Recessed about the Depression or thereabouts

Reuters today said U.S. consumer confidence is the lowest it’s been since 1983. Sounds about right. One friend lost her part-time job in December, and there is NOTHING in sight. Two other friends still have jobs but say business is getting harder and harder and paying less and less.

And here, Down Under in New Zealand, I’ve quit a big job that didn’t suit, ended 30 years on deadline, and set out to rebrand, re-invent and revitalize mah own self. Right in the midst of a global depression/recession/shit storm. It’s all veddy scary.

Then I remember my grandma Moew’s favorite story, which she must have told me a hundred times. When my granddad died in the 1930s, she had $10 in the bank, three kids, and no business skills. Sure, she could pick cotton, and cook and clean and wash and care for her family, but making a living?

Miraculously, she made it – cooking at Oklahoma University fraternity houses until she was in her 70s. She worked and scrounged relentlessly, and when she died left her three kids a paid-for house and impressive bankroll to divvy up.

I wish Moew’s story could have been in Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Count Your Blessings edition. But maybe it wouldn’t have been warm and fuzzy enough. Her story included abuse, hard ugly times, self denial, isms and emotional blackmail. But it continues to amaze and inspire me. She was a tough old lady who saved my life.

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