The Hit List - Lessons learned from my Depression-era parents

According to the latest news, we’re now in the worst economic situation since the Great Depression. The numbers are truly shocking…and many folks never thought we’d be here. But here we are.

Recently, I read an article about the lessons learned from the Great Depression and it got me thinking about what I learned from growing up with Depression-era parents. Both my mother and father lived through that terrible time in history, so there were stories about hardship, endurance, and gratitude.

Dad had to quit school at thirteen to help support the family (he hated school anyway). He told me about long days in the field, and juggling more than one job, including a short stint as a boxer.

My mother had health issues due to poor nutrition. There were times of no milk or meat – and during those periods, they would “make a meal out of squash,” the only thing that was growing in the garden.

I also heard stories about men fighting over lumps of coal, kids wearing shoes with holes in the bottom, and too-many-children under one roof. But within these tales were also lessons on hope, gratitude, and survival.

My parents knew how to sew, cook, garden, can vegetables, make quilts, darn socks, repair cars, and more. Nothing went to waste because dollars had to be stretched as far as possible. Mom was an expert at negotiating with bill collectors because you learn how to do that when you’re poor. Like many farm families, they lived communally with parents and siblings – because it saved money and you could look out for each other. Everyone had to work together…and work hard. Which meant becoming self-sufficient together…and that inspired closeness.

So those lessons got passed down to some degree.

I, too, know how to live lean. I am frugal as can be. There is no “living large” over here because it’s just not how I roll. Although I have expensive gourmet tastes, most of my fancy meals are home-cooked. You’ll rarely find me buying clothes. Instead, prefer to wear my stuff out. (My WuTang shirt has a massive hole in the side but I keep on wearing it!) Even though I don’t live with my children, we live close (my son is right around the corner), which means we can be there for each other in a heartbeat. I’m a workaholic and never afraid to bust my hump to bring that cheddar in the door (just like Dad!).

Above all, I am grateful. Grateful that I have a roof over my head, clean clothes, a hot shower, access to good food, a meaningful career that I love, and a wonderful family. These things mean more to me than anything else in the world. I would venture to guess that these basics were also most important to my parents and many other Depression-era folks.

With this new reality, we may all find ourselves going back to those simple ways of living – even in a high tech world. Perhaps it’s a signal to slow down, get lean, count our blessings, and appreciate each other just a little bit more. Like my parents, we will get through these hard times – and maybe we will be better for it.

Look at this little guy just trying to make it in the world too.

Other stuff:

According to NY Mag’s The Strategist, a gift certificate for a tarot reading with me is a perfect virtual Mother’s Day gift! YAY!

Here are the CDC guidelines on how to safely re-open your business now.

Porches make purposeful spaces in the past and pandemic-affected present.

Get to know New York tarot reader Yesbelt Fernandez.

An intriguing story about a girl who disappeared under mysterious circumstances…then reappeared. But was she who she said she was?

Over on Hello Giggles, they are talking about Why astrology can be a form of self-care.

Great advice on organizing your writing from Sarah Selecky: Organize Your Story Drafts.

How NASA Studies Climate Change in the Trump Era.

I loved chatting with Joy Bertrand over at Athena In the Well about predictions and more.

About shuffling: Is There A “Right” Way To Shuffle Tarot Decks For More Accurate Pulls?

Good to know: How to stop your glasses from fogging up when you wear a mask.

Beverly Frable joined me on Tarot Bytes to talk about how to read tarot without keywords.

Needed to read this: It’s okay to be doing okay during the pandemic.

The Pandemic Has Made a Mockery of Minimalism.

‘I spent a month doing exactly what my horoscope told me to’…This is what happened.

Teen Vogue is so great: Puerto Rican Feminist Luisa Capetillo Fought to Redefine Labor, Gender Equality.

All The Essentials For A Stay-At-Home Happy Hour.

This week, I’m at The Numerologist podcast talking about tarot! YAY!

Yay for gray: Why I’m Embracing My Grays on National TV.

From GQ: How to use astrology to find your signature scent (and why it matters).

3 Small Business Owners In Georgia Explain How They’re Feeling About Reopening.

Since we’re all at home: Bread Baking for Beginners: The Essential Guide to Baking Kneaded Breads, No-Knead Breads, and Enriched Breads.

Gotta get on this: Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything.

OOOOH: Chefs’ Fridges: More Than 35 World-Renowned Cooks Reveal What They Eat at Home.

Looks interesting: Economic Dignity.

I want to check the Gregory Scott Tarot Deck out.

Check out this new tarot deck coming in October: The Uncommon Tarot: A Contemporary Reimagining of an Ancient Oracle. Cause you can never have enough tarot decks, right?

Soon, my pretties:Tarot: No Questions Asked: Mastering the Art of Intuitive Reading. I’m counting down the days…

The Tarot Coloring Book is the perfect activity when you love tarot – and are stuck at home.

Tarot For Troubled Times is a tender book for tough times. Learn about tarot birth cards, rituals, social justice, and self-care.

Retrograde throwing you some shade? Huh? Not sure what I’m saying? Get this Astrology for Real Life: A Workbook for Beginners (A No B.S. Guide for the Astro-Curious) and learn to speak that astro-lingo fluently!



May 2-8, 2021: The Tuscany Tarot Intensive. Where: Italy! A full week of tarot immersion. Due to the Coronavirus, we moved the event to next year. Good news: the dates allow for a few extra seats which means you can join us next year! Yay!


What I’m Grateful For:

Scented candles

Notes from friends

Fancy stationery

Schitt’s Creek (so, so good)

Kitty cuddles

A box of Mother’s Day chocolates


Soundtrack for 5/9/20:

I Love Me by Demi Lovato


© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2020

images from stock photography and personal collection 


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