Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Coping with hard times today is a world event, as it was before and during World War II. Brunhilde Overstreet, 70, of Sonora remembers those difficult years in West Germany between 1938 and 1944, living in a barn, watching bombs fall and destroy people when the war was going on. "My mother took her jewelry to the mountains to sell for money for food. Old clothes were cut down...we had no garden because we couldn't get seeds. We lived on plants and herbs grown wild. We made tea with mistletoe. One time, all we had was large-kernel corn, the kind fed to animals. It smelled awful and took hours to cook. We lived cold-it was easy to etch flowers in the ice on walls. It was not easy. (Subscribe to "friends & neighbors" at
Margot Osborn of Murphys also lived through the war years in West Germany as a little girl. Her family lived in a cellar and they ate mostly wild foods. Without electricity, her mother stole coal for the stove and peaches and apples from a nearby orchard during the spring. "We ate wild rabbit with potato peelings and oatmeal. I had bad teeth because we didn't get enough milk. My mother had sold her silver on the black market when we got desperate, where you could buy very little, a bit of sausage and cheese. My clothes were one skirt and one pullover that I got from an aunt. In 1947 my father got a job working for the British in Bonn and he would bring home powdered chocolate in metal boxes. We' d have a treat and sell the rest. Then the Marshall Plan helped us recover. West Germans worked together to rebuild stone by stone, the bombed out buildings."
People who experienced those hard times never forget and we can learn from them as we and our children face thinner times today.

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