Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday. She would have been 82 years old. My husband’s birthday was Wednesday. When we were teenagers, we would celebrate his and my mom’s birthday with a large cake and lots of friends. I wonder what my mother would say about my DH and me homesteading. She’d probably think we were nuts. She may be right.
She battled me many mornings to get out the door and help with farm chores. Saturday morning was for weeding, planting, picking, washing, cleaning, etc. I hated it all. My mom had little patience for kids. Mom didn’t like the conflict. She avoided it. Once, she left my brother at the dinner table because he was stalling to get out the door and help with chores. He ate an ENTIRE meat loaf while waiting for everyone else to come back when chores were done. Not that stubbornness was a family trait (okay, maybe it was…).
When both my husband and I lost our jobs in 2010, we were very worried. I went through a melt-down. I had never been fired before and even if it wasn’t for cause, it really hurt my self-esteem. When I finally stopped wallowing in pity, I looked around and saw that it was my chance to start writing. Which I did, some. I have a start of the novel I always wanted to write. What I did the most though, was the background research to write it.
My novel is about a biological attack that cascades into the collapse of the infrastructure. It was the reading of the massive information out there from the CDC, Homeland Security, etc. that really scared me. Many people in the government understand how vulnerable we are to most any kind of attack. One of the things going for us seems to be the terrorist’s lack of coordination. (Yes, that is actually one of the defenses they are counting on…).
I won’t say that the government is prepared to lie to you to keep you calm, but they do have script out there to help local government know what to say to their people to keep them calm. Even after reading a year’s worth of manuals, guidelines, etc. I don’t think society will completely collapse. Human beings in general are pretty resilient and Americans are ingenious when pushed. So, I think, we will limp along for a while (maybe without power or limited power) and things will be rebuilt in time.
Even trusting in human nature as I am, I don’t think everyone will survive. If food stops arriving in the city every day and the hospitals shut down because of their surge capacity and power goes out, even locally, people will die. Having read about the collapse of other society’s (i.e. Rwanda, Sarajevo, etc.), I don’t believe that there will be a Golden Hoard wandering aimlessly along the country side looking for food. These are the same people that have let the government take care of them in so many ways that they will stay where they are and wait to be saved.
I’m not saying that people won’t leave the cities in search of food, but like in Katrina, those people will be the ones that have family or friends in other places that will take them in. The looting that went on in New Orleans was IN New Orleans and mostly committed by the locals (including the crooked cops). I live in Tallahassee and we had our share of people that were displaced after Katrina hit. Many stayed and took local jobs and rebuilt their lives outside of the mess that New Orleans became. The same happened after Hurricane Andrew in south Florida in 1992. I don’t see that Golden Hoards have been created by emergencies in other counties or even in emergencies in this country.
That being said, we are taking no chances. We have guns, and lots of ammo. We will protect ourselves and our property, but most of all, we will prepare. I don’t mean having two years’ worth of Ramen noodles (have you ever tried to feed three teenage boys on Ramen????). We are choosing a lifestyle that does not depend on the local grocery stores and thus the cost of gas and regular delivery trucks. We are going to make do with less and give up some of the things we thought were needed (i.e. new ‘smart’ phone, dining out, etc.). In the end, we will see what happens, but as I’ve told my children. It is never a BAD idea to know how to grow your own food, or fix a tractor, or shoot a rifle.
Tomorrow on my mom’s birthday, I’m going to say a prayer for her and put out some tobacco. I’m also going to ask that we are blessed in our endeavors to become self-sufficient. I hope she’s laughing at me. I hope she understands that I understood the why, even if I didn’t want to pick the crops or get out of bed on Saturday morning. I hope I make her proud.