|Photo: Ileana Johnson|
My friend Joe K., who spent five years in Romania serving our country during Ceausescu’s draconian regime, commented that “every time it would freeze in Bucharest, water in our radiators would freeze up. We never had heat when we needed it.”His comment was nothing new to me, we froze all the time in our communist-subsidized reinforced steel concrete and drab grey apartments covered with dingy air pollution. We lived on the fifth floor and radiator steam seldom reached that high up. I was never warm in winter except when I went to see my grandparents in the nearby village.
The village was located about 9 km from the outskirts of town. Even though they were so close, they might as well have lived in the 18th century. They never got electricity until late 70s but they had a wood-burning mud brick stove that kept things toasty warm during the day in the two tiny rooms. Grandpa’s bed was close by the stove which served as a heat source and for cooking over the three eyes with removable and adjustable cast iron covers to fit any size cast iron pot.Temperatures dropped precipitously at night as the fire died out. We were sleeping snug in sea weed and straw mattresses and heavy wool quilted comforters made by grandma’s hand. We always woke up in the morning flea-bitten to a cold room until grandpa stoked a new fire in the stove and the crackling burning logs warmed us enough to get out of bed and put our warm and scratchy hand-made wool clothes on. The cats came down from the warm attic to be fed; they were the mouse catchers and a constant source of fleas and furry hugs.
We always helped our extended family as we were all equally poor under the boot of communism. The socialist rhetoric was long on failed promises that never materialized and short on providing for the starving and cold proletarian masses.
I worry about domesticated animals left outdoors to fend for themselves and for our fellow humans who are homeless by no fault of their own and how they are going to protect themselves in these frigid temperatures.
Corrupt politicians on both sides of the isle seem to be more concerned about the welfare of foreign individuals, potential Democrat voters, who are overrunning our borders illegally, than they are about our own poor people, veterans, and the elderly.I hope there are enough shelters open to protect our homeless population from frigid temperatures. We should provide apartments for them instead of the illegal aliens, who are bussed into our country with non-governmental organizations (NGO) and Democrat taxpayer funding, demanding free housing, healthcare, food, electricity, education, and the right to vote at the expense of Americans.
Poverty exists everywhere and people have a right to seek a better life in a legal way. They also have the responsibility to make their own countries better, especially the men. But they do not have the right to demand welfare from our hard-earned tax dollars.