I grew up in a lower-middle class, Caucasian household. My mother was a full-time housewife and my father made a meager living as a salesman. Neither of my parents have college degrees. Food stamps were never applicable to my family’s income but we lived happily and never with too much luxury. In the summer time, eastern Oregon can be very hot; we never had an air conditioner. I grew up with fans. In the winter we used firewood chopped from the forest to heat our house. I always woke up freezing cold in the mornings and headed straight towards the wood stove on the other side of the house.
We didn’t have a lot of extra cash to pile our cupboards with expensive, highly processed goodies and snacks. The high price tag of Doritos, packaged cookies, soda and hostess cupcakes meant that such items rarely, if ever, made it into our cupboards. Instead, we had a flourishing vegetable garden with several fruit trees. We had grass-fed cows in our pasture which would be butchered once a year. We had a chicken-house full of hens that would lay eggs year round. Our animals were treated kindly and humanely. Our property was sufficient in size to host a sizable variety of barn-yard creatures.