A Heritage to Remember: Growing Up Poor But Blessed in a Small Midwestern Town
Uncovering the day-to-day routines and activities of a family with seven children should be interesting in any age, but when it covers Depression years to World War II, it's especially revealing. The narrative throughout is in rhyme, and the author is dealing mostly with first-hand experiences so she brings the common and not-so-common aspects of the Sanders family into bold relief. How to celebrate Christmas when there is virtually no money for gifts; how the father attempts to discourage the chicken-thief; how to keep food on the table when the bread-winner has trouble collecting for the household products he has sold door-to-door; and the isolation experienced when TB forces the mother to live for a year in a sanitarium out of town. The richness of the details in this narrative demonstrates the storehouse of memories possessed by Ms. Barnes as well as the insights gained from being a first-hand protagonist in this family's struggle. The six children who grew to maturity had many relatives nearby. The closeness of these relatives displays a dimension of community often lacking in our hectic, modern pace. Of special interest is the way this family (and especially the parents) devoted themselves to their church and its outreach. God's work came first, as much of the father's activities will demonstrate. Not a steadily unfolding plot, but more like a series of intriguing cameos, this narrative portrays a picture of one family's involvement in Mid-western culture of the '30s and '40s. These verses, laced with humor and pathos, show that a home is truly blessed where there is mutual love and a rich spiritual heritage.
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