Tuesday, February 5, 2013

THE GOOD EARTH; by "Driven Back to Eden," Ohio; 1934

Four years ago my husband was an office man, holding a position that to us seemed as solid as the rock of Gibraltar itself. The "rock" was sandstone, I guess, for when the waters of the depression ran steadily over it, it wore gradually to nothingness.

So here we are with our two kiddies, an aged grandfather, ourselves, two hundred baby chicks, a cow with the grandest "hat posts" on her back side, a half dozen hens, and a shepherd pup; living in a little shack on a few acres of poor land, trying to raise our food. Seems easy, does it not? However, we are finding it a hard struggle, with no income at all, and all our nest egg gone. After the pay check twice a month and city conveniences, it is rather bewildering, and now and then we get frightened.

This is the black part of the picture. But the black is only the frame that serves to show off the picture to better advantage. Before, I used to watch my husband's weary form start each morning to hitch-hike from a small town to the near-by city, knowing that he would tramp the streets all day searching for work, and that he would come home at night discouraged, weary, and worn out, not from hard work, but from daily watching his family drop deeper and deeper into the pit of the unfortunate. Now he gets up in the morning, eager for the work of the day. Through the summer, when evening came, and the milk was bottled and cooled, we went arm in arm to our garden, to glory in the rows of green lovely vines and plants. Every new row was hailed with delight, and each tomato counted as soon as it formed on the stalks. The whole family went into raptures over each new thing that pushed its way up.

No longer do we sit beside our radio, and by the light of electric lamps, have a game of bridge or listen to our favorite program, for ours is rather a primitive farm with no luxuries; but instead, no beautiful sunset ever escapes us, each lovely moon is watched, and at night when we have earned our rest, we fall asleep with happy visions of the next day. Best of all, we are strong and healthy now from our rugged outdoor life. The Good Earth has meant much to us.