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Archive for the ‘Survival’ Category

Surviving in Your Car

A college friend of mine and I were talking yesterday. Her daughter was giving her grief because she “stocks” the car during the winter. Warm hats, socks, gloves, blankets, food, etc. This is how I grew up – never leave the house during the winter without a half tank of gas, coffee cans (not plastic) with candles, matches, chocolate and nuts and everything you might need to survive in your car should you get stranded in the snow.

Now, perhaps in the age of cell phones and with areas being built up as they are, this may not seem necessary. But, if I go out on a meeting a distance outside of St. Louis and am wearing heels and a skirt and a “dressy” top, if something happens and I have to sit in a dead car waiting for a tow truck for an hour or two during bad weather – I’m sure going to be glad I have the hat, gloves, blankets, and heavy socks and boots to keep me warm in the mean time. As a rule, I tend to keep a few magazines or a book in the car in case I need to kill a little time before appointments. All of this takes very little space and could be a life saver if the worst happens.

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As many of you who read Casaubon’s Book know, the author (Sharon) is a big believer is stocking up on food and other essentials for hard times. Now, many of you may be doing the same – and if you are, you may be running up some of the same kind of folks I am – the ones who think that I’m NUTS for doing this. I have two friends who understand – and after that everyone else thinks I’m totally bonkers.

Growing up in Minnesota, my family always had a deep freeze full of food (most of it shot during hunting season or caught during fishing season), enough food canned to last for a year or two, and a trunk full of emergency supplies – so to me stocking up is not anything new. Grant it, I forgot about it during the times I moved from apartment to apartment. But now, in my own house, I am wishing for that food security again.

Of these two understanding friends, when the first one visits my house, she opens my pantry and look in my fridge, shakes her head, and tell me I needed more food. She would often show up at my house bearing gifts of every type of meat “helper” on the market. She is military, and measures her household items, like food, in tons. She is thrilled, now. While I don’t have as much as she does, I do have more food in the house these days.

The other friend and I have talked about stocking up and home security for the last year. Last week I went over to visit her, and she showed me her pantry. I was in awe. She said that when I turned her on to Sharon’s blog she finally started stocking up. She found lots of sales on canned pasta with sauce, dried pasta, and soups on sale and has been adding weekly to her stash. We talk about shelf life in almost every conversation or email. In addition, she has bought a dehydrator. I am woefully behind her. As she put it:

For me what it really comes down to is when I got laid off in the mass downsizing of the early 90s, I had a hell of a time finding work. Without work, I didn’t have food supplies to live on so in order to afford food, I had to let my utilities and trailer payment slide – which of course lead to losing my place and having to move back in with Dad and then joining the military… this time I don’t have any of those options so I feel I have to prepare myself as best I can to deal with whatever comes next. Everything is easier to deal with on a full stomach than an empty one…

She and I sat around, drank a few hard ciders and did something we never believed we would ever do… we talked canning and recipes. We talked about her making hard cider, and me making wine. About very easy ways of making desserts (I’ll include these another time), canning and freezing, and about home security.

She and I have both taken in boarders, and have stocked up on bedding in the event of additional long-term house guests, and we are growing our food stash. We share ideas and help each other along the way, and we are encouraging those friends who don’t roll their eyes at the idea of stocking up, to do what they need to.

We are not panicking or worrying, but rather being pro-active. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared. After all, it is food, and we will eat it one way or another.

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