My mother lived through both WWII and the Great Depression. On rare occasions, normally when someone of her generation was present, she would talk about those times. She was a great believer in “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” (I hated that as a kid, when my friends were getting the latest cool clothes and I was wearing something she sewed. I had no appreciation then for the talent and love that went into that garment.)
She would talk about ration books and going without necessities. She didn’t smoke, but got coupons for cigarettes and would trade with her friends and family for things that she needed and they didn’t. She talked about gas rationing and how the farmer down the road, who got more gas than most, would let her take his car when she needed to go somewhere. I remember her getting so mad at me and my sister when she told us about a butcher in a nearby town who didn’t require the ration stamps but would take money instead, and we said, “MOTHER! You shopped the black market?” She was appalled that we would think such a thing of her! (We never brought it up again but once in a while shared a giggle about it.)
I never thought I’d see such times. I never really thought about it, I’ve never seen a time in this country when there wasn’t an abundance of goods and food, for those who could afford it. I understand that not everyone could, I’ve had days when I didn’t know where my next dollar was coming from, so it’s not because I grew up rich. I never walked into a store and saw empty shelves. I never wondered if I’d be able to buy food.
Then Covid hit. I walked into the grocery store that Friday after our oh so much wiser than the rest of us Governor closed all non-essential businesses. There were empty shelves. Not a piece of toilet paper or a roll of paper towels could be found, no meat, no eggs, no bread. I’ve seen that store when a blizzard was predicted, I’ve never seen empty shelves. I wanted to make lasagna that weekend. I couldn’t find noodles, I couldn’t find hamburger.
Things in that area have gotten back to normal. We’ve been able to buy everything we need, and some we don’t need. I never want to live that way again, wondering where I’ll get supplies so we can freakin eat. Eating is important here. Well, it’s important everywhere.
And now the election hangs in the balance and the man who may win has publicly stated that he wants to shut down the country again. Yesterday I went to the store. I bought extra stuff, canned goods, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies. I won’t be caught short again. And if he doesn’t win, well, I have extra stuff and won’t have to shop if we get bad weather. If he does, God help us all
My fears are real and whether you love Trump or hate him, at least he didn’t try to destroy the economy. If you voted for the other guy, don’t ask me for TP, I’m not nice enough to share.