Reaching an age, which I now call my Lavender Years (since the Golden Years have passed so quickly), I have time to look back on life.
In spring 1929, a beautiful baby girl was born (well, my Scots mom said I was beautiful) to parents who lost everything in the stock market crash that fall.
The Great Depression was an education in itself. You lived the expression every day of “getting by, by the skin of your teeth.” Yet we lived through it. It taught my generation many valuable lessons.
The next life experience was World War II. Once again, we managed to survive and build our nation up better than ever. It took time but by the 1950s my generation, still patriotic, wanted better for our children than we had experienced during the Depression and war years. We prayed, saluted our flag and had high hopes. Our dream was to give our children the best free education, jobs for all, a roof over their heads, food to spare and a bright future. Sometimes, I believe, we tried too hard and gave up too much that it became not appreciated but expected.
One has to go through hard times to appreciate the good ones. We had faith in a Christian nation that, with the help of our Creator, we could accomplish the dream. Somehow, we have misplaced a part of ourselves in this generation.
Believe what you will, but look at us today — with our nation seemingly divided and an overwhelming uncertainty of the future. Will President Trump help unite this country, or is he just trying to make sure he has a spot in history? He seems to enjoy the notoriety.
I am concerned about the terminology used in our national discourse. Consider what my generation witnessed in the 1930s. One man vowed to make his country “great again” and used much of the same rhetoric we hear in America today. A wall came about later too.
No, of course, I don’t expect anything drastic to take place. It’s just that, in some strange way, some older folks seem to have the feeling, “Hey, it seems we’ve heard this song before — a long time ago.”
— Jacque Thornton has been writing columns for Kingston Community News for 20 years. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.