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Holiday's time to spend with family

By Hal Neiman

Hal Neiman
April 16, 2014 - In the 50's and 60's life was not harder than today, but it was different.

Work on a farm included everyone in the family. "Skipping school" had a very different meaning and you "skipped" to plow fields, plant crops, or stay by Bessie's side as she was about to birth so you could help if needed.

It was equally hard in town for the cash strapped meat marketer or for a couple trying to buy their first home. Few banks were willing to loan to these folks. An outbreak of TB could wipe out a farmer's herd. Or if the meat man was hurt or sick it was unlikely anyone could step in to open his doors. "Ordinary" folks buying a home might suddenly be out of work. No wonder bankers were reluctant to lend money.

Other past struggles included limited health insurance, no safety nets, and few free rides. Long work days, including Saturdays, were the norm for most. After Sunday Church you "tidied up." Even for every working stiff, long hours and hard work were just the way it was.

Despite all this, for "city slickers,"

"farmers," or every "working stiff" holidays meant "FAMILY TIME'! During my growing up days, we headed to Grandpa Herb's place for Easter. Grandma Lucy had died young and when you entered the house you could tell. Dust was behind every nook and cranny. If you opened the "ice box" what remained inside was in various levels of mold and deterioration. You ate from the ice box at your own risk. My guess is this happened in grandpa homes all across the country.

But on holidays, folks all brought pot luck style food. The table was cleaned off and time was spent talking, laughing, and hearing tall tales.

At my grandpa's house the afternoon ended with a trip out to the chicken shed where baby rabbits hustled about. One of my gramps' kids and their lucky kids got to take the rabbits home each year. It was always a great debate as to whose "Rabbit Turn" it was.

Every parent was sure it was NOT their turn, as it meant building cages, raising the rabbits, and then 'harvesting' them after a month or two. I am sure variations of this happened in every town and village and in every family across our great country. These were wonderful times!

Sooooooo, despite hard times for most and besides many living on the edge of fear and poverty, Easter and ALL important holidays meant taking time to be with family and friends. (In fact, in years past, stores were closed on every Sunday, not just on every holiday.

Today many businesses have a real need to be open on holidays. I get it. And many of us are glad they are open.

But if more of us shopped days before and days after holidays and stayed out of the stores on the holiday and spent the holiday with friends and family, stores might find they are better off being closed on the holiday!

If this happens we could all do what we should do – Praise God we are able to be together with family and friends, and then actually be together with family and friends!

Neiman's will again be closed on Easter Sunday. We hope all will consider spending Easter with those they care about and avoid shopping on this special day.

Most of us are lucky and get 70 or more Easter's in our lives. Many of mine are already gone. I can't get them back. However many more you have, if you can, I urge you to spend them wisely. Happy Easter from all of us at Neiman's!

Hal Neiman

Neiman's Family market

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