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Fortunately, none of my family found themselves destitute. My father's family worked in the mills in NC, and, thanks to the unions (remember Norma Rae?) they had a good pension when they retired. Of course, they were accustomed to living off the land by way of gardening and hunting.

My mother's family was the exact opposite. My grandfather made a good living, even during the Depression, and most of the kids had a good education. None of the kids dropped out of HS and my mother graduated from college in 1928. My grandfather and grandmother also lived off the land, as they had a lot of land and gardened. My uncles hunted and shared their bounty with my grandparents.

When my father retired, he chose to accept less money per month so my mother would also have a good pension, should he die before she did. We all thought that Daddy would outlive mother, but that did not happen. Fortunately, they, too, were frugal, and had a garden as long as I can remember. In addition, Daddy was also a hunter and a fisherman.

My mother wanted for nothing after Daddy died. Fortunately, she had enough money that, after I moved her from FL to SC to be with me, there was enough that I could have a caregiver for her as I worked and went out of town for work.

I remember the recession of the 50's very clearly. Even the Federal Employees had to accept a 10% wage cut. Daddy was given the opportunity to move into a new position that was only available in Baltimore or Columbia. Although we all wanted to stay in the Chesapeake Bay area, the location of the VA Hospital in Baltimore was not optimal, whereas the location of the VA Hospital in Columbia was in a much more desirable area.

Not everyone has the opportunities that my family did. They were not wealthy and were not cheapskates, but they were frugal. (Thank goodness they taught me that lesson.) Many families did not have a pension (think construction workers) and all the widow had was a little money in the bank, if that, and the spouse's SS benefits.

I don't think SP is old enough to understand half of this.

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