My mother was the oldest of seven kids, which meant she had to help raise her brothers and sisters while her parents worked; cooking, cleaning, washing clothes - all the while finding time to go to school (walking), do her homework and somewhere in there - rest.
Due to her upbringing - she swore her children would not have to endure the life she had.
And we didn't.
No cooking, no cleaning (okay I had to do a little dusting), no nothing.
Instead, my focus was on 'anything social' if there was a club, I wanted to be in it. If there was a dance, I wanted to go. And if there was a sporting event, I was there.
I'm sure this all sounds glorious but the truth of the matter is - it has turned into a major prepping handicap.
Well because I didn't learn to cook, bake, learn how to tell if a fruit or vegetable was ripe, how much something should cost - like a pound of hamburger - how to use cooking measurements, or even how to keep a plant alive (I was resigned to having silk flowers and plants - at least I could use the one 'skill' I learned as a child to keep them looking nice - dusting.)
But I survived well - in my consumer generated world.
Not knowing how to do things was one of the reasons I chose to move closer to my parents as part of preparedness. I wanted to learn how things were done during hard times. And who better to know than my mom.
I made my move and dealt with the withdrawals of not having a shopping mall on every corner - the closest shopping was Walmart which is 45 minutes away or in mountain-talk 'going to town'.
I shared my thoughts on the economy, EMPs, disasters, politics, you name it, but to be honest, I wasn't sure my mother really understood the 'preparedness thing'. She had known a life of not having much and making do with what you have. She always had lots and lots of canned goods, water, a back-up generator, blankets, emergency lighting should they lose power, and a big garden.
I loved asking my mother about the difficult times that she and her family went through and how they 'survived'. So many 'little nuggets' were learned during those talks.
For nine glorious months I watched how my mother cooked and baked; taking mental notes and asking questions along the way. She cooked like she did many things 'by feel' from years of experience. I must admit, this was a little frustrating because I wanted to know how she knew how much to add to what when she was making something. Her response was always the same - just add until it looks right, tastes right ... (fill in the blank) right.
And my response? Yeah right.
Then one sunny morning, a man late for an appointment, ran a stop sign going 55 mph at the same time my parents were 'going to town'. He broadsided the driver’s side of my parents’ car killing my dad instantly. Their car was then shoved across the street and into a telephone pole, killing my mother as well.
It was the first time in nine months I had not driven my parents ‘to town’.
In that split second all the knowledge I had hoped for and both parents were taken.
I share all of this to say, our parents and grandparent are a wealth of information and we need to learn as much from them as possible.
My mission and goal, as a lot of you know, is to share as much as I can with everyone and anyone about how to better be prepared should any kind of disaster strike. I do this in honor to two of the most giving people I knew; my parents.
Oh, and when going through my mother's things ... sitting right inside her closet door sat a backpack; and in it? All kinds of prepping things. It her bug-out-bag.
Apparently she ‘did’ understand after all.
Happy Mother's Day Mom!
- Survivor Jane
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