There's nothing like a visit to one's 96-year old grandfather to put things in perspective. I've heard my share of depression-era stories. Not preachy stories about how we young kids don't know anything about sacrifice, hard times, etc., but interesting tales that bring the times to life.
My grandpa told me how at the age of nine, he was sent to live/work at a local farm because his mother died of TB, and there was no one to care for the children at home. My son is nine, and he can't even make his own breakfast! Maybe that's my fault and not his...hmmm.
Anyway, I'm going to try to insulate myself from the irritation of these pesky "what-ifs." Whenever I hear a particularly vexing rumor, I'll think about my grandpa, who's happy just to be here, hoping to live to see 100, and enjoys simple things like coffee and conversation with his granddaughter.