It’s a real word, rare and seldom used but, real nonetheless…..it means, ” A Person who is optimistic regardless of the circumstances.” I thought this was an appropriate thing to think about in lieu of the current economic conditions around the globe. So why optimistic when there could be nothing left in the bank you might ask? Well, I thought about sharing a page out of my own creative journal about a story my great-grandmother told me when I was young. On the eve before the Great Crash back on that fateful Black Tuesday…the harbinger of the depression we all read about in history books, my Great-Grandmother was told by her husband to go and deposit his salary into the bank. Against his wishes, she cashed it and tucked the cash away in the teapot in the kitchen (where she had socked away a portion here and there of other checks as well….guess he wasn’t a tea drinker) because as she put it, “I just had a feeling….” He was very upset with her upon hearing what she had done and seeing the cash she had amassed there in the kitchen. The next morning, the news of the Stock Market Crash spread like wildfire and the runs on the banks had left so many of their neighbors without their savings. They were the only ones on their street that got to keep their home. My Great-Grandmother was one of the most dear and precious people in my world growing up. Her amazing creativity and ways of using random things as they were not really intended to serve an immediate need here or there, got them through those tough times and are the stories we now, as adults, cling to when things seem bleak. I am thankful for those stories. I am thankful that I wrote them down. Most of all, I am thankful that she was a Panglossian- optimistic in any circumstance…even in the greatest economic challenge they had ever known. I encourage you to dig deep and find those nuggets, those shining examples of grit and determination in your own lives and family trees. Spend some time documenting those things not because you want to point out the hardship but, because you want to remember the moments when the odds were beat and victory overcame adversity. There just maybe a time where history repeats itself years later and folks may need to hear those stories to give them optimism and hope to get them through their tough situation.

By sarah hodsdon




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