Summers of World War II
During World War II family and neighbors gathered together on summer days on front lawns and in parks where people shared what they had and their children played and laughed. These days, filled with prayer for loved ones overseas and rationing at home also meant daily sacrifice and scarcity of many items.
Lee Hargus Hunter recalls the rationing in her early teen years:
My father saved everything and that helped us. Coupons only permitted us to buy one pair of shoes a year. With the shortage of leather and rubber, factories manufactured shoes with plastic that wore out in a few weeks. My father replaced heels with inner tubes he saved and my mother lined the shoes with flannel stuck to the soles with glue made from flour and water whipped until smooth and with no lumps.
Lee’s family lived in tenement housing, and like many others, they salvaged everything and creatively recycled items for new uses. Her father hunted squirrels and other small animals to save food coupons for roasts on special occasions. To save on gas, people walked or carpooled to the only Christian church in town and found release from the stress of war through picnics and relaxing together.
In the early church, Christians gathered together and shared what they had. An attitude that all we have comes from God helps us let go and generously share. What family can you help this summer by generously sharing what you have?
Adapted from Stories of Faith and Courage From the Home Front (finalist for the Golden Scroll Award Nonfiction Book of the Year)
Karen Whiting (www.karenwhiting.com) is a former television host, an international speaker and author of fifteen books. As a military widow and mom of men who served in the military she volunteers with Blue Star Moms and Officer’s Christian Fellowship. She also writes inspirational craft books for girls.