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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don't know where to start

     I have, at long last, completed my Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Studies with a Concentration in Communications. Howdy do! So now what?
     I've been advised to just start writing about anything or everything. Just write every day, and to keep reading. My last few semesters had me reading books on the frugality of immigrants that came to this country in the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth. And the struggles they faced, and how hard it was to keep your family fed, and a roof over your head. In my continued pursuit of information on that topic I also discovered that there are very few words from women's point of view. That disturbs me.
       My continued research has lead me also to the difficulties of living through World War II, also from a women's point of view, and now I am beginning to realize that with so little written works that focus on the women's struggles, and time moving so fast, there is not much time to continue to collect first hand accounts of the struggles. Luckily there are a few women, besides myself who have recognized the loss of their words if they are not documented, and quickly.
     In the writings I have found I am getting to understand the stresses women were under trying to keep the home fires burning, trying to feed their children, themselves, and in many cases, extended families and whole communities through rationing and all kinds of shortages: not just of food, but of material for clothing, fuel for heat, and just about every other basic necessity of life.
     My newest search, now, is to locate as much writings as I can that describe the home front's struggles to keep some kind of normalcy during those stressful years, with adapting to all of the regulations and lack of supplies, the many losses of family members, community members, and in the case of Londoners, the constant bombardment during the Blitz, something this country did not experience, although blackouts were the norm, the bombings never materialized, to our good fortune. Reading how the English women dealt daily with the bombings just shows how important women's roles were in keeping a way of life preserved, to continue and grow after the war.
     Being very interested in food, I also find myself very interested in how families were fed with foods being rationed, and having to grow one's own, to help both yourself and the war effort.