That’s Why They’re Called Chores

A long time ago, let’s see about 25 years ago, we were at a doctor’s office. Frank was talking to him about the things we were doing or needed to do around the homestead we lived at then. The doctor looked at him and said, “That’s why they’re called chores.” Chores are daily routine tasks. If we were all sitting together in a room tossing out ideas that come to mind we could make a big, long list of chores that lots of folks do every day, week or month. I was thinking about the idea of chores this morning as I, yes you guessed it, was completing some of the chores.

  • Make coffee and fix breakfast
  • Feed the cats, chickens, pigs, dog, goats
  • Milk the does
  • Strain and cool the milk

  • Clean up the chore related stuff, like buckets and such
  • Grind wheat and make a batch of sourdough bread; left to rise
  • Wash the dishes
  • Frank stripped the bed and started a load of laundry before he left this morning, so I put them in the dryer. Later the bed will need to be made and the clothes folded and put away.
  • Now for a different kind of chore, a project chore. Remove the barrels from the greenhouse, rinse out and hose off each one, let it drip dry, then towel dry. Sweep the floor and plywood pieces before replacing the barrels on a square of plywood and replacing the table top board. Repeat until all were finished.
  • Some of these chores are repeated throughout the day, like fixing meals
  • Evening animal chores include everything listed above, except add watering all the animals to it. This time Frank goes with me.
  • Wash the eggs, put the milk away

  • Strain and feed kefir
  • Bake bread and eat a sample. The eating isn’t much of a chore.
  • Get the coffee pot ready for tomorrow
  • Some days include gardening, mowing and all kinds of other things

Now take your daily routine and throw in the need to do everything yourself, with or without the help from others, for all of your daily needs. You knew I would be talking about this, didn’t you? It’s what we’re all trying

to prepare for. Our daily routines, once the collapse occurs, will be filled with chores from sunup to sundown. Chores that will be required if we expect to survive. Chores that will make us wistfully wish we had a few of the conveniences that we now enjoy, things that would make our lives much easier. Like turning on the faucet and having safe drinking water at our fingertips, or hot water at the turn of a knob. We live in the lap of luxury and yet many days we will hear complaints about doing chores. I think that’s what prompted the good doctor’s comment. “That’s why they’re called chores.”

Okay, so let’s use a little imagination and see if we can describe even a small portion of the chores or events that may happen in one day post TEOTWAWKI. Ready?

Wake up and get out of bed. Are you sleeping in a bed? Or were you on guard duty all night and find relief at the rising of the sun so you can go to bed?

How about a hot cup of coffee? Do you have any coffee left? Do you have a cup to drink it out of? Did you store enough to last a while, even with rationing? Okay, do you have the type of coffee pot that can withstand the heat of a fire or the top of a wood stove or rocket stove or whatever device and fuel you have that will produce heat? Did you bring in wood last night for the fire or do you need to gather it this morning? Okay, we have coffee and heat, now we need water. Did you haul and filter the water last night so it will be ready this morning? Does it need to be boiled before it can be made

into coffee? Where is your water coming from? Is it a public source? Do you need protection to go there and get it? How much can you haul at once? How are you going to haul it? Or are you able to reroute a water source through your existing plumbing and continue to use your kitchen faucet? That would be a luxury in a collapse situation.

By the way, when you got up this morning, assuming you weren’t on guard duty, where did you go to the bathroom? Have you been able to take care of a safe, sanitary toileting location? This isn’t something people talk about much, but let’s face it, everyone of us needs some hygienic way to take care of toileting. Yes, we still haven’t decided on the location of our outhouse, but we will soon.

Okay, toileting taken care of, water, coffee and heat. Now I’m hungry. What’s for breakfast? Are you going to cook? That brings a whole new set of thoughts and questions. Where did you get your food? Did you grow or raise it? Does it need any preparation? Are

you going to have a piece of bread and butter and call it good? Where did you get the bread? Did you make it or barter for it? Where did you get the wheat or flour, leavening, oil or fat and salt? Do you have an abundance of those things on hand? How did you bake the bread? Do you have a functioning oven, wood stove, cast iron dutch oven or something else to bake in? Do you have the fuel it requires? Do you have the pans you need? Now for the butter. Where did it come from? Are you milking an animal that is giving you enough cream to make butter? How are you keeping the milk, cream and butter cool enough to prevent spoilage? 

You want some eggs with that bread? Do you have chickens living under the right circumstances to provide you with enough eggs for breakfast? Again, how are you going to cook them? Serve them? Do you have plates and forks? Salt and pepper? A table to eat off of?

Now it’s time to clean up from breakfast. Do you have any soap or cleanser? A dishcloth and towel? A sink, basin or dishpan? Now we’re back to water again. Did you heat up enough water to wash dishes while you were making coffee and cooking the eggs? What are you going to do when you run out of soap or cleanser?

Okay. Now I’m tired and we have only talked about getting out of bed, making coffee, fixing breakfast and cleaning up the dishes. That is only the very beginning of the day. Now is when the real work begins, work that will entail the basics of daily living,

obtaining water, fuel, food and remaining safe. Everyday, day in and day out, chore after chore after chore. Like Frank said recently, there will be no commercials, no time outs, no vacations or mindless distraction staring at a big or a tiny screen. I really don’t think some people will be able to handle the drastic change of life as we know it and the expectation of having to work hard everyday just to stay alive. I feel sorry for the people that can’t, won’t or don’t give it any thought at all. There will be many people that are unable to cope with such changes. They just won’t and that is very sad.

Please spend some time reviewing the list of chores you will be required to do when the SHTF, and everyday after that. There will be many things we haven’t thought of, even though we feel like we have been preparing for this all of our lives. I know there will and have tried to prepare myself for that. Even if there are things we haven’t acquired or prepared for, we need to be prepared mentally for that shortfall and not let it devastate us or stop us in our tracks. We will do the best we can with what we have, that is all we can do. And it will be enough. 

Until next time – Fern

13 thoughts on “That’s Why They’re Called Chores

  1. We need electricity to get water…that is always my biggest worry, and something we have thought about. It only takes a storm and losing our power to remind us.

  2. It is hard to imagine doing everything for ourselves without our luxurious, modern conveniences, Bluesman. The example of working smarter, not harder, is a good lesson for all of us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.Fern

  3. I can't imagine looking into the eyes of starving children, Grammy, but I am truly afraid we will all have to before long. It is something I pray about regularly, the condition the children will find themselves in once the collapse hits. There will be many people that will be unable to handle the emotional and psychological impact of how to survive, I just hope that we aren't two of them. You just never know about some situations until you experience them. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Like Frank has said before, we are all in this together. Blessings.Fern

  4. Good morning, It will be astounding how busy we are going to have to be just to survive in a economic/electric/societal collapse . The subject is an important topic for discussion and for planning your future . We try to start with basics : water ,heat ,food , clothing & shelter and plan our chore list outward from there . Right now we have electricity and gasoline and that makes things relatively easy . I try to imagine spading the garden by hand or bucking firewood with my crosscut saw or my wife cooking on the wood stove . Depending on one's age and if you have children or other live in's at your home , the chores can be a little easier or perhaps daunting , depending on your situation . We are in our seventies so we endeavor to make every step and action count . We try to work smart , not just hard . We are blessed with good health and that makes our tasks somewhat easier , but still tiring , so we try to pace ourselves as we go through our daily chores . If we plan for a worse case scenario and it never happens , we'll just praise the Lord , count our blessings and go on living out our earthly journey . Thanks for sharing and God bless .Bluesman

  5. We realize this and plan to keep our tank as full as possible, we hope to use this as a small cushion to make working adaptations to our situation. The home came with a 2 year old good quality wood cookstove and there are trees on the back of the land. We have found a place that makes wood stove adapted water heaters. Too few people realize both propane and natural gas require electricity to run the compressor and pumping stations never mind get the stuff in the first place.

  6. I went to Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 as part of a mission team to rebuild homes and spread the love of Jesus, and experienced some of what you wrote about. We had no safe water, a VERY expensive supply of food, primitive living conditions, rolling blackouts (We were thankful for the few hours each day that we did have power.), and crime like I've never seen. It was interesting to see how differently people reacted to their living circumstances. The thing that still haunts me is the look in the eyes of starving children. They actually fought over scraps of food. I will never forget that. Americans don't realize how blessed we are. When we are living in these conditions, I know that the overwhelming majority of people won't know how to survive. The emotional aspect of survival will be more than they can handle. I had a conversation with a friend about this. We both have grandchildren, and understand the importance of food and protection. If I only have enough food for three children to live, I will choose to feed my three grandkids. That means I will watch her grandchildren die. I can't imagine what that would be like. (She has prepared for her family, but I know that I will watch someone's kids die.) I pray that each of us will be able to help someone, but we will not be able to help everyone. That's what we experienced in Haiti. May God be with each of us.

  7. Fiona, in al probability as soon as the electricity goes off country wide, the supply of propane will start to dry up. Lots of electricity needs to crack propane out of petroleum. It is a little higher up the tower from gasoline, so when it is gone, no more propane! About your only dependable source of heat that will be available will be wood. And that entails a lot of time and effort to cut collect and use! We should be alright out here on this Island because there are a lot of huge expensive homes that will have NO owners after TSHTF!

  8. Hi, Fiona. The plywood is not treated.I guess the best way to find weakness, let's take fences for example, build it to the best of your ability, apply animals and check for leaks. If there is a weak spot, it will surface soon. Apply patch. Or, you could dispatch the animal. We choose to patch, unless of course, it's time for dinner.Get the essentials done now while you can. There are only so many hours in a day. Water, electric, OPSEC, prioritize. Frank

  9. Hi, Carl. You're right, it will not be fun, but we have a choice, survive or succumb. I choose survive, but I may not be the one that decides. You're definitely right, it ain't gonna be fun. Frank

  10. Your list of chores didn't mention the unexpected 'chores' that arrise like escaped animals, injuries or illness to be treated. We are evaluatng this property daily to see where emergency facilities need to be. We have to get a plumber out to test the well and find out how deep it is. One thing we can be sure of in a severe situation is the loss of water and power. The propane here will be good for a cushion as to cooking and light but we have to look into getting the well reattached to the home.I do have a question about the plywood your putting under your water barrels in the greenhouse…is it treated and if so will it release toxic fumes under the humid conditions of a greenhouse?

  11. excellent post. There is a myriad of chores you didn't mention in order to keep this post brief. Like clean clothes, bathing, basic hygiene, medications, household laundry, the list goes on and on. This will not be fun….Carl in the UP

  12. A lot of us have had these type of promptings for preparedness. Thank you for your guidance. It seems that your preparedness is gearing for the worst case scenario of losing electricity. May I ask what you and Frank envision happening to cause this loss? Is Frank anticipating a war in our near future?

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