I had a telephone conversation with my “new” Momma and my Daddy this morning. We spoke of many things one of them being their trip to Hawaii by way of California. The other thing we discussed was the state of our nation’s economy. Both of these intelligent septuagenarians said the same thing to me. They said that my generation, the baby boomer generation, would not make it through a great depression.
My conversation went something like this:
Me: Hey Doe, how did you make out on that Leahman’s deal? Doe: Well I don’t know yet, but I think that pretty much puts us out of going to Alaska next year. Me: Oh really? So you had a lot of money invested? Doe: Enough that it hurt. You know they have been talking about this being another Great Depression. You know I sure hope not because you kids couldn’t survive a depression. Y’all have to have your Starbucks and pedicures. We didn’t have those things back in the depression you know. Me: Yeah I know you had to walk to school up hill both ways in the snow while it was 32 degrees below zero in the middle of Texas in summer. Doe: That’s right and we had to eat liver and turnips and stuff.
Now what she said was in jest but I don’t know how far off from the truth it is. I mean how many of us today grow our own food, cook our own meals and do our own yard work.
Would we in our 50’s through our 60’s really be able to survive? Could we survive without our Venti double cupped extra hot vanilla latte’s and our Double shot machiotto’s? Could we survive if we could not drive to the store every 15 minutes to get our microwave instant dinner or to pick up our take out order at Chili’s? How would we get by if we had to eat beans for supper every night because we couldn’t afford to eat fast food or gourmet pre-prepared frozen dinners?
The generations who survived the Great Depression were tough. They were resilient; they did not expect the government to bail them out of the hell that fell upon them. They pulled their big girl and boy panties up and got on with life. They boarded up their farms and loaded up their jalopies and headed out to find work. They did not stand around wringing their hands crying about what they didn’t have anymore they went out and worked. They were doers and savers and they made it.
My step-grandmother used to reuse her foil. She would smooth it out, wipe it off, fold it up and use it again and again until it eventually fell apart. My best friend’s grandmother would make a single chicken last through a week’s worth of meals. Each meal being different but made from that single chicken. They were resourceful. More important they MADE IT.
They taught us to make “one egg cakes” and potato casserole and taught us to eat beans and cornbread as a meal, how to be frugal and save. They taught us how to repair our own cars and radios, to re-roof our own houses. They taught us these things but what did we actually listen and learn from them?
I am ashamed of my fellow baby boomers. I am ashamed that we have turned into such an entitled generation. I am ashamed that we have to have someone else make our morning coffee and we are too good or too busy to prepare our own dinner. That we feel entitled to drive vehicles that use more fuel in one week than a whole village in a third world country uses in a year.
So what do you say fellow boomers? Can we do it? Can we tighten our belts, knuckle down and use that knowledge that our forefathers and mothers gave us? Can we cook our own meals, repair our own roofs, make ourselves pay our own bills and not rely on the government to bail us out? I think we can. We just have to want to do it.
More from living