Hard Times….We’ve Survived Them Before

Hello Folks,

Aunt Eunice here. I am praying everyone is doing well during these hard times we are currently going through. It can be scary, but I hope you are keeping your spirits up. Over the years the population of Earth has survived many pandemics and mass illnesses such as Small Pox.

According to Wikipedia 1947_smallpox_outbreak The 1947 New York City smallpox outbreak occurred in March, 1947 and was declared ended on April 24, 1947. The outbreak marked two milestones for America. First, it was the largest mass vaccination effort ever conducted for smallpox in America, and second, it marked the last outbreak of smallpox in America. Within three weeks of the discovery of the outbreak, the U.S. Public Health Service, in conjunction with New York City health officials, had procured vaccine and inoculated over 6,350,000 adults and children. Of that number, 5,000,000 had been vaccinated within the first two weeks. The rapid response was credited with limiting the outbreak to 12 people, 10 of whom recovered, while 2 died.

Hopefully our scientists can come up with a vaccine in the near future and we can be made safe from this latest, dangerous virus.

My family and I have appreciated peoples efforts to help us all have a laugh through social media posts. This meme shows Little Debbie (of snack food fame) on day one of quarantine and on day 14 of her quarantine. It has had me chuckling for two days. I am gaining my Freshman Fifteen a bit late in life as I am less active right now and as I come from a family that loves to bake and cook I have no shortage of calories at my disposal. I guess this is good at a time when groceries shelves are a bit emptier than usual and a trip to the store requires serious thought due to risks involved. It is nice to be able to make things from scratch. We always have flour, shortening, sugar, etc. in bulk quantities with a household of 11 to feed. In two weeks we have made everything from simple chocolate covered pretzels to Martha Stewart’s recipe for Grandma’s Chocolate Sugar Cookies, to homemade eclairs to last night’s cherry crumb pie. Dinners have consisted of items such as chicken picotta, beef stew, bar-b-que beef, some of the best fried chicken I have had since my Mom passed away to a full roast turkey dinner and homemade turkey pot pie using turkey leftovers. I have to admit it is comforting to be able to provide as much as possible and do as much as possible for yourself especially in times like these. It makes us feel more confident and capable of weathering “stormy seas”. Quiet Valley has been pondering things like this and thought perhaps folks would like to learn about what I am calling “Heritage Life Skills Relevant for Today”. We are planning a number of workshops over the summer and into fall to help teach folks some useful skills. We are also developing videos so you can watch from home. Our first one on gardening came out last week. Find it on YouTube. Learn about a variety of things like soap making, cooking, baking bread, how to raise chickens (it’s easier than you think) and grow your own vegetables!

As a non-profit educational corporation it is our mission to share the history and teach about life skills of rural Pennsylvania in the 19th century. We hope these workshop and video offerings will enrich your lives and offer you useful tools to help in both hard times and good ones, too.

That’s all for now and thanks for checking in. Be well and talk to you soon. Aunt Eunice

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