I emerged from my sick room, double masked, to figure out a mid-day meal, and opted for summer sausage slices, gouda cheese cubes, Wheat Thin crackers, and sliced apples. A pleasant snack. Mom commented from her corner recliner, “What a perfect snack! Isn’t it nice to have so many good foods to choose from? I feel so blessed. I feel so grateful. I thank Heavenly Father in my prayers. I was often hungry as a child.” I stood stunned at the thought of my mother being hungry as a child, and asked her about it. She explained that her family had been poor. They ate healthy foods they grew in their own garden, but their meals were meager. She told me about thinning the carrot and beet rows, of squashing the tomato hornworms, of gathering the eggs from protective hens, and of dunking dead chickens in scalding water to pluck their pungent feathers. Her father was a junior high school teacher, and worked odd jobs during the summers, as a milk truck driver, supervisor at a pea vinery, county roads crew member, school bus driver, laborer at a munitions factory, and custodian. He kept taking classes at the University of Utah, and eventually made a better salary as a junior high school guidance counselor. But as a younger child, a skinny, slight child, there were no snacks between small simple meals, and Mom’s stomach often growled as she lay in her bed at night. As I munched my lunch in sick-room isolation, I pondered my mother not having had enough to eat, and likewise thanked my Heavenly Father for our bounty.
Pictured above: Mom with her father, mother, and little sister. Circa 1944.