And the Lord God said: ”Hear my children a father’s plea; the beginning of wisdom; is to get wisdom. At the cost of all you have, gain understanding” (Emphasis mine. Though the Word of God itself is enough for emphasis).
I am 63 yrs old. My ‘awareness’ that something was not right came about some time when I was a teen. It was an imperative enough sense, that from that moment, I began to read as much as I could. Not just books with inspiring tales, but tomes which held information pertaining to Faith. As well as prophecies, and conspiracies. Including a few that claimed to contain the ‘meaning’ of life.
In my later teens I became involved in politics. Protesting for migrant workers and such. And getting in touch with a local lawyer running for Congress and won. Twice. A Democrat. One who was considered a potential for one day becoming President.
You learn that the machinery of politics is controlled. By powerful, unseen entities.
Surprisingly, this particular man decided it wasn’t for him. Perhaps for us this was a good conclusion.
It was a difficult period for me. Trying to grasp what is going on with the world and find my place.
Example: My girlfriend at the time was experienced with shooting a rifle. A .22. And she was good. For me, I was neither anti-gun, nor pro. Because guns were meant for one purpose. To kill.
And killing was not something I had any experience with. Yet the right to own a gun was Constitutional. And therefore a necessity. A choice. Accepted.
I later married, fathered a son, and wanted to be the best father I could. He taught me, that when love, given honestly, is forgiving. Despite bad decisions I made, he never stopped loving me. Nor I him.
Time moved on. I learned that there was an intentional activity to destroy our country. We, Americans, were the only force standing in the way of global governance. Why? Because of the 2nd Amendment. Well, that, and the fact that during WWII and Korea, we faced outnumbered forces and prevailed. So, we had spirit. Combined, these two aspects stood as a threat to stop socialistic forces from taking over.
In short, we scared the h*ll out of, and maddened those, who wanted the USA gone.
This of course falls into the realm of what many call the “conspiracy mindset”. People who believe there is a cabal who wants to control the world. Aluminum foil hat types. And true, I knew many that I didn’t want to be connected to.
Yet, as I got older, it became more apparent this was true. Towards that reality it was clear to become prepared for emergency situations that might arise. Whether natural or manmade.
Surviving was essential.
When I was in my 40s, I began to plan for preparing. Food. Water. Medical. Guns were not as yet on my list. My wife indulged my concerns. Soon we had a larder of supplies that would support us for several months if necessary. Of course, much was absent. I didn’t know as much and I felt what we had would suffice. It was a start.
But this wouldn’t last. I lost my job. As time unemployed dragged we used what we had stored when needed. I finally obtained a job, at a decrease in salary, and more hours required. At least we had health coverage.
One night I came home and the stored food was in the garbage. Why? Because after several years where nothing apocalyptic had occurred and the “best by” date had past. My wife decided they were garbage. And since nothing had happened why keep them.
Out of Work
I then lost my job again. By then, I was in my 50s. My supplies were gone. And our living was more difficult. Still, I knew, preparing, even a little, was better than nothing at all. Yet it wasn’t to be. We struggled every month to get by.
So, I went from drinking coffee a lot, to alcohol. Not much! Just a few shots so I could sleep at night. I became depressed.
I followed current news from a variety of sources. My expectations met with my knowledge. We, as a country, were going down. And hard.
My wife and I arrived at a point where we were living paycheck to paycheck. Not even able to make the rent. All the while I continued to read SurvivalBlog. I found it very soon after James started it in 2005 and have found it a source that could not be excluded. (No intention of kissing up ). He validated my belief, when he offered his analysis on that military operation covering the southwest. Solid reasoning and caution. Matching my own conclusions. Which helped me feel I wasn’t such a screw up after all.
However, articles covering being prepared merely enabled me to spiral into a deeper depression. Because prepping would not be good enough where we call home.
We live on Long Island. Getting off was more important. Always was.
Now don’t go browsing a map. It’s an island. And despite what you may see, getting off would not be easy nor safe. Your choices are, head to Manhattan. Seriously?
Cross the Long Island (LI) sound to Connecticut? Try it in a canoe. More dangerous than imagined and add in any patrols and it becomes dangerous. Not to mention the swells. Twenty miles in open water isn’t as simple as it seems. Or head for the ocean and pray hard because your life depends on prayer. Even IF you have navigational experience.
Not Making Ends Meet
I was not making ends meet. I tried. Worked seven days a week. Ten to twelve hours a day. But for my efforts it wasn’t enough.
So I got drunk so I could go to sleep at night, then face another dreary day of work. And no prepping. No money.
Now I didn’t drink to excess. Merely a couple of airline shot bottles. But since I didn’t eat during the day, I couldn’t afford to, it hit well enough.
Depression and drinking pair well.
During this time, I indulged in making fire. Using basic, primitive techniques, just so I could, if need be ever occurred. There is a story involving a shed which I won’t go into. Yet I learned to make a fire even in the rain. Once I had a fire going, I sat by the fire and drank. For what it is worth, during these moments is when I prayed. Or at least, tried to talk with God.
It became clearer, that, highly likely, we were in the End of Days spoken of by Christ Our Lord.
And my depression sank deeper into despair. I didn’t have a nickel to spare. Well I did have a bag full of nickels, and some silver dimes and quarters. But they weren’t to be used.
Now I have to paraphrase here, but Yeshua said: A man who does not prepare for his family in times of need, is not a man of God. For the Lord said, prepare for these times. They will be unlike any, which have been, since the beginning.
And Then, An Injury
My wife is unemployed due to an injury she incurred at her job. So we lost half our income as well. And my indulgence in alcohol didn’t help. But it makes me feel okay, so I can sleep.
One day, my wife asks me to take her to a dollar store to shop.
Seriously? What kind of cr*p are you buying?
Imagine my surprise when I find an aisle, both sides, filled with canned goods and boxed.
And nothing more than a dollar!
Not superb foods, yet nothing states expires by. No. All say “best by’ dates.
Canned meats. Veggies and fruits. Boxed food needing only water.
Okay. So sodium is a concern. And my wife has health issues regarding sodium. But here is food! Inexpensively.
The proverbial light goes on. If I quit smoking, (I didn’t mention that did I?) and a pack here on Long Island costs $10 (ridiculous ain’t it), then we can begin preparing again. [JWR’s Comments: Expenses like daily $7 Starbucks Lattes five days a week = $1,820 per year. And $10 packs of cigarettes do add up, quickly. Cutting those out can save almost $3,650 per year, for a pack-a-day smoker. And bringing a sack lunch instead of eating out for lunch can save another $2,500 or more, per year.]
If three days a week I spend an extra $10 on food we can build a surplus again. If every other day, I buy a pack of cigarettes, and store them rather than smoke, I have a barter item. In just one month, we can have enough to survive for a little while. At least a few months. And barter for items we could use. Primitive, yet effective.
I have one last chance.
Many of your readers have fared well, compared to me. Perhaps they live on the ‘mainland’ and moving isn’t an issue. Here on LI, with gangs all around, surviving is an issue. Heck, even when I walk my dog at night I have to watch for gangs who steal dogs — to train their dogs to kill.
Since 9/11, LI has been closed down three times that I know of. Nothing comes in, nothing goes out. And as I stated earlier we are an island. Simply look at a map and analyze the locale. The Sound isn’t easy to cross. All roads in/out can be controlled. And the ocean requires serious navigational skills. If anything goes down, and martial law is declared, we are screwed. Survival of the fittest.
Yet. I have one last chance. Just one. By the Grace of God Almighty, I have one last chance.
Store food. Water. Medical. And now guns. (I now own two rifles.)
I have a daughter who lives 34 miles west of me. But she needs to be reached in case of an emergency. She can be resourceful, but only if need arises. I can’t wait for last minute crisis. She needs to be brought in to possible trouble and what we need to be able to do if SHTF. I have a son who lives 23 miles away, in another direction. We talked and concurred we need communication ability. So he bought handheld walkies with ham radio capability. We are getting our licenses. Yet, I need to reach my daughter and get her home. She is more focused on her life than on current events.
But for the grace of God Almighty, I found a last chance.
As I sit in front of my fire, talking to God, I know I have sinned. Come Judgement Day I have to stand before my Lord and answer for my sins. Yet He has not abandoned me. Why? All I can conclude is because of His love and mercy.
After several years of despair, I have one last chance.
Though many contributions in SurvivalBlog left me with a feeling of despair because my financial situation excluded me from following others path, many of the article contributions have aided me in being more capable of utilizing what I have to survive. And I thank all of you.
Especially, I thank you, Mr. Rawles for creating this blogsite. Valuable information has been found and now I can see a means to attempt to survive when things go wrong. What tools I own are primed better and ready for use. I can build a fire and cook with it, just ask my neighbors who smell the food I cook when I can afford a cornish hen.
Getting off this island is still not a feasible choice, yet not excluded. Risk comes with survival.
Due to red flag laws going into effect, my guns are buried and I can say they were sold in a yard sale when it was still legal. I’ll take my chance on that.
Situational awareness. I have learned my surroundings well enough to know ways to move about with little detection. I have begun walking my dog using a backpack filled with 40 pounds of supplies simply to get into better shape.
I’ve Kept Praying
I never gave up prayer. And it may be, my prayers have been answered.
If it never becomes feasible to leave this island, at least now, I feel better prepared to deal.
As your contributors have stated, think.
We have two cars, each with 160,000+ miles. I have used everything and anything to keep them going.
Example. The windshield wiper broke on one. Replacement cost several hundred. I simply stared at it for a while and came up with a fix that cost me less than $1. A neighbor, who is an airline mechanic came over as I was working on it and said he was amazed at my solution. A simple copper piece of pipe cut length wise and fit to hold the wiper in place. Heavy gauge wire, various nuts and bolts and yes duck tape to make repairs. Both passed inspection and still run well. Think. Think. And think some more.
God brought me to a solution. However temporary it may be, it is vital and there.
I now have one last chance. For years I had given up believing being prepared was doable.
My supplies may not be the best. And it is late in the game. Yet today, the potential to survive is better. More doable. And as long as I can breathe, there is hope. It was there all along and I never knew it. Discipline. Focus. And Think. And first and foremost, PRAY.
Pray that I make good with it. Thank you, all.