As for me, I have been feeling overwhelmed by the recent economic/political news. In fact, my jaw has been consistently dropping so far down that it's taken almost two weeks to close it enough so that I can finally post this blog. Yes ma'am, yessir, overwhelmed, that's the word. Never mind my shrunken savings. It's a mess.Maybe I feel that way because I'm a depression baby, born right in the middle of it. My father graduated from dentistry and set up his practice (his patients didn't have the money to pay for his services) in 1933. My mother went on a "grand" teacher's tour of Europe in 1932, as the forces of hostility were gathering but had not yet broken out. My parents got married secretly in order for my mother to continue teaching. They needed the income, but married women were not allowed to teach in Quebec (for fear they would take a "man's job" away). People didn't say "hello" when they met one another; the general greeting was: "Are you working?" If you couldn't get a job, you could opt to join the Armed Forces. At least you'd have a place to sleep, some clothes to wear, and food in your stomach. You might die, but then again, you might return for a college education (sound familiar?) and deals on veteran's housing; and, in the meantime, there was that paycheck to send home. The Canadian forces, as part of the British Empire then, joined the world war effort in 1939. The U.S. maintained an isolationist policy until the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor forced its entry into the war and ensured Allied success. My memories of the war years were of an absent father who was in the Canadian Armed Forces "overseas," of miniscule-sized letters (to save paper and airplane space) that had to pass the military censor, of "back home" conservation efforts long before "green" entered the popular vocabulary: We returned bottles to the grocery store, took wire hangers to the cleaners, tied bundles of newspapers up with string for collection, had food ration cards and recipes for eggless cakes. Everyone was involved in civil defence. Women knitted for "the boys." Skirts were short to save material. Young women wore leg makeup and drew seams with black eyebrow pencil up the back of their legs to simulate stockings because silk was unavailable and alternatives were ugly (nylons came later as a result of the war's development of parachute material). Newsreels that told us of world events preceded patriotic films in the theaters; television had not yet arrived in our homes. I had one sweater, a cardigan, that I wore back to front to simulate a pullover when necessary and a hand-me-down plaid skirt. I wore a uniform to school. Some of these memories are included in my book, "Cryo Kid -- Drawing a New Map" (www.cryokid.com). I remember when my father came home from England on crutches and spent the next few months in a military hospital in Canada. I was a kid, eight years old when my Dad came home. These are a child's memories still vivid in the mind of a woman who has now experienced more than seven decades of living. I hope the bail-out and its aftermath work. By now, most people realize that it's not just an American problem; it's a global problem. We have to make it work, all of us, because the alternatives -- another World War? -- are so scary. The up side is that material things are being put in their place. I do believe that both U.S. presidential candidates, McCain and Obama, have good hearts and good minds, and that whichever candidate is elected, we'll be okay because the American people (as a matter of fact, the North American people) are of good heart and mind too. (And yes, I know that both Canada and the U.S. border Russia, even if I can't see them from my home.) It will take time, brains, good will, considerable sacrifice, and people working together.