Friday, October 20, 2017

Being Poor in America

Okay, I can't stand it any more. I came across this: How the Poor Get By in America. While I know that being poor in America can be hard - much harder than we often think it is, I have a few thoughts about it.

First, try to be poor anywhere else. Then you'll know what the word means.

Second, think about what is really poor and what is not.

 One story here says they went to the shopping mall and she picked out 5 outfits that she liked, then they went to the fabric store and her mom bought remnants and material to make those outfits for her. That's poor? That's smart. What is the matter with it?

Another example: They went to Burger King for a burger special. She ate one and a half of the small hamburgers while her mom ate the other half and drank free refills of soda. What's wrong with this picture? I don't know what the price was, but I can guarantee you she could have spent the same amount (carefully!) at the store and had a full meal for both.

"You can get new car parts from the junk yard for virtually nothing, with added discounts if you remove them from the junkers yourself." Does nobody know this but the critically poor?? I thought it was a well known fact that you can find parts for cars from junk yards (never new, though) for much less than full price for new.

I wear those $15 shoes from Walmart and some of them have lasted just as long as some pricier ones. I have never paid $60 for a pair of shoes, although I realize that some people have to, due to job requirements or other problems.

If people would just pay attention. Cheap food doesn't have to be bad food. There is free food for the taking. Clothing banks, charities and more provide clothing and shoes. Transportation can often be your own two feet. There is help for heating in most places. Medicaid pays for health care. And on and on.

That's not to mention your own imagination and creativity.

What is wrong with America? Poor, indeed.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Little Cold House

There was once an old man who lived in a little old house, all alone. During the summer, he tended to his garden and took care of the harvest, putting it up for the winter.

In the fall, he walked here and there, looking for wood to keep the little house warm all winter. Sometimes he came across a tree that had fallen and he went home to get his saw and cut it up. Some of the neighbors left odd pieces of scrap lumber and other wood for him.

The little stove was enough to warm the house, but the windows were loose in their frames, so when the wind blew, they rattled and banged and the wind blew right in and the little house got very cold.

He didn't know what to do, but he thought he could use some of the small wood pieces to stop the windows from rattling. He hammered in a few around the edges of the frames and that stopped the rattling, but the wind still blew through the frames because they didn't fit the little house very well.

One cold, windy day, a little girl came walking along; dawdling, really, because she was a good little girl on her way to see her aunt and she wasn't in any hurry. Her aunt was very old and the little girl thought her house smelled funny.

As she passed by the man's old house, she saw him working on the windows and stopped to watch.

The old man looked up and said hello and she answered hello.

Then she asked why he was driving wood between the window frame and the house. He told her that he was trying to stop the wind from blowing through.

The little girl went along with new purpose and soon came to her aunt's house. She asked her aunt how to keep the wind from blowing through windows. Her aunt told her to get some old cloth and cut it into strips and poke it between the frames and the house with a butter knife.

So she did.

No, that's not the way to end a story. What she did was go home and tell her mother about the old man and his troubles and what her aunt had said. Her mother went to the rag box and soon, loaded with strips of rags, they went to see the old man. Between the three of them, they figured the best way to stuff the rags into the loose frames.

The old man was so happy that he cooked a big pot of soup and sent it home with them.

And... they lived happily ever after. Now, THAT'S the way to end a story.