Could the Old Ways be the New Ways for Survival? – Part 1

One of the messages I used to send to new subscribers to “The DestinySurvival Dispatch” asked what Grandpa and Grandma did for survival. A subscriber felt compelled to share his answer to that question.

He identifies himself as a young old guy from the hills of central Pennsylvania, known by close friends as Alem Yodr. I’ll share what he wrote in two parts. The link for the second part is below.

As you read what he wrote, consider whether the old ways might become the new ways we need to get used to for survival.

Feel free to share any thoughts and memories you have by leaving a comment below.

– John


This answers the question about what did my grandparents do. They stored as much as they could for they had seem two world wars, and they’d seen times of no money. They held on to a small farm a couple miles away from the small town they moved to from the hills, where they had a large garden or two, usually often a couple pigs.

Corn from the tiny farm provided corn for the pigs, and the pigs were food for the family. Every wild berry that grew, they knew where and when. (They tasted 10 times better than the commercial berries of today.)

If they helped others they were paid in produce, if at all, for most had no money. Any money was saved, for one never knew where the next dolllar would come from. There were no payments, like people get today, when they had no work. And if there had been they would not have accepted it anyway. PRIDE.

They had a well with a hand pump and still carried drinking water from a spring, perhaps 150 yards distant. The old farm had apple and cherry trees, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

They rented out to a farmer to plant wheat on the long flat field on top of the hill. They turned their “share”(payment for land use) into flour at a nearby flour mill. Buckwheat was also turned into flour for pancakes. Apples became apple butter canned and kept for winter and put on the buckwheat cakes.

Apples would not keep so the canned apple butter lasted into winter. It was NOT the cooked applesauce with some spice added. It was apples and apple cider boiled down in a large copper kettle over an open fire, and it took the better part of two days to prepare the certain type of apples. And the “boil” of the cider to condense it lasted many hours.

They wore plain clothes and long. Washday was usually on Monday. My grandmother used the washing machine my father bought her with money from his first job–a few dollars every pay day–so she no longer had to do the laundry by hand. It had a gasoline engine, not electric, for she still had kerosene lamps to see in the house.

The fuel –gas and kerosene was less than 20 cents a gallon, and a gallon would last a week or more for lights. A month for the washing machine was purchased at a country store that sold everything. It also housed the local post office. Of course, there was no running water nor electric bills to pay.

A few years later when the house was wired for electric, no extra lights were ever left on needlessly anywhere, but the washing machine was converted to electric. The washing machine was kept on a small porch.

Later when an electric refrigerator was purchased (used), it was kept on that same outside porch, for there was no place inside for it. Wash water was heated on the kitchen stove in a copper boiler that likely held 4 gallons.

They went to bed early. Each family member kept a small flashlite to see to get upstairs, and in case they needed to come back down in the night. They got up early also.

Water was heated by the wood stove. Dish water was heated on the stove in the dishpan. Homemade soap was used for dishes and other things like laundry. A small basin for washing hands was on a stand made from a chair that had the back broken off.

All shaving and hair combing was done with a small wall mirror over the basin, and teeth were brushed outside with a half glass. (Remember, water was hand carried some distance.) Tin cups were more likely used than glasses. Tin did not break, and glasses did. So common sense said to use tin cups, and it was standard in many households.

Click here for Part 2.


Author: DestinySurvival Contributor

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2 thoughts on “Could the Old Ways be the New Ways for Survival? – Part 1”

  1. John!
    This was a fantastic topic. I do believe THIS is more preparing than stocking food or guns. It has been vision and call of my husband for people to see this for YEARS! Nice work. Great topic and looking forward to part 2!

    Be Blessed!

    1. Thanks, Donna. Thanks, too, to Alem Yodr for sharing his memories. Adjusting to decline and living in conditions that hearken to the past will be difficult for many of us. It emphasizes the importance of having a survival mindset.

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