Depression | Teen Ink


March 26, 2009
By Anonymous

It was July of 1929 in Pennsylvania and living during this time was extremely difficult. It was the time of the Great Depression. For large families like the Monroe family it was even more difficult. Mr. and Mrs. Monroe had eight children. Susan was the oldest of the girls at 17. Timothy was the oldest boy, only 14. As for the rest of the Monroe children there was, Mallory 12, twins Jack and Jillian 8, Mason 6, Connor 3, and Addison the newest addition only four months old.
Mr. Monroe was a car salesman. He made decent pay and worked many hours a week. The Monroe’s never had to worry about not having money or anything like that. Mrs. Monroe was a stay at home mother. She could be at home everyday and they always made it by with no problems, until now. One day Mr. Monroe came home from work with awful news. He gathered all of the family together for a family meeting. He told them that he only had one week to either find a new job or move to Wyoming for about six months to a year, because he was going to be let go from his job at home. The family discussed all the pros and cons of both ideas. It would be harder to find a new job, but he could stay at home and if he moved he wouldn’t have the stress of finding a new job, but he would be very far away.
After a lot of thinking Mr. and Mrs. Monroe decided that it would be best if Mr. Monroe moved to Wyoming. They knew it was going to be tough but finding a new job around this time would be even worse for a family of ten. He was leaving in two days. At dinner each night the whole family prayed that no matter what happened, Mr. Monroe would eventually come home safe. They also discussed what the family could do at home to help bring in extra money. Timothy suggested planting apple trees and selling apples but everyone knew that would take too long. Susan suggested having her watch other family’s small children, but then realized that they weren’t the only family with money problems recently. Finally, Mallory the 12 year old suggested that while Mr. Monroe was gone, they could have families that have lost there homes, stay at their house for a small fee. The families would help cook and clean, but the food would be provided by the Monroe’s. Mr. and Mrs. Monroe thought that was a great idea. They would interview families just so they knew certain things about them before they allowed them to live in their house for a long period of time.
It was the day Mr. Monroe had to leave Pennsylvania. It was an extremely sad day for the Monroe family. They said their goodbyes, and he was gone. That afternoon the family made signs to let people know they were opening their house up to families in need. Within the first forty-five minutes there was a phone call. The Whites, a newly-wed couple needed somewhere to stay while they looked for a home for themselves. They were young and enjoyed traveling, but couldn’t do much lately because money was very tight. Their names were Christopher and Natalie. Mrs. Monroe thought they would be a perfect choice for the first family to live at their home. They would arrive in three hours. The phone rang again. Her name was Victoria. She was a professional dancer and taught dance classes for weddings and other social gatherings that included dancing. She was also very young just like the Whites. Mrs. Monroe liked her too. Susan believed it was only because her mother had always wanted to learn how to dance.
Mrs. Monroe and the older children were thinking of places where all of these families and single people would sleep. They decided with strangers in the house it would be good to have Mason, Connor, and Addison stay in her room. Susan, Mallory, and Jillian would share a room, and Timothy and Jack would also share a room. That opened up two bedrooms, and the nursery which could easily be transformed into an older person’s bedroom. The family decided that since the Whites were the first couple to be chosen they would get Mallory and Jillian’s room, and Victoria a single woman would get the nursery to herself. The phone rang two more times that afternoon. The Chapman’s and Mr. Sir would also be arriving later that evening. Jon and Melissa Chapman were a close friends of the Monroe’s, Jon also lost his job as a car salesman but couldn’t leave Melissa because they just had two small children Tyler 2, and their second child Mckenna was born less than two weeks ago. Mrs. Monroe decided they would get Timothy and Jacks room because it was a room built to have more than one person sleeping in it. Mr. Sir was a widower who lost his wife to cancer about seven months ago. Mrs. Monroe moved furniture in the den and decided he would probably feel most comfortable in a male friendly room.
All of the families arrived at different times. This was good because then the Monroe’s could meet and spend quality time with each family. After a week everything started to run very smoothly. No one was fighting over the bathroom anymore; they made schedules for shower time so that everyone got a chance to shower daily. Mrs. Monroe, Melissa Chapman, Victoria, and Natalie White were the mothers of the house. They cooked and cleaned; Victoria and Natalie even helped out with the small children, even though Victoria knew nothing about them and had never even held a baby before. Jon Chapman, Christopher White and Mr. Sir helped the older boys in the yard. The families were never a burden on the Monroe’s life. The families had already been there for six months and at least once a week, one family would leave the house. First, it was the Whites because Christopher received his dream job on the town’s newspaper staff. Next it was the Chapman’s they decided to move out of state so Jon could find work in the car selling business again. Next, it was Mr. Sir and Victoria. The owner of the building Victoria held her dance classes in called her one day offering her better rent on the space. She couldn’t pass it up. Mr. Sir went to Florida to live with his brother on the beach. He’d always wanted to move there after he retired. After all of the families were gone Mrs. Monroe didn’t know what to do with out over twenty people in her house.
One night in January of 1930 Mrs. Monroe heard a knock at the door. She had no idea who it could be. When she opened the door she almost fainted, she couldn’t believe who was standing right in front of her. It was her husband. The car dealership was offering all the office workers their jobs back. The children were all very excited to see their father again. It had been so long since the first day that he left. Addison the youngest of the children was already walking. That brought tears to Mr. Monroe’s eyes when he saw how much he had missed while he was gone.

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