Future Provisions

*Survival knowledge

One of the main reasons for studying how people survive, whether economically or physically, is to find lessons we can apply to our own lives and circumstances. For many years, economists have been predicting an economic collapse here in America. If you are one of the 93+ million Americans who are out of work, your own personal economy has already collapsed.

Now it’s time to consider how you will earn money, whether you are currently out of work. In the days of the Great Depression, it was common for grocers and landlords to provide credit to their customers. Today? That would be a rare occurrence.

Our ancestors would be sad to see their children (us) toiling over these uncertain times. This was suppose to be a land of freedom and a new start. What happened?

From the Depression, there is an abundance of stories of neighbors and church families showing up at the door, laden with bags and boxes of food for a needy family(this act of kindness now is becoming illegal in many cities). When a desperate mom was asked by her child, “Mama, what’s for dinner tonight?”, the response was, “Whatever the neighbors decide to bring us!” I wish I could imagine that happening today, but our communities and families have become so fractured over the past few decades it would be a rare event.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Great Depression is the ingenuity of the Americans who lived through those tough times. Many continued to find ways to earn money, even when their own circumstances were dire.

To earn money, people made homemade fudge, pies and bread and sold them. Eggs could be sold for 25 cents a dozen. If a family lived near water, they could catch and sell fish, clams and crabs(this act too is becoming more and more strict). Some families grew, picked, and sold homegrown produce, and some even started lunch truck wagons (regulation of growers are also under attack).

You could also earn money selling newspapers on the corner(almost a thing of the past). Kids earned a little extra if they were promoted to “Corner Captain”, a sort of Great Depression multi-level marketing program where a kid brought in other kids to sell papers and earned a bit extra himself(no loitering now!). Odd jobs were also a popular way of making money, washing windows, loading coal, even sewing and altering clothes(days of money under the table are wearing thin).

In every case, it was a simple matter of looking around to see what people needed, what they wanted, what made them feel good about themselves and about life.

So, what skills do you have that might offer a service during a severe economic downturn? What knowledge do you have that would be helpful, even vital, to others? What products can you produce? What skills can you teach?

Ingenuity is something which can never be stolen by thieves, confiscated by a government, or lost to flood or fire. It is possible to survive during even a newer Great Depression and there is plenty to learn from those who lived through the last one.

Find a book, read, use the internet, take notes, watch videos from people who know, from those who’ve done it. Knowledge is a good thing if used to help others. And there are plenty out there who need help.

We are all in this (and will be in the future) together; let’s help one another keep going when the SHTF!

*Thanks in more part to :Frank M.

 

Back on the Seat

It had coaster brakes and only one gear. I got it used. The twenty-inch, black frame showed its age. It was scratched and nicked from years of use, but I didn’t care. It was mine now.

My tricycle stood by the front steps of our house – forgotten. In the front yard, I held the handlebars, swung my right leg over and settled myself onto the seat. My legs weren’t long enough for both to touch the ground at the same time. I leaned to one side – one foot supported me. I looked around, made sure no one was watching and kicked off. My feet reached for the pedals and began to pump.

After a few wobbly yards, I fell off, and landed on my shoulder in the grass. I jumped up, brushed myself off, got back on and fell again.

A week later, I rode in circles around the yard, always to the left. I didn’t wobble or fall. I was steady, as I followed the beaten trail I’d created in the grass. The wind created by my movement cooled my sweat stained face.

I was free and I was flying.

‘Michael!’ Mom called. ‘Supper is ready!’

I turned toward the front steps, wobbled and fell to the ground. I didn’t know how to go straight or to the right. I’d learned to travel in circles to the left.

One day I became brave. ‘Mom, I’m going to take my bike to Grandma’s.’

‘Are you sure?’ she asked.

‘I can do it, Mom.’

Grandma lived at the bottom of a short hill from our house. I’d walk there often, but when I sat on my bike at the top of that hill, it seemed much higher than I remembered.

I put my feet in the pedals and started to roll. My speed increased. I pushed back on the pedals, braking to a halt, stepped off and walked my bike to the bottom. On level ground, I got back on my bike and pedaled to Grandma’s.

‘Did you see me, Grandma? I brought my bicycle! Did you see me?’

Grandma hugged me. ‘I saw you, Michael. You did well, but I saw you walk your bike down the hill. It’s scary not having control, but you’ll get it right. You’re getting so big. When you’re older, you’ll be bicycling all over the place. I’m proud of you.’

‘Do you have any cookies?’ I asked.

She laughed. ‘You know where they are.’

I ran to her pantry. In the cupboard was a plate filled with fresh baked cookies – my favorite.

Grandma was right. I did learn to go left, right and straight. A year later, I was bicycling all around the neighborhood.

At twenty years old, I left home. It was a lonely time in my life. Mom wasn’t there. It was time to learn how to turn again.

I married and I stumbled. There was someone else to think about – new turns to stumble through.

I’ve floundered through life. When I thought I had it right, life pushed me in another direction. I’ve wobbled, stumbled and fallen. Each time I fell, I got up, brushed myself off and turned around the obstacle.

Each time I think I’m on a straight road, life throws a turn in front of me.

I may fall, but I always climb back on my seat.

That’s what we do; get back on the seat….life is hard at times, but looking back, we can see there are lessons as well. Maybe you have a lesson to share. If so, share it with me, share it with others. 🙂

How Do We Live

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Open your heart to others, try to understand,
When someone reaches for you, grab hold of them,
Do what’s right before the Lord, and don’t mind what people say.

Do things that make you able, and enable others;
smile throughout your days, treat other people the way, you’d like them to treat you, Do what you know is right, just, morally solid and of goodness.

Remember what life’s all about, it’s how you make people feel,
What you do, where you go and making dreams become real,
Helping people through, in hard times of pain and strife,
What you do for others, is what’s important in this life,

Look deeper judge righteously, see their heart, know their mind; observe their actions. People cannot act beyond what they can think.

It’s what’s inside that counts and what people try to hide;
Care, help, love, be honest and be kind, and pure and good among those watching, and a good example you’ll be.

Do all you can redeeming the time. Because many will err and run out of time. Recapture the joy of little things, that once were easily found- the good days long passed, And if you can do all this and live a life of love, you’ll be helped through life; as blessings return from above.

How Do We Live …? Day by Day

 

YELLOW PAPER CLIPS (Based on a true story)

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Georgia, a friend of my wife, was recently divorced and trying to raise her two sons when the Gulf War broke out. She heard about soldiers in the service who had no family and needed pen pals. Letters addressed to “Any Soldier” were distributed by commanding officers who noticed any soldiers getting little or no mail. Georgia wrote to 25 such soldiers almost daily, most of them men.

Keeping up with 25 pen pals on a daily basis almost consumed Georgia’s time and talents. She sent poems, little stories, and words of hope and encouragement. When there were time constraints, she would write one letter and copy it for everyone. Greetings were sent whenever she knew about a special event, like a birthday.

One day, Georgia received a letter from a soldier that was depressed and discouraged. She pondered as to how she could help lift his spirits. It was then that she noticed that at work there were paper clips of various colors. Georgia took one of the yellow paper clips and photo copied it in the palm of her hand. She sent this picture with the paper clip with the following message: “This yellow paper clip that you see in my hand represents a hug that I am sending to you.

You can carry this paper clip in a pocket or anywhere, and whenever you feel down, you can just touch and hold it and know that somebody cares about you, and would give you a hug if she were there.” Georgia sent a copy of this picture along with a paper clip and the message to each of her other correspondents.

After the war ended, Georgia received one of the pictures of her hand holding the yellow paper clip, and on the back were over 150 signatures of people that had been given her “hug”.

During the years, Georgia named other paper clips. Pink came to mean a kiss, green was for good luck, and so on.

Years later, Georgia was giving a class as part of a seminar for positive thinking. She shared with the members of the class her paper clip symbolism, and made a bracelet of multi-colored paper clips for each of them. One of the women exclaimed “So you’re the one!” The class member told Georgia that she was visiting her brother and needed something to hold papers together. She had noticed a yellow paper clip on the refrigerator held there with a magnet. She borrowed the paper clip for her papers. When the brother saw it, he grabbed it and scolded her, and told her never to touch the yellow paper clip again. Now she knew why.

No one will never know how far her message has spread, nor how many lives have been touched by a simple yellow paper clip.

-Moral of the story?

We may never know how far our acts of love and kindness will carry down the road; touching and uplifting others. Giving them a little push to the positives and the hopes that a crisis or negative circumstance will pass. When we touch others with our love, a love that requires no commitments then we truly have loved unconditionally.

That love shines through the greatest of times- and in those times, people can suffer. Our job? To encourage faith, hope and to love others in their hard times, encouraging them to stand up and believe like the Apostle Paul when he said of his great suffering, “it’s but for a moment.”

 
2 Cor 4:17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh For us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;….”

 

Clusters

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Many living things need each other to survive. If you have ever seen a Colorado aspen tree, you may have noticed that it does not grow alone. Aspens are found in clusters, or groves.

The reason, is that the aspen sends up new shoots from the roots. In a small grove, all of the trees may actually be connected by their roots!

Giant California redwood trees tower some 300 feet into the sky. It would seem that they would require extremely deep roots to anchor them against strong winds. But their roots are actually quite shallow — in order to capture as much surface water as possible. And they spread in all directions, intertwining with other redwoods.

Locked together in this way, all the redwoods support each other in wind and storms. Like the aspen, they never stand-alone. They need one another to survive.

People, too, are connected by a system of roots. We are born to family and learn early to make friends. We are not meant to survive long without others.

And like the redwood, we need to hold one another up. When pounded by the sometimes vicious storms of life, we need others to support and sustain us.

Have you been going it alone? Maybe it’s time to let someone else help hold you up for a while. Or perhaps someone needs to hang on to you.

Tablecloth Stains

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“I was four for a second, but now I am five,” my friend Cathie’s 5-year-old told a new friend a few days after his fifth birthday.

Those words express the feelings of so many parents, especially at this time of year. We had a wide-eyed baby for a second. We blinked and had a little girl who wanted to be a princess when she grew up. Faster than the wave of a wand our princess was a student and a tennis player and, oh my, she walked into the gymnasium last night with her high school classmates, wearing a mortarboard.

On the morning after our daughter’s graduation and her party I’m up early, gingerly walking on a kitchen floor sticky with cake crumbs and bits of frosting. Trash bags are overflowing. But the serving platters are washed, and, surrounded by several unopened presents, I see the beginnings of her thank you list on the kitchen table. After I had collapsed into bed, I heard her, working late, trying to put some semblance of order into a house that showed all the after effects of celebration.

I turn towards the dining room. Then I wince — not because of the crumpled blue and gold napkins and a few dirty plates — but because I see a kitchen towel attempting to blot a seeping red punch stain on my beige lace tablecloth. My heart sinks. Will I ever be able to use my favorite tablecloth again?

I regret the loss.

But then another part of me says wait a minute… take comfort in the fact that the stain will be a reminder of a very happy night. A time when the house was bursting with proud adults and lively kids.

The stain, I tell myself, will be a reminder of laughter and good times. And it will be a silent testimony to the fact that kids leave their mark on the world, in more ways than one! They mean well, and they’ll do well.

Every bit of common sense says hurry, get that tablecloth soaking. Try to get rid of the red so we can use it again at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Carefully, I take the tablecloth upstairs and soak it with Biz, the way my mother-in-law taught me. While making suds I review the things I have saved over the years. The things I cherish are not without stain or blemish. I gave away most of the party perfect dresses and suits. I have saved threadbare blankets and favorite T-shirts and sundresses. The books I treasure are the ones with tattered pages and worn out spines. The three dolls I tucked away look ready for toy heaven.

The rest of the family sleeps while the tablecloth soaks and I write. We have two graduates and two more to come. Time is going fast. I can’t stop the clock, but I can put my thoughts on paper so that these moments don’t slip away forever.

After about an hour I check the tablecloth. The red is fading. In fact, it is almost gone, and it looks like the tablecloth will be perfect again.

As I gently stretch the fabric and lay it out to dry, I see no evidence of punch, no sign of a party in the intricate lace design. But I know that when I get the tablecloth out next Thanksgiving, I’ll search again for the stain’s dim outline.

And I’ll remember… these precious seconds.

 
Ps 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy Remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.
Ps 77:11 I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. (Count: 2)

 

God’s ABC’s

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Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of “Camp Complaining”
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To “thank” is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We’ll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God most high
Yes, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but…
Zion waits in glory…where none are ever sad!