We have old oak trees that shade the patios on the east side of the house. One of the largest bears the scars of a barbed fence buried into it's bark about chest high. The tree has nearly swallowed it up now, it's forgotten that it once was a fencepost to hold cattle in or mark boundaries. Northwest Arkansas is hilly land, rocky land and anyone who tries to farm has his work cut out for him. When we set out under these trees I wonder what it was like when they were saplings. Eighty+years would make it 1930.
The Great Depression had made the American Dream a nightmare and what was once the Land of Opportunity had become the Land of Desperation. In Mom's family, her Aunts and Uncles gave up trying to farm the land they had inherited and headed for California. Mom's parents decided to stay and weather the storm, and a storm it was. The Dust Bowl of the 1930's touched Arkansas too with drought and barren crops. The Depression took what little income people had and decreased it by half. And then WWII started just as Americans were finally beginning to see things getting better.
While my Mom (and the trees in my yard) were growing up, the World was a pretty uncertain place to live. Money was scarce, droughts plagued the plains states and times were hard.
Mom has nothing but pleasant memories of her childhood on the farm. She never went to bed hungry, she never worried about a roof over her head or if they were going to lose their farm. She watched sunrises over the barn as she gathered eggs before school, she saw sunsets as she drove the cows to the barn to be milked. She and her parents somehow lived through one of the most desperate times in history. If given the opportunity, I think she would go back to those years.