Prepping For When Disaster Strikes

First thing this morning, while we’re having our coffee on the porch, a man knocks on our door.
The fanatical gleam in his eyes reminds me of Bernie Sanders and he even looks a little like him.
Of course, we don’t open the door. I don’t care if he is eighty and can hardly walk. He really could be a politician in disguise.
My husband goes to the screen and talks to him and he accepts a pamphlet through a crack in the door.
It’s the Awake pamphlet.
I have to admire this group’s dedication.
They have knocked on my door at over twenty addresses in six states.
It began forty-odd years ago when I had my very first own door to open.
I had foot surgery last week and now I’m sitting down too much, so I read the pamphlet, “When Disaster Strikes.”
Oh crap, now I have to clean out the cellar while I’m on crutches.
I’ve always had the prepper mentality (my dad instilled those principles early) and this pamphlet just triggered it harder than the nightly news.
If I was wealthy, I would already have an awesome underground shelter or maybe intricate caves built into the rocks in the White Mountains.
I’m not, so I have to settle for the smaller things in life, which are just as valuable, although not when it comes to having a place to hide out until the world is done fighting.
Yup, all I have is the cellar and that doesn’t usually work out very good in the movies.
After I finished reading the pamphlet, you know the one that told me that I could be needing my cellar, I started making a mental checklist of what I had on hand.
Despite my husband’s resistance to prepping, I think we could last a week with the supplies I’ve stashed, starting with dried seaweed, a few gallons of water and two cans of powdered peanut butter for protein.
I  haven’t been unaware of the need to keep my food cabinets full and I buy emergency supplies all the time.
I simply have a very hard time keeping extra supplies in the house because my husband eats everything I bring home.
Luckily, he hates seaweed and sardines. He did ask to try the peanut butter powder, so after I yelled, “No way,” I hid it.
I also am the proud owner of a big bag of mess-hall chili that nobody else would eat. I saved it for the day someone would be grateful to have it. Maybe me.
My sister, who hoards food and cast iron frying pans, was throwing it out and me, the odd stuff hoarder, snagged it just in case.
If you’re in touch with the world at all, it looks like just in case could be coming up soon, so I felt pretty good about that decision.
A few cans of milk, an open bag of dog food and a half full jar of instant coffee completes my emergency provisions.
I used to keep a carton of Marlboro cigarettes with my emergency stash, but I have the same problem with cigarettes that my husband has with food. I smoked them all.
So at this point, my husband tells me that he’s going to the store and even though I know what he’s going to say, I ask him to get five more gallons of water to put in the cellar and maybe some seaweed.
Wait a minute. I can’t stop laughing.
Okay, so he says, “No, I don’t think so. You don’t need to buy water. Water comes out of the faucet.”
I give him my famous, “We need enough provisions to last for at least a week and water is the most important supply,” speech.
I try to speak calmly to him and to make him aware that our lives could end quickly if we don’t have water on hand for emergencies.
I appeal to his love for the dogs.
“The dogs need water too!”
He says, “No effing way,” and goes out the door, but returns with a case of gallon bottles of water, which is pretty heavy and he has a bad back. That is love.
To be honest, I think it was the dog appeal which turned him in my direction. He does love his babies.
I said, “Thank you, thank you and oh, did you buy any more seaweed?”
“Eff the seaweed,” he said. “Be glad for what you got instead of complaining about what you don’t got.”
I think he learned to talk like that at the firing range, hanging out with all the mountain men.
It’s a John Wayne attitude with a New England twist.
And by the way remember when I said he was a prepping resistor? Well, when I suggested some gun purchases, he broke all records buying them.
I asked him about the way the rules change and he said, “Yeah the rules do change. They change to to fit my need.”
“You finally admitted it,” I said.
It doesn’t matter anyway because I already put it in my first book, “as soon as I learn the rules he changes them” but it was nice to get confirmation.
I told him I was going to quote him in this story and I asked him to please get me a cup of coffee.
He brought back my coffee and said, “Here is your effing coffee. Put that in your story.” So I just did.
He’s so funny and so creatively rude that he gets in my stories without even trying and I do love getting a good quote.
It’s ironic that I have tons of prepping books on my Kindle and I always promise myself that I’ll read them someday, but I haven’t even looked at them since the day they were downloaded.
That’s one task I probably shouldn’t put off, because someday could be any day now. I’ll be screwed if we get an EMP strike because I won’t have electricity to power my Kindle.
And speaking of using up the things we buy for emergencies, he keeps ordering cases of bullets to ease my prepping mind and then he goes out to the firing range and shoots them all. It’s possible he’s using my anxiety to buy cases of bullets just to shoot them, but I like to think the best of people.
Then, this afternoon I see a notice in the local newspaper.
“Water Department will be flushing hydrants through the month of October. Persons may wish to store drinking water, as the flushing may temporarily disturb organics that may be in the main.”
Is the water safe or not? Talk about not committing yourself. Anyway, there goes the water stash.
So, I’m going to hide some corn chips to go with the chili and I’m praying for World Peace.
Sorry if I misled you. I just realized that I’m really not very good at what to do when disaster strikes or prepping.

Least We Forget (I Cried)


BP Oil Spill 2010
by Jeanne Marie
My life was not lived on the ocean, but my lifelong dream was to end out my last years here. Two years ago, by the grace of God and a few miracles, my husband was able to move us to Florida, before we were even old enough to retire. My fantasy/dream became a reality.
The ocean is the only place my heart has ever called home, the only place I have ever longed to live. When I was still a baby, my mom and dad would drive to Plum Island in MA before the sun came up so they could dig clams. I would be bundled in blankets and more than half asleep. But I remember my dad digging a shallow hole in the sand, for my mom and me, because we would be warm below the wind.
As she cradled me, my dad would dig bushels of clams and Mom and I would sleep.
My lullaby was the seagull’s song, the scent of the wet sand and the lull of the ocean’s waves. I have lost my mom and dad, but I never thought I could lose an ocean.
My soul connects with the salt water and the sand, the shells, the huge, gentle manatees that I met ten years ago on a visit to Florida. Every single life form gifted to us from the blue salt water is precious.
I cry every day as I watch the news, cry in pure frustration and anger at what BP HASN’T done to contain the oil spill, at the mistakes they have made, the chemical dispersants that made it worse.
I cry for every family already living in the black mire, generational lifestyles-gone, homes saturated by dangerous fumes, jobs destroyed, the long line of beach dependent cities that will go down before this is over.
I cry for the innocent, smothered, oil drenched pelicans.
I cry for every single sea creature that is strangled, tortured or killed by the oil. I cry for Louisiana and for all the coastal areas that had not even recovered from Katrina yet.
When I have any tears left, I cry for our shattered dream, growing old together hand in hand by the ocean. So little, in the big picture, so big in our life. My ocean, the one constant I could count on throughout my life, my ocean, always there for me, destroyed by corporate greed. I walked the beach this past Sunday and I cried as I picked up dead crabs, even a dead baby shark. Who could have ever dreamed that the ocean was for sale to the highest bidder?
Restitution Wanted. To BP Corporate Employees. All that we want from you is what you took from our ocean and our lives. Every damn thing you possess. Every night’s sleep, your health, every dime, every dollar, your homes, your yachts, your fancy cars, your livelihood, your stock portfolio, your Swiss bank accounts, the futures of your children, the designer clothes in your closet, everything single thing that you own should be stripped from you and put to use for the cleanup. Still, it will never be enough. Perhaps we should see if you can breathe in the tar-balled, oily water.
BP, your actions and lack of, are just one more shocking example of Corporate Terrorism. What you have done is a crime. All in the name of oil and money. What do your parents think of you now?