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Laura’s Prepping Diary- 9/17/11

September 17, 2011

Building Community, Prepping Diary

This evening I was blessed with an evening of fellowship with the dear ladies who attend our church.  At first glance, that may not seem like a preparedness topic, but if you’ve given thought to morale and community in bad times, your church family may be very important.

These are the people you have spent years building bonds with, who care for you, and hopefully their moral compass will guide their actions well in hard times.  They are the very ones you may come to count on the most during the worst.

Having said that, I was reminded tonight of how different each of us are.  Even though this is a country church (a large one by “country” standards), the members grew up in very diverse places and consider their lives centered in different places.

While I (and several others) most closely identify with farm living, self-sufficiency, and raising children/homeschooling, there were other ladies sitting at my table tonight whose focus was on very different things.

Some of these ladies are career-minded and have children grown or nearly so.  Others are just very “citified.”  A very interesting conversation took place in pieces tonight.

As Joe mentioned, our oldest son had an outdoor sleepover with a number of other boys last night.  No big deal to us.  The family hosting it lives much the same way we do and we hold pretty closely aligned values.  Our son has had plenty of experiences with the kinds of activities they suggested (“creek-stomping” by flashlight and so on).

The first mom with a boy there last night  approached me when I arrived and asked if I had heard about “what had happened.”  Hmmm…  No.  “Well, 3 of the boys got lost in the dark and ended up a mile and a half away.”  (Did I mention they had flashlights and were following a creek that passed through the yard of the hosts?).

Later, two more mothers of boys in attendance were wringing hands about there being pocketknives present and a .22 being shot.  “Who gives a teenaged boy a gun?!”

I was just quiet and finally they asked me if I was not concerned about it all.  I didn’t want to make anyone too uncomfortable, so I just said that 6 or 7 years ago, those things probably would have concerned me more than they do now, that our son could handle firearms and knives competently, and that he has had lots of outdoorsman experiences through scouting.

(I gave thought to adding that Joe doesn’t want me leaving the house without a pistol on my person or, at the very least, in my purse, but I thought that may not be the best time to share that.  😉 )

The moms kind of backtracked a little and said, well yeah, if they lived out on a farm or …

I was struck again with a few things.

  1. We may all live in the country, but not not even all “country folk” have knowledge of things Joe and I have come to consider “basics.”
  2.  Some of my friends are woefully unprepared for anything but the week-to-week lives they live now.
  3. These people I care so much about may very well look to me/us to teach them these basics when they finally realize their need.
Every time I think about that I shudder at the potential responsibility.  I’ve got my own family to take care of and no shortage of things to do already.
Have you ever thought about who will come to you for help when things fall apart?  How does it impact your planning?  Do you feel a responsibility to reach out to others or do you feel they’ve had plenty of opportunity to prepare for themselves?  
Will the way you handle things depend of if they are the people you’ve warned that ignored you vs. the ones who were oblivious?  Should it matter?

9 Comments on “Laura’s Prepping Diary- 9/17/11”

  1. Marcy Says:

    Interesting, Laura. Yes, I have pondered those questions and yet to have answers.

    By the way, E has enjoyed Hatchet! He seems to think he can now survive anything. 🙂

    Reply

    • Laura Says:

      So glad he enjoyed the book. We have Call It Courage on audio to lend you if you are interested. It is well narrated. It was one we listened to in the van and the kids wanted to start it over as soon as we finished it.

      On a related note, since our children have come to think in similar terms, I find I have to do a visual inventory of them before we go places. The oldest often will have a fixed blade knife attached to his belt as a matter of everyday practice- you never know when you may need to whittle or make a javelin or … It doesn’t occur to him that people in citified places where we need to go may find those visible things alarming.

      Reply

      • Karen Says:

        I’m going to look for Call it Courrage for us to listen to in our Jeep! 🙂
        Matt has his pocket knife on him often~ he finds it fun to show it to any officer who will listen and wants to see his well-worn Whittling Chip he earned as a Bear Cub Scout!
        I keep in the back of my mind what I read somewhere: have enough extra of everything to take in the last person you want to have show up, but know you couldn’t turn away. I also have a list of responsibilities for that person in SHTF scenario

        Reply

        • Laura Says:

          Yea for Cub Scouts and good for your son!

          I like your quotation. Good way to think about it. We agree with you with regards to the responsibilities too. There will be enough work for EVERYone to go around.

          Hope you enjoy the story.

          Reply

  2. Jarhead Survivor Says:

    Last fall we had friends up from Rhode Island (city folk) and on the last day of the visit we went outside and had a fire behind the house. Mike was amazed that we could do something like that and it was obvious that he had zero experience outside the rockpile of the city. As I split a little wood for the fire his wife kept saying to her husband, “You should watch him. That’s how things get done in the woods,” and stuff like that. First of all, we were outside the house and not even in the woods, and second of all I didn’t appreciate the snarky comments she was aiming at her husband.

    I invited Mike to come up with his (at the time) unborn son in a few years and we’d take the boys and do a two or three day campout in the woods behind the house. I’m looking forward to that trip and he seemed excited about it too. By the time my boy is ten I hope to have instilled in him some serious survival skills that will last him forever.

    Hopefully these people never have to find out the hard way what it means to survive.

    Great post, Laura. I love this subject. Post idea: maybe you could come up with an idea of how to share your knowledge with friends who are less experienced in the wilderness?

    Just a thought.

    -Jarhead

    Reply

    • Laura Says:

      I appreciate the suggestion, Jarhead. I will mull it over some more.

      Thus far, I have prayed that God will give me insight into when people are receptive to the ideas and for the right words to appeal to them where they are. For example, if they are concerned about a spouse losing a job, I try to find a way to work into the conversation the food security that would be provided by stocking up on extra staples now.

      One of the ladies who was wringing her hands about the activities of the night (and whose son got “lost’) had also told me once before about her nutty brother-in-law who stockpiles lots of food, is always trying to get them to buy a generator, etc. I fished around to find a way to endorse his activities in a way that didn’t make her write me off immediately too.

      I asked where he lived. When she told me St. Louis, I just said that he is pretty much sitting on the New Madrid fault, so he is probably wise to do those things since the expected major earthquake will likely take down bridges, pipelines, etc and the city could very well be a disaster area, unreachable for help for a while. She didn’t say anything.

      It is a very delicate subject. It’s so unpopular to tell people that easy living may be an illusion that leaves them totally unprepared for the possible “real world” that is coming.

      Thanks for the idea. I appreciate the encouragement too!

      Reply

  3. Laura Says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention that Joe told me later that a couple of the boys who got “lost” were moments away from calling 911 for search and rescue when they stumbled upon the house!

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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