One Last Chance, by J.W.F.

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.

Useful Information

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.




37 Comments

  1. JWF… it is never to late to be in the game. Enjoyed your article and can relate having been there myself. My end is much better than yours but the similarities are uncanny. Wishing you all the best. Wojo

  2. This is such an encouragement for me. We live in a pretty good location for prepping but finances, health and life make it difficult sometimes. I’m entering my 50’s in a few months and your words will help.

  3. I’m sure that guns are illegal on the island as you have buried your guns. Don’t forget to buy ammo, and stack it deep.
    The dollar store is great, isn’t it? . I think you’ll be just fine. You will be in our prayers.

  4. JWF:
    I’ve been prepping off and on for several years. I was unemployed 4 times during the Clinton years. Always had to start over, so I can relate to your situation.

    Luckily my wife had a good job.

    We live in Nebraska, which is good for prepping.

    We’re nearing retirement. We built our retirement home 20 years ago and refinanced it 9 years ago. We didn’t increase our payments and went for another 30-year mortgage. We started kicking our retirement into overdrive and should have it paid for in about 3 years.

    As is typical for preppers, I concentrated on firearms and bullets while letting food go. My wife surprised me with starting talking about putting in more food and TP for the winter. She wants to keep up to 6 months of food on hand.

  5. What an inspiring story – that you came back from despair, came back from wasting your resources on drinking and smoking, and realized out that God really wanted to bless you, not forsake you. Thank you very much for sharing this. It has encouraged me to consider doing the same.

  6. Former Longguylander who moved away for the same reasons you mention. Don’t despair but do work with your children in moving out of the area. There are so many affordable areas of the country that can be had with just a regular full time job. I now live in a State with no income tax, my property tax is only $800 a year, my wife an I have modest jobs and we live well. You can do it, keep the faith.

  7. Dear JWF, Your story gripped me. I could feel your pain and despair. Could feel myself with you at the campfire talking to God. Found myself rooting for you and reading faster to learn more of the story. I love how honestly you write. Certainly no judgement on my part, as the Lord has an individual sanctification timeline for each of us that varies person by person. We each have our own coping mechanisms as well. I can share, that I will cope better when I hear you moved to safer place. I do not say this lightly, as I am in a similar boat and need to move this coming year as well. You and your family are prayed for. May our Lord bless you in great abundance. Krissy

  8. Be of good courage! God lives and reigns, and He can lead you out, just as He led Israel through the Red Sea, or Peter out of prison. Pray that He will bring you off that island to the place of His choosing! He is already moving in your behalf.

  9. You are on the right track and are talking about quitting smoking and drinking, but doesn’t quite sound like you are there yet. I have seen way to many patients going through DT’s, add trying to quit smoking on top of that and in the real time of need you may find yourself totally unable to function for your family. Try to make those two things a priority NOW. Those two things are very difficult, and easier said than done, but absolutely imperative for the success of your family. I wish you good luck and prayers.

  10. Best article I have read in a long time. So many are in your situation. Be encouraged because you are aware when so many are clueless. Perhaps God brought you to where you are so that you will be drawn to Him. I will lift up mine eyes from where my strength comes. God bless.

  11. J.W.F.
    I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t have something in their past that they wish were not true. The ability and willingness to admit and face those issues makes us prime candidates for the help of God. Jesus chose 12 guys who had issues. Eleven of them turned out fine and you will to. Trust him. My wife and I will be praying for your relocation. Let us all know when you get your miracle. God is good!!!
    My wife and I recently had a conversation in which we asked ourselves if we were still preppers or if we had become hoarders. We recalled an event years ago when our preps carried us and our children through 6 months of unemployment. I have what society would call the best of education, multiple graduate degrees and professional licenses. That did not count for a thing when the “perfect storm” hit. Looking back, We determined that we are very much preppers and will continue to be.

  12. Brother JWF,
    There’s no great joy in shared pain, but know that you’re not alone.
    You, and many others may not realize it, but we will be just exactly where the Good LORD GOD would have us.
    We don’t have to understand the “why me” stuff. Just trust GOD. Trusting in CHRIST JESUS for your salvation and your destiny to our HOLY FATHER.
    Pray. And pray alot. Pray while you’re walking, driving, working….even sleeping. I keep my prayer list under my pillow and am aware of it during the night as my hands touch it. It makes me pray then too. Talk to GOD, even like you would talk to a man. Our FATHER wants to hear from us. Think of how you feel when your kids haven’t talked to ya in a while. It hurts, bro.
    I signed in to say that no matter where you are, or how prepared you think your family is, our fate is not in our hands. GOD knows.
    Belonging to him requires trusting him. Sometimes our plans don’t work out, and we become frustrated and/ or bitter.
    I believe with all my heart that this is our loving GOD directing us according to his will.
    Remember, its really not about us. When you belong to the LORD, you may be led where you would rather not go. In that place, you will find the work HE would have you doing.
    We should all search ourselves and find out what we stand for. Then take a stand for that cause. It’s time to be all in.
    Whether you are still on LI, or have managed to relocate somehow, you will do good work.
    It may cost you your life, yet the scriptures tell us that this mortal life is worth losing for the saving of your soul.
    I don’t imply wasting it on foolishness, but there is quick coming those dark days when your faith will be the most important possession you own.
    I’m your age. Army vet. Married to the wife of my youth. My only son has been killed. My grandchildren think the Constitution is obsolete.
    I’m crippled from a falling injury and have no retirement to speak of.
    But I belong to GOD Yahweh, by the saving Grace He gave me through the blood price of JESUS.
    Come whay may, my meager provisions, that sound alot like yours, will be enough.
    Persevere, brother.

    1. Please know that there is a VA pension program called Aid and Attendance which provides financial assistance to veterans who have served at least one day during war time, even if never actually in combat. There are very specific rules so you would need to assess whether you would qualify. You would require help to perform some activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing.

      Most people do not know about this program, but a qualifying single vet would get over $22,000 per year. Married gets over $26,000. https://americanveteransaid.com/eligibility/

  13. JWF. It’s been said already, even by you. Get off of LI…now. Don’t be putting it off. LI is the last place in the US I would want to be if big problems happen. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your wife. The “gangs” exist right down the street from you….well, maybe not right down the street, but you know what I am talking about. And about your cars, my wife has 300,000 on her Jeep and is still going strong. So miles don’t matter if you take care of them.

  14. JWF ,,,,,, move ,,,,,,,start over ,,look at the bright side the less you have the the easier it is to move ,,go west,,
    The way that you wander is the way you chose ,,,the day that you wait is a day that you lose
    Don’t look back

  15. On an island, you are terribly dependent upon food and fuel being brought to you. Yes, you have canned goods. They will diminish. Learn to raise your own food. Look up “container gardening” since you live in a rental. The climate of Long Island will allow you to raise a lot of food. Those of us in now-frozen parts of the country envy what you have.

    Now the fuel part. Find a good used bicycle with a rack. Shop around and educate yourself regarding what “good bicycle” means. Then learn how to maintain and fix it. You are now your own engine and control the source of your fuel.

    BTW, buying cigarettes for “barter” sounds fishy to me. Use that money to buy food. Food will serve you better as barter than tobacco. In this quote, your alcohol and tobacco use is the theif:
    John 10:10 King James Version (KJV)

    10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

    You have strong faith, I hope you find others who share that, regardless of their collapse awareness.

    Carry on

  16. You must move out of LI. New York is like Commufornia, except you can get a straight answer out of a New Yorker, you can’t even talk to a Californian. That’s the only good thing about east coasters, if they say they will be at a meeting at 10AM they will be five minutes early, Californias won’t even make it on the same day they said if at all.

    Move to the mid-west or American Redoubt.

  17. JWF, god bless. Many of us will have suggestions to move but that’s a big step when you have relatives like a son and daughter in the area. They likely have jobs and can’t leave. Real estate where you are might make it hard to pull up stakes.

    Read Mr. Rawles’ books a few times and close your eyes and think about the town scenery that he paints. Try it slow. Here’s a gentle suggestion. Save some gas money for the spring and take a drive in your car out west or head south. Sleep in the car (as practice) if you have to do so, but see something else in your life that includes nature. Every town needs an extra hand these days, and you will know it when you see fit.

    Regardless, take a few road trip pictures and practice to see what you have in your 40# pack that makes it worthwhile to keep carrying.

    It’s a beautiful country we have and your words about our country will mesh real well with what you find. Find some country diners along along the way.

    Take care.

  18. JWF – you have already received my prayer offering! I appreciate your honesty and am overjoyed in your faith. Continue to give it all to the Almighty; “in all thy ways acknowledge Him and he will direct thy paths”. I am in the process of cleaning out our pantry and am saddened that I was not more diligent in rotating stock as I have some canned goods that need to be thrown out. Having said that, it is a lesson learned and I will move forward. We all make mistakes and best to learn from them now rather than later. Carry on, Brother, God’s got this!

    1. Are you sure that all of those cans need to be thrown out? I certainly don’t want you to get sick, but I just had a can of tuna a few days ago that said it’s best use date was June 2009. It tasted just fine with no ill effects. I became a paramedic back in the early 80’s, and drug expiration dates were typically about 6-8 years out. Now they’re less than a year for the identical items. I believe that those shelf lives have been intentionally shortened to increase sales. YMMV.

  19. If you are handy, know how to do repairs, and can do a decent job of painting a house, inside or out, there are abundant jobs available in New York State. I know people who live within 100 miles of New York City, mostly north and west, who simply cannot find anyone who can work with their hands without waiting weeks and weeks.

    Everybody sent their kids to college, telling them to get jobs where they wouldn’t get their hands dirty, and now there are almost no young or even middle aged people with practical skills in the metropolitan area. Unless they are Hispanic, in which case they mostly work hard, but there are language communication problems.

    And go to AA. Not only will it help with the alcohol, but there is a whole community of hundreds of people in your area who can be of help in practical matters.

  20. Keep your chin up and trust in the Lord!

    I am 53-1/2 years young, lost almost everything after 2008 crash, an a smiled blue collar worker, have had 7 different jobs since 2009 due to layoffs and company closings.

    Fled Connecticut to the Carolinas, not as cheap as everyone says, if you are blue collar, the jobs suck here, low pay, very unorganized and inefficient /incompetent management and processes, lack of safety of health concern ( not LEAN and strong red neck mentality) as far as work….work stupid and hard instead of working smart.I

    I am still renting because I cannot afford the overpriced real estate anywhere close to where jobs are.

    So, I encourage you, you are not alone in your attempt to get prepared in middle age.

    May God Bless you and yours. Maranatha Lord Jesus!

    1. William
      Lived in Carolinas most of my life. I do not see things a you have stated. One of the problems of people coming from another part of the country to a new area, no matter where it is. They do not try to fit in, but expect everything and everyone to be like the place and people they left behind. Maybe you should give the locals more credit and you try to adjust to the new area you have chosen. As I have told others, “the same road road that brought you here also leads back to where you came.
      The citizens of the Carolinas are welcoming and friendly people. The main thing we do not want hear is “HOW YOU DID IT FROM WHERE YOU CAME FROM”
      You left your home looking for something and evidently you did not find it here. Which indicates maybe you should look elsewhere for your happiness.
      I hope you find happiness somewhere, but you have to choose to be happy, nobody else can do that for you.
      My father came to North Carolina in 1939 from Massachusetts. He made it his home and never wanted to go back.
      I hope God blesses greatly and you find happiness and peace

      1. Thank you sir for your response. I am definitely not trying to change anything, as that is why I fled the north. I love Southerners and southern culture, it just seems as though the work ethic is not as sophisticated as the north, and the “good ole boy” way of doing tbings, you know, ” that’s the way we have always done it” seems to resist any open mindedness to improve, work smarter, safer and more effjciently.

        I have 35+ years in all aspects of manufacturing, from high end furniture to CNC aerospace machining, and I have never experienced such unorganization in how management runs things, that I have experienced in the South. I guess, if one only knows one way of doing something, they think it is sufficient, no being open to continuous improvement.

        I have tried my best to assimi!ate, love guns, God , BBQ, NASCAR, big trucks, etc. I find Southerners to be VERY kind and hospitable.

        I appreciate your comments.

  21. JWF ,,, I would like to add something ,,,,,if today was your last day and you had time to think and reflect before you take your last breath , would you say all is well with what was my life ?
    If not why not??

    I type this as I sit by a friend on his death watch ,he will be gone very soon ,
    We all should do this once , you will look at life different from then on ,

  22. Very brave to write that article and I commend you brother. Jesus is the only way, and while all the advice on this site is incredibly useful, Jesus has you and you must rely on Him only. He will lead you. Keep talking to Him. I went through some of the most hopeless circumstances in my life almost to the point of death, a couple of times, sadly. And yet, Jesus walked beside me when I couldn’t hear Him or see Him. He carried me. He is the God of miracles. May God bless you brother. I am praying the light starts to shine brightly in your life.

  23. Wow — I feel so blessed to know there are so many like-minded Americans, Christians, and Patriots on this blog that have taken time and interest to edify our brother in Christ, JWF. I believe this is better than a church service— everyone of you have been so honest and completely sincere in encouraging ALL of us that are struggling with life’s issues — it doesn’t seem to matter what we do, life does get in the way — sometimes it is our fault but sometimes it’s through no fault of our own. I want to encourage everyone out there to “keep your eye on the prize” Philippians 3:14
    JWF please keep looking up to Jesus “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith…….”Hebrews 12:2 May God richly bless you for your honesty in confessing your faults and giving ALL of us (who have our own faults) a chance to pray for you — I have some extra prepping books I would love to give you — but don’t know how — I will keep looking at this site to see if someone knows how to make personal contact —God bless you and yours, praying for you to keep up the good work!

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