Monday, August 18, 2008

Toss'n 'n turnin'

"Dear Bessie;" the letter begins, typed the old-fashioned way on a spooled-tape typewriter...

"...I do remember you, but you were not very big then. But I sure do remember Albert and Irene. They were the best neighbors we ever had.

"I remember one winter day when I was sick with the flu. We heard a noise outside and there was Albert with his team and sleigh, unloading wood outside the door. They were that kind of people.

"...Albert and I had been helping the county build roads and just got paid off. No work in sight for the winter, so we decided to buy our winter's groceries. I asked the biggest store in town, 'Do we get a discount on large orders, such as 740 pounds of flour, 200 pounds sugar, 120 pounds of lard?' and they said, 'Sure.'

So Albert got 500 pounds of flour and 100 pounds of sugar and the rest accordingly.

"We did cut cord wood that winter . But in the spring a friend of Albert's talked him into charging a couple truckloads of wood, and never paid for it.

"The next fall we were going to town in the pickup. No cab, no top, just a windshield, so we each had a big overcoat on and were huddled up to the windshield.

"Albert said, 'I think that's Gilbert's truck coming. Let's stop and done him for what he owes.' I said, 'Okay, let me do the talking. Just back me up.' We stopped and so did Gilbert, and I told him, 'We stopped to collect what you owe us,' and I took my overcoat off and tossed it into the pickup seat. Albert ripped his big coat off and just threw it at the pickup and said, 'You're @^$(&##^&) right we are going to collect it.' And Gilbert said, 'I've got it along today. Here it is,' and paid us.

"Albert was a good man to work with.... Sincerely, Cliff Miller"

(Taken from a letter written by an old-tyme game warden to my Aunt Bessie while she was researching the family history.)

There's been quite a bit of speculation as to what's coming down the pike for us these days- or those in the not-so-distant future. Back in the 70's when my mind first began formulating real live thoughts about surviving anything, I'd gladly have gone back to 1872 or '80. I was young and dumb then, fresh from a four year stint in the Army, cock-full of myself and more full of piss and vinegar than I had any right to.

That kind of thinking even followed me into the 80's and middle age. Then reality of family set in and the thinking had to change- or I had to grow up, whichever the case was.

Now I am more convinced than ever what will happen is more akin to what my Grandfather and his friends went through during the depression- which lasted well into the 1950's up here. Not that my memory is 100% correct, but I recall fairly extensive unemployment up here even into the early 60's. Several uncles, friend's fathers and uncles and older brothers, all getting government jobs to work in Greenland building airbases and such. "Commodities" (government procured-provided-disbursed food stuffs, fore-runner of what are called "food stamps" today) were common in everyone's homes, it seemed. Probably just those I went to, though- people whose families were in the same straights as mine, since we tend to befriend like minded people.

My more settled mind now conjures images of people from all walks doing whatever it is we can to provide for our families and friends. It's going to take a network of friends and family, for sure. Working together, we'll keep each other sane in the coming insane world. And, again IMNASHO, until we are truly in the "last days" and when nation has risen against nation, when our own children have risen up against us and give us up to death (Mark ch 13), we will be living in the age of wars and rumors of wars, of earthquakes and famines. It is during these early days when our hearts will be tried, our faith tested, our love/charity observed by the One Who Is In Control.

So keep the Faith, Kids. Don't be fooled into thinking it's going to be easy, either. If it was gonna be easy, where'd the fun be? Where the challenge? If it was going to be easy, we'd have been told that, but we weren't. So let's cowboy-up, gird our loins and tackle the beast together.



  1. Yeah, let's do this together. You comin' to my place or me coming to yours? But whatever, we sure do have to get after the trouble when it comes. And get after it HARD.


  2. We all need to "cowboy up", come together, and starve the beast. It's the only way! Damn I wish we could all come together somewhere!

  3. Keeping the faith an cowboying up make a great combination!


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