It’s Not the Norm to Make Hay While the Sun Shines?

19
2045
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Editor’s Note: This post was generously donated by Elizabeth.

I guess in ways I’ve always been a prepper but never really thought about it like that; it’s always just been the way I live. Now, I’m definitely not prone to collecting mountains of random stuff, that would drive me nuts, but I wouldn’t think many people on this site are prone to it either as it would be too hard to maintain a bunch of stuff that has no use. From what I have observed, prepping is a thoughtful, well-considered series of actions, not a panic-stricken or depressive doom and gloom kind of thing.

I think of it as acknowledging and owning our responsibilities in a rational, adult manner.

In my adult life I’ve only lived 18 months in a home that could not provide wood heat and have always tried to have appropriate tools and supplies to last me through the ups and downs of life. I never considered that because it was mandatory for me personally to have a secondary heat source, or that because I keep a well-stocked larder in the basement it would be seen as odd. I never thought that learning skills like first aid or gardening were anything but an exercise in good sense.

Isn’t this just following the old adage to make hay while the sun shines?

At times when the sun wasn’t shining for me, there have been periods in which I’ve used my supplies and skills – I have been very glad to have had them.

Ultimate DIY – Build your own bomb shelter.

I think I’ve always been this way. When I was five, I attempted to build a nuclear bomb shelter in the woods behind my parents’ house. Granted, if something had happened, it would have been safer to run into the basement (which was clean, neat, and well stocked) than to try to use my shelter, but when I was five I wasn’t exactly up to speed on all the science. I wasn’t doing it out of terror, though; I was doing it because if there was something I could do to ensure my survival, I figured it made sense to do it. (In retrospect, and now that I think about it, I guess I must have decided that my family was on their own!) And if I’m completely honest about it, I think I was partly doing it because I was out in the woods at my favorite place, building something fun, and enjoying imagining all the different things I could do to survive comfortably on my own. It was a fulfilling way to spend summer afternoons.

I’ve also always kept an eye on the news and the world around me (I call it swivel head economics) because stuff happens. I’ve found that if you want to ‘see’ into the next quarter earnings reports, observe the condition of people’s shoes, you’ll see the answers before the big dogs do. I’m of the opinion that it is delusional not to believe that something could happen. It could be on a large-scale like the predictions of megadrought that just came out to a terrorist act, economic turmoil, pandemic or any other thing that one can imagine. But does the fact that there is risk in the world mean we should freak out all over creation, live in a constant state of anxiety, or scurry into denial as if not thinking about things is a preventative act?

Of course not. I think if we’re in the conversation, we all agree that it makes perfect sense to be as self-sufficient as possible, have the things on hand that would allow us to react flexibly and fluidly to the unexpected, and to maintain as healthy and happy a life for our families, ourselves, and our communities as possible.

So imagine my surprise when my six-year-old started doing the exact same things I did at his age – imagining things that could go wrong and determining mitigating actions he could take. As an example, he counted the fire extinguishers in the house, thought about how fires could plausibly start, and decided we needed a couple more to be placed in strategic locations. I was pleased to help him with his plans as his thinking was not that fire was inevitable, nor was he behaving doom and gloom in any way that I perceived.  I think he decided that if fire is common enough that our town has a standing fire department, it made sense to him to work on our family house fire plan.

I’m not sure if it’s nature or nurture, and of course I’m careful not to frighten children with conversations about, say, Ebola, but my older kids never thought things through in that way, so I’m thinking it may be partly genetic. Thankfully my grown ones do appreciate my way of planning and are completely on board – I think mostly because I feel happy and abundant when I plan and they enjoy being around that emotional energy.

Thus you can imagine my delight when I started looking at prepper sites because my youngest is having so much fun thinking things through this way! I’ve realized that there is even more I can do to ensure the well-being of the people I love and maintain our self-sufficiency – no one wants to be a drag on their community, I think most people want to be contributors. (As an aside, I thought a little bit about how people who are older or disabled could contribute in a TEOTWAWKI situation – one idea is to teach kids math, reading, science, etc. while the moms and dads are providing for a community and keeping it safe. Kind of like humans have done since the dawn of time. After all, there is a theory out there that this is one reason we have the lifespans that we have – grandparents help their gene pool survive.)

By reading Prepper blogs to be as supportive of my youngest as possible, I learned that the stuff I always have with me is called EDC! How exciting to find out it has a name! I learned that my get home bag isn’t entirely uncommon, that others have thought through how to get home on foot in a blizzard too, nor is my office, home or car gear a complete anomaly! What a revelation!

And, best of all, I didn’t know that BOB’s had a name! (I’ve maintained ours forever but only had to use them once – running away is a viable defense in an extreme circumstance.)

Anyway, by reading prepper blogs, I’ve also realized that there is even more I can do, notably things like hunting and trapping. I’ve never been if you can believe it but thankfully I live in a place where I can easily find a competent instructor to learn. (no guarantees on me actually bringing home the bacon, I’m a klutz but I promise to try very, very hard!)

But, interestingly, the biggest gap I discovered is that although I’ve been around the world in places that don’t have clean water, it never occurred to me to have my own water filtration supplies here. Talk about an incredibly big and potentially disastrous oversight! What a void of thought! So I now am the proud owner of multiple redundant water filtration methods.

So thank you to everyone for helping me see the gaps in my own plans, and as far as I can see, there is nothing weird about prepping in the least – in my humble opinion, there is nothing at all to feel self-conscious about when taking good care of ourselves and others.

I ask the question again – What could possibly be weird about making hay while the sun shines? Isn’t that what we built our mutual historical successes upon?

E

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S. Cullen
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S. Cullen

People by human nature fall in several categories… A) Un-informed (AKA “Clueless”)… B) Deniers…those who say “nah, it will never happen”…. C) Procrastinators …”I’ll get around to it later”….or just too busy with “other things in their lives” at the moment…. Add up these 3 categories and you probably come up with a good 90% of the population. Now to prepare is actually an “art form” of talent…. It requires the following skills…. Assessment….. Analysis… Ability to “predict” to some degree Then processing certain skills to make it all come together…. First Aid, shooting, gardening….just to name several… Some people… Read more »

Sideliner 1950
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Sideliner 1950

This hardly matters, but might you include among that last 10% a small “Category D” populated by — (for lack of a more descriptive term) — the “Gamblers”? They’re the people who say, “Yep, you’re right, but I’ll take my chances.” They’re different from Category C “procrastinators” in that they have no intention of “getting around to it” ever. Maybe others also know people who fit that category.

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Hi Guys, do you think people in categories C and D have the belief that they’re so resourceful that they’d be able to figure things out on the fly? Do you think they feel powerless somehow so it’s pointless? Are they apathetic? Paralyzed by the thought that our world is not as stable as we wish it were? Are they Already overwhelmed with life? Could they already be embroiled in personal events that are getting in the way? I’d be really interested in hearing what you think.

S. Cullen
Guest
S. Cullen

There are as many “sub categories” as there are “stars in the sky”…I simply threw up my “top 3 cat’s” for purpose of discussions…. Another point I’ll put up and I’ve done this over time just as a means of judging people’s awareness of the world around them, w/o getting into any “deep conversations” is to do this…. When your out shopping and you happen to meet up with folks out there and have a bit of conversation with them, ask questions like this…. “What do you think Eric Holder’s legacy will be as AG”????? “Do you think ISIS will… Read more »

Eliabeth
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Eliabeth

Hey there, I took a little bit to consider. I’ll start off with a story. When I first moved to where I am now from the East Coast, I had run in to a convenience store and was waiting on line. The guy behind me asked the time. Where I was originally from, that could be a predatory act – a distraction, a play, whatever. I told him the time, checked my physical readiness, and casually mentioned that my then husband was waiting for me in the car. When I got to the car, I told my ex about the… Read more »

BobW
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BobW

Sounds about normal for me, Elizabeth. While decidedly lacking the ‘dumb girl’ skills you mention, I am very cautious with info when it comes to strangers. On a mini-vacation to NYC some years ago, I got to see the whole city. Why’d I get to see so much? Because I was walking 5 steps behind my wife and then 5-yo daughter, continually scanning for trouble. The wife rolled her eyes when I tried to explain ‘pulling trail’ and ‘overwatching’ their movements. It gave me piece of mind in a rough place to be ‘on-guard.’ You are right about understanding the… Read more »

Pat Henry
Guest

I know what you mean, but there are a lot of people who simply don’t care about politics and it could be very generational as well. I wouldn’t write them off totally based on that information alone. You could ask me anything about sports and I would be clueless as to what you were talking about.

S. Cullen
Guest
S. Cullen

Greetings Pat… First of all Pat, I’ve read a lot of your writings and postings over the past few months. I agree with the vast majority of what your saying….and use it to validate my thinking…. That said, however, I am a “product of my environment and (life) experiences…of which probably 99.999% of the general population would never have experienced…. As a result, I’ve done things in my life, been in experiences where most would run as fast as they could away from them in fear, and this “crazy dude” was dumb enough to run toward them… I prefer not… Read more »

BobW
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BobW

I’m not a spring chicken, and I know that any of my real friends, when asked know exactly who Holder and ISIS are, feel similarly about the condition of the state, yet when the idea of stocking up on some important stuff comes up, get all mumbly. Case in point, very dear friend of mine when I softly tried to sell the idea of putting extra goods in the basement for a ‘rainy day’, got kinda funny, said that sounded like a good idea. When queried broadly about firearms, mentioned having one in the past, and he’s thinking of getting… Read more »

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Exactly. We know who we can trust even if we don’t perceive things in the exact same ways.

I sincerely hope my best friends show up at my door! They’re worth it and they understand work ethics or they probably wouldn’t be my friends in the first place.

S. Cullen
Guest
S. Cullen

It’s me and my wife… My “good neighbor” wife & husband are more talk than action… Plus their priority is making sure they have an 18 pack of Bud Lite on hand at night…. Plus they have a total of 8 in the family…. So when the SHTF and they come looking to borrow, which I know they will, I’m going to have to say, “Sorry, can’t do it”….otherwise, I’ll be expected to do so on a continuing basis…. I’ve tried to talk to them several times, and the response I get from the wife is “oh I don’t watch… Read more »

NRP
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NRP

In all reality, that’s not “harsh” at all, it’s just the fact.

S. Cullen
Guest
S. Cullen

I really don’t want to belabor this…because I’m just a smuck more or less…. But also I believe in “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and “the highway to hell is paved with many of a good intention”…. It’s like this… A hurricane is approaching and is 5 days out…. They are saying “This could turn into a major hurricane…” Well it’s time to access what your needs are, and get moving…start planning “just in case” it does become a big one…. Get going or moving to….. Lowes or Home Depot for plywood before the masses… Read more »

NRP
Guest
NRP

E; Thank you again for another well written article, I believe Ken has some literary competition. Like yourself I have, as far back as I can remember, had an interest in (dare I use the word) prepping. Even as a young’un I can remember saving part of what I had for “another time”. I will have to also admit I did the Boy-Scout thing for quite a time, always figured I would get caught in a snow storm sometime and need to know how to build a shelter and a fire. I guess that thinking has not changed much in… Read more »

NRP
Guest
NRP

FYI, not to freak out Pat, or E, Ken is a writer over on another Blog. He along with Pat have always inspired the betterment of the prepper “group”.
Thanks to you all that take the time and hard work to keep us thinking and for feeding us better and better ideas.
NRP

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Hey NRP, thank you for the supportive comments, was not freaked out at all, was flattered (and it doesn’t feel like hard work)! I agree, SHTF can take the shape of a long form personally impacting gangrene or a physically intense natural event.

Am going to think about the long form, slow decline that we don’t even notice while it’s happening. I think we all agree on the sudden scenario – but how do we mitigate things like a creeping black economic depression…

Shall ponder.

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Hey NRP. On a personal level, I worked hospice a while. Probably the most important thing I’ve ever done. There are few losses like the loss of a long term life partner. Bravo for continuing on.

NRP
Guest
NRP

Thank you E. for your words. You’re a kind Lady

Pat Henry
Guest

Thank you very much NRP, I am humbled by the compliment.