(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)
To maintain our health we chose to order some items online to avoid the public stores when possible. Fabric for blankets, washable family sanitary cloths, and face masks, and Betadine wound cleanser/disinfectant were purchased. I also ordered and received a non-electric carpet sweeper.
ACTIVITIES AT HOME
Although the rest of the family is considered “essential”, all of my disaster preparation teaching has been postponed until future dates. This has given me time to complete more than a few projects around the homestead.
I have been cooking and canning the rest of the turkeys I purchased last fall. To explain: I generally buy 10-12 20# turkeys at a great price and then freeze them until I find the time to cook and can them.
This led to another project – that of cleaning, sorting, and organizing all of my empty canning jars. I found that I had many more than I realized and that we are now beyond the need to buy any more of them at auctions. Sadly, so is the opportunity to do so, with the order of social distancing in place statewide.
I have been interested in dairy goats since dairy is one area that is lacking in our food plan. (Our cattle are raised for beef.) I have been studying and researching all things dairy goats. I even built a milking stand, in hopes of someday soon having one. I also purchased goat fencing (something I have read is critical to keeping goats where you want them!) and goat minerals since they will be able to eat the grain we feed the other livestock but will need the addition of special minerals.
I painted my new-to-me hives and I am waiting for my bees to arrive. Hopefully this year will be the year for successfully raising bees for honey. If I do not have a good honey harvest this year, then there will be a yard sale of beekeeping supplies!
I have also completed several sewing projects after purchasing and receiving fabric through the mail. Five double thickness fleece blankets are finished and will be stored in tubs until needed. 90 washable flannel sanitary family cloths were made and placed into storage should toilet paper ever become impossible to get. 60 surgical style masks were made and some will be sent to those in need of them.
We have also been saving more “stuff” like plastic yogurt containers instead of recycling them. They are so useful for gardening and since we plan on doing more of that, these will come in handy!
We have found that this time of uncertainty provides many opportunities to discuss the importance of having extra supplies on hand for such a time as this. We avoid using the word “preppers” for several reasons. Firstly, there is the negative connotation associated with this term. Secondly, we are concerned with OPSEC and our preps. We will share some of what we have, but we don’t want our supplies taken from us!
Because we are followers of Jesus and make it a priority to meet as a church, we have had to make other arrangements. Thankfully our pastor is able to record and broadcast his sermons on the Internet so we can continue to grow spiritually.
This past fall when we processed our beef, we only sold half of what we had hoped. But my DH made the comment that this would allow us to give more of it away for those in need. And he was so right. We have been able to share more than 50# of high quality meat with those within our Christian family. This was done quietly and discreetly, giving the praise to God for such an opportunity.
TUNING IN/TUNING OUT
Since I was spending a lot more time at home (with a lot of other people within our state) I found myself watching the news all the time. During the first few weeks COVID 19 was consuming the entire newscast and some regular broadcasting was preempted with COVID news. It was during this time I noticed several (IMHO) significant trends: The experts knew very little about this virus and what they thought was fact one day was proven inconclusive or even false the next.
The second trend was that I was becoming more anxious about our family’s situation. Did we have enough preps should society/economy collapse? What about our grown children? (Most of who work as first responders and healthcare workers.) Would they be safe? How long would it take for the collapse to affect us? These and many other questions began keeping me awake at night and hounded my peace during the day. So I made the choice to watch only the first few minutes of the news in the morning and then the headlines in the evening. This greatly reduced the turmoil within! I also made sure that Biblical devotions and daily worship became part of my schedule.
So has this global pandemic changed us? Slightly. Is our lifestyle drastically different? Not really. Are we confident in our preps and skills should society collapse? Almost. But there is always room for improvement.
During this time of change and uncertainty the greatest lesson we have learned is this: We do what we can do and rely on God to do what only He can do. Do we believe that as Christians that we will be exempt from plagues and hard times and diseases and persecution? Nope. But we hold on to the hope that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). And the good work to which we refer is not to survive any future disasters but to remain faithful and loyal to God in the midst of disasters.
POSTSCRIPT – FINAL PREP OR TRIAL RUN?
As I complete this article, I am wondering… were the last 100 days a chance to complete any preparations or were they a trial run? And I used the word, “Trial Run” instead of drill because I have been through many disaster drills and exercises and we always knew going into and throughout the situation that it was exactly that — just a drill. We knew that at the end of the exercise everything would return to normal, the learned lessons would be recorded, and the actions to be implemented would become tasks that we would accomplish with time.
But our state is now in the process of reopening for business, so maybe there is hope to curtail the economic collapse that seemed inevitable just a few weeks ago. Only time will tell. But one thing is for certain: I will multiply my efforts to encourage others to start preparing — physically, financially, mentally, and spiritually, now. Don’t wait another day. Do something now to increase your self-sufficiency and decrease your dependency on the government to get you through uncertain times. Prepare now like your life and your family’s lives depended on it…because one day, they may!