And Making Do
By IRENE RAINS
Little Red River Journal, November 18, 1981
e were married in 1932 during
the Great Depression and if ever love was tested, it was back
in those trying times of "do-without and make-do."
We were determined to start housekeeping for ourselves, even though
it would have been cheaper to just live altogether with our folks,
but we were brave as well as being a little foolish. So my folks
let us have two rooms of their house and we furnished it as best
as we could, and I doubt that anyone, rich or poor, was happier
that first year than we were.
Our kitchen stove was a tiny little four-eye wood stove from Sears.
We paid $7.50 for it and it cooked like a dream. We also ordered
a handsaw and claw hammer from Sears and although I don't remember
what the saw cost, the hammer was 23 cents. I know that sounds
incredible, considering today's prices, but our country was still
reeling from the effects of the bank closings of '29 and the great
drought of 1930. Materials and labor were cheap, as were wages,
so the finished product could be sold cheaply. My husband worked
at a mill in Pangburn for as little as 12 ½ cents an hour.
Yes, we had to figure carefully and skimp to live on this, but
we came through and I really believe the experience was beneficial
When the time finally came that we could do just a little better,
I think we really appreciated what we got. A new set of dishes
to replace the odds and ends our family donated. A pressure cooker
to can the surplus produce we grew. It didn't take much to make
us happy in those days.