Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Original Social Saftey Net

When I was 8 years old, my parents pulled up stakes, sold their Island home and moved 400 miles away from all they had ever known.  My Grandparents, although supportive, thought my parents were certifiably crazy.  They couldn't understand what would possess them to drag their young family to the hinter boonies and abandon their wide circle of friends and family. 

As my parents struck out on their own, they met obstacle after obstacle.  Money ran out, work was back-breaking and winter weather was closing in.  Even the most basic of necessities had yet to be procured before the snow fell. 

And then my grandparents drove up the driveway.  Soon, an outhouse frame began to rise in the treeline.  Boards were nailed, toilet seats installed and metal roofing secured.  As the men built the outhouse, the women spent their days, hammers in had, building trusses to create a new roof for our single-wide trailer house. 

As the winter weather settled in, money completely dried up.  Although very willing, my dad was unable to find work.  Finally, a menial shop job became available at the local mill, however, the wage was much less than livable.  Because we hadn't lived in the state long enough to qualify for in-state hunting licenses, and we couldn't afford out-of-state licenses, we were in danger of not having enough to eat. 

Our neighbor, probably knowing the predicament we were in, would bring up a snowshoe hare now and again, to supplement our diet and the pastor of our church procured thousands of pounds of potatoes and apples from family in central Washington and blessed his flock with fresh produce.  Although our foodstuffs were meager, we never went hungry.

Over the years, both my mother's parents and my dad's mother would help our family in various ways.  My Grandma Omie sent "care" packages, filled with wonderful things we never would have been able to afford.  Breakfast cereal, crackers and canned soup filled her gifts, along with toothpaste and toilet paper.  It was like Christmas in July!  My mom's parents would fill their 16' trailer with garage sale fodder, picked up throughout the year, and bring it over to stock our families 2nd hand/Surplus store and also bring bags of fun things like coloring books, crayons and potato chips.

When it came down to it, our family was our perfect social safety net.  Although they didn't give us money, to use however we chose, they provided encouragement and more.  They did what they were able, whether it was by providing care packages or helping to build outhouses and roof trusses.  They saw needs and filled them.  It was the perfect system.

The areas of need that our family was unable to fill were filled by our church.  As it should be.  Never were we given chunks of money, or were all of our needs met by one person, but never did we go hungry, go without.  Our social safety next was just what God intended - family and church.

Many times over the years, my parents have become the safety net for Sir Knight and I.  They have purchased generators, helped with inverters, installed doors, put in windows, done laundry and helped buy food.  They have held us while we wept over a stillborn child, and rejoiced with us when we moved into our shouse.  They have been our best, and only, social safety net.

Today, in a world full of Food Stamps, WIC and every other government entitlement, we have lost our moorings.  No longer are we connected to our first, best safety net - our family and our church.  As the government has systematically dismantled our best social safety net, they have replaced it with a poor substitute - themselves.

We need to rebuild our families.  We need each other.  The more our government self-destructs, the more we will need our families.  We need to forgive each other, rebuilt relationships and built our futures together.  We are in this together.

I've got to tell you - I would much rather be beholden to my family and my church, than my government.  How about you?


  1. Enola,


    The timing of your lastest post is ironic Enola, I just spent some money at a store yesterday buying some stuff for some friends here in town that are "pinching pennies" right now. Last year I spent about $300.00 on two different freinds that were having a hard time with money. Almost three years ago I help buy some tires for "Oil Field worker" across the street when his hours at a welding shop got cut and his wifes truck tires were dangerously thin. I never asked for the money back.

    I seen family members "flake out' on helping other relatives in time of need. I have also seen church's who claim to help out members also "flake out" (I got a story on that one) Greed and and the me, me, me society that we have become has led to entitlements. One other thing I've seen alot of. Parents that complain about not having enough money to get what thier children need buying a case a beer for themselves every week???
    I fail to see the the logic on that one. There is no excuse.

    1. Sort of the same here-I bought a cell phone and minutes card for a friend who is having some severe financial troubles ( California ain't all big-boobed blonde bikini beach babes-it's not a easy place to live...) I don't mind helping someone-it's sort of fun-but they have to be trying to help themselves. A lot of my family are the beer/cigarettes/lottery tickets first and everything else second types...then wonder why they don't have money. I'm very reluctant to give most of my family money (a few exceptions) simply because I know what they're going to do-the biggest decision for them is whether to buy beer or cigarettes first. Nor do I buy anything for them that can easily be returned to the store for cash.
      I enjoy helping people, but I want them to be the type that helps themselves.

  2. Absolutely! I've been on both the giving and receiving end, and I feel so humbled by both-God's blessing and His timing!

  3. when i left home at age 18 for the navy, i was stationed in wash.d.c. and was many miles away from home on my own and with very little pay. my mom would send me notes and a five dollar bill at the end of almost every month telling me to buy soup and crackers...when mom retired and was living on her own and miles away from her children and family, i returned the favor by buying her special sweetners and food items that she could no longer make or buy where she lived. charity begins at home and love helps spread charity around...there is not much charity or love these days and none from the government.

  4. When one is beholden to family / friends / church, one usually has to have some moral compass in order to accept, appreciate and eventually "repay" those who are charitable. When one is just given all that "free" stuff from the government, one does not have to be thankful, it's just a faceless, voiceless, immoral entity that passes out all that "charity".


  5. Thank you so much for writing this. Between growing up between an island and here in the Sierras, I was blessed with family, community, church that believed it was their, not the governments place to help. Its why we live so simple.

    What concerns me is the lack of thought people who seek government help give to the idea that when you ask the government to get involved in your life they then get their foot in the door to telling you how to live your life the way they want you to live your life. Freedom is taken away. Or how some folks think government help is 'FREE'. It's not FREE! Some hard working person paying their taxes are supporting 'you'.

    And once the government/giverment gets you hooked on one program they hold up a carrot and get you involved in another program. Its how the Nazi and Soviets controlled people. And one need only study history to see how that played out.

    The question is this. How do we get folks in our own communities, to understand this? How do we help people understand that living a life that doesn't include all the new toys, isn't a bad life? Or eating simple healthy meals at home is not bad. Or not having a walk in closet full of shoes and clothes is not bad. And how many of us speak up and let it be known we do not want government help, because we along with family, church will do fine, just like folks did before we became such a nanny state mentality?

    1. I don't know that we can change them easily. It has become generational. I was in behind a woman who wasn't 40 with her daughter who wasn't 20 and the baby. They bought mounds of pizzas, prepared foods etc and swiped each swiped a food stamp card. (Yes I know its an EBT card, but lets identify what it is. Food stamps doesn't sound all warm and fuzzy). This young woman can't learn and rely on her family because her family is already relying on the government. And the baby is just another cycle.

      Lets go a step more. In past times, if a young woman found herself "caught" (baby). They young couple either got quietly married and "did the right thing" or the child was quietly placed for adoption. Now neither of those options hardly make the list. They qualify for ADC and WIC and Medicaid so they can keep their babies, although said assistance is barely subsistence. The minute they show any sort of drive to do better, assistance is taken away rather than used to help them forward and off the dole. This is normal for many communities. Married and the usual way is not help up anymore.

      Its become a way of life. Purposefully encouraged by the government to enslave and control. They can't do for themselves because its been bred out of them and the key to their happiness can be bought with a free cell phone.

    2. Hey mdoe37,


      Your comment was well put. On the last part "They can't do for themselves becouse its been bred out of them" hit the nail right on the head.
      My only conclusion is a full collapse of the U.S. economy, a bankrupt U.S. Goverment will lead to a total "EBT Card failure" That is why I have full capicity 20-30 round rifle magazines for the various rifles I own.
      When the "EBT card failure club" comes down my street by the hundreds looting and pillaging. I will say a few prayers, chamber a the first round and defend my life and property.
      Remember South Central L.A. April, 19th 1992 and you will get the picture.

  6. I have always shared from what I have, but recently I feel my heart being hardened by the extension of the government provided safety net that is given without consideration of the receivers worthiness. I get so sick of seeing able bodied people at the grocery store who pull our their EBT cards loaded with hundreds of my dollars...while they talk on smart phones... their children with tennis shoes that are more costly than ones my children wear....getting into cars that far exceed the car I drive. Somehow it is all upside down. There is no gratitude. They see this money as being provided by a faceless source. One that expects no thanks save a vote.

  7. I believe we are falling here in these comments to the circular wrap of heady thought again, where we are chasing our tails with our teeth.

    No doubt about it, the way to a meaningful resolution out of this circle is going to require work and meaningful action on our parts. But, Nothing is going to change until we as taxpayers stop financially contributing to this mass national agenda of socialism.

    I agree wholeheartedly with what Enola has shared in her wisdom and example here. The paved way out is to focus and move in the direction of our individual strengths and attributes onto the power and actions of your own families and churches, and to develop and actively participate in a strong network system with others that you can trustfully rely on, and that is no way government connected for assistance.

    We have to forge the path in example for, and on our own, and stop the dependency of governmental enabling of our basic needs for life here on this earth.

    When we can say NO, and mean it, accept the consequences of doing so, and sacrifice and endure the discomfort that we personally create and accept for ourselves out of personal responsibility. And yes, realign some less important wants, and tighten the purse strings and learn to live within a life of leaner material possessions, we will gain our self respect back and set example of progress made one family at a time, to our whole nation that we will thrive and we will not contribute to this pyramid scheme of financial debauchery that they have created for us and for our next two generations, and refuse the cultural socialization agendas that are stripping away at our freedoms and constitutional rights.

    The red line of financial enforced societal equalization was crossed for the future bearers of children of this nation when the first QE was printed and flung about. Now it's just a matter of assimilation of the concepts and expanding them in scope and powers to broadening taxes on everything we own, confiscations of retirement funds, and soon to exponential monetary devaluation and inflation, all the while we are in the grips of their controls.

    We must Think and Practice ways to become self sustaining on our own and within our own family, and then network with others in our own extended families and churches.

    It's time to say....NO!

  8. I was moved by the effort your parents and grandparents to stand in the gap of material shortcoming and then, on top of that, to be prayer warriors for you and your sweet family. My wife and I grew up in the same neighborhood. She was a year younger, but I ran with her brother my age. I was 6 and she was 5 when we met. We married in 1968. My in-laws were sent from heaven to bless our family. They supported me in everything I tried and never stopped praying for me and the family. When there was a short month, a $50 bill in an envelope was in the mailbox. When our daughters were sick, they came and took them to their house to recover, so my wife and I could sleep to go to work. When someone at work would start a mother-in-law joke, I would walk away. I still do. My mother-in-law died in 1983. My father-in-law in 2002. I still miss them, but will see them again.

    That's one way a support system should work. It should be done out of love, not by paying someone and then saying "go away".

    I also would comment on the young lady trying to decide whether to have a second child or not. I've been there. Our older daughter was born in 1971. I was done. My wife was not. I made a convincing argument. At least it seemed so to me. Our younger daughter was born in 1975. They are both loving, supportive, kind; all the things you want your kids to be as adults. We love them both the same. But......the younger will be the one to take care of us in the old years. I cannot imagine life without her and her family. So, you know what I think.

  9. I have several sets of family members that are multi-generational welfare recipients. The kids have been raised thinking not only is this acceptable but that they are not personally capable of anything different. So sad and disgusting.

  10. Enola,


    I go blog surfing in search of new and interesting blogs and I found one that that I would strongly reccommend. I hardly would every advertise anything on your blog but this one will make you proud to be an American (lately I have not been very proud to be an American) I want to warn people that there are some offensive words in it, however it will give you hope. its the blog "knuckle dragging my life away" the story is called "the yellow paper" "The yellow paper" was up last night when I found it.

    1. Did someone hijack captaincrunch's email? IS THIS REALLY YOU?

      I went to the site, and I HOPE you don't need that ti be "proud to be an American". It has far worse than just offenseive words.

      Seriously, this is not like the real captaincrunch. I think someone wrote in and just used your name and style of writing.


  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Enola and/or readers - please be advised before visiting that site, there are really nasty porn-ish photos on it. There is also some political writing, but apparently it is all jumbled up together. I was scrolling down tot try to find the paper captaincrunch mentioned, and got an eyeful I certainly did not want. Yuck.

    2. Enola,

      and everyone else.


      When found that story "The Yellowed Paper" except for some bad words, there was nothing real questionable on it or I would not have recommended that blog. I have not been to that blog in several days so I don't know what has changed.

      "I sincerely apologize for that, next time I will do a "much better" job vetting of anything I recommend"

      Let me explain why I have not been to proud of being an American lately. Every time I see that news, there is always someone attacking the 2nd Amendment, The Constitution. There are mainstream tv shows out that are attacking the traditional family structure like "NBC's Modern Family. Sex ed being tought to young children in some schools. Sixty four million Americans being paid with entitlements and obama phones to vote for socialism in November and we will be 19-20 trillion in the hole within a few years as be the latest CBO (Congressional Budjet Office estimates). Every time I turn around, something that would "Not" happen thirty years ago is happening. This is insane. This country is collapsing. If this keep up, this country will tear itself apart within two to three years.

      I read a story called the Yellowed paper about a Mexican Immigrant who came to this country, started a better life. Had kids, got them into college. He see's what has happened in Mexico is happening to this country. The Mexican Immigrant refers to the Constitution as "The Yellowed Paper" and does not understand why the "Jefe's" or big bosses want to change it. The immigrant is getting sworn in next month and he wants to stand with the other Americans to defend the Constitution.

      (that was gist of the story I recommened)

      Its people like that, that give me hope and make me feel good about being an American again.

      I have known many people like that living as near to the Mexican border as I do. Yeah' I anti-illegal immigration, anti-drug runner etc. If someone works really hard (no welfare) to be here (in America) or an immigrant serves Honorably in the Military, they can stay in my opinion.

      I hope you guys understand my viewpoint now.


    3. I think what happened is that you must have found a link to that specific article on the site you mentioned and it took you right to what you described, skipping all the rest. When we went to the site and hit the home page, the article you mentioned was not there, but plenty of other stuff was.

      I really did think someone hijacked your email. I got a strange one from my son, followed by a phone call that his email had been hijacked and he had a new address, and to not open anything that came from the old one. I all ready had opened one...I felt like I needed to acid wash my eye balls!

      I couldn't find the article, but I'll take your word for it.


      p.s. When I read Enola's blog and the comments, I'm feel good about being an American!

  12. I heard a couple of wonderful sermons from Pastor Tony Evans on the radio about "circles of responsibility" in the Kingdom of God, and how within God's plans, responsibility and authority go together. When someone is being responsibile FOR you, you are accountable TO them. God's plan is that this will build layers and connections of love for us to grow together in healthy families and communities.

    However, when individuals, families, and communities refuse or fail to be responsible for themselves and each other, it falls on society/the governement to bear that burden - and the payback is increasing authority/control over those who are subject to it. The analogy would be for example, an individual who cannot control their own behavior to an extreme will eventually come under the control of a prison. There is legitimate authority for government, but when government has stepped into the vacuum where individual or family responsibility should be, things are not right.

    The pieces I am referring to, can be found in the November 2012 archive as part of the series "How Should Christians Vote?" I believe the specific sermon was "When Government replaces God". I recommend it.

  13. Accountability can be very subjective though and not every church feels it should support those who trod off the beaten path (and not all of us have families that are still living or want to help someone who makes choices different then theirs). For instance, our family moved to the country away from the city to follow the path we thought God had for us. We felt strongly that we needed to get our children away from the neighbourhood and the attitudes that prevailed within that area and we certainly couldn't afford to move into one of the better areas. My husband was promised a good job and we rented an empty Amish house for what we thought was a low rent. During that first year, we found that after we had moved up here, the job fell through and we were stuck with seasonal jobs which payed less then minimum page, people cheated us repeatedly (which we fell for as greenhorns), Bob had to move to another town to care for his Grandfather until he dies and then my daughter became sick, stress became all consuming, and then my husband left me. During this time, my church counselled me to put my kids in public school, move to town into our town version of an "inner city" (but didn't offer to help with any moving expenses such as rent deposits, damage deposits or power/phone deposists) and told me to go on welfare. The only advice from them that I took was to go on welfare, because I knew they would give me a health card for my daughter. During that year I was on welfare I had only three church families offer us some help. While on welfare, I was able to get my daughter the mecial appointments she needed, the medication she needed, able to homeschool during a year of constant dr.'s appontments and hospital visits, the counseling and job help that I needed, and was able to get off it after a year. Mostly though, I believed that I was doing right by moving to the country away from the problems of the city we had lived in, but our church believed we made the iresponsible choice. So in my case, who was right? Being accountable to the church, or not being accountable to the government but being accountable to God, praising him for the government help and doing my best to become self-sufficiant again as soon as posible?