Pantry Challenge Updates

Keep Calm and Carry On

When I designed the Pantry Challenge fundraiser for the Game Loft I didn’t realize that we will all be feeling challenged to empty our pantries and be more food aware than we could then imagine. So instead of showing you what you already know, that our supplies are going down, I offer a word of hope during this time that has stressed out many people.

My grandmother was born in 1888. She lived through the Russian Revolution, World War I, World War II and the Cold War. During the 1960’s when my mother was anxiously watching television for more news about some upcoming war my grandmother turned away from the set and said to me, “You know this whole Russian Communist thing? We always thought it was just a fad.” She died in 1988 and never got to see that her words came true, Russian communism faded away like an outdated fashion.

Right now it seems as though we will always be under the threat of the current pandemic and that life will never return to normal. That is particularly true for kids who have not experienced this kind of hysteria before. I remind them, and those of you who are old enough to remember, that global or national disasters happen on a regular basis and that we must “keep calm and carry on.”

I remember during the 1970’s we lived through a very significant gas crisis. My boss stated categorically that living in rural areas would soon be impossible because there would be no gasoline for our cars and no heating oil for our houses. He strongly advised all hospital employees to move to congregate housing within walking distance of the hospital as soon as possible but before I could pack my possessions the oil embargo ended. However, during the embargo there was a restriction on gasoline purchases on Sunday. I was travelling back to Aroostook County from a visit to Yarmouth when I realized outside of Lincoln, ME that I didn’t have enough gas to make it home. My son, Adam, was then about 2 years old and I realized that he and I would have to find a place to stay the night in Lincoln. I pulled into a shabby tourist hotel and signed the register while a sinister old woman looked over my shoulder. “Isn’t there anyone at home waiting for you dear?” she croaked. I shook my head. “Are you all alone with your little boy?” she asked pointing a crooked finger at my son. When I said I was okay she said, “Aren’t you brave!” I thought to myself, “If she offers, don’t drink the elderberry wine (a reference to Arsenic and Old Lace.) I survived then and we will all survive now. But somewhere in Lincoln, ME I would not be surprised if an old man named Teddy is digging the Panama Canal in his basement.

Keep smiling and send us postcards that we can distribute to kids.

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