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Why are there bad times during a person's lifetime? What do people do to deserve it? My family and I have done nothing wrong but still seem to draw the short end of the stick. It seems like everything bad happens to us. Yes, we have great times in our life but always seem to be followed up by something bad. Can we ever get a break?
It's the beginning of a new year. Me, Judy, and my husband, Tey, are hoping a new year will bring a new and better fortune. Things have been pretty rough around here. Three years ago the stock market crashed and everyone was out of a lot of money. Stores and banks started to close (Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia). The economy seems to be going down the drain. Out of all of this mess we found out that we are having our third child! I have never been so happy durin' (Steinbeck) a sad time like this.
We found out that we are going to have a baby boy. We plan on namin' (Steinbeck) him Douglas. At the moment, we are five months along. When welcomed into the world he will find out he has an older brother and sister. His sister named Francine, who is 13 years of age, and his older brother named Georgey, who is six years old. For Christmas we surprised the kids with a pet dog. We named him Paulinus. They have one more pet which is a pet cat named Chewy.
My husband and I are both currently working. My husband is a farmer here in the Midwestern part of the United States. We bought a home here in Nebraska. We figured this would be a great place to start an agricultural business. I, on the other hand, am fortunate to be working at a bank in the nearest town. The bank seems to be goin' (Steinbeck) strong. I have great confidence in both of our careers. Hopefully, they don't let us down.
February 28, 1932
We have been very fortunate these past two months. Tey and I still both have our jobs. We enrolled our kids into the nearest school. Plus we found out we have very friendly neighbors. We have the Smith family to the north of us and the Porkingson family to the west of us. They are definitely life savers for us. They keep us in line.
Both neighbors are wonderful people. We all get along and to make it better they both have kids that our kids can play with. They seem to be the sunshine durin' (Steinbeck) this rough time.
April 14, 1932
My wife, Judy's birthday is coming up. I am thinking about gettin' (Steinbeck) her a new table cloth for her present it would go on our new oak, mission style, table (Sayer) that I built a few months ago. I plan to make the table cloth colorful and bright. This might help take our mind off of all the negativity around us. My wife is a very strong woman. She puts on a smile when she really doesn't want to. She helps people out way more than what she thinks. She is such a capable woman and everything I have every wanted.
Now to my kids, they are also amazing. They are very respectful to everyone they meet. We also have great news that we are expectin' (Steinbeck) our third child next month! I have never been more thrilled. Is it wrong of me to feel great during a depressing time? I sure hope not.
March 8, 1932
Our baby was born last night on March 7th. We are ecstatic! Our other kids came to see our new baby boy today. They seemed to be excited to have another person in our family. It's always exciting to enjoy a new baby at your home.
I plan on going back to work in the next month or so. They have given me a month for maternity leave. I hope to get back to work soon though because of our shortage of money. We could say we are financially stable, but we would be sugar coatin' (Steinbeck) it too much. I hope to get two incomes coming in as soon as possible!
April 24, 1932
I don't know where to begin. Today has been the worst day of my life. I feel worth less and so run down. I got laid off from work. Our bank closed, simple as that. All of the employees are devastated. This is terrible! How are we going to live off of one income? This is an all time low for us. I don't know what to do. I feel like staying in my room and never coming out.
This is going to affect everyone! Will we have to pull the kids out of school because of shortage of money? What about my husband's career, will he be able to keep it? I feel the worst for our new baby. Will he get the care and attention he needs? I am so torn right now. How do I handle something tragic like this?
June 25, 1932
To make matters worse, from my wife losing her job, we are going through a serious drought. There have been major amounts of dust flying up from the southern states like Texas and Oklahoma (Gray). This is terrible. How are my crops supposed to grow? There is only dust layin' (Steinbeck) around everywhere. Everyone is calling this dramatic event the "Dust Bowl" (Andryszewski). This is goin' (Steinbeck) to hurt my family more than anythin' (Steinbeck).
We moved here in hopes of bigger and better things. What are we getting in return? We are getting absolutely. Now is a time where we feel so helpless. I hope our family can get through this. Our family has always been strong and this is a time where we need to become even stronger. We will get through this tough time together. We need each other more than ever at this point. We can't turn back now and go back into the past. How could all of these terrible things be happening to such innocent people? We just want and need some sign of hope.
July 31, 1932
My poor baby is sick with dust pneumonia (Gazit)! Georgey started feeling sick a couple of days ago. Our neighbor, Mr. Smith, who is a doctor, diagnosed him with this kind of illness. There is no medicine for this sickness so we will tend to him until he gets well again. I hope it doesn't take too long. This "Dust Bowl" is doing no one any good. It seems to be ruining lots of good things.
My husband, the other day, was discussing with me about this dust bowl. It had ruined all of his crops because of the static electricity caused by the dust storms. Plus, supposedly there are jackrabbits on their way up here eating everything in their way (Gazit). What are we supposed to do now?
November 13, 1932
We have an election coming up. Herbert Hoover was our President for the four years leading up to now. We have a likely democratic candidate who will win. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is his name. He is a very friendly and personable guy. He seems to be trustworthy and honest.
He has actually spoken here in Nebraska once or twice. He is a great speaker and very persuasive. He pleads his case very well. I believe that my wife and I are going to both vote for him. I could definitely see him being a very confident and well-rounded president. That is always a good sign!
November 26, 1932
FDR won the election! Judy and I are excited to see what this new President can bring to the table. Hopefully, he can help everyone during this time of depression and lowliness. We think he may have something up his sleeve. Everyone has heard that he has some new deal coming out soon but when asked about it he just puts his finger over this mouth and says ssshhh (Grubin). This seems strange. If he does have some new plan coming out, we hope it works to bring ourselves out of this depression.
March 24, 1933
FDR releases the plan the "New Deal". This plan is going to have three parts. Relief which is going to try and help people get jobs and receive more money. Recovery is the next step and that is going to try and help boost the economy by giving people jobs. Finally, reform is the last step. This final step is going to try and help us stay out of another severe depression like this one (DiBacco).
I really hope this "New Deal" works! This could be a great opportunity to boost our low economy. This could be the light at the end of a dark tunnel! If this works FDR will go down as one of the best Presidents of all time. I can only hope that my husband and I will be lucky enough to be able and get a job from this new plan.
May 03, 1933
My husband got a new job! He now works for the CWA (Civil Works Administration) (Taylor). He builds roads, bridges, dams, and projects along those lines. He enjoys it most of the time. It is a lot of manual labor so he usually comes home exhausted.
Did I mention that I also got a job?! I got a job working at the local factory. We produce jars and bottles. This means we have two incomes! I make around two dollars a week (Sayer). We will be getting more money than we have been getting in! We can keep the kids in school. This may mean that we can clean our slates and start with a new beginning!
June 15, 1933
We got to buy different groceries for the first time. I heard about this new recipe called "Milk Pop" (Rumford Company). This gives the kids a new experience. They were pretty excited to try something besides regular ol' (Steinbeck) milk. They said it was different but wouldn't mind trying something like that again (Clark, recipe). It was a very simple recipe; you just need baking powder, sugar, and vanilla (Rumford Company). I was overjoyed to see the smile on my kids' faces again. This was all because they got to try something new.
August 13, 1933
The kids are getting ready to go back to school again. We went in for haircuts, for the first time since the depression started. We cut Georgey and Tey's hair short and Francine and I let the hairstylist curl our hair (Volkmer). It felt good to let people do our hair again. Everything seems to be getting back to normal!
September, 19 1933
I bought us our first radio with the money I got from my new job. I got it for Tey's birthday present. He loved it. It helps take his mind off of the outside world. The kids also love to sit by the radio and listen to jazz. They also love to dance along to it. Jazz seems to be the popular kind of music now days (Reinhardt).
January 17, 1933
It's been one whole year since the day my husband and I have been writing in this journal. It really helps express whatever you may be thinking or feeling when writing in a journal (Clark, journal). It helps you clear your head. It has been a very chaotic year. It was mostly like a roller coaster. We had our good times and we had our bad times. You always know though that the good times leave a better impression than the bad times. I would have to say that our family grew stronger through this tough time, which is what a family is made of; they are always there for you no matter what the circumstance. I love my family with all my heart and wouldn't trade them for the world!
- Judy and Tey
No matter how hard times get don't ever forget the people who love you most. The people who are there for you no matter what, are your family members. There will always be bad times in your life but don't dwell upon them. The bad times always help you in some way, shape, or form. You need to learn from them and move on. Always want to make good memories, not bad ones. And never forget that the good always outweigh the bad!