Not Your Grandma’s Time

            Survival Sally popped in again.  “Forgive me for interrupting, Sam Dear, but I just remembered something.  Thanksgiving is coming soon.  Can we invite Duane and Diane and the kids over?”


            “Sure, I don’t see why not,” Sam said.


            “Boy, thanksgiving Day brings back a lot of memories,” I said.  “Both my aunt and my grandma used to put on the most fabulous spreads.  We’d visit one house on Thanksgiving day itself and the other house on the Sunday before or after thanksgiving.  My aunt fixed oyster dressing along with regular dressing to go with the turkey.  My cousin usually shot a duck or two.  I remember biting into a shot pellet a time or two.  I guess you could say we had our choice of birds for meat—leaded and unleaded.””


            Sam chuckled.  “You know, Thanksgiving made our forefathers thankful for an abundant harvest.  We don’t think much about our food supply these days.  We just take it for granted our food will always be there when we go to the grocery store or restaurant.”


            “Yeah,” I said, “but that may not always be the case, right?  That’s why we should be prepared.”


            “That’s right.  You never know when we could have an unexpected shortage.  As a matter of fact, I’ll give you a couple current examples from the news recently.  Food pantries are having a tough time keeping up with the demand this year.  Shelves are pretty bare in some places.  That may not affect everybody, but it’s worth noting.  Then, I guess you could say this is on the lighter side, but the price of beer may be going up because there’s a shortage of hops.  It seems a lot of farmers are planting corn for ethanol production instead.  The barley crop in Europe has apparently failed this year, too.


            Sally walked by the doorway at that moment carrying food outdoors to the patio and paused.  “Did you say the price of beer is going up?”


            “Yes, I did.”


            “My stars, don’t tell Diane’s brother Bill.  He’ll have a panic attack for sure.  He practically drinks enough of the stuff to float a battleship.”


            Sam and I laughed softly as Sally went on her way.


            “Silly or serious,” Sam said, “the fact is, shortages happen.  You can encourage your blog readers to be prepared for survival should there be unexpected shortages of the things we take for granted.  I’m talking about the essentials of everyday life.”


            “Of course,” I said.


            Sam went on.  “As if the prospect of some sort of calamity isn’t enough, we live in a society that has lost its sense of community and cohesiveness.  We don’t have the character and moral fiber to make it successfully through another Great Depression.  Here’s a challenge for you.  Will your neighbors be there to help you out in times of trouble?  Are you there for them?  Count yourself blessed if the answer is yes.  However, the one thing the old timers had that we don’t is the sense of self interest.  They looked out for themselves and weren’t merely conformists.  Why did they help their neighbors put up barns, bring in the hay, etc.?  Because they knew there were mutual benefits, so it made sense to work together when necessary.  Those who have gone through shared adversity, such as what the early sodbusters faced, knew quite well how difficult their neighbors had things as well.”


            I paused before popping another malted milk ball in my mouth.  “Things are sure a lot different these days, aren’t they?”


            “To put it in material terms, most people don’t have a root cellar with stores set by, as Grandma or Great Grandma had.  Most of us are lost if our next meal doesn’t come from the microwave or some grab-and-go fast food place.  We no longer control our food supply.  If there were food shortages for some reason, do you think we would be told the truth?”


            “I honestly don’t know.”


            “I’m reminded of the movie ‘Deadly Harvest’ from the 1970’s.  It presumes crops fail due to cold weather.  Back then there were some who thought we’d go through an ice age, not global warming.  In one of the opening scenes, government officials are in a meeting debating whether to tell the people how bad things really were.  They decided by a vote amongst themselves that they would hold back the truth and put out phony numbers while cutting food rations further.  I doubt if that would be any different if such a thing happened today.”


            “Sounds bleak.”


            “Being prepared like the old timers were is simply common sense.  You might ask your readers some questions like, Would you have a supply of dehydrated food or MRE’s to get by a while?  Have you thought of growing your own food, or at least a little of it?  What will you do about having drinkable water?  These are just to get people thinking.”


            “All of this sure has me thinking, too.”



Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.