I trudged through the snow, pulling my parka a little closer to my body with my gloved hands. The wind was biting at my face, and the little dog trailing behind me was getting bogged down in the drifts that came up to his chest. It's a familiar trek to many who live in the country -- that 60 steps or so to the mailbox at the end of the lane. It's too short to drive to, and too long to walk to in the bitter cold of winter. But walk I do, almost every day, to retrieve the mail. Sometimes I mutter under my breath: "Why do I live in Ohio again?" or "I thought the groundhog said this stuff would be gone by now!" Duty calls, however, even though the mailbox usually contains nothing but bills.
My grandmother grew up in poverty in Bastrop, Texas, along with her seven siblings. There were six sisters: Mae, Ethel, Ella, Louise, Mirl and my grandmother, Vena, along with their two brothers, Robert and Hiram Stone. From early on, this brood of children created their own fun and entertainment as did many children of the Depression Era whose families had no money to spare for frivolous things...