Friday, February 27, 2009

Wish my grandmother was alive...

Either of them, they are both gone. Somehow I want to reach out to some steady, wise woman. Who has already faced the deamons of uncertainty, faced them, stared them down and conquered. I keep thinking about how ignorant we all are, it's like we've awakened to the real world where there is not this endless supply of everything that flows easily into your life, easing your burdens. I didn't understand the concept of the economy before, the expanding economy, the shrinking economy, it's all been a big theoretical concept to me before. Right now it is as if I can feel it, the shrinking economy, sucking away the abundance, the jobs, the easiness of aquiring money. It's not as if we had a whole lot of money before, but it was alway's there and the idea of saving money in the bank or putting money away in a 401 (k) made sense. All of the theoretical models of economic expansion; free trade, trickle down economics, free enterprise. It all made sense, in school. The economic models, the theoretical stock market "investing," made sense. What always made me uneasy was when they would pull out there numbers and start off by saying, "by saving x amount of dollars at a 17% (the theoretical stock market returns, maybie it was 10% but it was still a bit out there), taking into consideration an inflation rate of 4%, you should be able to retire in x amount of years with x amount of money." This all put forth as an example of living a well thought out and virtuous life. It always made me nervous, out of good sense, or a general sense of increduality at this pie in the sky scenario. I have read a lot of these theoretical "How to Manage your Money" books as well. I have been steeped in the culture of capitalism, and I have read about other types of economic models as well (though the full explaination of them all escapes me at the moment that I am asked about them. I also cannot make much headway on compare and contrast of the differing models). What strikes me is that humanity has not found a way to put society into order, in order that we are all benefited. If you know anything about history their was a crucial time when Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were debating the fitness of their viewpoints. Jefferson was of the mindset that society should be set up with individual "yeoman farmers." Hamilton was in favor of a central bank which controled the money supply. Honestly, although I keep thinking about this, I don't know too much about it, I want to learn more about this. Hamilton eventually won out on creating a central bank and much of Jeffersons idea's were set aside.

As for my longing for my grandmother, either of them. It's terrible to feel so ungrounded, to be responsible for the well being and upbringing of my children with no steady voice to turn to. My grandma D. died the day after my fourth birthday, she was killed by a drunk driver. What I remember about this is that my family wouldn't let me come inside during the funeral. I have this vague memory of being forced to wait out on the playground with my cousins during the whole thing. I felt frustrated by it and I didn't understand. She would be a really good person to talk to, she raised my mom and her 8 other children pretty much on her own. My grandpa was a truck driver and he left my grandma for another woman. (We have had some strange tense meetings with "grandpa" in AZ and his wife. Who is actually a really nice woman. Grandpa D. has passed on now as well). My grandma D. sewed really well, even made dolls for all the grandkids before she passed on. I have a beautifully made Ragady Ann doll from her. Grandma C. was a really smart, beautiful, and accomplished lady. She was a civic minded Democrat (strange for my really red state). She worked for Mountain Bell for many years as a manager for the switch board operaters. I have a beautiful gold bracelet with little bells on it for every 5 years that she worked there. I think there are 5 little bells making 25 of service. Grandma C. also helped to start a womans club that is still in existance today (I have a post that shows me in one of their annual fashion shows at about age 5).

They lived good noble lives. They both worked hard and I think both remembered the great depression or at least were raised with the lessons learned from it. My grandparents were frugal, I especially remember Grandpa and Grandma C. Their house was decorated tastefully and they always bought quality, but they weren't "consumers" in the way that people have been used to in the past few decades. The only thing that is irritating to me, is that although I would like to emulate their example it has now become the necessity to learn how to do without. I can conceptually see how blessed we still are. I have fabric, a lot of it, which I need to take out and sew into quilts. We also have books, access to the park and library, free entertainment. Plus we have access to other services and as for me I am lucky that a couple of woman from our church have been working hard to put together clothing exchanges every few months or so. Tomorrow I am going to go help out as much as possible since I have benefited twice from there efforts and haven't known how to help before now.

What is missing from America? There is a void, a mass of people who have been left purposeless. All of the little jobs have been sucked away, to be filled by people in other countries. The quality in what we have is gone as well, I was contemplating that today. Families would purchase a beautiful well made alarm clock or some other item, from craftsmen who loved what they did and distinguished themselves by their trade. But those types of professions are missing, craftsmen, that's what we need.

Anyway, this has been a nice rambling post, hope I haven't bored you all (if you read this far).

~Strawberry Girl

No comments: