Welfare and Food Banks, Potatoes and Perch

As I write this, my stomach is swollen from a marvelous meal of new potatoes and fresh perch.  Maybe not the most exciting supper for a lot of folks, but these days I relish home-grown vegetables and fresh meat or fish, more so than any fine dining at a fancy restaurant.  I guess being a country boy has a lot to do with it.  A feast like I just had often conjures memories of my youth, when my mother’s pantry shelves were full of home-made bread and cookies, and most meals came from vegetables and livestock that we raised ourselves.


Sitting here in front of my laptop with the air-conditioner on high, I wonder if things really are better…Oh I’m all for technology, I can only imagine the frustrations that I would suffer I was writing with a quill for a pen on birch bark.  I’ve been told my handwriting style is similar to the tracks a hen makes in the dirt while searching for a bug.  I could go on and on. I firmly believe social media and the technologies that support it are a miracle for us writers.  It’s the other things that bother me.


Have we created a monster?  My grandfather would often tell stories of old times.  Folks storing up food for the winter, like squirrels I suppose. A cellar full of vegetables, a cold room with a side of pork or beef, salted fish, and bottled preserves.  I don’t ever recount one story of someone starving, or being upset because the food bank was closed.  In those days you did what you had to in order to survive.  Maybe it’s something more of us should consider doing.


Does social assistance help people?  Or hinder them?  Are the meager monthly checks they receive a blessing because it enables them to survive?  Or does it obstruct them from getting out there and standing on their own two feet? Everyone using the system could tell you a great reason why they need it.  Yet, there are so many reasons for them to get off it.  I can’t answer these questions, only ask them, I’ve never been in such a position.  Life has thrown me lots of punches, like it does to most folks.  And when one door closes on me, I simply open another.  I just haven’t opened the social assistance door.  At least not yet. Not as long as I have a potato hack and a fishing pole.

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