lived during the depression era and earlier.
    The one thing I wish is I had the energy that my grandma had. I remember her being up well before the sun and we would usually wake up to the smell of bread or chocolate chip cookies baking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, they seem to always have so much time and energy to get everything done. My aunt told me a story about my great grandma that still shocks me. She said that she went into labor, went inside to have her baby, then a few hours later was back out on the tractor to finish the field she was working in. That is a hard one to believe but it might be true. My family from my father’s side were all farmers and they came from Ohio. They are the German side that came to this country in the 1700’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What a lovely post! These are all good life lessons for us all. As I tell my grandchildren, none of us can possibly live long enough to make all the mistakes ourselves, that’s why we need to listen to the stories of others!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I loved this post! It reminded me so much of growing up with my grandmother who lived on the hill behind our house and then who I lived with when I was in college. She grew up during the depression as well and used to save tiny bits of scraps of food and keep them in the fridge. We could never figure out why she would keep such small pierces of meat in there but I really think it had something to do with how she didn’t have food during the Great Depression and it was in her mind she might need the food later. She was 93 when she died but only a month from her 94th birthday and right up until her heart started to give up she could still squat in front of the TV like a little girl and bounce right back up when my mom asked her a question. The main issue she had was when she lost almost all of her eyesight to macular degeneration.

    Also, I loved this part of what you shared: “It isn’t about a lie being loud enough and long enough anymore in order for people to believe it. Now all you need to spread lies and hate are little screens with adorable little emojis, and wow, do they work great. That’s the virus we need to worry about the most, yeah the other one is bad too, but it’s the lying virus that destroys much more.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lisa. Your grandmother sounds so sweet. They taught us a lot didn’t they? Oh yes, those lies out there are very, very dangerous. They are spreading like wildfire and you know history, I know you do. You know part of that line of lies that I wrote came first from a very evil man. Now that quote is being used to help promote the true lies, at least from some quotes I am witnessing and hearing on those screens. Thank God the majority of people out there also know their history and we can all see thorough this. Stay safe out there and give those kids a big hug from me.

      Like

  17. This is a beautiful post…what we all really should be thinking about at this moment in time. I, too, learned a lot of these things from my grandmothers and great aunts. It has been invaluable throughout my life. And now that I am a grandmother, I have the privilege of passing it on, as well.
    Here’s something I remember from childhood about my grandmother; something I work hard to achieve. My Grandma Maggie saved and used everything that came into her house, (yet the place was never cluttered.) When it came to throwing things out, Maggie had only one paper grocery bag of ‘garbage’….a month. Still amazes me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and your grandma sounds just like my Nana. Her house was always clean and not full of clutter either. She had a few good items she kept that lasted for years. Sadly. products are not made to last anymore. I love shopping church sales and yard sales from retirement community because they have those products from long ago that don’t fall apart. Looks like you had some really beautiful and smart woman you grew up with, it is good that they passed down their knowledge to you. Have a beautiful week and stay safe and healthy out there.

      Liked by 1 person

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