Sunday, September 19, 2010

19 September 1956 “Comment Rebuttal”

I received this comment yesterday and I have thought about it quite a bit. I hope you will allow me to share my thoughts on the matter:

Anonymous said...

Your comment yesterday about not want to have a child who would be another employee at Walmart is down right condescending. One minute you talk about being thrifty and frugal, and the next minute you talk about your family buying new cars during the depression and not wanting to raise children of the working class. I used to think that your blog was authentic, but now it seems like you are one of those bloggers who makes it up as they go along, who post about imaginary lives they are not even living. It this just the blog of a bored vain person???

The story of my family buying cars during the Depression really made me think. That story was often told to me, with pride, by my mother. She now, and for some years, has had Alzheimer's Disease. So, when I recall things she used to tell me, they are often with a sad little realization, as for all intents and purposes, she is no longer here.
My off-hand comment was made during a discussion we were having about how times or decades often wear a certain look and we assume that it was that way for all. Someone was mentioning the conditions of their family during the Depression. So, of course, I thought of that story. It showed that everyone had a different situation during that time, much like I have continued to discover about the 1950’s.
I think what most surprised and hurt me was that my casual reference to a story my mother loved to tell me became a catalyst for someone ( who claims to have both liked my blog and me) to turn their anger and hatred towards me.  Why do we feel the need, particularly in this digital age, to run so hot and cold with emotion? The step from casual enjoyment to killing outrage seems a short step today. I have witnessed such jumps even in public on employees in stores, “yes, lovely day…WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE THAT IN STOCK!”
What I find so amusing in this particular situation is this: the complete stereo-type assumed by a few remarks. My having said that my mother’s pride in her father having bought a new car in the Depression suddenly lumps them into a category in which to hate. One commenter, who was quite kind about what was said, even added:
I *will* say that I find buying new cars in an economic crisis distasteful…
This I did find funny because supposedly we are currently in an economic crisis and yet I am sure there are many new things being purchased today. It also made me think of a TV family that a follower recently told me about: The Duggars. I have not watched the show, but I googled them after a follower mentioned them. They certainly have bought not only one new vehicle, but I saw an aerial shot of their property and they have many including a very large RV. Are they cruel or evil for purchasing new during economic hard times? Have they the right to do so, or if their show is using positive ‘spin’ to represent their good values, is that all right? I am not saying anything for or against this show, as I have not seen it, but just using it as a point.
Now, the actual story, which I had not told but didn’t think I had needed to, about my mother’s parents is as follows. It is true that my grandfather bought a new car each year during the Depression, or as I recall it being told to me. However, he was not a Rockefeller. He had built up his business over time. He and my grandmother had 13 children and my mother’s pride was in the fact that he was able to feed and cloth all these children AND help his community during the Depression.
My mother’s particular pride for the new car purchase wasn’t that she felt ‘better than others’ because of it, but due to what her father had told her. He pointed out that many people were struggling and no man likes a hand-out. To return a car and to purchase a new car gave a job and money to the local man who sold cars. He was able, to those who could afford it, resale the old car for a profit, as this was his job. Also, a new car each year was adding to the economy in that there would be one more man needed on the line to make the cars. Simply hoarding what you have when the chips are down was not considered good to my grandfather. He could easily have done so, but instead was always spreading what he had around, even during the uncertain times of the Depression when one didn’t know when they might suddenly be without anything.
During the Depression, and in fact in the ‘olden days’ in general, most people did not like nor would not take hand outs. The concept of welfare was really born out of the Depression and many families would rather starve than feel they were just taking money from somewhere.
This same grandfather, who I am now suppose to feel bad about somehow, or feel less genuine because of, did many such things. The car was really just a more abstract way of helping out. It may have benefited some people far away where the cars where made, but it was important to him none-the-less. It definitely helped the local man who sold the cars have something to make a higher profit on, a one year old car sold locally to anyone who could afford it, was a good source of income.
These grandparents did many such things during the Depression. They often bought fruit and ‘treats’ and handed them out to children. This, however, did not want to be seen as charity either, so my Grandfather would have the children invite over the other less fortunate children to dinner or to play where they could receive such gifts in a way that seemed natural and not offensive to their parents.
They also built a new house during this time. That statement, much like the car, could easily have been given a chance remark, “Oh, he thinks he is so great”. But, as mother liked to point out, it provided so many jobs locally for families to build and feel the pride of earning their money. This was even somewhat of a strain on them financially, but he felt it important for his community and his family.  He even added new ice houses where fish were stored (this was part of his business) so that more local men could be paid to cut ice for it. In those days, even though they had refrigeration, they still used ice houses where they would cut ice from local waters in the winter and store it in sawdust. This was good honest work, my grandfather knew it and had, himself, once done it. This was another way to provide locally for people without it seeming to be a handout.
My grandmother also bought and made new clothes for my mother and her siblings in order to have newer things to give away locally. This allowed one to casually say, “Oh, sally outgrew this, I bet it would fit your Betsy” and the mother receiving it would not feel she was receiving charity. Just as the dinners she would host when she would ask her children to bring their ‘friends home’.
My mother remembers a few smelly boys she did not consider her friends but her mother insisted on her inviting them over as friends. They would receive meals and be less mouths to feed at home without it seeming charity. Billy is at Sally’s house for dinner is much kinder to think of than a child in a soup line.
At the time, my mother didn’t quite understand, but as she grew older she did and that was when she felt the pride. This left an impression on her and I recall, when I was little, going with my mother when she did various charity things including working for hours at a local place that collected old glasses and worked with volunteer doctors for eye exams and free glasses for people who could not afford it. It was set up like a clinic or office, people could come in, greet my mother who acted, really like a nurse or receptionist at the office, and the people would feel as if they were just going to any old eye doctor. Though they never had to pay,  they were treated with dignity and respect and not just simply handed some money or glasses. They had choices and were actively a part of that choice.
There were many such stories my mother told me of her parents, just as there are stories of my own parents helping others. She was proud of her family and what they did. I am too. And, even if they were horrors or even if he was a Rockefeller, how would that make me a different person? Am I not allowed to grow or change as a person because a relative did something good or bad?
That is what  bothered me most about what the commenter had said, that somehow anything I did would be colored by what my grandfather did. When someone assumed the ‘type’ or ‘box’ into which they could lump my grandparents, they could not do so with me and this made them suddenly think I was not genuine. “If your grandparents bought new cars during the Depression and you are talking about Thrift now, where do I place you?”
It is harder to hate someone when you cannot place them. I don’t like to think I fit into a category, I don’t think any of us do, but yet we are always trying to do so to people. If we can pigeonhole someone it is easier to hate or like them. “Oh, they are that group, no thank you” or “Oh they are that group, I like them” I see this all the time in the blog community. Because I am now a part of the ‘vintage community’ that does not mean I automatically will like everyone who has a vintage blog and what they say or equally hate anyone who has a blog about modern things and technology. I want to always ask why and find out what is behind it all. So, my decisions are based on the merit of the thing or person and not because they fit into some pre-conceived ideal. This, however, is very hard to do. I, too, struggle with it all the time.
Maybe, in some way, because marketing and advertising groups are such a part of our modern world, we cannot help but think of people in that way. Almost like a product: Now where does this go on the shelf? “Empty headed rich person, or integrity-filled poor person.”
If my grandfather had been a Rockefeller and I grew up in the lap of luxury, would my own personal growth about thrift and realizing who I am and what the world is really like be less valid? Are we really to have a different set of rules of what is considered genuine based on someone’s bank account? Is there no growth or realization of change if someone has more money than another?
As it so happens, I myself have been a ‘working class’ girl. The very thing I am supposed to have not wanted for my phantom child that does not exist. Yet, during that time, did I love my work? Not always. Would I like to make a world for a future child where he is allowed more freedom than me? Of course. I think it should be a parents job to allow a child to have better chances then they had, and that does not mean more money.
In fact, I think I would still want my child to work for a bit, even if he didn’t have to as much, so he can understand what it is to work. So he can understand what it is to save and earn and have one’s pride of place based on their own hard effort and work as well as anything they are given.  And, if he chose to not go to university but to be a mechanic, would I love him less or discourage him? No, because he would be following his heart. But, I would want him to do so because he had the choice to do so. It that makes me a bad person, then so be it. Those are the choices Hubby and I made together as criteria for our future children.
As it happens, I am not rich. My hubby and I have worked very hard for anything that we have. I stay home now, not because I am a bored and vain housewife, but because I am learning and actively working at a frugal life-style so it can be so. It IS a job. I make almost all my own clothes, which I taught myself. I cook and preserve so that I can spend less at the market. We do without holidays, so that we can live the lifestyle we have chosen.  We have one car, so there is less expense AND less opportunity to go and spend willy-nilly by me. I have found, anyway, that I am always so busy at home, I haven’t time to go and be bored and shop aimlessly. Though, I have been that person too!
What also struck me in the commenter's tone was the quick assumption about a ‘stay at home wife’. That quick as a wink, ‘here we are again’, attitude that says  the ‘stay at home woman’ is lazy, vain and bored. As if I just lie about all day on pillows of satin, eating bon-bons watching ‘my stories’. In the PC world in which we live, why is that not considered discrimination?
The assumptions we make of others is often based on the material aspect of someone. We see what they are wearing or buying or driving and then conveniently place them in their box. We, modern people, have made it easy for such assumptions. And if we want to take on a groups’ view we simply need to dress and act like the accepted norms. It is almost warrior like, but rather than eating your kill to take on its powers we simply don the clothes or attitude of an accepted ‘group’. And suddenly we magically are a part of it or we take on all that group represents: Instant personality; instant lifestyle.
And isn't’ that what so much of the modern world is, instant? We want it now fast and easy! No thinking or struggle, just pop it on and go to the next thing. This is another reason I like to dress vintage. Many people don’t know what box to put me in. Or, if someone sees me dressed up, they might think I am all prissy and think I consider myself better than them. Yet, in reality I am also as comfortable going home and wielding power tools and doing construction. I can dig in the soil and raise chickens AND dress up and go to the opera. My life is a series of choices based on what I like and what I would like to achieve. Why should I ever limit myself to what I think I SHOULD be doing based on whatever group I WANT to belong to. I never think, “Oh, I can’t do that because this group to which I subscribe would not do it”
That was why the 1955 project also scared me, because I had preconceived ideas of what a middle class 50’s housewife was and did. I didn’t want to NOT do something, yet in my practiced attempts to NOT use certain conveniences, I then learned to do even more. And, as with my own life, I am finding that there was no one type of 1950’s person. The world was made up of many different people all experiencing the same thing in different ways.
I also discovered through the old magazines (as opposed to the modern uber-specialized magazines of today) that women at home not only got to wear nice clothes but also learned to fix the toilet, build a shelf for the kitchen, become a master chef, decorate and paint and the list goes on. More was expected of them and they did more because of it. Not because they were assumed to be a certain way and therefore could only be that person. Today we seem to expect so little from someone.
Well, if any of you are still with me at this point, I just wish to say that I hope this rant is not seen as too self-indulgent. I just wanted to point out that we might view or think we know someone based on some criteria we either have learned or been shown on TV, when often times each individual should be taken on their merit, despite their parents or ancestors.
I am proud of my own mother and what she accomplished even though she was ‘just a homemaker’. I am also proud of my grandparents for having the ability to see the world and community in which they lived and to have done their share. They could easily have walled themselves away and pretended it wasn't’ happening, but they thought about it and made MANY choices to help others to be empowered to work and feel they were still apart of their community and not just receiver's of hand outs. If that makes me disingenuous or living an imaginary life, than I am guilty.
Thank you for listening to my ramblings.


  1. Just keep doing what you are doing and don't worry about those who don't know (or more worryingly, perhaps care) about the difference between being critical and being insulting.
    I like what you do. :0)

  2. Dear 50gal,

    I do not think that you need to respond to the nasty posts that you receive. To keep them in print is one thing, but you really do not need to dignify them with a response. Just keep on doing what you are doing, with pride and with the knowledge that you are true to yourself. I adore your blog, and even though I do not always agree with everything you post, it is your blog and you need not justify your thoughts/words to anyone. If your posts upset people, they should get on with their lives and stop reading it. As for you, chin-up, and carry on with your interesting/informative/educational/charming blog.


  3. Thank you for sharing the lovely story of your grandparents during the Depression. They sound like the kind of people a person would want to look up to and emulate.

  4. I think you're right to be proud of your grandparents. Not everyone who could afford to do what they did were thoughtful enough to do so. Try not to let the few who dissent get to you. Just keep on keeping on. We love what you're doing and many of us wish we could do the same. I'm working my way that direction slowly but surely.

  5. Cyber-bullies are like most other bullies; if you keep reacting to them, they will keep harassing you. Gidget is right ... stop responding and giving them air time and they will find someone else to pick on ...

    Mrs. Ames

  6. Perhaps you are right and I was silly to respond to this 'bully'. However, I have found it usually leads me to think and consider things more. I suppose it is rather a waste of your time, reading I mean, for me to use the next post as a means to vent and analyze such a comment, but in a way it is helpful to me and helps me to better understand my own frustration with such a remark. Maybe I will remove this post later today. Thank you, as always, for making me feel better. As I have in the past responded to silliness and you have been there to make me feel better about it. I am, I am afraid, too sensitive.

  7. I think you have every right to be proud of your grandparents. What they did was kind, generous, and neighborly, all of which is in much shorter supply today.

    I would add that people making such judgements, and posting them to your page is a level of rudeness that is a common problem in our 2010 world.

    I love your blog, and enjoy hearing about whatever you decide to share with us!

  8. I'm glad you shared and defended yourself and your family. You can be proud of your grandparents. I have never thought it a good idea, either, to hoard during hard times. This deprives people of jobs.

    While you did not have to defend yourself and your family, I'm glad you did, because you brought up some very good points.

    I'm happy to follow your blog, as it unfolds, taking various turns and directions. You have learned a lot and we are learning from you. Even people like me who were children during the 50's can learn something, as our scope was limited, being children. Thanks.

  9. I would also like to know, now that you have established that things were different for different people during the 50's, depending on where they lived, urban or rural, what their financial status was, working-class or middle-class, and showing us that none of these things were inferior to others -- What are some common threads that you have noticed that were the "universals" for the 50's, no matter what a person's circumstances as those listed above?

    What are some common threads you have noticed?

  10. Spinnakersu-thank you, sometimes post such as these seem so self-indulgent and then I recall, the entire concept of a blog IS self-indulgence, isn't it?
    TWUS-What a good question and maybe worth a blog post in and of itself. The single thread that mingled the 1950's without the restriction of class or money, I like it. I love 'assignments' like these.

  11. There's also something in the car story that really stands out to me, in contrast to our disposable culture.

    It used to be that things were made in way to last. (Not just back to the depression, but even further back in history.) So a family with more income/means would, say, buy a new dress in the newest style. At some point, it would be sold to a consignment type shop and someone else would buy it at a reduced cost. And so it would go, until eventually it would probably be donated/given away.

    Contrast this to now, where people hoard lots of cheaper goods, and buy things that don't last (even so-called quality clothing doesn't last long). So we have a system dependent on an influx of cheap, disposable products.

    I think a lot of people are uncomfortable with the first model because it may create a visible hierarchy. You can see who is wearing clothes that are slightly out of date, or really out of date, etc. and make assumptions about their status. Of course, this is even worse because most people don't have the skills to repair or update clothes (ie, shorten the hem on a skirt or something). Yet, it's FAR more sustainable; things don't end up in landfills, buying fewer things of higher quality allows you to support local craftspeople or businesses based on a model that pays a living wage, and the consignment shops also provide local jobs. And again, passing things down is helping the local community in a more subtle way.

  12. Donna, I always like your posts, even/especially the long rants. It shows your personality. The fact that you care and are trying to figure things out. It helps me to think about how I would react (usually the same way)and to want to put the "facts" straight as it were. My parents grew up in the depression also and you are so right about that whole generation NOT wanting an obvious hand-out. I think your grandparents were wonderful the way they circumvented this. I love your blog and read you every day that you post.
    Julie in WA

  13. Ivy-so true. The very concept of supporting not only your community but your country in general. And, as many things were made in the USA at that time, it was a good system. Obviously, the loss of jobs during the Depression had our country thinking things over, though much of the actual cause of it was the increased speculation that really just started at the turn of the 20th century. It was really the beginning of 'playing with peoples lives' in a way.
    How much better would it be, too, if we did have more well made things that could be handed down. There is almost a reverse of pride today, a hand out or government money is not seen as a negative and in many ways and by many people almost considered a 'privilege'. Yet to be seen not wearing the latest (which is easy as jeans and t's might make slight changes, just enough to want you to buy the 'latest') yet are so easily mass produced cheaply.
    I wonder if we can ever endeavour to have more local economies and also US economies return. That is to say, find a way to support and encourage local small business AND larger factories, production within the usa by individuals. Then a company could grow to be a good sized 'family concern' but not to the level at which we are currently which really only allows a very small amount to control it all. That is not fair nor just for the up and coming. It used to be the American spirit and dream to build up a business, but now it is almost impossible. Yet, people are lead to believe it is still there and many find themselves supporting the rights of the few very large corp. at their own personal downfall, very good 'spin' and 'marketing' on that front.
    Though local products could cost more, it would in the end benefit all concerned. IT, as a side effect, would even waste less fossil fuels as if they goods needed only to be shipped by road or train, the cost of shipping cartons of tomatoes for Australia and vast amounts of clothing and home goods from China, just think of that. One would need a good community in order to support that brave person who would like to say, 'okay, I am going to start a knitting mill or a fabric mill and produce bolts of cotton locally' and have that community be willing to support the cost of it being more to them. However, this would also provide jobs locally and open up new prospects as a place where designs and color are added to the cloth, then dress shops and fabric shops that buy wholesale from them and make the clothes to sell to all of us. This is how it once was. I wonder if it could ever be again?
    Julie-Thank you very much. In fact, later on when my grandparents who always 'shared the wealth' hit a slump in their industry, they indeed had to close things down for awhile, shut up their house and business and move to a new location where they had opened a small restaurant. Luckily, they were able later to return and get things back in order and my uncles then went into the business. Surely if they had chose to be more 'miserly' this might have been avoided, but rather than spending every dime on things to show off how 'wealthy' they were, they were interested in helping their children and their community, even when it did turn bad for them.
    I think it just goes to show, we might think or be trained to think of an action or act by someone as 'selfish' or 'wrong' when in fact their motives and actual results are the opposite.

  14. Yes, I like how your personality resonates through this blog. It is what makes it interesting and personal rather than just generic. Reminds me of those "narrative" cookbooks (like the old Time-Life Foods of the World of the 70's), where the authors take you through the countries and tell why people eat they way they do, etc., rather than just compile recipes, (even though those kinds books and blogs are nice, too).

    Anyway, yes, there must be common threads that run through "The 50's," since just to say the phrase conjures up images, which DO come from somewhere.

    You could compile some official statistics (like the average number of children during that baby boom; marriages/divorces, working wives/stay-at-home wives, and things like that).

    Or, (you don't have to take my suggestions) perhaps you could do a post and invite your readers who actually lived through "The 50's" (would it be 1946-1964, the baby boom?) and have them leave a one-sentence comment about what "The 50's" was to them, sign it or leave it anonymous, and tell where they were living at the time, and perhaps when they were born (whatever they were willing to share).

    For instance, for me, it would be: I remember "The 50's" as a time better than now because of traditional family values, but also as a time hurtling toward modernity. Mary R., New York City area, born 1953.

    Like that. Maybe that would give you some stuff to work with.

    You blog is so cool. I bought several more patterns from the 1950's at my local thrift store!! I plan to sew the dresses, with, I hope, vintage materials.

  15. Interesting post today! I hope I didn't upset you too much with my comment yesterday; I was just sharing my opinion and tried not to make it aggressive.

    As an aside, my grandmother also bought new cars in the Depression. I had the opinion I expressed formed before I read your blog, so I am not specifically judging you or your family.

    Great job!

  16. TWUS-Great Idea, the comments left would be a part of that info. I like that idea.
    Mei-Oh, no I didn't mean for it to sound as if now I was picking on you, but merely using it as a point. And, as I said, I like all opinions and even when I get the 'hurtful' one, I always take it and use it as fodder for another post. I figure, well, they said it, so why not just address it, right? I know it might be annoying for some of my readers, but again, it is my personality, so I suppose I don't have to justify it.
    Thank you all, always for all and any comments you give me. It does a heart good to know others are reading your views and opinions, even if you think me crazy of way off track, or even when I am spouting utter nonsense, as I am wont to do, at least you have given me your time to consider it and I honestly and sincerely thank any and all of you for that. It seems totally normal to me, now, this blogging and when I started I knew very little about the whole community.

  17. I think that it shows great strength of character to react with such level-headed calm as you do to the odd bully. Broadening your ways of thinking and seeing the world through attempting to clear a misunderstanding is a wonderful way to grow!
    Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the stories of the Depression-era ancestors. I think you know why.
    Thank you.

  18. I like Travels With Uncle Sam's idea of gathering info about those of us who lived through the '50s. When you decide to do this I will be glad to add my statistics and impressions.
    Julie in WA

  19. Just as an aside to the comment that was addressed here, I think the point that some people are missing is that, you aren't being condescending, you are simply speaking of ambition. No one in my family wanted me to be a Walmart cashier or something comparable because they knew that I was intelligent and capable of more, so I went to nursing school. And when it comes to the Duggars and purchases made during crisis, my Grandfather's family was the most well of in his area because of how he managed his money and possessions; they were the first family to own an automobile. Your grandfather obviously worked hard for what he had and therefor wanted more for his family. Sometimes people get lucky, but most of the time when someone made wealthy, they simply worked hard. The Duggars can afford a lot of things because they work off the motto "Owe no man anything but love", they have no debt, they are very frugal with everyday purchases, even when buying new they search out the very best deals, and they homeschool their children. Your choices often reflect how you are able to live out your everyday life.

    In summary, I love your blog and I hope that you continue as you have.

  20. What does it matter how bad our economy is? What affects me doesn't have to affect you? If someone can afford Neiman Marcus clothing, Chanel handbags and a new car during depressing times, by all means go for it. It's THEIR money!!
    No ones me anything. If I am to have food on the table, a roof over my head and a car to drive it is up to me to provide it. End of story.

  21. 50's Gal, I applaud your grandfather for not only contributing to the sales person job at the Car sales place. I also applaud him for supporting an entire auto industry.

    Purchasing a car goes beyond just the sales rep., it also enables the hardworking men/women in the auto motive sector, their numerous suppliers, retain positions and to provide for their family.

    My father has just done precisely the same thing, he bought an auto product manufactured in North America in the sincere hopes that just one auto job would be secure from such a purpose.

    This is near and dear to my heart, as my hardworking hubby is laid off from the auto sector, he is university educated and a skilled trades to boot.

    When one is willing/able to support an industry it must be done in order to avoid further lay offs.

    It took courage and ingenuity to survive the Great Depression, my own great grandparents lost big time. They were not wealthy, but owned three working farms on the Maitland in Huron County, as a result of the Great Depression, they never starved but barely hung onto the one farm, and lost the others.

    For someone to "judge" what your Grandpa did is silly a) they do not know your family, nor your history b) it was highly presumptuous of them to condemn your grandpa for being a smart enough man to employ other men at a time in history where many were unemployed.

    50's Gal, keep up the great work I LOVE your blog and would dearly miss it, when/if it ends :)

    Mom in Canada

  22. I think many people miss the whole point of "thrift." Being frugal and thrifty is the way to be able to afford the things you want without going into debt, whether it's a new pair of pants or a car.

    I think many people also forget that not everyone who lived during the Depression was living in hobo camps and standing in soup lines. Just like the current recession, there were people who weren't badly affected by the economy back then. My own mother's family was one of them. My mother recalls driving down the street with her dad in their nice, big, black car and seeing people in the bread lines, and having to ask her dad why they were there. They also had a nanny, housekeeper and cook during this period. So no, not everyone was living a Grapes of Wrath existence. Yes, many people did, but NOT everyone.

    This person's comment just shows the danger of putting stereotypes on any one era and pigeonholing everyone into the same category.

  23. I am so happy with all the comments and, as usual, I end up being happy to just address a comment that makes me feel bad. In a way it helps me to analyze the situation more and to understand my own perspective where I am today.
    Today we have been taught that frugal means buying cheap stuff cheaply in the truckload from big box stores. It is a sad state of affairs as we are simply driving the nails into the coffins of our own economy.
    What is really sad is the division between "Democrats and Republicans" only causes more problems. If most people actually thought about it and talked to one another instead of through the 'talking points' of the various media and spin campaigns, we would realize that the majority of the people would like a nation that can work and create on it's own soil and export goods rather than continually depending on foreign countries. These two groups always use hot point issues like religion and 'alternative lifestyle' as a means to keep the divide going. It isn't as if one side 'owns God and justice' and one side 'Cares about people' yet that is the way they spin themselves. Unfortunately it is up to all of us to realize this and try to work within the system (or in spite of it) to try and change the world, again, one apron string at a time. I wish I had the funds because I would LOVE to start a small manufacturing concern. The other day hubby and I were discussing how so many of the mills and factories in a town here in MA (fall River and New Bedford) sit idle and wasted. They are on a waterway and used to be major manufacturing towns (once were the main hubs for whaling as well). How, if only we could afford it, how lovely it would be to rent one of these spaces and start say making cotton. Then we could supply locally and I could design fabrics and add dying and design. Then local places could buy wholesale from us to sell the fabric by the yard and other shops could open retail dress/clothing/bag shops and buy fabric from us to make product to sell. The only problem is we could NEVER compete with Walmart and their ilk and thus it would not work. However, if others were willing to pay more and have less but make and grow a community, just think the world we could leave for our grandchildren. I hate to think what the world will be by then. I think speaking Chinese might be in order for that world, unfortunately. Sad, state. But, I have hope and I wish and hope that we can make a difference. Perhaps I am just being naive.

  24. Some FYI about the Duggars---they never buy new vehicles, they ALWAYS buy used. Their motto is "Buy used and save the difference." And as another commenter pointed out they have no debt, they even paid cash for their house. In fact they pretty much built it themselves (toward the end they had some professional help) as a family, and it took them 3 years to do it.

  25. No i don't think you were being self indulgent & i certainly didn't think reading your thoughts was a waste of time.I love reading your blog ,it's always so insightful ,informative & i feel like i'm learning & improving myself every time i read it.Keep up the great work!:) xxx

  26. I'm so happy to have found your little corner of the internet! I think you make some very good points in this post-- especially the fact that how your parents or grandparents lived doesn't necessarily mean that must be the way YOU live, and also the idea that part of a parent's job is to try to give better opportunities to his/her kids than the parent had for him/herself. And it really isn't fair to make assumptions about someone's integrity or vanity based on some off-handed comment about an old family story.


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