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Monday, November 28, 2011

No man is an island...


I was considering what a typical prepper family might look like and I couldn't really come up with an answer.  I suppose if there was one we-wouldn't-be-it.  All I know is that I have no illusions about being an independent survivalist happily living in the back woods eating squirrels and sleeping in a lean-to.  I'm not even preparing for that and I LIKE camping.

We're here for better or for worse and so we're going to make the best of it. 

My DH has Muscular Dystrophy.  He's mobile but hindered by his condition.  I live with diabetes.  My son has a learning disability.  We've all learned to adapt to our collective situation.  My DH cuts down trees sitting in a lawn chair.  He has a most awesome cane made out of shovel handle that he uses for wandering the back paddock and getting around the farm.  My son and I have learned to rely on each other to handle everything from lugging heavy bags of feed  (which I could hardly do last year - this year=muscles!) or chasing wayward animals back into their pens. That means the big lifting jobs and chores are left to my son and I and any extra kids I can rope into coming over to stay for awhile and help out (thanks to Jacquie, Sarah, Danny and Courtney who helped out in the past few weeks!) Some of my own kids are married and moved out, some are away at school so even though I am prepping for a crowd most of the time it's-just-the-three-or-four-of-us. 

I am preparing to live in community.  I know that regardless of what happens in the future the answer is to be part of a community.  I have a relationship with Rebecca the sheep shearer, Lew our handyman, Karen the donkey farrier, Dale the electric fence guy, my mail carriers Cathy and Dolly, my many and assorted country neighbours, farming cousins, church members, city friends, friends online and my immediate family.  I will never be an island.  I would be bored silly and I'd have to start talking to myself (oh- I already do that!). 

I wonder sometimes if life would be simpler without all this community fuss.  It means learning to communicate and have boundaries.  It means accommodating people and dealing with problems when things don't go as planned.  It means putting up with extra laundry, more mouths to feed, different sleep schedules, different personalities...and dirty socks on the living room floor.  Deep down I know it's worth the effort but when I'm texting SHUT UP AND GO TO BED  at 1am to my teenage house guests I have a few doubts - smile.  In reality this IS life and it's exactly the one I want. 

I don't know how to do everything but almost certainly one of my friends does.  They aren't even necessarily preppers...yet. We help each other.  I can be a listening ear or a answer to a canning question for a friend.  They rewire my barn, help move heavy animal feeders or take my extra pumpkins (those are extra good friends!) 

Who do you lean on?  Are you in danger of becoming an island?  No one can do it all even in the best of health. Reach out and start building community today.  It will enrich your life now and most definitely be a blessing in the future whatever it brings.

1 comment:

Erik Test said...

Hit it square on the head. Thanks for the perspective.