Has Reality Come to Stay?

The world is in a terrible mess, we all know that, but has the reality of TEOTWAWKI set in yet? Really set in?

This has been a recurring thought and conversation in our house for a while now. I know I’ve said this before, talked about it before, and written about it before. You may be thinking, “All right already, you’ve told us, now get on with showing us your greenhouse and stuff.” If you are thinking this, you’re right, I have. But when your mother taught you to look both ways before you cross the street, for your safety and well-being, did she only tell you once, or twice, or twenty, or a hundred times?

We’ve had several conversations with friends lately about a number of situations that have stuck with me. These are the kinds of conversations that make me ponder, think, and think some more, that’s why I bring them to you. Tell us what you think, and it will give us even more to ponder and think about. Mental preparation is the most important aspect of preparedness and survival. 

First situation. How are you going to deal with not knowing what is happening in the world when the power goes off, really goes off? Even if it is intermittent for a while, it’s doubtful commercial radio, TV or the internet will function normally, and what news is out

there may be spotty at best. Will that drive you crazy? Let’s face it, we are used to instant communications via cell phones and the internet, along with the utopian ‘reality’ television provides. How will you deal with not knowing what is happening around the world, around the country, in your region, or right down the road? One mile from your house is a very long way if you’re on foot. A half mile away from your house could be deadly depending on the environment you live in. If there were gun shots a mile from your house would you hear them? Would you wonder if someone was out hunting or being attacked? What would you do? How would you cope? 

This is the reason for our new antenna towers. There are many ham radio operators that are in it for the hobby. You would probably be surprised at how little Frank talks on the radio. He listens, he monitors, and he tests his equipment to make sure it is working. Yes, Frank has started the Survival Radio Relay Net in our area, trying to bring together some local folks so we will know what is happening down the road. The way we look at it, any 

warning is better than nothing. If there were gunshots a mile down the road, we may not be able to find out what is happening, but we would be able to contact some of the folks in our network, let them know what we hear, and find out if anything is happening in their area. This is just one example of how radio communications can help save your life or the lives of your neighbors. Frank knows that many folks don’t have ham radios. He firmly believes, once things go down, that the humble CB radio will be the main form of communication. Folks that have them in their trucks or stuck out in the garage, will get them out, dust them off, and fire them up in an attempt to find out what is happening. 

There are folks that are planning on relocating when things get dicey or the collapse is imminent. Unfortunately, not everyone can live on a homestead, retreat or in their bug out location. Even more unfortunate is the reality that most people won’t make it out of the major metropolitan areas. There are 

just too many people to deal with, on the interstates, on the streets, causing disruptions, rioting, looting, chaos. I really fear for those that need to relocate. If only there was a crystal ball that would give an accurate indication of the time to go, and go safely. If things get really dangerous, it will not be any safer for you to go get someone any more than it will be safe for them to come to you. We’ve read of family members that plan to gather when the time comes. We have family members in other locations, and the thought I have is that I will never see them again. Hard? Absolutely. Will I always wonder what became of them? Yes. Is there anything I can do about it? No. 

During this time in the history of our world, we have all made choices to be where we are, live the lives that we have, and to prepare or not. Many of you have commented on family and friends that just don’t see what

is coming. Some may see, but refuse to prepare. Some play a little at preparing, but don’t really believe anything beyond a temporary disruption from a natural disaster may occur, but they do believe the legendary THEY will come save us. It will all be okay, you’ll see. I’ve been told I always think the worst. That’s okay with me. If it helps me be prepared and live to fight another day, so be it. This reminds me of a scripture we added to the right hand column of the blog the other day. Proverbs 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool; for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Let’s say you are at your survival location, you have your preparations, the initial violent phase of the collapse has past, and you’re wondering how folks ‘down the road’ fared, or you wonder if there is anyone out there you can barter with since there were things you overlooked in your preparations. How are you going to find out? Safely? Let’s say you 

can’t drive anywhere, because even if you stored some fuel, it’s gone. Do you have horses? If you do, can you feed and care for them for the long haul, or will they end up on your dinner table? Do you have a bicycle with extra tires, tubes, patching kits, pump, etc? And how much can you haul with it? Do you have a wagon that your horses can pull? Are they trained? Do you have tack with a harness and everything you need? Have you practiced? If not, can you manufacture a wagon, harness, etc? If not, who can? If you leave your home, who will guard it? If you leave your home, who will guard you? If the person you depend upon for your safety leaves to find out information or barter, and never returns, will you manage without them? 

There are so many what if’s I could write about them for hours. The bottom line is realistic expectations. We have to be hard, realistic, no wishful thinking, and no holds bared about what is to come. Wishing never made it so, wanting to know what is happening won’t make it so, and even the best laid plans can come to naught when the unexpected or unplanned

happens. I challenge you to take a long, hard look at the realities that are coming upon us. It’s a very scary proposition. I think the hardest part right now is not knowing what quarter the collapse will come from. There are so many possible scenarios, some I would choose over others, but I don’t get to choose, I only get to experience. What I do get to choose is who I am, how I will prepare, and what I will do when the time comes. We practice this mentally everyday, all day long. There will come a day when I no longer sign off using ‘until next time’ because there won’t be a next time.

You know that feeling, like something is breathing down the back of your neck, and is about to pounce? Be ready.

Until next time – Fern

29 thoughts on “Has Reality Come to Stay?

  1. Thank you, Maggie. Merry Christmas to you, too.Keeping silent about your preparations probably is a wise move, because people will be demanding. That will be very difficult for all of us. Sometimes those demands will turn violent, understandably so. I hope you can avoid this.Frank

  2. Hello. It does appear that we have lost our country, but we've lost any form of moral vision. Look at what's on television. People call that entertainment? It's filth, it's trash. Go to any average mall, or average Wal-Mart, and just watch the people. It will leave you with a sinking feeling in your heart. We as a country have had our time, and now we're about to pay the price for the way we live. We're in deep trouble, and there will be no recovery. We can only prepare. It's going to be a rocky ride, and most of us are not going to make it.Frank

  3. Hello, Savannah. Thank you for reading and sharing. We are all in this thing together, some can see what's coming, most either can't or choose not to. For whatever reason you've been given the ability to see, then use it to your advantage. I wish I had a secret formula for helping open other folks eyes, but I don't and I don't believe anyone else does either. Keep looking forward.Frank

  4. Hi, Jan. I have a friend that tried repeatedly to pass their ham radio license and just couldn't. After she relaxed, she passed it comfortably. The online practice tests are free, as is the manual. But don't worry about it. You appear to be well advanced in the preparation skills. Don't let the little things bother you. A CB radio will be real handy some day. Wish you the best. Thank you for your comment.Frank

  5. Shawn, excellent information. Leather working and blacksmithing will both be critical needs. Blacksmithing is hard work, physically demanding. There are some tools that would be wise to procure now. We have got to never quit learning. Use YouTube and the internet while we have it. There is some really great stuff that's free to be learned right now. Thank you again.Frank

  6. Hi, Everett. Yes, there was quite a bit of reinforcing on the opposite side of the wall. And actually, I did have one wall vibrate a little bit. Moving on.We ordered extra seeds today also. No big sale or anything, Fern just wanted some extra to go with the other extra. I hope you figure out a plan that works for you. 15 miles is a long ways of open water. I hope you get a good solid plan. Sounds risky. I'll address your radio needs in another comment.Frank

  7. Hi Vicki. Bette Davis was probably right. It's popping up all over our country. Our government has done a good job helping create little fires all over the country. One of these days these little fires will spread. A friend of mine believes that's when we will have martial law. Stay away from these little flames, keep your head down. That time off from the world is necessary. Things are not looking good. Take care.Frank

  8. Charlie, there's going to be a lot of things that we have become accustomed to that we are going to miss. I live in hill country and enjoy it. But seeing storms coming from a long distance is just not one of the positives of where I live. That little security blanket our National Weather Service provides, which I truly appreciate, might be gone someday, and that will be a loss.Frank

  9. PeteForester1…Your description of the bad wheel bearing and the results from not taking care of the problem perfectly describes what I am seeing. It is kind of like trying to tell a small child something they don't want to hear. Their reaction is to hold their hands over their ears and sing \”La la la la la. I can't hear you.\” at the top of their lungs. I deal with others who are convinced if they don't talk about it, it will go away. In either case, they will, as you say, find themselves left on the side of the freeway. I have found that about all I can do is to just keep at it. I don't know what is coming or when it will be here at my back door. I just know that whatever it is, I need to be ready.

  10. Along with drying, canning, & learning new skills. I have felt the need to keep preparations to myself, even from family. For the most part they are not interested in preparing for coming events and I am certain if they are able will be at my door demanding I help them. I wish I was not where I currently live but know that this is where God wants me to be. I will trust in Him. I am not new to all of this & 3 years ago really needed the food stores I had set by to get me through a tough time in my life. People have no thought for tomorrow, perhaps it is because I came from a rural background that I do. God Bless & a Blessed Christmas to all.

  11. I feel the same way. Normally, I am very optimistic person, but some days I feel a sense of \”what happened to our country\”. I am in my late 50's, healthy but not able to do what I used to. I feel I need to prepare, but sometimes I am overwhelmed to keep going. With everything happening in our country, how can people not see what is going on. Anyway, I am a survivor, I lost my mom at 8 yrs. old, I learned how to keep going and it was either sink or swim.

  12. That part about the frenzied attempt to \”have fun;\” I had a friend in the Coast Guard who had an old Toyota Celica. The car had a bad wheel bearing that made noise aplenty. His answer to the problem was not to replace the bearing, but to turn up the radio; as if making more noise would make the problem not exist. It worked for a while… until the bearing went off to Valhalla in a blaze of red-hot glory, leaving my friend on the side of the freeway. Vicki, our country's \”wheel bearing\” is growling. \”Turning up the radio\” won't work any better for the revelers at the bars than it did for my friend. Many who are \”having fun\” right now will soon find themselves \”left on the side of the freeway\”… As they say in the Coast Guard; \”Stand by for heavy rolls as the ship comes about!\”

  13. Ham radio is a big help with the weather. True, you won't get the \”ten-day forecast,\” but you'll be ahead of things enough to at least be able to batten things down. Where I live, earthquakes are the big concern. When a quake happens, I initially don't know whether it was a small quake in my area, or if my location was on the \”outer rings\” of something much bigger, hundreds of miles away. As soon as the quake happens though, the hams start chiming in on the local repeater, indicating the severity of the shaking in their areas. We usually know where the epicenter is before it publishes on the USGS site!

  14. Comfort yourself with this thought; being prepared for something that doesn't happen is, hand-down, better than not being prepared for something that DOES happen! As for your family; ask them why they buckle their seatbelts, own a fire extinguisher, insist on owning cars with airbags, or even save for retirement… The list goes on. Prepping is inherently wise. Not prepping is… well… just the opposite…

  15. Everyday your writing inspires me more and more, and solidly reinforces why I spend so much time and energy on prepping and becoming self sufficient. Especially because we are newbies, and we get kickback and criticisms from our family and that can honestly be pretty depressing most days. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  16. I am so deficient in the comms area! I have the small Baofeng but I cannot understand enough to get my license. Since it's such Greek to me, I can't even memorize – there's no frame of reference. At least I can hear. So, I've decided to stop beating myself up about it. Once I realized that, the panic went away. I've got 4 sets of local radios to give my neighbors about a mile away and more. I'm doing well on all the other skills, some solar, Simple Pump, back up solar chargers well wrapped in foil to recharge power tools & batteries, huge garden with backups to the backups on manual tools, seeds, tons of stuff canned or stored, treadle sewing machine w/lots of useful fabric/threads/tools, small animals, 3 yrs of wood put up w/the electric and manual tools to get more, necessary self defense items. I'm pretty confident my neighbors will organize before I even get in touch with them! I need to reorg & reinventory the food storage & seeds but I'm taking my wintertime to do that. My brain needs a little breather and I feel I can take it now.Lately, I'm thinking more & more that other than a few 'attacks', the serious trouble will be mid to late summer next year. . . . so that there will be an excuse to put off the election. I pray every day \”Your will be done, but please enlighten our leaders\”!Jan in NWGA

  17. I believe the most important prep right now is learning everything you can. Most of the electric gadgets we depend on in our daily lives can be modified to work without power, if you know how. Learn how. Learn how to make things, lots of things. I've recently taken up blacksmithing, and leatherworking. Bought some books, and tools, and did it. There's a lot of trial and error, but the learning curve isn't all that steep. One thing is very important: with the world's sum of knowledge a keystroke away, now is the time. Before the lights go out for the last time. Merry Christmas folks!

  18. I have two grandkids away at college. One in Mass. and one in NH. I am trying to devise some sort of plan whereby I can send them an email/text msg. that says simply, \”come home\”. That is if we get enough advance warning. It would mean for them to leave most every thing they have with them and drive down to one spot on the beach here in RI. At an appointed time and date they would meet me there as I came across the 15 miles of water from the Island I live on to retrieve them. Simple idea but needs a lot of advance planning which hasn't been done yet.As an aside, I just had an experience the about gave me a heart attack! Had ordered one ammo box of .308 from a big well known dealer for $180.00. Just got an email that they had shipped my order for 110 boxes at a cost of $18,000.00 plus $2500 shipping.After a frantic phone call by may wife, turns out it was some automatic email response robot that sent the msg!!! I still haven't gotten down off the ceiling!!Just finished ordering a second complete seed order from a different company to try and diversify my seed genetics. Oh well, keep on keeping on and HOPE for the best!OBTW Frank, I see now how you got the tower up by pulling from the middle. In your header picture I finally saw the pulley and the wire/rope! Ingenious!! And I also am amazed you didn't pull a hunk out of the building wall. Big plate or two by four's across a few studs on the inside? Good job anyway! Best, Everett

  19. That feeling of fast approaching disaster seems to be becoming more widespread among those who can see the handwriting on the wall. And oddly enough I have noticed, given the location of my apartment in the same block as two bars, that there seems to be a more frenzied attempt on the part of the patrons to \”have fun\” while they still can. I see this with much more activity on week nights rather than just weekends and the increase in loud altercations and general mayhem associated with overindulgence in drinking habits. It is like there is a feeling of doom and their solution is to drink more and play harder to avoid facing reality. This is not a condemnation of the use of alcohol – just an observation.I find myself spending more and more time getting ready. One day it may be the transferring of information on my computer to paper, knowing that the Internet could disappear as could electricity. Another is spent rearranging the shelves that hold my canning in order to find space for the six cases of food recently canned. Still another is spent sorting through and organizing my fabric stash and sewing supplies, making notes on what I still need. And another day or two may be spent sewing quilt blocks together to have as much use of my sewing machine as I can while I still have power. In my climate, one can not have too many warm quilts. And the inventory lists and the To Do lists become longer and longer, wallpapering the side of my fridge, held there by magnets.Occasionally I need to take an hour to just sit quietly and read another chapter or two of whatever book I am currently reading. This is done to help preserve my sanity. The daily scanning of the days headlines is enough to send most into panic mode, and they tend to make me want to scream, \”What on earth are you people thinking,\” when I see the craziness of government, of various and assorted protestors and special snowflake types, and of the increasing violence in my area. To quote Bette Davis, \”Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy ride.\”

  20. We are struggling with all we have to do….it does seem like the hot breath of trouble is coming our way. We have topped up the propane, got a very good wood supply but are still without the well functioning. We are in a hurry….time is short.

  21. One of the major communication items I would miss is the weather. We take for granted that we will have warning of impending hurricanes, blizzards, and tornados. Those warnings will be gone.Charlie

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