April’s list is checked and May’s list is ready. Next week is supposed to be sunny, so hopefully the garden will go in. This reminds me of laying things aside, a practice my mother passed on to me. She was a farmer’s daughter and if they didn’t prep their food for the winter when it grew, they didn’t eat. Needless to say, she canned many, MANY quarts of whatever was in season, even if she didn’t grow it. She would get fruit in season and spend many hours in the kitchen, washing jars, prepping the food and canning it. And because we had a generous sized family and one income producer, I did the same.
Now most families are two income families and time is shorter than income, so many no longer put things up for the year. Having said that, I think there is still a place for putting things aside. What if there is sickness in your house and you can’t go to the store, or if there is something like a huge windstorm, snow storm, power outage or whatever that closed the stores or that detained the trucks from getting there? (grocery stores at most carry a two day supply of the majority of their items) If something like this happened, how long would you be able to hold out, and since your neighbors might not be prepared, can you help them?
When Bill and I went to the grocery store on Wednesday (seniors save 7%), I needed a bottle of rice vinegar which is his favorite in salad dressings. Instead of the usual 3.49, it was marked 2.39 (-7%) making a savings of 1.26 on each bottle which is nearly 1/3. I bought a dozen bottles. He asked where I would put it. When we came home, I showed him. He was surprised and his next question was “Do you know what all you have?” I do, but not nearly enough, which is why I buy (and rotate) when I find items we use on sale. Then he saw some apple juice which surprised him and off he went with that – a happy man.
I still have fresh squashes we grew last summer waiting their turn to be used. And the freezer is slowly emptying for the next round of food (though if power is off, you may lose your food). Not only do we have food to keep us from the grocery store at least a month, we also have stored away at least that much for our animals. And don’t forget that water would also be needed. We are on a well, so no power, no water. Even in the city, water can be compromised. And while you’re putting things aside, it wouldn’t hurt to check your bathroom supplies as well.
We also have firewood stacked and blankets if we lost power which would without a doubt be during a cold snap. I do have to get a new supply of flashlights. It seems they get easily lost. And I should check my match supply. Yes, there are still areas where we aren’t ready.
Then there is the matter of what would you do with the time, if you can’t get out and there’s no power. We have books and I have handwork I can do. I think I could even come up with a monopoly game of checkers left over from when the children were still at home.
It has been years since our last big power outage. We were without 4 days and had neighbors who also needed to get warm and have a warm meal. We cooked over the wood insert stove and slept on the floor in the room with the fireplace and lots of blankets. During that time, I also did a fair amount of spinning wool. It wasn’t lots of fun, but it was doable.
And if the news should give a wanting, the store shelves will empty so fast, you won’t believe it, unless you’ve seen it. It’s nice to be able to hole up and not worry. And it is doable, just a bit at a time. And if your house is really small, how about small spaces, like under beds, attics, etc. I think this is something we should all consider.