Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Be Prepared isn't just for the Boy Scouts any more.

An item on my home page caught my eye today.

"Rise of the Preppers" was a Newsweek article on the rise of modern-day survivalists in our country. Which lead me to the website

I really don't see anything wrong with being prepared for things. Preparation reduces panic in an emergency situation. But the article made these prepared folks seem like an oddity.

Now I'm an Alabama girl, born and raised. Something you need to know about Alabama girls: We hunt, fish, garden, and then "can" what we grow.

I am not really patient enough for hunting and fishing, but could if I reallt needed to. I don't do well with the thought of taking a life of any kind (unless it's a snake)but I know that the Lord put animals on this earth for man's use, and that includes food. Fish are easier to think about because they seem a little disconnected. But either way, the cleaning and preparing of animals for consumption is gross.I'm sort of squeemish, so I leave those activities to my men-folk, who seem to enjoy it quite a bit. Gardening is easy enough. You put seeds in the ground and the Lord does the rest.

"Canning" is when you take the things you've grown in your garden and preserve them for later. I've watched my grandmother can pickles,tomatoes and fruit my whole life. It was an all day event when I was a kid and she made what should have been tedious work look like fun. I only know how to pickle, but I can read instructions, and since the basics are the same, I'm certain I could figure out how to do the rest.

The words to Hank Williams Jr.'s "Country Boys Can Survive" are now running through my head.

After looking over Survival Mom's website, I came across a nifty little device that seems both practical and economical: the Sun Oven.

Granted, one would have to be home all day long and be able to fend away the neighborhood critters, but this seems like a pretty neat little contraption. Sort of a primative slow cooker. My father-in-law likes things like this. I thought I'd introduce it to him and see what he thinks. Of course, he's also the type that would try to figure out how to build one himself and save the $300.

I consider myself a "prepper" of sorts. I hang on to everything. Having grandparents raised during the Great Depression who had a great influence on my life, I learned that anything "with use left in it" was not to be discarded. When disaster strikes, I will be the crazy old lady with the garage full of useful old stuff to make radios and spaceships out of.

Technology is great, but we also need to remember how to do things the old fashioned way. Nearly daily someone makes the "what did we do before we had..." comment. Computers, cell phones, DVR, X-Box, microwaves,calculators and such are all nice, useful tools, but are they really necessary? I am certain I would probably perish should air conditioning disapear, but I do think that there are times when a little old fashioned know-how would be beneficial. People don't know how to count change back to you any more for goodness sakes. They just hand you what the computer says, in a wad with a smirk. That's a real pet peeve of kids may end up in fast food, but by jingo they will know how to count change!

Having it too easy also leads to a lack of common sense. Remember all the panic over Y2K? News reports of people stock-piling canned goods for months in case the power should forget how to work. I remember vividly standing on New Year's Eve of 1999, in line at Walmart, with all the other local folks buying bottled water, canned beans, milk, and bread, with just my manual, turn-key can opener. The light-bulbs going off over everyone's heads could have lit the store.

One of my friends once said when the end of the world comes, they wanted to be in Alabama, because everything happens there 20 years late.

We may be behind, but we won't be caught off guard.
"Country Folks Can Survive"

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