The little girl watched as scraps of leftovers were wrapped up in “tin foil,” placed carefully in the old refrigerator. It the kind where one big, old, heavy door opened to reveal a small inner freezer that was in seemingly constant need of defrosting. If you are younger than maybe 40, you may have no idea what this is – well, what this was. If you are under 30, I’m pretty certain you do not have a living recollection of it, at least most of you won’t. Anyway, I digress. It was simply made very clear that nothing was to go to waste because there might not be enough for later or tomorrow.
The little girl was me, and the wrapper-upper of food was my mom. The old fridge was in the kitchen of our apartment, and “tin foil” was what we called aluminum foil. My mother was born in 1914 and raised in a very poor family in New York City. By time the Depression rolled around in 1929, my then 15 year old mother was already out of school for two years, quitting to go to work to help the impoverished family. Worries about “enough” were very real. I did not grow up in poverty, nor did I grow up in luxury. Thus we were very careful about not throwing out that which might be of use. The struggle was real – there might not be enough!
This has left its imprint upon me in ways that I am only beginning to understand now that I am headed to age Continue reading