Monday, August 5, 2013

Starting the Journey (Kinda Long!)





Can you imagine? Actually, I suppose most of us can, but this was the scene almost 72 years ago, when the United States, just emerging from another war, Prohibition, and the Great Depression, enters war yet again.

Our troops scrambled, the president reassured us, and people like my Uncle Jim and my Aunt Ellen were seeing what they could do, anything they could do, to fight for freedom from a truly threatening regime. Now, not everything back then was golden and charming, in spite of the image we like to imagine, but Americans pulled together as they have almost no time since. This has been, since studying the 40s for my Decades project in High School, my curiosity, and perhaps my passion.

That being said, I do not wish to completely revert my house or myself back to a time before civil rights and cell phones. In today's modern age, that's just not possible. What I am looking at is applying the principles of the "Greatest Generation" to today's modern world, and hopefully coming out ahead.

What are those principles? Well, during the hardships caused by the Depression and the following wartime rationing, the housewives (housewyves as they are called in my house for reasons to be discussed later) came up with strategies, and where they failed, the government stepped in with advice, pamphlets, and even catchy propaganda based slogans.

During the War, there were only a few things that a woman could do:
  • Take a Job ("We Can Do It!" says Rosie the Riveter.)
  • Join the USO ("USO: Until they're home.")
  • Buy War Bonds ("Let's All Fight!")
  • Feeding the Future Nutritious Foods ("Our food is fighting!")
  • Planting a Victory Garden and Canning ("We'll have lots to eat this winter, won't we, Mother?")
  • Rationing ("Do with less, so they'll have enough!")
  • Repairing ("Mend and Make Do!")
  • Recycling ("Save your cans! Help pass the ammunition!")
There were more, such as not talking about troop movements, and other patriotic things. Now, I only have one job, at the moment, and that's my family, as cheesy as that sounds, and while I am buxome and beautiful, I'm afraid the USO just isn't what it used to be. War bonds, which no longer exist, can be transmuted into savings bonds which don't quite do the same thing, but still mature and end up being an excellent investment in your own personal economy. That leaves the rest of it. Never did the government push for such healthy foods, and community togetherness as when they had these great slogans. (Racist slogans will be avoided, possibly rewritten.)

Today our enemies are clutter, noise, glowing electronic gizmos  that cut into our family time and steal away our attention. I hope that by applying much of the same principles from above, of which I shall go more in detail in the course of this blog, that not only will we lead happier and healthier lives, but that our lives will be better enriched, and that my son will have the life skills and work ethic of those gone before.

As a final note, this is not "Urban Homesteading." As I said, I do not wish to live "off the grid" as my husband does, nor live a "Biblical life" as some women do, or even, as a few rare and wonderful young women do, surround myself only in the items from the period. This is something that is honestly still developing in my mind, but as I've hooked my wagon up to the 1940s, I'm going to see how far I can go to create a comfortable and peaceful "Modern Homefront."

I hope you'll join me!