by Candace Salima, US Daily Review Contributor
In looking around at the circumstances so many find themselves in today, a faint memory begins to coalesce in mind once again. During the Great Depression my ancestors survived those lean years by selling tamales in a roadside stand in Southern California. That recipe has been handed down throughout the years, as has a number of wonderful recipes from my mother’s side of the family. As times grow tougher in America, people are becoming much more creative in finding legal, moral and ethical ways to make money. Well, to be honest, many are finding dishonest ways as well, but we’re not going to focus on those.
It’s tough to wake up every morning and realize you have no idea how to make ends meet. Add in the illness of a loved one, and you realize you’ve got an extra dimension to making those ends meet. I’ve heard of, and attended the funerals, many who have chosen suicide as the way out. Others have simply given up and gone on the dole, sitting on the couch watching t.v. day in and day out, lost in the depths of economic despair. But I’m here to tell you there is always a way, even if all you have is the recipe for a really great tamale.
I married a wonderful man of Samoan heritage. Within that community they are amazing at helping one another in times of trouble. One particular thing I noticed was something called a “plate lunch fundraiser.” Polynesian food is heavenly, and preparing it and selling it in takeout containers is how many Polynesian families raise money they need for extra bills, school, missions, family reunions, pretty much anything that can take a huge chunk out of your paycheck. If you’re a really good cook, keep things sterile and clean, you can really sell enough to make the necessary money for whatever your needs may be.
And let me tell you about a man who has an uncanny skill for fixing anything that is broken. At one time he was one of the top pool contractors in his state, but when the housing bubble burst, the work dried up. Out of work for two years, he applied for one job after another, and in the meantime baked and sold pies, carved beautiful walking sticks, created wrought iron bowls that were a thing of beauty, did any handiwork he could find, and his wife opened a song and dance school, in their garage converted into a studio.
What I hope you learn from this is that there is always an answer. We simply must step out of the box we’ve so comfortably lived in, look around, examine our talents and the talents of those in our family. Talk to friends and neighbors, get ideas, then sit down and figure out how to make it work. Tamale stand, plate lunch special or walking sticks, the world is your oyster. Use it. Pluck that pearl right out of there and get busy.
In the meantime, there are a number of states beginning to climb out of the hole their spending practices got them into. Utah, North Dakota, Texas, just to name a few. Do a little research and see if relocation might be the answer for you.