Resilience, ingenuity, creativity help

Published 8:15 am Thursday, April 30, 2020

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My parents grew up during the Great Depression and were teenagers  and young adults during WWII. They knew all about stretching limited resources, making do and sometimes just doing without. They experienced rationing of food, fuel and other items we today have often tended to take for granted.

I remember my mother washing aluminum foil after use, folding and returning it to the cupboard. My dad saved string and had a ball of rubber bands that was pretty impressive in size. “Never throw away anything you might need later on,” he would always say.

Mama sewed most of our clothes for us, from school outfits and Sunday dresses to costumes for school and church plays. I fondly remember the time I played the most unlikely looking Native American in a Thanksgiving play while I was attending Honoraville School.

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Mama fashioned my costume out of chicken house curtain material and some decorative braid, which she also used to make a headband for me. With my blonde braids and pale skin, I looked more like Hansel’s sister Gretel than an Indian chief’s wife, but I was proud of my mom’s ingenuity and her seamstress skills.

Much of our food came from off the farm, from the big vegetable garden, the fruit trees, the cornfields, the chicken houses, the cow pastures and the “pig parlor.” Mama worked hard every spring and summer putting up peas, beans, tomatoes, ears of corn, jelly, preserves and much more on the shelves Daddy built in the breakfast nook of the kitchen and in the big freezer on the back porch.

We might not always have exactly what we wanted to eat, but we certainly never went hungry.

Tough times tend to bring out some positive things by necessity. They teach us valuable lessons.

Our resilience, our creativity and ingenuity are all given the opportunity to grow.

The COVID-19 pandemic is here and it’s unlikely to leave nearly as soon as all of us would like it to.

So we are having to adjust to this “new normal.”

We’ve learned there may be a shortage of meat and some of the other products we’ve traditionally been able to find with ease in our supermarkets.

So we may need to look for some of those meatless meal recipes that our mothers and grandmothers once prepared, to be creative in our meal planning.

Our churches are already making use of modern technology to stay in touch with their congregations, and it looks like that will need to continue for a while. Virtual Bible studies, live-streamed worship services, podcasts — it’s not what we are used to, but learning to adapt is important. And the truth is, we can pray and worship no matter where we are.

We have missed our community festivals, our school events and our local talent showcases.

But a group of intrepid entertainers showed us that the show can still go on, even when the rehearsal and performance venue is closed and everyone is having to stay at home.

A huge thank you to the Ritz Players who responded to the challenge  put forth by Kevin Pearcey and Nancy Idland in mid-April and recorded their performances in their homes, front yards and studios. Kevin was able to edit it all into two entertainment-packed acts posted on YouTube for us all to enjoy from the comfort and safety of our own homes.

Ingenuity, creativity and resilience: they helped us through tough times before. They will help, and are helping us now.