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|GRANDMA ANNIE (standard:non fiction, 984 words)|
|Author: Marsha||Added: Mar 15 2002||Views/Reads: 1927/1186||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|She lived through the great depression without getting depression. What was her secret?|
GRANDMA ANNIE There seems to be an epidemic these days of depression. Everyone I talk to, complains of feeling listless, lethargic and sad. As I wonder about the cause of this twenty-first century phenomenon, I'm reminded of stories I've heard about my great grandmother. Her name was Annie McManus, and she struggled through a difficult life raising twelve children of her own and two grandchildren. She watched two of her offspring die as children and two as adults with cancer, and she worked to support a sick husband who was twenty-two years her elder. She survived the great depression, yet those who knew her claim that she was never depressed a day in her life! How could that be? Maybe she was too busy surviving to think about feeling sorry for herself. She came to this country from Holland as a child. After she married, at the age of 13, her parents returned to Holland without telling her. She fed her large family by raising animals and a big garden. She also took in boarders and cared for the elderly and sick. She sold homebaked goods and ran the little post office for extra money. It was always Annie who volunteered to entertain traveling preachers and live-in teachers. She cooked on a woodstove in a house that was so cold the tea kettle water froze during the night if she didn't get up and stoke the fire. She could see the snow outside through the cracks in the walls. Annie had no phone, no electricity, no running water, no shower, bathtub or indoor toilet! There was no television to watch for relaxation in the evenings. In fact, she didn't relax in the evenings. That's when she sewed the family's clothes and knitted sock, mittens, hats, and scarves for her brood. Grandma was up before anyone else in the morning and was the last to go to bed at night. Because they raised pigs, grandma's children were the only ones in school who had real meat to eat and didn't take lard sandwiches in their lunches. The McManus kids wore shoes when their neighbors were barefoot, though they put cardboard inside those shoes to cover the bare soles. Grandma's kids, who lived in a tar paper shack, considered themselves much better off than most folks they knew. When beggars came to grandma's door, she always invited them in for a hot meal then sent them on their way with a dime. And a dime was a lot of money in those days! Grandma's family rarely took baths. To do so, they hand pumped water from the well, boiled it on the woodstove, and filled the metal tub in the kitchen by the fire. They never went to a doctor when they got sick. They couldn't afford such a luxury. And in those days, there was not a whole lot that doctors could do for them anyway. (Modern medicine has come a long way in the last 70 years). Annie and her children rarely drove the 13 miles into town because gas was expensive and they couldn't all fit into the Model T anyway. When they did go to town, they changed flat tires every few miles. In winter, they shivvered with no heat in the car and frequently got stuck in the snow even though they had chains on the tires. As a newlywed, when my grandmother moved to her new home , she packed all her belongings into a horse-drawn wagon. As they rode away, she told her husband "I forgot to bring a broom." He replied, "The house we'll be living in has a dirt floor, so you won't need a broom." This was my grandmother's life. How many of us could live like she did and still be happy? We are very fortunate to enjoy such easy lives. Let's count our blessings and be thankful! During this joyous season, as we celebrate God's great love and the sacrifice of His son for us, remember to thank Him for His goodness. How many blessings can you count in your life that you are grateful for? Click here to read the rest of this story (26 more lines)
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