Oct 24th 1929 began the years of uncertainty, want, loss, starvation and struggle. Pennies and dimes were as precious as flour and sugar. Every hand worked and a well earned rest was put off to stay one jump ahead. Hardy pioneer stock was a close ancestor and that pioneer wisdom meant survival. Make do and make over. Save everything, pray hard and tomorrow? Start again. There was very little time to neighbor, but most shared as they could. You were wasting time and effort complaining, so most didn’t. Meals were scant. Dogs got what they could forage. Gardens were guarded and life saving, canned and dried. Beans n bread till the beans ran out. 10 very long years – stretching till your heart might break – each endless new day.


March 2020 began a wake up call, testing our outlook and fortitude. Testing our resilience, our health, our abilities to be sorely accountable for our home and household, foregoing those dependable schools, daycare, restaurants, shops and jobs in the name of social well being.  In a few short weeks we are whining and disobedient. Our prayers aren’t for thanks, for our blessings, for the luxuries helping us through. We are praying for an end to this inconvenience, praying for this virus to be gone, praying for a return to normal convenience and abundance. 

What in the world would we do with a real catastrophe? This is a drop in the bucket. Think about that……a single drop in a five gallon bucket……and we are complaining, whining, blaming, begging for relief (gov handouts can’t come soon enough).  

Here is the lesson. Really, this is a life lesson for learning and learning before there is a ten year lesson – a really big test, you wouldn’t want to flunk.

In no particular order, I recommend you learn this. NOW.

Start, today,  teaching yourself and your kids, life skills, with real tools. Teach all of you, self reliance. Teach kids to think, problem solve, read and evaluate. Teach them to self-teach and acquire a small library of actual books. (There is nothing reliable about electronics and the internet; nothing reliable about electricity, automobiles and on-demand inventory)

Start a home inventory of extra foods, staples, water, pet foods, cleaners,  safety equipment, first aid items, vitamins, hand tools, paper products etc. Should the need arise to begin using these things, your priority should be to cut normal usage in half. If you have enough for a month, stretch it to two. Ration ration ration.

How much, would even make a difference? As a 70+ year old couple, we stockpiled quite enough dry and canned foods, first aid and cleaning to carry us comfortably during this virus….. while living in an RV! YOU CAN DO THIS!

Aside from normal essentials, hand sanitizer is the current “short stock” item. We have 3 large bottles of peroxide and 3 of 70% rubbing alcohol, probably enough for us for a year.

 P R O A C T I V E. We have to be accountable for our house and it’s members. That’s all. If you can share, fine. If you can’t, also fine.

Teach your children discretion. If you stockpile for emergencies, that information and its details should not be up for public discussion. How much, where, etc is personal information.

Start now to accumulate a minimum of $2000. cash, in small bills, hidden securely, at home, by adults. This money is part of your home inventory – not for bills, not to keep the lights on, not for “anything” but the moment dire circumstances confront you. Use it for food and safety only. You think $2K is out of reach? It isn’t. Start saving change, then save single dollars, work your way up. JUST DONT TOUCH IT. $1K is a huge start…..keep going……more is always better. This money will be tremendous security if there’s a really big test. Also remember, if ever a time comes, barter can be as valuable as cash. If a necessity is not to be found, cash hardly matters. But if you bought 50 pounds of rice and repackaged into quart canning jars (I have), then bartering with food becomes a marvelous tool.

Collect garden seeds too, or at least learn how to do sprouts…..its fresh greens for your family for little time or dollar outlay.  Learn to make a loaf of decent bread, some biscuits and pancakes all from scratch. Build a family cookbook with your kids and teach them to cook. Teach them to do laundry, including the folding part. Teach them to clean a house. These are chores we all should be able to handle, but often can’t. Suppose a parent or guardian is very ill and kids have to step up – they need to be prepared – for health and safety and confidence. Be sure to let them practice these new skills now, before necessity drags them into action.  Now is a great time to emphasize the reasoning behind what you are teaching them and how receptive they will be. It’s hard to ‘pretend’ there is an emergency, but we are currently in a position to “show and tell”.  

Get help and advice from your Mom n Dad, Grandparents if you have them. They aren’t know-it-alls, but they probably do know-more-than-you-think!

This little test with Coronovirus is serious and a serious opportunity to make a plan to be better prepared for anything that comes along.  We can be grateful that no one is shooting at us. No bombs are falling. No one is herding us out of our secure homes at gunpoint.

No one has promised us all the luxuries we have. Who would have thought that being separated from loved ones would include, instant messaging, video chatting, emails, facebook and phones on our hips, with TVs and movie entertainment at our fingertips. We can’t make this serious issue anything more than life challenging – it could be so much worse.

We could all be politicians, for heaven’s sake!

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