Life Is More Serious

Realization that mortality is ever closer comes to those who are fortunate enough to age. When we were younger we knew one day we would die, but as with many things, that was off in some distant future. Aging is another stage of life with many opportunities to learn, just learn different things than we did in our younger years.

Life has gotten more serious. Things that once seemed so important, things that needed to be done ‘like this’ or like I wanted them to be, now seem so trivial. What was once worth arguing over, now is inconsequential. I often think, why was it such a big deal when I was younger? I wish I had learned this earlier in life.

A few months after Frank’s bypass surgery he was walking in the yard, doing some normal something, I don’t remember what. All of a sudden my breath caught in my throat and I thought, “He didn’t die!” I could have just stood there and cried. Maybe sometimes it takes a serious shaking of our world to get us to see what is most important in life. Frank and I had many very serious conversations after we realized the only restorative choice he had was a bypass. He needed to know that I would be okay if I were left here alone. They were very difficult conversations, but left us both with a peace in knowing where we stood and plans were in place for “what if”.

Then my Mom’s dementia progressed to the point that she obviously was in need of serious care for her welfare and safety. It was very difficult to come to the realization that my siblings did not see the needs she had until she finally insisted that death would be better than the options they offered. She had stated these things many times with me, but I was just the girl and exaggerating things. Mom was okay. Even though she was have major delusions, obsessions, paranoia and health issues. She was okay. She wanted to continue living alone and that was fine according to my siblings. 

So following on the heels of contemplating Frank’s mortality and my mother’s mental incompetence, Life Got Much More Serious. Add to that our continued aging process.

The reason I list these specific experiences in our lives is only to make a point that if the SHTF today, tomorrow, next week or next year, the seriousness of life will make these few occurrences pale in comparison. If we were starving and having to defend ourselves and our food supply on a daily basis, how could that even compare to our ‘normal’ experiences of life? Let’s face it, as people age, they have more health issues. It’s a fact of life. But as Frank and I say regularly, “I’m not dead yet.” With that philosophy and outlook, we have a lot left to do and offer, a lot of life left to live.

We talk about quality vs. quantity. This can be applied to so many things. Take life, the actual breath in your body. Neither of us care to remain on this earth if we are not functional. This may upset some of you, but fortunately at this time, we have a choice. Frank and I agree that if we have a serious health issue that will incapacitate us to the point that we are not functional, and the only health treatments out there will only prolong life for a short time at the cost of our mobility, cognitive abilities, etc., then we will forgo the offered treatments. Quality of life over quantity of life. 

Again, apply that to an SHTF situation. There won’t be extensive medical treatments, no surgeries unless you are in a very unique situation. Health and medical attention will be provided by those around you or your own knowledge and abilities. Are you ready for that? Mentally? Do you have supplies that can be utilized for some health needs? Do you know how to use them? What are you going to do when you run out?

Life is more serious. We are focusing in on the essentials whether it is in our garden, in what we store, in how we manage our daily chores or in how we

communicate with others. We are downsizing and becoming much more focused. Frank’s response to a comment yesterday said we don’t talk about the conditions of the world, our country, the economy or the need to prepare anymore. We don’t. There have been many that think we’re the tin foil hat wearing nut jobs. Some want to know where our bunker is. There have been those that literally laughed in our faces. There have been those that said they were coming to live with us, to which we promptly responded – no you’re not, we’re not going to feed you. Most just look at you and politely nod their heads, but you can tell that they don’t agree and think we’re just plain weird. As a consequence, we don’t talk about preparing or SHTF or a collapse much anymore.

We have been preparing to live, depending solely upon ourselves, for most of our married life. Almost 40 years. We rejoice that the electricity is still on and we hope to have air conditioning through

another hot Oklahoma summer. But if it’s not and we have to adjust, we have tried to train ourselves to deal with that reality. Our bones are older and creak a little more. We may move a little slower and accomplish less in a day than we did a decade or two ago, but our minds are sharper, and we have learned so many more things. If the collapse had happened a decade ago, there are untold amounts of knowledge and experience we wouldn’t have had access to that we now do.

Life is more serious. It would appear inevitable that we have strife, conflict or outright war coming here in our country, in our neighborhoods throughout the land. Many, many sources indicate the economy is on the brink. We saw an

article a few days ago indicating a housing collapse is now occurring or on the precipice in 40 major cities around the country. 2008 anyone? You don’t even hear about it because of all of the lies, innuendoes and major contention in Washington. We have no national government, we have warring factions spending our tax dollars to attack and ‘investigate’ each other. What about the country? What about The People they were elected to serve? That is a joke. There is no functional government anymore, looking out for the welfare of our country. There is only a slow motion collapse into anarchy in the once hallowed halls of congress and our nation’s capital. Where can that lead? What kind of example are they setting? No wonder there is more contention, hatred and violence on every street corner in America.

Enjoy every day, for it is a gift. Live your life in gratitude of your daily gifts. Work hard, for nothing is more satisfying than the results of your own two hands or applying your mind to something. Relish the sunshine on your face and the love and admiration of your family. Earn and maintain the reputation of being an honest person of high moral character and integrity. In the end, what really matters? The only thing you will leave behind is your legacy, good, bad or otherwise.

Relish the joy and freedoms of your life everyday because if Life Is More Serious now, just wait until that day arrives that we are no longer falling off the cliff as a civilization, but we hit bottom with a resounding crash.

Until next time – Fern

23 thoughts on “Life Is More Serious

  1. It does seem like a lot, Leigh. Now, instead of 'building up' we are downsizing and trying to determine the best way to simplify, yet still maintain our self-sufficiency. It's a very interesting process. I appreciate your blog and watching how you and Dan modify things for efficiency. Good to hear from you, Fern

  2. Good example of what is really important, Fiona. Every single day I am grateful to be where we are and have the knowledge we do.Wacko. I use that word regularly. Sometimes it is to describe us and sometimes to describe others. People that have had the opportunity to talk to us for more than a few minutes would definitely describe us a wacko, not a voice of reason.Blessings to you and Ralph. Fern

  3. You know, BJ, it is a crying shame that so many of us have quit talking. That is what having a boot on your neck does to you. You can't say that! You'll get in trouble!You better not say that, someone will come and take your stuff when theirs is all gone.We appreciate the opportunity this blog allows for communication with strangers we don't know and will never meet. It's just a shame it needs to be this way for the safety of us all.Hang in there and be safe. Fern

  4. Yes, thanks for asking. Everyone and all animals are ok. However, the chickens have slacked off on laying, and the goats’ milk production is down. I hope it doesn’t affect the kids.

  5. Well said, Fern. Of course, I'm getting older as well, so I relate very well to the truth of what you say. I find myself contemplating more about our level of preparedness and ask what else in our lifestyle needs to change. Still seems like a lot and it gets tougher with the lower energy levels that come with aging. Still, understanding the world condition like we do, we just focus on the day and the tasks at hand and press on.

  6. I was reading my news feeds this morning and a meadowlark began singing outside the window, the new sheep bell was tinkling in the distance and suddenly thought of how lucky we are to be the age we are. There are hard times ahead, health isn't what it used to be but we have learned not to sweat the small stuff. There is much too much work to be done. Both Ralph and I have buried our parents and have their memories with us, our families think we are wacko. We make sure they know we are here if they need us though sometimes that is difficult.The news feeds confirm the world has lost its mind and we pray for guidance to deal with times ahead. We prepare as we can. Fern, Thank you so much for being a rare voice of reason.

  7. I really like this blog. We started prepping 10 years ago. I never thought we would go this long before completely falling off the cliff. During this time I have learned to stop talking about food storage or anything else related to prepping.Somewhat early on I talked with a few people, I thought selectively, about what we were doing. One Sunday at church one of the people I had talked with was talking with someone else and as I walked by he asked me a question about something related to my prepping. I just looked at him quizzically, and he said, \”Oh, he knows.\” I just shook my head and kept walking. From that moment on I have distanced myself from him and have refrained from discussing prepping with anyone, even my family, especially the family. Some of them think it's funny and like to make remarks, such as, grandma is preparing for the apocalypse.This is why I like this blog so much. I have a place to share and to learn from others with similar views how we feel and how we are preparing for more difficult times ahead anonymously. Thank you so much for this platform for all of us. BJ in GA

  8. CW, we didn't notice any disagreements or anything you said to be offended by. We appreciate your participation in these comment conversations. Your humor was fine, no offense taken.And here comes Frank's humor – But don't do it again!Blessings, Fern

  9. Frank and Fern, I truly appreciate your taking the time to read and respond to our comments. It is good to be able to converse with others that realize how unstable our world has become and are attempting to live in a more responsible and self-sufficient way. I do want to say that I have sincere empathy for all who are faced with serious health, financial or family issues. Not for one minute did I want to offend anyone by inserting my poor attempt at humor. Losing loved ones is so very difficult. Losing property or possessions due to other people's carelessness is also heartbreaking. Life has become very serious. Forgive me if I came across as insensitive. I also want to share that you are correct, Fern, when you say it is time to take a stand. This is not the time to back down. We must be very firm in our convictions. Take care and be strong, CWfromIowa

  10. Grammy, many years ago on a different homestead we had a similar experience. Our neighbor had an intentional grass fire on a windy day that got out of control and came onto our place. Frank was in the shower, I was running around moving the sheep to another pasture farther away, penning up the dogs, getting out hoses and what are the neighbors doing? Sitting on their back porch watching things burn. They called the fire department but didn't lift a finger to help us try to control the fire on our place. And they could see what was happening.Frank save the barn by about 2 feet, the sheep were fine, but one of our dogs spent a week at the vet. They went into shock from the stress of it all. Did the neighbor offer to pay the $400 vet bill? No, of course not.I have to ask. Why are some people so stupid? Can they not put together the simple fact that wind affects fire? But then there are people around here that burn on windy days frequently. I always wonder what is wrong with them. Don't they have a clue? I guess not.I really appreciate your example of stuff. In the last few years we have come to the same conclusion. Much of the 'stuff' we have we don't need, and would never use in a collapse anymore than we would now, which we don't.I'm glad you and yours are safe and well. Did all of your structures and animals come out okay?Take care, Fern

  11. Mary, I have to tell you, no, first I have to say thank you for your kind words. I am sorry about the illnesses and dementia in your family, it really takes a toll.But I do have to tell you that Frank and I had a good laugh about 'that voice of reason'. It's just not a way either one of us would describe ourselves, especially me. This goes back to the previous comment where CW mentions the need for humor.Again, thank you for your kind words. It's good to hear others experiences and perspectives. Fern

  12. You know, CW, I think I am just about through turning the other cheek. It seems that trying to accept others differences, even when they encroach upon my freedoms – speech, religion – has brought us to this junction. A place of animosity, hatred and violence. I cannot see where the chasm of the differences will ever be healed or crossed, only widened and filled with more violence and hatred. We feel it's time to stand. Stand for our own rights and freedoms instead of letting others run over and outlaw even the words of our mouths.At the same time, as Frank says, \”Humor is the essence of survival.\” Without it we would lose our minds entirely. There is joy and humor every day, even in the midst of growing turmoil in the world.Thanks for sharing, Fern

  13. You're exactly right – very ugly and unbelievably sad. Many will commit suicide, unable to cope with the change in reality. Too much suffering.Hang in there. I think we all have times of depression about the state of things and lack of interaction with those that can see and are preparing. It's a lonely life at times. That's one of the main reasons we are here writing again. It looks like you have many things in order to cope should hard times come your way. Good for you! And yes, gotta have coffee!! Frank and I agree with that wholeheartedly! I picked up more coffee last week.Sometimes it's good to be strange. You have heat, food and water for your family. How strange…..Fern

  14. Hi, Swordsmyth. My dad taught me it's better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. When you tell people what you think is going to happen, most folks think we are just stupid. For a while, I kept trying to convince them otherwise. So I quit.A different mindset would listen to those talking about preparedness with intent to come and help themselves. It's good to be quiet. There are some people I still talk to, a few loved ones, primarily those that are like minded and actually seeking advice. But if everybody is quiet, the guy right beside you may be doing the same thing you are doing. It may be better to error on the side of caution. Quiet is better.We all need hobbies, especially those that are a valuable asset. I guess we could become master quiche makers, I like yours better. A pistol, eh? Hang in there, FrankP.S. Fern wants to know if you have any ground nuts? Highly nutritious, spread everywhere, looks like an unassuming vine. She calls them some of our camouflage food no one would know was there.

  15. I promise I haven't been reading your mind, Nina……Nina, I don't think most people think this way, but I think the world is right on track. Just like when Judas betrayed Christ. That was supposed to happen. If not, what of the resurrection? I think the world is in for a tremendous reset and that it is supposed to happen, it is foreordained. I am not talking about the apocalyptic writings or a rapture. Just that as people make the choices to become more self centered, decadent and greedy, there are consequences. There are always consequences for choices, both good and bad. But when it rains, it rains on all. The important part is what you do with your journey, what choices you make in the situation you find yourself in.I also think the sound civilization makes when it crashes at the bottom of the cliff will be loud, furious, full of wailing and mayhem. The sound alone will be enough for men's hearts to be faint.Take care, Fern

  16. Vicki, I really enjoy reading your take on these topics. It helps us to see some things more clearly and in a different light. Like making the best of the time we have left. That's something I try to do each time I visit my mother in the nursing home. I can usually still get her to laugh at something and that is a treat.It's also a topic that Frank and I talk about. We do what we can. Yesterday I started planting the garden. I didn't get as much in as I would like, but the arthritis in my back just doesn't allow the amount of work I used to do. We have grown to be more satisfied than frustrated with the decrease in our abilities. Things will still get done, just not as quickly.Your friends reaction is one we have seen before. That look of disbelief when someone seriously realizes that you are not going to take care of them if things get bad. Just what kind of friend/relative/neighbor does that make you? Terrible? No. Stingy? No. Responsible? Yes. Responsible for your own family's welfare, not theirs.I don't think any of us can be fully prepared. There will always be something we didn't think of or don't have enough of. It's just human nature, the folly of being human. I find comfort and satisfaction in knowing we have tried our best. That will have to be enough.Blessings, Fern

  17. Two days ago, we were hit in the face with what's important. A neighbor decided to burn his field on a day with winds in excess of 45mph. His \”controlled\” burn quickly got out of control and headed toward our property. (The fire was so big that the smoke was picked up on radar.) We were discussing when to evacuate. The most important 'things' to take were my husband, son, and daughter-in-law. (They live next door.) After that, I wanted to get the animals. I used to think that I would want to save my great-great-grandma's wooden stool, my grandma's dishes, and my kids' baby pictures. After Thursday night's incident, I realize that's just stuff. We're all preparing, but it can be taken away in the blink of an eye…or the spark of a fire. I'm glad you still have Frank with you, and I'm thankful I still have my family. God bless you in all that you do for us.

  18. Your article is very thought provoking for those that care to listen. Your views on aging, trivial concerns, health and mental well being, to communication, the economy and non-preppers are appreciated. Sometimes it takes the voice of reason to come from someone outside your personal circle to make the light bulb go off. It's that \”Aha\” moment that not everyone gets. Our family has also had dealings with sudden illness and parental dementia. Coping and overcoming these obstacles is what enables us to move forward with clear minds. Thank you for so eloquently putting into words what many of us need to hear.

  19. Great article, Fern! You and Frank are sharing some very thought provoking concerns and ideas. For that, I am grateful! I am also very grateful to those who read your blog and comment. It is helpful to know I am not the only one feeling like the world is spinning out of control. We are living in a time of great change and distorted reality. We are fed immense amounts of false, perverted, and hate-filled rhetoric. It takes an intelligent person to sort it all out and to seek the truth. It takes a strong person or family to face today's harsh realities. It takes thoughtful people to turn the other cheek to the name callers, haters, and liars. Every single day we are given choices and opportunities as to how we want to live our lives. I am taking each day one at a time; doing whatever I possibly can to prepare my family for even more difficult times ahead. Like you, I would prefer quality of life rather than longevity. God has filled my life with a few bumpy times but mostly with blessings beyond measure. And since I know he is a kind and loving God, I am going to trust that he takes me out of here before I become a real royal pain in the back side of a few. Life has become very serious, but now and then a little dose of humor helps. Thanks again…Take care and prepare, CWfromIowa

  20. I have gotten a little lax in my preparations lately. A lot of depression leaving a \”who cares\” attitude. But we can still get along for quite a while if we needed too. I have been thought a \”little strange\” by a lot, but this week a few realized it is not such a dumb idea to prepare a bit. I live in Minnesota where winter reared its ugly head again. Our power only went off for an hour and a half. But I have food stored, chickens for eggs, water canned (gotta have coffee), jugs of water for the toilet, a wood cookstove for heat and cooking, candles, lamps, etc. Seeing so many in trouble right now is sad. Some had their electricity go out yesterday and don't expect it back until maybe Monday. Young couples with children, no heat, no food stored. When the SHTF it is going to be ugly, and incredibly sad.

  21. I continue to silently prepare all by myself. I have another $500 worth of fruit trees and unusual edibles to plant on the homestead this year. Feeling blessed to be able to do these things in a day and age where most have forgotten all these skills that everyone use to have. I keep teaching myself new skills, have been learning gunsmithing the last two years. Have built a number of AR rifles and my first AR pistol. Very enjoyable craft. So glad you two are back to posting, warms my heart to know others see the writing on the wall and continue to stack it deep on all levels. Much peace, blessings, and love to you all 🙂 Swordsmyth

  22. It's a rare day I feel as though someone was reading my mind and putting in down in type. You've written as though they were my words!I woke up one morning and told my husband – Life will never be the way we've been able to live it again. We're the last. I know that times change – I get that – but I'm talking \”life\”. The feeling I had when I was a child of total trust, joy and freedom, will never be felt so fully by future generations. In fact, already my grandchildren cannot walk down a gravel road at night in safety, or in the daytime for that matter. Oh I mourn what is lost and what is to be lost. I am so very happy to be able to still feel some sense of safety, peace and contentment in my life. I owe that to my God – and I'm beginning to feel shame that he is watching our slow decline and is surely shaking his head in sorrow.Meanwhile,is falling off the cliff as a civilization a little like \”if a tree falls in the forest, and there’s nobody around to hear, does it make a sound?\” I pause to ponder the comparison.Thanks for writing.

  23. Every single day that I wake up in the morning I consider a bonus day. I honestly never thought I would live this long and if I did, I figured my mind and body would betray me. I still know who I am, where I am and what day it is, but the body is giving out. Slowly, but giving out nonetheless. So I have decided to do the most I can with the time I have left. I had a lovely lady that I really like tell me not long ago that if things get bad, she knew she could come to my house for food. I told her that wasn't going to happen. I said that my food supply was for me and my kids and my grands. I told her that perhaps it was time for her to consider taking care of her own self and her own family. She acted like I had just slapped her in the face and I guess I probably did. It is too bad she felt that way, but I have run out of patience with those who think they will just walk in and expect to be taken care of without doing anything for themselves.With the exception of some of my blog posts, I do not talk about preparedness any more. I am tired of being viewed as the commander of the tin foil hat brigade. If anyone comments on my shelves full of home canned food, I just tell them it is a hobby. They don't need to know I have a goal of two years worth of food storage. Or why. If anyone mentions the quilts I have in various stages of completion, I say that quilting gives me something to pass the time. They don't need to know that the quilts will be good have when the lights are out in the winter time. I have learned over the years that people just do not believe anything bad will ever happen and if it does, it certainly won't happen in their neighborhood.I still have a long way to go and I doubt I will ever be fully prepared. But if I keep chipping away at it every single day, at least some of my family will have a better chance of surviving.

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