Tuesday, October 14, 2008

experience has taught me

In my last post maybe I came across as a naysayer and sounded a little hard. My concerns for tomorrow exist because I relish life and have a "we can do it, we'll get through it" attitude in general. I have concerns about people, especially those very near and dear to me, so of course I hope they will think ahead enough to prepare for their own well being. Often I seem to be one of those people others look to for guidance, advice and support. Because I am preparing for the possibility of hard times, I want them to be better prepared as well. I hope my concerns about the near future don't materialize. I have some serious concerns prompting me to take what measures I can, but just so you know, I don't necessarily live every day as if the end is near.

We are in many ways defined by our experiences through life. Which explains my mind set when it comes to "survival". I am a survivalist, but not in the sense that I'm a overzealous gun toting redneck, huh uh. I am none of those. I'm a survivalist from having lived through some pretty skimpy times.

I grew up poor, although that reality didn't set in for many years, until I was practically grown up. Early in my marriage times were pretty rough for a variety of reasons. At one point in the early 80's my husband was laid off from work and we were existing on $40 a week. Our circumstances didn't allow me to be prepared, plus being younger and whole lot more naive didn't help either. It was winter and we were feeding our family of four on whatever we could muster up and often on the charity of others. I was washing cotton diapers out by hand in the basement for my infant daughter and my son was wearing a coat with a broken zipper and canvas tennis shoes on his feet while he stood outside in the cold and snow waiting for the school bus. (Even now, the thought of him standing out there like that makes me want to cry.) I'll never forget the first time I was finally forced to go to a charitable organization and ask for food. The lady there asked if we would accept dry beans. I must have looked at her in a peculiar way because she added, "Some people won't eat that type of thing." I was dumbfounded and reassured her that I would take anything they were willing to give me; food was food and we had none. It was during this same period of time that we were driving down the road when my husband suddenly swerved the car to the side of the road and then pulled over. I had no immediate idea of why he did either. He got out of the car, threw the dead rabbit he had deliberately hit onto the hood and we drove home. That evening he skinned it and I cooked a pot of rabbit stew.

This is just an example of how life experience helps to define our tendencies. As I said, I relish life and the art of being present in the moment, but I have learned that doing what is within my power to prepare for tomorrow is vital to our well being. My message is simply to alert people to the possibility of hard times and to exercise some common sense, that is all. The economy itself doesn't need to collapse for us to find ourselves facing tough times. 'Nuff said.

What experiences have lead you towards the path of preparedness?

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c


  1. I agree that we should all be prepared for anything. There have been lots of closings in our area leading to lost jobs. So many people are on the verge of losing everything they have. Lately our family has had to really help each other a lot to make it week to week. The garden we planted was not big enough so next year we plan to expand it. perhaps we'll make two.

  2. Great post. I agree with you whole-heartedly. I too grew up dirt poor but didn't know it, we always had plenty and we took care of our own. Now I find myself many miles and a world away from that time & place. The uncertainty concerns me, but I know I can handle whatever comes my way.

    The lessons of my upbringing may prove invaluable in the months to come.

    Also, thank you for making a difference between real survivalists and gun-totin' rednecks. I always get annoyed when people confuse me with the latter. I wonder where those people would be without their shiny new rifles and $50 a box cartridges?

    Thank you for so eloquently stating the real facts of the situation.

  3. I remember the late 70's/early 80's too, EarthHeart. We struggled. I remember one day searching the house for enough change and pop bottles to cash in so he could buy gas to go find a job of any kind. He returned with a roofing job and the wolf was away from the door once more. Although we had food, we didn't have any money for the other necessities like kerosene for our lamps, and gas for the generator. Another time I sold some of my antiques to tide us over. At least I had them to sell!

    Those of us who have been there before know how hard it is, but also how to get through it. We'll manage, and we might be eating some mighty tasty rabbit stew in the bargain.

  4. Trisha - Thank you for your comment. This is typical in towns and cities across America, my area included.

    A bigger garden makes a bigger difference. We planted bigger this past spring and I have a lot more preserved this year than last. Gardens are a very important way of becoming more self sufficient and far less dependent on the overall state of the economy.

    Matthew - Thanks for finding your way to my blog and for your comment. Your positive feedback is truly appreciated.

    We'll be seeing those good ol' boys once gun season opens up here in Ohio. They'll be driving up and down the road come November, deer hunting from behind the steering wheel, gun in one hand, beer in the other or running quads through the woods, dressed in their camo. Scary.

  5. Granny Sue - I hear ya! I've had to do the same but like you said, thank goodness we had these things at the time to sell. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Hello, Thank you for your post. I enjoyed the ant or grasshopper blog? You may find that many of us are just like you. I also grew up poor not realizing it till I was older. As a young mother I also experienced many of the same hard times. The kids are grown up now and my Husband and I do remember those times and we are Ants now. My Garden is one of the best Fall gardens I have ever had and my pantry and freezer are prepared for hard times. Here where I live many people have been laid off or hours cut as well.
    Thank you again for sharing thru your blog.

  7. The gun totin' redneck thing isn't all bad. Once something does happen, there'll be plenty of uninvited grasshoppers hoping to raid the ants' pantry, so it is always good to be prepared. On the other hand, I've dealt with a few of the idiots that think having a gun and camo entitles them to hunt where they please, so I see your point there.

  8. Hi Barbara - You're welcome for sure! Thanks for your comments. It's good to know other like minded folks..well, ants. :)

    Country Wife - yep, we're practically neighbors I believe.

    No offense meant with my reference. Did you notice I said overzealous? I agree with you, it's not all bad and I've got absolutely no problem with having guns and using them responsibly and when necessary, but when you start talking survivalist that's the visual that often comes to mind.

    I'm afraid you're right about the grasshoppers, that's pretty much why I've been pushing the message. But I think I''m preaching to the choir most of all, lol!

  9. We've gotten down to the odd things left in the pantry and no money left for ingredients to turn them into decent food. No gas and had to be in court riding double on a little motor bike to get there to keep further trouble away. I too prepare but I wish our home were more secure.


I sure appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts. I may not always have time to respond or acknowledge them but I do read them all and highly value your presence here.