The Worst Hard Time

The title of a book I finished some months back. It deals with the accounting of the dust bowl era, the 1930s. I happen to have a husband who was born in Oklahoma. You can express your sympathies now…just kidding, honey. I have spent a few years “kidding” my husband about the destitute folks in and around Oklahoma (a small part of Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas) as their world was coming apart. Actually, the makings of the dust bowl intiated in the late 1800s. Many factors conspired to bring it all to full bloom.

I have wagged my finger at my husband all the while chastising his compatriots because they blew it. They created their own demise. Poor farming practices and the godforsaken, unrelenting wind. I know that weather patterns change over time, but I also know what it is to be in that scheme of things. Nine years of knowledge.

Dust bowl went like this. Land stripped of everything. Trees, shrubs, crops and native grass — eventually, the bison left the area and when they left there was no meat to be had. That old nag didn’t even have enough meat on her bones. This was an agrarian society, so, crops were fundamental. Gotta eat. The book mentions just how dire things became. Cracks in houses had newspapers stuffed in them. Horrendous black clouds of dust dotted the landscape. School was cancelled. Dust pneumonia claimed the lives of babies, women and men. They choked on and coughed up black phlegm. Tumbleweeds were pulverized and seasoned with salt — and eaten. People committed suicide.

These conditions did not subside until around 1939. Seven long years of hell.

I question, where is God when these things happen? And I recommend you read this book. It won’t answer the question, but it did serve to educate me.

There are some places where one should not live. Not unless you like futility.

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