Tag Archives: World War II

Possessed By Thrifty Granny Spirits

16 Aug

#1

Confession:  I am possessed by thrifty Granny spirits.  It began within the past few months.  Seriously.  Not just any Grannies.  My Grannies.

So, no need for exorcism.  I quite enjoy them.  And, it’s probably no surprise then, when I tell you that seeing the WWII propaganda slogan: “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” (on Craigslist, painted on the side of someone’s stolen RV of all places) made me giddy. That, I credit to the granny possession. Not because the war or the historical reference are exciting but because the meaningfully revived slogan is freaking rad.

I’m pretty sure that both of my grandmothers have formed a peace treaty with each other and converged in my brain since my birthday back in June.

There’s Viola, the pie baking, flower and squirrel loving, sewing grandma–stylish because she made all of her own clothes and had bra and underwear repair kits in her sewing box. And, she was a little crazy, but then, who isn’t?

And Josie, the Maltese, bourbon and 7 on the rocks drinking grandma that made use of every scrap of food in soups, pastas, salads–you name it–fed you from the moment you walked in the door until you walked out (even then sending you home with more food) and had brand new back-up flannel pajama sets hanging in her closet until the day she died…but never wore them because she just kept repairing the old.

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” was second nature to my grandmas and is easily becoming my manifesto these days as well.  During WWII, it was a suggestion that spurred U.S. citizens to actively care about community by doing. By doing what was within their power to do.  Everyday people created social change and positive economic impact through everyday actions.

In this process of thought to action to support the war effort, people also preserved their environment by not overusing, wasting, or taking more than their share of food, materials and resources. People not only became self-reliant by growing and canning their own foods from their “Victory Gardens” but they also created community and relationships through giving and sharing with neighbors, friends, and family. The acts of growing food, redistributing, reusing, repairing and repurposing was simply, smart and friendly.

Now, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t get warm and fuzzy because of the patriotism. No, what I take from it is the idea that  people worked together for the greater good. And greater good, however inadvertently, also encompassed the benefit of the environment.  There was no reference point for labels like “hippie”, “liberal”, or “tree hugger” as those social labels weren’t coined until later in history.  People were just doing what was “right” by way of their actions being practical and making sense for everybody. Since the Granny possession I have been looking closely at my habits and beliefs and here are some changes I’ve made so far:

  • Saving tons of money by cooking at home (of course there is the occasional Chinese, Thai, or super burrito outing) and bringing home food leftovers or perfectly good, lightly blemished fruit and vegetables from work…for free!!!
  • A garden is in the works…our summer never really arrived, so it will be a winter garden.
  • My wardrobe has been about 99.7% thrift store for several years now. The change? I won’t buy something unless I absolutely adore it…
  • ***Most importantly***I’ve ditched driving (99.9%) in favor of riding my bike for transportation because it’s fun! And healthy! Yes, I’m obsessed.  And possessed. It is one less car on the road and one healthier human…it clears my mind, keeps me positive, and provides the physical challenge I need from day to day.  And did I mention how it makes my legs, heart, and lungs, healthy and beautiful?! Yes. It’s fun! And healthy!
  • Or, I walk

Realizing that spirit possession and thrifty living cannot be covered in but one post, imparted wisdom from here on out will be on Thrifty Granny Spirit Possession Mondays or Wednesdays, I think. My commitment issues prohibit me right now from deciding on the specific day. But I’ll give you a heads up: It’ll probably be Mondays.

Many people are affected by economic change…and environmental change.  Are you affected? How? Are you not affected? Why? Have any ideas you’d like to share? Love to hear your stories and comments!