What Happens When You Get Old, by R.F.D.

I have been blessed with good health and a clear mind these many years. I also have been blessed with inherited traits, or maybe they were learned, which have allowed me to pursue interesting (for me) activities outside my job during my working career. These activities have mainly revolved around becoming self-sufficient, physically capable, working with my hands, and clear thinking. Another trait that may be good or bad is, I tend to be quite obsessive when, I,m picking up a new skill.

I was fortunate in being born late in the Great Depression and having parents who were brought up on the farm. My father was a Michigan Conservation Officer and an avid sportsman. When I was young, a Conservation Officer did not make much money, so hunting and fishing were part of our life. We also had to make many things ourselves because we couldn’t afford to purchase them. Don’t get me wrong here, in the small Northern Michigan town we lived in, most people were in the same boat financially as we were.

Some of skills that I picked up while still living with my parents:

  • Firearm safety skills.
  • Small and large game hunting skills.
  • Fishing skills.
  • Wild game butchering skills, you caught it or shot it, you cleaned it.
  • Foraging for food. (primarily low bush blueberries, blackberries, and morel mushrooms).
  • Cooking skills, everyone in my family learned how to cook at an early age.
  • Camping skills, both locally on the river and in Canada.
  • Was active in High School sports, football, basketball, and track. Some baseball outside of school.
  • I was also a meat cutter during the 4 years of High School, yea, I know, but back then if you were 15 years old, you could work behind the meat counter, use a boning knife, meat cleaver, meat saw, slicer etc., if you were lucky enough to get the job.
  • Being Bull-Headed or stubborn is also a plus, I guess.

What do you do when you get old and hope to survive a few more years in reasonable comfort and security? What are the things that you have done or have acquired that will help in that desire? What things does one really need when you are getting there?

I will try to discuss those things I feel I need to complete the journey, especially in today’s environment.

Secure shelter

Ideally, it would be nice to live out of the city, in a rural area not too far from services. Major roads like Interstates and US highways should be at 3 to 5 plus miles from you home so that the hoards escaping the cities don’t have easy access to your location. I don’t feel you should be isolated from others, so a few close-by neighbors would be helpful.

It would be nice if your shelter were small, 800 to 1,200 square feet with outbuildings. I live in the North, so a small building that can be heated with wood or coal in the event electricity and gas utilities become unavailable would be nice. It would be important to have enough storage to keep a generous supply of wood and coal.

Water is must-have resource, so a well or some other water source is a must. The question is how to get the water if utilities are out and how do you make the water safe to drink?

Available Food

Food is another worry that could be a problem for most people. Having enough long-term might be impossible but there is no reason not to have a well-supplied larder or pantry. If you happen to be someone that only shops “just in time” for the upcoming meal or week then it is probably time to start planning for food supplies which would last for a couple of weeks or months.

You probably don’t need a few years supply of food, but being able to survive for a few weeks or longer would be great.

Over the years I have raised pigs and chickens, geese, grown gardens, and processed the lot. I still make smoked sausage and jerky, but only in small quantities. The ability to prepare your own food from scratch is probably a good skill to acquire when getting older.

Medical Supplies

This is an area that far too few of us put much work into. Besides those medications that are prescribed for us, a few band-aids, and some bacterial ointment, what do we normally have for first aid?

If you haven’t thought about this, maybe now is the time.

What really is important?

In the twilight years, a clear mind and good health are really important. If you are lucky and have inherited the longevity gene, you still will find yourself losing motor skills, strength, and memory. Don’t think that you are going to live forever and you don’t need to plan your supplies based on that assumption.

A good partner in life is a major plus. Trying to keep both of you in tip-top shape can be a tough job. As one of you or both starts to deteriorate, it can be trying. It certainly brings home the closing of the final chapter.

So what have I learned or acquired over the years that may help me live the rest of my life in reasonable comfort?

Please do not take this is as bragging, it is just where I find myself today.

Secure Shelter

We have lived in a lightly populated Township (3,000 souls) in Central New England for the last twenty-some years and have lived in the general area for the last 58 years. A plus for me, is that the township is over 50% conservative politically, according to the 2016 and 2020 election results. Another desirable feature of the town, is that at least 30 percent of the land area is Wildlife Management Areas, with plenty of game including Turkey and Deer. A meandering river flows through the middle of the township and parts of two Great ponds lay within the township also. All areas are open to hunting and fishing. I do take advantage of that.

Another unique feature of the area, I believe, is there are at least seven Sportsman/Gun Clubs within 15 miles of where we live, which again is a desirable plus for me. It seems each of the different townships has a Sportsman club. These are clubs that have been in operation for many years and in many cases serve as a social club for the common folk of the town. Most of the clubs have outdoor pistol and up to 100-yard rifle ranges. One of the clubs, I belong to, has a 300-yard range. Becoming a member of one is inexpensive and most days, when I go to shoot at the couple I belong to, I’m the only one there.

We live in a small 1,100 square foot two-level cottage on one of the great ponds. The cottage sits back over 200 feet from the road and really can’t be seen. The cottage is heated with fuel oil and supplemented with a small Godin coal stove. We have a deep well that has a 110 Volt submersible pump that operates nicely, even on generator power. I have a battery-operated water pump that could be used if we lost power forever. I also could bring up water from the pond and purify it with a Sawyer water filter, I have. The Sawyer water filter is suppose to filter out viruses.

In our area we do have periodic power outages. Most are caused by wind and snowstorms. Because the roads are lined with many dead Oak Trees, killed by gypsy moths, limbs and trees come down. An early November caused us to lose power three times this year. Each outage was only a little over an hour, but the outside temperature was quite cold, so we needed heat in a hurry.

I have a couple of generators to use as backup power. One which can power most of the cottage is a propane-powered one hooked up to a transfer switch and I have needed to use it many times over the last 10 years. Once for 5 days, when an early October snowstorm wiped us out.

The second generator is a portable generator that I use to power the large outbuilding. I keep it in a tool shed out by the large outbuilding. It is a nice size and really quite.

The lot we live on is only 1/3 acre (50 feet x 300 feet) and is located in a large White Pine grove. The pines are 80 to 90 feet tall and just allow dappled sunlight down on the lot. So the lot is not suitable for growing anything to eat, so that is a little problematic.

The cottage overlooks the great pond and is only about 30 feet back from the water. The pond is one of the better fishing ponds in the State. It has a nice boat launch on the North end of the pond and during the initial covid19 virus lock down the pond was full of fishermen in all types of boats. I can envision if things really do get rough, the pond and surrounding area will be full of fishermen/hunter/gatherers and squatters.

The pond has reasonably clean water and runs as deep as 80 feet in some spots. It is stocked with trout, and has native northern pike, pickerel, bass, etc in it. Most ponds and lakes in the Northeast have some mercury problems based on being downwind of the large electric power plants in the Midwest. There have been warnings in the past about eating fish from the ponds more than a couple of days a week. I guess we could live with that and supplement our food with fish.

Our side of the pond is only developed one lot deep, with forest across the road. Another feature is that we are within one-quarter of a mile of a large Wildlife Management area. The bad news is, squatters could easily start setting up on this land if they have no place else to go.

Also, on the property is a propane-heated 600 square outbuilding that is used for storage and workspace. I work on firearms for myself and do quite bit of reloading. I have a nice area for reloading with a well-stocked supply of primers, casing, projectiles, and powders. Most of the calibers I reload are the common, 9mm, .45 ACP, .223, .300 Blackout, and .308. I also have a couple of Lee-Enfield rifles, for which I load .303 British.

Food Supplies

This can be a difficult topic, as how much food is enough food and how much do I have to share with my neighbors?

We have a combination of long term food supplies, that probably approach one year and a very hefty larder/pantry of normal supplies that would last 6 to 12 months. That is if we were cut off and could not go out for more supplies. I don’t expect this to happen.

One of my stops during grocery shopping is to look for pork butts or any other meat product on sale. I squeeze it in the already full freezer for future processing.

I do like to process different meats into finished products like smoked sausages, beef and venison jerky, and when I’m lucky, pressure can any deer/venison I come by. Come St. Paddies day, there are usually sales on corned beef and I have been known to pressure can it for future use. I suppose if push comes to shove I could start knocking off some of the squirrel population and pressure canning them.

All in all, I do not think food is my biggest problem at this time.

Security

This can be a worrisome area, as I can’t stand alone, especially at my age. I have developed some alliances with neighbors and if things get worse, would need to pursue this further.

Firearms and ammunition are not a problem for me because I have been obsessive about this area for a long time.

I have over the years refurbished and built many different rifles and handguns. Most times more than one of the same thing. As a result of all these builds, I have firearms to share and enough spare parts to fix them all.

As we all know both common-caliber firearms and ammo are in short supply. If you see something buy it.

I will also say at this point in time, many 80% kits and parts for long guns and handguns are still very available. Buy them now! This window of opportunity is going to close, especially if we have a new Administration coming to town

Before I started reloading I tried to come up with enough ammo for each firearm I owned. Different people have different requirements for what is enough, but I feel I will be able to keep shooting at whatever the target, for a long time.

Reloading became a fetish with me over the last few years, causing me to make certain I had all the dies and presses I needed. Also, I went out of my way to make certain I had enough projectiles, primers, casings, and powder to replenish all my ammo supplies. Again, as all these supplies have been sold — or are being sold out — when you see something you need, then buy it.

As far as perimeter security, I have only installed remote cameras with alarms set on some. We will see how this works. Also, I have a .45 ACP handgun, handy on the dresser, so I can get to my AMD65 AK. You can’t be too careful.

First Aid and Medical Supplies

I have, at best, toyed with this area. I would periodically buy a small first aid kit for the truck or car and have lots of band-aids for the cabin. Really not a lot more.

I had taken a wilderness first aid class and a CPR class in the last ten years, but these skills fade very fast.

In January of 2020, after hearing about Covid19, I stocked up on face masks, over the counter meds. I beat the panic by a month or more, but I did not look into a good family first aid kit.

So recently, I bit the bullet, and purchased a First Aid Kit, Family Size from DoomAndBloom.net. I now need to refresh and build new skills for using this kit. We will see.

I guess that is all I can come up with now.

The New Environment

I believe we are entering a whole new chapter in the United States. I am not just saying this because I am a little advanced in age, but after seeing what went on in the 2020 election, things are going to get dicey whichever way it goes. The battle lines have been drawn and most have chosen sides.

Stock up with whatever you can and act like a turtle, by keeping your head in your shell.

Watch out for the coming Balkanization of the United States. Size up your neighbors. And heaven help those of us, who are conservative and live on either of the coasts.




60 Comments

  1. Reading your post today struck a deep chord with me. It reminded me what a blessing it is having a half dozen rock-solid like-minded friends where the friendship runs deep at a spiritual level as well. Between us, I think we could fix or do just about anything if needed. Several of us live in a medium-size Arizona City and several live near each other in the mountains at about 8000 ft.

    Your post got me motivated to call for a breakfast meeting to talk about the current state of things. I have no specific agenda except sounding everyone out because I think there is a lot on everyone’s minds right now and things are about to get very interesting.

    So thanks for your insights and helping get my 67 year-old butt in gear while it’s still time to plan.

    1. Health issues right now are reasonably easy. We have world class health care just East of us.

      Having the final knee replaced a couple months ago should solve my mobility problems for the time being.

      Dementia, just have to deal with it with family and friends.

      If, God Forbid, we can’t get to these facilities, we are fortunate to have retired friends on the pond, who are Medical Doctors. As I said in the article, medical kits are required and we need to know how to use them.

      The pond people tend to look out for each other. Of course there many things you can’t fix as you get older. Get prepared, get close to your friends, and enjoy what you have.

  2. Thank you so much for this article! You have discussed many of the areas which most of us are now or will face sooner rather than later. Obviously, some of our needs change as we age but do we actually realize which ones? In many cultures age and wisdom are highly valued and respected, but our current society appears not to value anything but greed and violence.

    Like your advice to act like a turtle, by keeping my head in the shell!

  3. A smaller lot makes a lot of sense, as maintaining property is hard physical work. Large livestock especially – fencing, pasture landscaping and keeping the animals fed and watered. Large animals can hurt you if you can’t move fast – better to stay away from that.

    I think an older home owner should live in a home that has a single floor rather than having to negotiate stairs where accidents can happen. Especially when the stairs have a continuous winding where twisting an ankle or hip. Meals are usually smaller and simpler, so not as much counter space is required. A larger pantry because maybe the older person does not go out as much.

    A lap top computer serving as your television / entertainment is more convenient to carry around, especially if you have a wireless router.

    1. Good advice

      if you´re like me you will use more spices and fresh produce the more i learn of asian cuisine.

      Can i ´ve some curry for cooking

      Which kind do you want

      PS

      are dead trees in the area around roads, ways or infrastructure not harvested in the US?

      1. The trees are being taken down by the Township and Utility company. Far too many to remove in a single year.

        The forest across the road is not maintained. New England is the heaviest forested area in the US, all second growth, no farms. That’s a surprise!

  4. I would also like to hear more about planning for health issues as we age. I’m 68, soon to be 69. Still vigorous, I work out 4 days/week, but I’m a heart patient and I have an prosthetic left knee. We have stocked up on Advil and Tylenol, trauma care supplies, and first aid kits. I get my prescription medications refilled with a six month supply. Advanced medical care is close by, but who knows about that if SHTF?

    1. Just a comment on spices. I have been buying my spices in the bulk from http://www.atlanticspice.com for years. I use them mostly in making various stuffed sausages especially Hunter Sausage from pork butts. I recently picked a bunch for oriental stir with the rice I have on hand.

      Most times delivery is overnight.

      Check them out.

  5. Excellent article for not only the old, but for any who will eventually get there. Words of wisdom to the younger, “develop all the skills you can now so that you have them when you ARE older.” The future is uncertain and hard to say how it will affect our ability to acquire and practice all that is still available to us today. Learn it and then pass it on. We are moving away from being “preppers” to being “survivalists” (again). Don’t let time run out. I like the turtle suggestion. The less others know about what and who you are is important. Remember, “desperate people do desperate things in desperate times.” We are close to those times now. Proverbs 27:12

    1. Ready Guy, Your words encouraged me! A big, “Thank you,” to you.

      ” We are moving away from being “preppers” to being “survivalists”

      “The less others know about what and who you are is important.”

      “desperate people do desperate things in desperate times”

      Proverbs 27:12 KJV

      12 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.

  6. Good article. I’m 68 now. Grew up in a rural area. We had chickens, pigs, turkeys. A big garden. I spent a few high school years working in a butcher shop. I had a lot of fun and learned many skills. Always did our own butchering. Did send our hams and bacon to a local smokehouse.
    Not where I want or need to be as far as prepping goes. Family is spread out.
    Thanks for the wake up. I need to get back to it.

  7. good article. Stay active, read a lot. I’m 87 years old. I garden, can, and a little firm minded. And always remember God is there for you. Can spot a sale, fill the freezer. Can’t hunt anymore, but did my share.

  8. We are also older and live in the suburbs of a large southern city. We are pinned here by our children and grandchildren, regardless of what comes, we are not leaving them.

    Drugs: I have significant asthma and we’ve stocked up on the usual, aspirin, Advil, Tylenol, medical kit (we shoot on a regular basis and reload) etc.

    My one issue is asthma, my wife doesn’t have any significant medical issues. We can fill a 30 day script in 25 days, 90 day script in 75 days. So far I have almost 1 years supply, which can be stretched to two. It’s not negotiable, I HAVE to have the drug.

    We have long term food and canned goods and are now moving into long term rice and beans.

    We have seeds but have yet to start any significant planting, that will be saved for TEOTWAWKI.

    Our major weakness considering our circumstances is injury medical, we have a home built medical kit and a home built kit for the range. Especially when everything falls apart, which it will.

    I home carry in addition to a Concealed Handgun Permit. I try to follow the law, which is less onerous than most northern states but surprisingly I forget a lot and carry where the law says I should not.

    Good article, God Bless and take care, I mean that.

  9. I’m approaching 60 and plan on remaining in my current rural location. Some things I am doing to ensure that are:
    Renewing roofs and similar jobs to last the rest of my life, as I don’t want to be up there aged 85, or having to pay someone to do it. Spending savings to reduce future expenses like this is the best use of capital with ZIR.
    Staying fit with activities like firewood prep and gardening, but laying things out and automating so I can control how much activity I need to do. I’m building a small mobile crane for big log lifting, and I’m automating the garden watering. I’m also building access ramps and personal elevators now whilst I still have the strength, but will keep using the stairs for fitness as long as I can.
    Contributing to community by giving free classes and tutoring, which has the benefit to me that one can finding willing kids when one needs a hole dug.
    For security, I have the electronics knowledge to build my own covert security system, which is a lot better than a bunch of PIRs, as well as being a lot cheaper.

    1. Zoomie-an article on that small mobile crane would be an interesting SB article…

      Also, kudos on the community work and the side benefit of finding kids that want to work, good stuff.

      1. Kind of you both to say so.
        I have an engineering degree, so for one-offs I tend to leave things as a working prototype, unsuitable for others. I will have some time midwinter to productionize things a bit so that others without engineering expertise could build them and expect them to work. I’ll also be able to run some trials to optimise things somewhat, and provide adjustment guides to suit other people’s circumstances. I will write the articles for JWR’s consideration once I’ve done all that.

  10. Some things you can do are-accept the fact that you are going to die, and MAKE A WILL, and designate someone to have your medical power of attorney so they can “pull the plug” as you have instructed them to, also a POLST which is a physicians order for life sustaining treatment, it means your doctor will know what you want. So many people keep their heads in the sand about this and absolutely refuse to talk with family about it, so the survivors are left to wonder and feel guilty that they didn’t do what grandpa wanted, also, you need to designate who should get your guns and preps otherwise brain addled grief stricken grandma can be sweet talked into giving away that which you have so prudently acquired. If you reach 70 you have gotten your “three score and ten” as the bible allows, just relax after that..no one gets out alive. It’s important though to try and heal old wounds, don’t be too stubborn to apologize or admit you were wrong or hasty, forgive, and extend the hand of love, because there’s the old saying “If only-if only–too late, too late”.

    1. I’m in my early 50s and, having secured most of my preps over the past decade, am now crafting my will and associated estate documents. After seeing what can happen in the aftermath of older relatives (or or even two generations above me) passing and their “heirs” fighting over the scraps, having a legal framework can help tremendously. Especially for those loved ones to whom you wish to bequeath your estate.

    2. Long story short; A few months ago, my daughter called wanting to know if my will was, “notarized and signed by two witnesses!” I looked at it, and told her, yes.

      Then she told me this story. Her husband’s aunt had recently passed after a long cancer battle. She made sure she got her affairs in order before dying, or so she thought. Alas, her will was not witnessed by two people and notarized.

      Her will was useless!

      It went to probate and has been tied up there, when her dear brother could have really used the inheritance after losing his job, and his wife suddenly had sever health issues. Nothing was done the way the will said, all because it wasn’t legal.
      Who knew?

  11. Hello all,

    This article ended me up in tears as I am the full time caregiver for my mom and dad. Dad is 83, mom is 80. They both have Alzheimer’s and mom has dementia as well. On Tuesday I had to call 911 to get mom to the emergency room as she had fallen in her bathroom but couldn’t remember anything. Dad didn’t know how it happened either. She’s ok, but I’m in discussions with my sister on what we will probably have to do going forward. I have been caring for mom and dad for about 4 years now, I immediately took power of attorney both for financial and medically as well as we decided to put a DNR order in place for both of them given their medical issues. I highly recommend the children of older adults look at their parents situation and put these measures in place ASAP. If I hadn’t done this, there would have been major issues every time mom or dad has a medical problem. I make all of the decisions regarding them, and even though this is a heartbreaking time for me watching them slowly slip away, I feel like I made the right decision for them as well as me. I know that they won’t live forever, but I am extremely thankful that I get to spend all of my time making sure that they are happy and have me there to love them, take care of them and guide them during their last years.

    With love
    RKRGRL68

    1. Oh RKRGRL68! Sending you the biggest, squishiest hug. So sorry your Mom fell like that, especially when you yourself are still recovering. Is she okay now? How are YOU feeling? Glad your sister is close enough there to help.

      Our parents are still mostly healthy and going strong (one has some challenges) and we are blessed that they live close. I dream of a family retreat, and I have pored over listings in the Redoubt, but I know some of them will be unwilling to move because their health will be adversely impacted by the cold. Probably we’ll stay here as long as we can, to be there to take care of them and so they can see the grandkids often. If ever we need to get away to a previously acquired BOL, then they’re coming anyway, cold weather or no, so I can keep em out of trouble! Had the “take my car keys” discussion many times already with my Mom, watched her go through it with her own Dad (and helped as I could), and just hoping the STUBBORN in this family gets concentrated rather than diluted with each generation! 😉

      1. Bear,

        Thank you for the “hugs”, much needed and appreciated! I’m doing okay, just struggling to get back to my crazy self. It’s slow going. Waiting on an approval for some device called a Bone Growth Stimulator. Still really stiff and sore , (I probably shouldn’t have picked mom up off the floor in my condition) and the right side of my neck and throat feels like it’s paralyzed (this May be a side affect)?
        Mom is doing okay, she’s got severe spinal stenosis (gee, now I know where I get all my problems from)! LOL. They are moving her to a rehab place today for a couple of weeks of physical therapy.

        I so appreciate all of the prayers and encouragement you and all the other here have given for me and my family. It’s giving me the strength and courage to navigate through this crazy time.

        Have a Rockin great day!

    2. RKRGRL68, I feel your sadness and stress having to face the end-of-life decisions for your parents. Mortal life is temporary but eternal life is forever; keep your focus on God’s promises.

      My parents had a trust and medical wills stating their desires and I, as trustee, followed their wishes when the time came. Their actions taught me what I had to do. We always think our kids are the best, but I have seen terrible fights and hatred among other family members when it comes to parent’s wills. I have set up a living trust and living medical will that my kids have no say in; I have a trusted younger friend and a back up trustee to execute the trust. No fighting between kids over what happens to me, what they inherit or how it is dispersed.

    3. Right, also if you do not have legal rights or guardianship over incompetent elders already established, they can be red flagged or medically kidnapped and their savings drained away by multiple unwanted tests and treatments, re the story of the underage girl with cancer that the hospital wouldn’t let go home to die, she had her 18th birthday in hospital and at that point her parents smuggled her out dressed as a nurses aide, do not underestimate the cupidity and greed of both doctors and hospital administrators. . re doctors, my rationale is there’s a bottom 10 percent in every graduating class and they have to end up somewhere…

  12. I guess it’s good to try and survive reasonably comfortably and capable as long as possible. With what’s transpiring, my guess is its either the camps or the grave for most of us in the near future, as everything else is going to be taken away now. I know which one I choose. The wife tells me I don’t look good in stripes.

  13. R.F.D. thanks. You’re the type of neighbor that all would want to have in close proximity, neighbor.

    Unfortunately elders, wise men are viewed with contempt in many parts of America. We put them out to pasture— But in most parts of Europe and the Middle East and Africa, or Asia- These folks are esteemed properly. Often their words govern entire regions and policies.

    Our Society got “progressively” to deep into an MTV culture of youth worship.

    And the lack of fathers or parents in their homes contributed to this. Kids threw away foundational values like “if You don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.”

    That’s why America is falling down to the lowest levels we’ve seen in our lifetime.

    I’ll end with=There is a GOOD a reason why God’s throne has a group of elders adjudicating, praying and participating. (See Revelation 4-5).

    They know the ancient paths of godliness! Heaven trusts these people a lot more than our foolish, impulsive youth enticed generation!

    1. John: re: “I’ll end with=There is a GOOD a reason why God’s throne has a group of elders adjudicating, praying and participating. (See Revelation 4-5).”

      That section of Revelation was the first reading for the Catholic Daily Mass yesterday and today! Interesting timing!

    2. Well said, John. I have never been able to understand our culture’s worship of youth, even when I was a teenager. What is so great about looking young? People don’t take you seriously when they think you’re young. With age comes experience and (hopefully) wisdom…if you learn from those experiences, anyway.

      I got my first silver hairs at 22ish and I have earned every single one of them. I’ll never soak my head in chemicals to cover them up! My MiL refers to her beautiful white hair as her “crown of glory,” as from Proverbs. Think I’m going to do that someday too.

      I remember a conversation, once upon a time, with a fellow parent in the waiting room of one of my children’s many therapists. He congratulated me on my obviously pregnant belly, then asked if it was my first child. (If my first child was still inside, merrily bouncing on my bladder, who did he imagine I was picking up from the pediatric therapy facility??) When I said, nope, fifth actually…his jaw hit the floor and he said, “Fifth?! When did you start, when you were twelve?” I gathered that he was attempting to convey that he thought I looked youthful, and compliment me on such, but……ICK! All kinds of things wrong with that!

      1. Thanks Bear. I listen to Tim McGraw’s song “Humble and Kind” wishing we had that culture in American cities. I guess its only in our rural areas.

        American cities started viewing kids/babies (abortion) as “problematic- an obstacle to personal freedom”… and that passed right onto our elders. Early America loved its elders! We were wiser for it!!

        I got to meet and befriend a great grandchild of Johnathan Edwards- he was amazing. He had an amazing family… was a studio level musician.

        And he still attributed his success to Johnathan Edwards. The great great grandkids son was called Sunny Day Real Estate and they were an impactful band in SO Cal and West Coast.

        There’s blessings in honoring every stage of life. Hopefully we will wake up to this as a nation. God Bless you all.

        1. That’s a great song! 🙂 Think I’ll go put it on right now. Your friend sounds very neat!

          “There’s blessings in honoring every stage of life. Hopefully we will wake up to this as a nation.”

          Amen! Two of the churches close to my house have large banners out front, each depicting a newborn baby cradled in some very old hands, and they say something like “ALL life is a blessing.” Makes me smile every time I drive past.

  14. I will be 69 in a few weeks.

    * I think goals are vital to mental and physical health… and those two complement spiritual health.
    (I know, I know, my ‘obsessive hoarding’ health needs fine-tuning, but in my defense, I occasionally make some headway.)

    * I am working on my next ExpeditionVehicle build.
    This time, instead of gallavanting all over tarnation like we did last time — twenty-four months twenty-four thousand miles around south America then across Canada [shudders considering those trips now] — we plan to stick around Deplorable Land.
    For us, that looks like anyplace with fUSA flags in front yards of well-kept residences.
    Soon enough, I suppose we will discover the boundaries of our traveling-turf after the inevitable Balkanization(s).

    [An aside:
    * I try to imagine this particular planet without American tax-payers giving away billions with a ‘B’ in foreign-aid — daily — to prop easily-collapsible ‘governments’ in approximately 194 nations.
    After the Balkanization(s) of fUSA, I doubt much attention will be paid to anybody outside the local tribes.
    I could be wrong…]

    * My Biggest Problem is not out-living my hoard.
    (Good grief, I managed to load two forty-foot Conex shipping containers plus a forty-foot semi-trailer with buckets and cases of organic foods.)
    * My Biggest Problem is not handing out my couple-three hundred firearms to trusted family and community.
    (Part of my tragic ‘hoarding obsession’ is building workable specimens from junkers.)

    * My Biggest Problem is finding time to complete the dozen or so novels sitting in orderly stacks next to the typewriter.
    Yes, I have great ideas for stories.
    Yes, I outline them, I establish the traditional three acts, I develop characters and the arc, I get ninety-nine percent of the way there… then I skid to a stop without closure.
    I cannot seem to formulate endings adequate to support the beginnings, adequate to honor the characters I come to love and cherish.

    I suppose that means I need to stick around a while longer to see how the next act continues the mood of the first act.
    Wish me luck.

  15. A friend of mine who is pushing 80 has far more energy and good health than myself, or most people I currently associate with in the ‘meat space’ that is real life. He runs around like a twenty year old, and still takes care of his children. Not unlike Job, I’ve been plagued and crippled for long periods time with various debilitating bad health issues from the age 42. It is as if I were older than 80 years of age, yet cannot mercifully die.

    Fortunately, I can count my blessing and lessons learned. I’ve had examples of elderly friends who by their example passed on their methods of dealing with advanced age. These lessons passed along to myself through osmosis, helped to me deal with early chronic health issues and extreme low income as a result. But wait, there is more. Being unable to work forced me to rely on the Lord, and to learn how to be more self-sufficient. By reading this blog starting in 2007, I learned how to get back to basics, however, I mostly live by faith, and have yet to be disappointed. In reality, although ‘poor’ by most standards, I am actually better positioned to survive extreme hard times than 99.9 percent. One must learn to work smart, and not so hard, learn to be patient, and prayerful. Our Lord is the most late, yet on time God, who has faithfully provided exactly what I actually needed, when I actually needed it. Those who do not know how faithful the Lord is are indeed poor in actuality. Once we are well into hard times, and the ‘wealthy’ will have lost their wealth, and they will have nothing left.

    Even though I live on less than on income that is usually less than $3,000 per year, I would encourage others that this extreme low level does not mean one cannot prepare. I still stockpile more food than I can eat to provide others whom I consider are currently ‘wealthy’ with food to eat latter. This is not to boast, but is intended as testament of how the Lord can provide. As our country and world are about to enter into very hard times that will persist for a decade or more, I would encourage others to stockpile food in excess of their need. There will be enough bullets, but there will not be enough beans.

    And should I not be able to provide food, then I will show them my best efforts to produce food. If I become so seriously ill once again, so weak that I cannot even type (this still happens from time to time), I can fall back on my preparations for years to come. If we are physically too weak due to malnutrition to resist, or simply to persist, or subsist, how will God’s word have a presents on this planet? Think in terms of not preserving one’s wealth, but preserving a Christian community. I may die soon, hopefully suddenly, but my efforts will live on.

    1. ” Our Lord is the most late, yet on time God, who has faithfully provided exactly what I actually needed, when I actually needed it. Those who do not know how faithful the Lord is are indeed poor in actuality. ”

      Love this, Tunnel Rabbit!! One of my mentors in the faith loves to tell how, for years, her family called Him the God of the Last Second, as He loves to show up when all hope seems to be slipping away, to demonstrate His power and rescue His people in a way that UNMISTAKABLY is not by human hands.

      Until, one day, they had a situation with the adoption of one of their children. Doors were shut left, right, and overhead. They were about to be stranded on another continent with a very fragile dying baby who desperately needed life support and advanced neurosurgical care. They had missed their flight, stopped and harassed at every turn.

      The pilot, knowing nothing at all of their situation, and despite all of the grief he was getting from the tower and his higher-ups, for some reason HELD THE PLANE ON THE TARMAC. Just FLAT REFUSED to take off without them.

      So now, the family calls Him, The God Of Overtime! Who are humans to say when is too late?

      BTW that was ten plus years ago and the fragile, dying six-pound one-year-old who had been horribly abused, neglected and abandoned to die… is now a SPUNKY, hilarious preteen who has astonished the medical professionals over and over again, brought more joy than anyone could possibly measure, and showed God’s love to thousands of people.

      The most late, yet on time, God of Overtime.

    2. I can relate to your story TR. At 43-44 I started experiencing several health issues. Long story short, i had severe neck and lower back problems with spinal cord damage in my neck. At 46, seven years ago, I had surgery to repair and fuse my neck. Nearly two years ago I had two surgeries on my lower back to replace a disc and fuse two vertebrae to remove pressure from the spinal cord. Our faith and trust in the Lord has only increased as we have seen His work in our lives. While not quite where I’d like to be, we are better prepared than most.
      Gods grace and peace to you.

    3. Tunnel Rabbit, When I read your comments a few hours ago, I was crying like a baby.

      Call me selfish, but, You don’t get to die now. I need you.

      If you feel illness creeping up, if you are willing, I will come and nurse you back to health. I am one email away. Sleeping on the floor is not a problem for me. You being ill and alone, is a problem for me. No one on SBlog wants that for you.

      My own grandpa had many heart problems and was in and out of the hospital all the time. Then, he surprised everyone by living to the old age of 92 1/2.

      You wouldn’t know this, but when you talk about being crippled, I get it. My daughter used to be both a ballet and Scottish Highland dancer. Plantar fasciitis ended her dancing career. It was so painful, she couldn’t walk without crying. It took two surgeries for her to be able to walk normal again, all this when she was a young and healthy teenager. I digress…

      When I hear of you being crippled, it makes me think you are very special to the Lord, just like Mephibosheth was loved by King David and ate at his table regularly.

      Feel free to send me your new email if you want.
      May the Lord bless you in abundance, Krissy

      1. Hi Krissy,

        Thank you so much for your kind thoughts, but there is no need to be concerned. I am actually stronger than I was 5 years ago, and still gaining, even without the benefit of medicine, yet I am 5 years older. Again, praise the Lord. Not many can claim that. I am in good hands… And you are correct, there is no way we can know our expiration date. I should not have made it thus far!

        I’ve got a few good years left. I just wanted folks to know that despite old age, bad health and no money, it is not the end of the line. Because of the Lord’s help, I’m in better shape in all regards, and better prepared than most despite the odds against me. The Lord works in mysterious ways. As time passes I’ve become increasingly confident that He’ll give me the strength, and provisions needed to get the job done. I’m also glad to know that you are also in a safe place.

        1. “there is no need to be concerned.” Whew! What a relief. Thank you for the sharing! As for me, I’m still waiting on the Lord to show me where to go. I know where I want to go, but nothing is for sale there. But yes, I am safe in His everlasting arms always.
          May His joy fill your heart, Krissy

  16. Good article by RFD – it applies to all of us sooner than later. I have learned in my short lifespan that above all, maintaining health is paramount. You can overcome everything else.
    Maintain good health by staying active, body, mind, & especially spirit.
    Stay engaged with the world around you.
    There are only 2 choices in life – (1) you get old – (2) you get dead – pick one.
    Laughing at yourself is primary – laughing at (with) others secondary.
    Life is a circus, and then you have clown shows. (Presently playing out as we speak).
    You never grow old if you never grow up.
    In my 7 decades or rolling around on this planet, I still ain’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up. (Ok, so I may be a slow learner).
    With old age, you slow down, but it also generally brings wisdom, and the slowness brings the ability to use it.
    When I do depart this physical world, I wanna go live in Gods house.
    And that’s the end of the story..

  17. I am a member of the old farts club, been a prepper for five decades still learning, most of us , myself included plans in the current today mode, without the reality of a what if situation in real-time. Really should try and have those 24hr or longer Self imposed blackout, no electric, no water, no trips out……then take stock and formulate you plans, look at shortcomings in your preps and planning. In addition, I often ask people, you are stocked up, yes….you have enough, fuel for home cars etc, yes……..Then I spring a question that they really had not given much thought to…….that is how about barter items, extra food, weapons, ammo, meds, tools, etc………the realizations are immediate and answer is usually….well I had not thought about that. Barter items, are extras that you plan on using to obtain items you are short of or you ran out or forgot JRs motto three is two, two is one, and one is none. The new currency will be Extra assets That you replanned to use as barter money, for obtaining a needed item, or whatever. Pray for President Trump, pray this election can be settled in the honest manner we as Americans believe in. Pray that this evil is overcome and good luck to all of you.

  18. I am so concerned for all of those that are stuck in the Western allopathic medicine conundrum. I do understand the problem (to some extent), basically you take your meds or you die. Please do what you can to study the possibility of switching from allopathic to naturopathic remedies.

    Although, like some many things that are against the mainstream, there is a significant learning curve. Before you started reading SB you may have thought all that ‘survival stuff’ was a little far fetched but as you gained more knowledge it comes to a point where you think, “Why was I in such resistance?”

    I’m soon to be 75 years young…..I have no medical insurance, I accept no governmental support of any kind, no Medicare no VA benefits, no SS. It’s more of a moral stand than a practical one.
    People ask, “What happens if you get sick?” I get well or I die, that’s kind of the way it works. I guess I have a major advantage than many other people, DEATH has no hold on me. My body heals it’s self if I give it the stuff to work with.

    I totally support Western med for intervention! If I get hit by a Mack truck, get me to the hospital. AS FOR HEALTH, I will go no where near western med. They mask the ‘symptoms’ and do nothing to cure the underling cause.

    Please do a little studying in the area of herbology, naturopathic medicine, and some of the alternative forms of healing. It can’t hurt and if you can move some of your meds from prescription to natural, it just might save your life in a SHTF situation.

    1. eam, Totally agree with your statement “I totally support Western med for intervention! If I get hit by a Mack truck, get me to the hospital. AS FOR HEALTH, I will go no where near western med. They mask the ‘symptoms’ and do nothing to cure the underling cause.”

      I do have medical conditions that need treatment but I have begun the switch, slowly, to alternative medicine. Mostly to ween my way off of chemicals and started using whole organic foods and herbs and natural healing. I have successfully gotten off of two major meds and my doctor is satisfied that I don’t need the big pharma versions. Still have two more prescriptions to replace with natural meds but that is a work in progress.

      1. Congrats to you, Animal House. Can relate as well. The body does have a wonderful way of being able to heal itself when given the right “stuff” as earn said, and it’s truly a journey to find the combination of the things it needs for optimum health. Best wishes.

  19. This calls to mind a question that pops up for me anytime I read about jwr’s investment philosophy (Heavy in the tangibles, etc). What does one who is up in years do for income (say when one is in his 80s or older), can’t work, etc. guns and tools and silver are great but you can’t eat them or pay your copays with them. What is the play for the 40 year old prepper who puts all his investments in tangibles once that prepper reaches 75 or so. Where is his monthly income coming from?

    1. Moving everything out of investments is a bad idea! Keep or move into investments that everyone needs. Business is going nowhere! Their greed for profits will drive them on come hell or high water! Look for those businesses that supply the things that everyone needs, as they will be the most stable for investments. Food stocks, paper, and energy all did rather well in the Covid crash, and came back stronger. And of those, look for the amount of debt they’re in, and what is their dividend. The high dividend yield stocks are the best to give income.

      The biggest thing in investing is DO NOT PANIC!!! Let everyone else do that! Over the years, I’ve seen $200,000 losses, but in holding on, the losses turned around to $1,000,000 in gains. Those dividends wound up buying more shares at low prices, and when the market returned, I was sitting pretty! Even in this, I keep about a 10th in cash reserves for stock purchase when markets drop.

      For precious metals, I have about 300 oz in gold that I have mined and refined, and 10,000 oz in silver that was inherited and/or bought. This week I found another 32 oz of silver going through an old box of Grandma’s.

      I wouldn’t pull out of investments to go into tangibles, but I would, and do use dividend monies to do so. Let one investment pay for another!

  20. RKRGRL68,

    Your story reminds me of my grandfather who had Alzheimer’s the last 4 years of his life. PLEASE, if you have not done so already, take the car keys away from your parents. An elderly Alzheimer’s patient behind the wheel can be very dangerous. We not only had to take Grandpa ‘s keys, but also remove the battery from the car and disconnect a couple of wires under the car hood when we foumd out he had a spare car key we had not known about and he had attempted to drive again.

    1. Hi Kate,

      That was one of the first things that I did. I told both of them that their doctors would not allow them to drive anymore. Dad is okay with it, mom gave me static for a few months but she’s okay with it now.
      I also had to put away all the credit cards in my safe as mom I discovered was a big spender on clothing and makeup and other things. (Crap she didn’t need, she just shopped to fulfill emotional needs). I’m paying off those debts now and when they want something I go over it with them and then order it for them.

      Thanks for sharing
      RKRGRL68

  21. Come archer: Though you may not have done this, since I was young my parents were wonderful on making me think properly. They are gone now but they instilled in me the idea that what comes in should not always go out. We are not “savy investors” but we save and do have many tangibles.. For example we just sold some firearms on Gunbroker and though many were old, they did give us a 20% return.

    JWR is big on tangibles and he is correct. If you time your sale of tangibles right you will have $.

    Your monthly income will come from selling some of your tangibles.

    Good luck and pray to the Lord, prayers will give you strength to get through anything. It may not end well but your soul will be protected.

    Don’t put all your assets in tangibles, diversify!

    Don’t worry about co-pays, etc. This country is falling apart. We once tried to be a noble Christian country and like all empires we are now failing so prepare for the country’s failure. It won’t be long. 200 years ago there were no co-pays and not much of our modern life BUT people survived, so will you.

    But, $ is a long way from Nirvana. What is more important is how you have lived your life.

    Praise to the Lord.

  22. Come archer, a good form of supplemental income can be made on e-bay. You can pick up stuff at thrift stores or local auctions for pretty cheap and then you can take some pictures of it, write a good, honest description of it and sell it on e-bay. You will want to buy small things that you can easily package up and send by mail or UPS. We do that and, depending on how much time we decide to devote to it (usually just a few hours a week) we can make up to several hundred dollars a month.

  23. Re:First aid supplies
    I’m getting older(aren’t we all)..have a lot of meds and supplies,but also equiptment.Crutches,walker,wheelchair,bedside potty,etc.
    This summer I had a bad fall,either fell because I blew out my knee…or blew out my knee when I fell.
    Crawled to the garage to get a cane/crutches.
    Up high on a shelf,no way I could get them,and other items without help.Needed a ladder,no way I could climb it.
    Had to call a neighbor for help.
    No matter how prepped you are,you can always use help.Cell phone is your friend.

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