Bracing For Impact

People often scoff at those of us who identify as “preppers” or “survivalists” which is fine. I get it. There are many out there who can’t imagine themselves in a soup line or begging in the street for a slice of bread. Their modern lives are (seemingly) insulated from all that and they can’t imagine ever going without.

Even when the signs are all around us, they still scoff. Even as history repeats itself right before our eyes, they scoff.

No, seriously, I do get it. They would rather mock the messengers than face a frightening future. They would rather change the channel to watch “reality” shows and ignore the real world.

We are staring down the barrel of a confluence of several scenarios–each of which individually is a significant, life-changing event–but which are together conspiring is a dangerous and incendiary situation: food shortages, inflation, and a breakdown of the supply chain. A new media narrative today acknowledges food shortages, and blames animal agriculture, indicating we are reaching an inflection point in the collapse.

The Ice Age Farmer

“That won’t happen!”

“That’s just fear mongering!”

“Things aren’t that bad!”

Then there are people like me who, while living a pretty comfortable lifestyle, remember things like runaway inflation and the gas shortages of the 1970’s and 80’s. We err on the side of cynical. We are keenly aware that we are living in precarious times and acknowledge that in the not-so-distant past things weren’t so easy. Food and fuel wasn’t always so plentiful and probably won’t be again. You had to fight for every scrap and probably will have to again. Good paying jobs were hard to come by. Sometimes bad paying jobs were hard to come by.

Life was hard and will probably be again.

People often pinpoint one period in America’s history when thing were hard but even before the Great Depression some folks didn’t have it so easy. My family lived it and I see it etched on the face of my maternal grandma in every single picture I have of her.

I see it in the worn out clothes they wore.

I see it in the forlorn expressions on some of her children’s faces including my mom’s (bottom right).

I grew up listening to the stories of them living in a run down shack made from two boxcars pushed together in god forsaken Wyoming with no plumbing and eating one meal a day before, during and after the Great Depression.

I grew up with the story of the song my uncle Sam wrote about our family which was (supposedly) stolen by Bill Anderson called Po’ Folks.

There’s a whole lotta people lookin’ down their noses at me
‘Cause I didn’t come from a wealthy family
There was ten of us livin’ in a two room shack
On the banks of the river by the railroad track
We kept chickens in a pen in the back
And everybody said we was po’ folks
My daddy was a farmer but all he ever raised was us
Dug a forty foot well, struck thirty six gallons of dust
The Salvation Army give us clothes to wear
A man from the county came to cut our hair
We lived next door to a millionaire
But we wasn’t nothin’ ‘cept po’ folks
We was po’ folks livin’ in a rich folks’ world
We sure was a hungry bunch
If the wolf had ever come to our front door
He’d have had brought a picnic lunch
My granddaddy’s pension was a dollar and thirty three cents
That was ten dollar less than the landlord wanted for rent
The landlord’s letters got nasty indeed
He wrote ‘Get out’ but Pa couldn’t read
And we was too broke to even pay heed
But that’s how it is when you’re po’ folks
We was po’ folks livin’ in a rich folks’ world
We sure was a hungry bunch
If the wolf had ever come to our front door
He’d have had brought a picnic lunch
But we had something in our house money can’t buy
Kept us warm in the winter, cool when the sun was high
For whenever we didn’t have food enough
And the howlin’ winds would get pretty rough
We patched the cracks and set the table with love
‘Cause that’s what you do when you’re po’ folks
And we wasn’t nothin’ but po’ folks
My mom and my dad was po’ folks
My brother and my sister was po’ folks
My dog and my cat was po’ folks

I saw the health problems they all suffered later in life, both physical and mental, and I believe my own immune system disease (mastocytosis) is a direct result of epigenetics. Even though I never went without, my body suffers because they did.

Many of us come from similar backgrounds but many don’t. Not everyone’s family were “poor folks” like mine were. Not everyone has ancestors that came across the prairie to the west in covered wagons and homesteaded in some of the harshest places on earth like mine did.

I’m proud of my heritage, though, and now that they’ve all passed on I want them to look down from heaven and see that I haven’t forgotten their struggles. I was listening closely and I’m not ignoring the hard lessons they learned and taught me through their stories and songs.

I’m also not ignoring the signs that are all around us and this is why I do what I do.

I’m bracing for impact.

Are you?

6 thoughts on “Bracing For Impact

  1. I really enjoyed reading your perspective on this. Although we have a stockpile of food here, it is primarily frozen meats and vegetables which would do us no good if we were out of power and gas for the generator long-term. I keep saying that I need to get some more non-perishables together and start stocking up to be better prepared.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you! For being proud of your heritage, and for being prepared. My ancestors also didn’t have it easy, both my grandparents on my father’s side were raised by family because their parents couldn’t provide for them.
    I’m not into prepping, and I also don’t laugh it off either. I try to grow my own veggies, I bake my own bread, and although I don’t have a lot of space, I want to keep some chickens for eggs again. I don’t have a stocked pantry, but that’s more because of a tad of laziness than anything else. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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