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So I talked to my mom the other day and we got on the subject of the Great Depression and how the economy and world in general is doing today. She started to relate stories from my grandmother, who is still alive, from her life as a child during those trying times.

She said as they would walk home from what ever it was they did in town, they would follow the railroad tracks to pick up coal that fell from the trains, they raised gardens to feed themselves and had chickens, etc. The one thing my mom pointed out about grandma was her massive quantity of shoes she has nowadays. As a child she hardly ever had shoes during those times because they simply didn't have the money to buy them, food and other essentials were higher priority.

It got me thinking, how many little things like that do we pass up in prepping? I would hate to walk the few miles to town and back in either worn out or no shoes at all.
 

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As a nurse, I had noticed (what I thought to be) an odd behavior in elderly patients. I would often find food such as sandwich-halves, half eaten apples, etc... in these peoples night stands at the hospital.

At first I thought it was a hoarding-behavior. Later and elderly retired nurse explained to me that most of these people went through the Great Depression. They wasted very little food. She said it was so bad for some people that it effected the way they lived, for the rest of their lives.
 

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Its amazing how the most simple thing can be taken for granted. I cant tell you how many times I have seen coal chunks on the side of the railroad tracks and just passed it buy. I think that generation will be the toughest the US has ever had - Going through the depression, WWII and everything that went with it.

I think todays society is going to have a total mind **** when they have to cope with scavaging what used to be so easily replacible and obtainable. Myself included somewhat...
 

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As a child she hardly ever had shoes during those times because they simply didn't have the money to buy them, food and other essentials were higher priority.

It got me thinking, how many little things like that do we pass up in prepping? I would hate to walk the few miles to town and back in either worn out or no shoes at all.
This is one of my concerns, too. So, I've started to learn how to make moccasins - both the short slip-on type and the boot style. They aren't that difficult to do. But, you need to have the leather. So, I've been buying some on eBay, which is the least expensive source I've found so far. I also bought an inexpensive leather working kit, extra needles and artificial sinew that's used to sew them together.

Think about not throwing away leather items: purses, furniture upholstery because they are stained, scratched or torn. Strip the leather off the old chair or ottoman before you toss it. You would be able to use the leather to make a sole for a shoe that's worn. (You can use the purses as storage for small preps, so you're not taking up space with a single purpose item)

I am also buying some boots when I find them on sale. If they're sturdy and fit, I don't care how they look, because they are a prep.

Another item that would be excellent for making some sort of footwear is seat belt strapping. It's easily woven and sewn and you can just wrap it and tie it over a shoe with a hole in the sole to save your skin until you can make a repair. With a smart application of duct tape, you can probably make shoes :upsidedown:
 

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As a nurse, I had noticed (what I thought to be) an odd behavior in elderly patients. I would often find food such as sandwich-halves, half eaten apples, etc... in these peoples night stands at the hospital.

At first I thought it was a hoarding-behavior. Later and elderly retired nurse explained to me that most of these people went through the Great Depression. They wasted very little food. She said it was so bad for some people that it effected the way they lived, for the rest of their lives.
My grandma never threw anything away. Food was always saved to make a soup at the end of the week.
She saved every scrap of fabric too.

She never got over the depression.
 

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My grandfather said it wasn't that bad,he had five children,they farmed,fished and his quote surprised me "no one had any money,so it was all equal".They lived lean,my father was born in 1929 and he was the youngest,my great uncle worked for the CCC,and no one starved,however they lived very conservative the rest of their lives.
He contracted the Spainish Flu while in WWI and he went to great links telling me to beware of influenza,he barely lived through the flu and it impacted him more than any disaster he faced,gas rationing,a roof full of snow collapsing on his family,etc.
I fear influenza more than anything facing mankind today.

Thanks,Bob
 

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I think learning from those of that era is an amazing way to learn how to prep, and make due from little of nothing.

Your post reminds me of a good set of videos that I watched. I think this lady's son or grandson had enough forethought to make this great set of videos....

Depression cooking with Clara

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51VhG8MKxJY
This is great! I made my mother in law a dandelion salad for Mother's day this year as a subtle introduction to some in my family that self reliance is on my mind and more "out of the ordinary" things are on the way.
 

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These days, walking along the RR tracks will get you some attention from the security folks due to the terrorism threat.
My parents grew up in the depression, my dad was born in 23, my mom in 26.
We wasted nothing when I was a kid. If you had food on your plate, you ate it.
I'll allways remember my mother saying "Don't ever start anything that you don't intend to finish" , that was said about a lot of things.
 

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Dad tought me volumes of what things were like during the depression ,as well as othe older folk I knew from church growing up .
Barter was common because money was not that common, and a few pennies actually bought something . Being raised poor he had a garden and went hunting and fishing ,making his controbution to family meals, even went into the CCCs and sent most of his money home .
Dad saved every thing ,still sorting through it all , he saved EVERYTHING, even if he had no emediate need for it .
Been in trouble many times with the county for too much accumulation ,it's no fun.
Mom though she went through it as well, did not accumulate things quite so much, as new old skills, that older folk we knew still used ,like making soap .
But that depression and the one ahead are very different , it is not the lack of money, but it's utter devaluation of it our government abused is limits .In turn abuse us.
Beside that though, the threat of war existed, the nucular bomb did not .
Though bad weather existed sickness and desease looming isues .
Many of those deseases have become immune to old remidies modern medicine have cooked up ,not to cure but to control desease, because doctors do not make money on healthy people.
Earth quakes and volcanoes occured then , but our science has made us infinately more aware of earth and space, and with pieces of evidence that are made believable doom prophets have more to work with. Not saying they are liars nor mongers, simply connecting dots that many of us collaborate with events in our own environments.
Tsunamis have changed the earths axis or rotation,just enough to change the weather ,in turn growing seasons are disrupted , tempretures have gone to freezing in areas it had never before occured .
These did not happen in the first depression.
Stupid stuff man has brought on doesn't help, but changes in the earth, not man caused are going to change life as we know it like it or not .
So even if the econemy is fixed ,and every body is working again , the things happening to the earth now, will make all that other stuff seem so small.
Being prepared for change is why we are here.
 

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Compared to 90% of the world,we live a lifestyle that is envied,even in Europe,if we have to have a setback and learn "The Roaring 20's" lesson again,and cut down debt,personal and governmental,it will hurt,but be healthy,if people adapt the same lifestyles of our Grandparents,conservative,low debt,and appreciated life.
 

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My father used to pick dandelions out in the country. We would cut up hard boiled eggs and add Vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and have a wonderful feast. Living in the California foot hills, each spring the Miner's lettuce grows under the oak trees. We use that for salads too.
 

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Compared to 90% of the world,we live a lifestyle that is envied,even in Europe,if we have to have a setback and learn "The Roaring 20's" lesson again,and cut down debt,personal and governmental,it will hurt,but be healthy,if people adapt the same lifestyles of our Grandparents,conservative,low debt,and appreciated life.
I agree. I feel better now than years ago when I have a lot more money than I do now. I was forced to cut down and to appreciate what I have. I can sincerely say that some times what you first see as a disaster can in fact be a blessing.
 

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My grandparents owned a huge farm, but their main crop, which they sold by the wagon load was green beans. When people could no longer afford to buy them, it's what his family (11 of them) was left to eat. He almost died from eating home canned tomatos that had went bad and to make matters worse, he got bit by a **** that had rabies, he shot it, thought it was dead and picked it up. He was so very lucky as there was only 1 course of rabies vaccine left in the entire county, since he was a child, he recieved it. To this day my dad won't touch green beans or tomatos and he hasn't been **** hunting since. He stashes stuff too...Snickers bars are his favs, lifesavers, gum, quarters. Every year at easter he eats and entire pack of peeps by himself LOL He and my mom, and all my relatives together brought me up right. Before I ever heard the word BOB he had one in the car. Our elders are our greatest source of knowledge, take the time and make the effort to find out what they know and to thank them for sharing it.
 

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I didn't grow up during the "official depression" but that didn't make any difference around my house. We were poor! Nothing was wasted, and we had very little money to buy anything. Anything we could glean, we did. If something broke we tried to fix it. And if we couldn't fix it, we save the parts anyway in case they could be used for something else.
 

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One of my grandmothers was a truly selfish bitch. Even though she grew up in the other depression, she obviously had no respect for it. When in her later years she applied for and got "meals on wheels" she was so unappreciative of it that she threw the hot meals and most of the canned goods away and laughed about it. Glad the bitch is dead.

My mom tells me things about how her grandparents did things on the farm that make me encouraged that we can get though this.
 

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my Dad grew up in the north in coal country...wasn't a problem to get the coal and he was very familiar with going down the basement to stoke up the heater.

more importantly, folks back then used furnaces to heat..nowadays, how much of the population has utilities that come from natural gas or electric...if they can't afford to pay the utility bill then they don't get heat...no option to gather twigs, coal, or bust up the old wooden furniture...cause there's nothing to burn it in.
we have a nice wood stove insert at least and 6 acres of woods on the property...but that's not the majority of folks.

Dad showed me once when I was 1st grade age, how he made a stick ball out of news paper and a bit of masking tape and we played in the backyard with it... I of course wanted a real plastic bat and a wiffle ball in a nice colorful package from the store so at that age I didn't appreciate what he was showing me...but I remember it to this day and it's a lesson I'll apply to other things in life.
 

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My Granddad used to tell me that they traded a a dozen eggs for a dozen .22 shells and a gallon of milk could get you 10 shotgun shells.

My Dad who grew up in a very rural and poor area lived much like they did in the Depression. When he was a kid one of his chores was to straighten nails for his Granddad. When I was a kid, we salvaged several old buildings and my job was to pull nails and sort lumber. We had to save all the nails in five gallon grease buckets and later straighten nails.

One thing that my Granddad, Dad and even myself seemed to have picked up is the stockpiling of blankets.

Berry picking was a way of life passed down through the generations and till this day i still pick black berries and huckleberries every year. Hunting, fishing and berry picking are all things that they did to survive.
 
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