If money was not worth the paper it was printed on, coins ditto regarding the face value, what would you use to trade, barter, get what you need for goods and services?
Your good looks alone might leave you hungry, wanting, going without because more important things are needed for local survival of you, your family, neighbors. To keep the small community of Maine tight, bright, open for business on all levels.
Food. The pretty basic, awful nice to have three times a day. There are some out there who look like more than that many trips to the refrigerator or drive through is happening. But if you had to dicker with your talents, skills, could you bring something to the table? To do the cash and carry with more than plastic card with a magnetic reader strip. Other than currency with dead Presidents on it?
Maine is a rural farming bread basket of highly fertile, productive soil.
Where you can grow your own produce, fruit and raise your own meat. Collect those double yolk orange eggs each morning. To milk Bessie, Agnes, Bertha if you needed to for dairy product production. For yourself. To trade with others for something in return that you need. Nothing to tax for the IRS to collect on in these swaps. But life at the most basic level meant your existence was pretty much contained within the rock wall farm property boundary markers. Inside the pasture fences, hedge rows of mature trees lined up like soldiers defining where your Maine farm stops, your neighbors begins.
Sound like a lot of work on a Maine farm? Not if you are hungry. Not when the “if it is meant to be it is up to me” memo is read carefully, understood. Allowed to sink in slowly. You, yourself, and I being the captains of your life ship. The one your young family sails in too. To provide for your loved ones something healthy to eat. Along with weather tight, warm shelter, safe surroundings of a loving Maine home.
When you are more in charge and less dependent on others for the day to day, skill sets improve.
. A bit of a carpenter, mechanic, blacksmith, welder, veterinarian, etc. A feeling of empowerment happens. Atta boy, you can do it. Have to because when you turn around, no one is behind you. You’re all she wrote, the whole nine yards. You’re up chummy.
And a hand out request goes unanswered if everyone is pitching in, working for the greater good of their homes first. Because that is where charity lives, starts out and blossoms to other less fortunate. That can not labor. No choice in the matter. Are lame, blind, deaf, sick, elderly, worn out. Or fall in the small children category to be taught how to take care of themselves. To be responsible, resourceful, creative with what they have. Not to whine for what they don’t need. But only thought they wanted until what is important, the basics take the center stage focus of life as they come to know it.
The “won’t help themselves, we have rights, you are discriminating” quick to call foul and threaten legal action protected group learn quickly to develop some work ethic. To shift from vacation to vocation mode. To be productive, contribute and come together in the community. Sink or swim. Or be banned, pushed out of it because of no place for the lazy gene they were born into, taught to manipulate and spin by working the system. The public aid that was not designed for long term assistance from others only. But everyone taught how to fish for themselves. So they could teach others to do the same. Be worthwhile in the local community and considered an asset not a liability.
Public assistance was for a temporary leg up, helping hand to reach down when things were pretty dark, gloomy.
When all hope got up and went. Left the room. Before your faith kicked in, came up and under about the time you bottomed out. Went down and hit bed rock for the last time. In the do or die big push for change. A better way. And the public works projects meant you did something for the bowl of soup, slice of bread that was just enough to sustain you. Something contributed for the sweat, effort so a morsel of nutritional, wholesome is given back, exchanged. To settle up.
Growing your own food in Maine on a farm. Heating with wood from the back forty lot of mixed growth, timber. Hard work and by Tuesday noon you have your forty hours in because of round the clock labor. Up with the rooster, chickens to tackle the cows, small animal’s needs. To prepare for the day spent until sunset in the fields. Preparing the soil, removing rock and debris.
Planting the Maine farm seeds, cultivating and hoeing the hills of vegetation. To guide it, shape it and hopefully harvest it if Mother Nature does not raise her ugly head. And weather puts you the farmer on the ropes with crop loss. If sickness with the herd does not set you back two spaces in the board game of life on the Maine farm.
Maine farming, not all glamorous, never easy but you and your family don’t go to bed hungry. Are too busy working on the Maine farm to worry. You have work to do and on a short time frame window of opportunity for this, for that. And oh yeah, this long list too. More callouses, no drama, and get to work, there are jobs to do to stay on the Maine family farm.