Wednesday, 1 March 2017

09:36 – It was 55.5F (13C) when I took Colin out this morning. They’ve called off the blizzard that was to arrive later today. Instead, we’re to have very heavy thunderstorms this afternoon and early evening, with very high wind gusts, and then heavy rain overnight. A cold front is moving in, and temperatures are to fall to near freezing over the next 24 hours, and then to well  below freezing after that. Barbara is off to the gym and to run errands, after which we’ll be doing kit stuff.

Colin was running short of his Alpo Snaps treats, so yesterday I ordered several more boxes for him on Walmart.com. While I was at it, I added a 26-pound bucket of Augason brown rice, another #10 can of Augason dehydrated celery, and another #10 can of Augason cheese powder.

Speaking of which, another country heard from. I got email from a woman named Jane. She and her husband, Tom, have been married for about three years now. She’s 24 years old and he’s 26. They live in a small town in a rural area that sounds a lot like Sparta, with maybe 50% more population. He’s a utility company lineman, and she’s a teacher at the county middle school, where she got on full-time a year ago last autumn. They’re both from the area, and have millions of family members who live nearby. Well, dozens anyway. They bought a house a year ago, soon after she was hired on full-time, and she found out recently she’s expecting their first child this summer.

She’s been following my blog since she graduated college, moved back home, and got married. She mentioned that she’d emailed me back around then to ask advice about prepping on a budget. I don’t remember that message, but I respond to a boatload of similar emails so that’s not surprising.

She says she started small, both for budgetary and space reasons. (She and Tom were living in an apartment before they bought their home.) Originally, she’d just buy a few extra items at the supermarket every week. If she had one can of something on her list, she’d buy two instead. That progressed to the point that she’d wait for a sale and then buy a case of this or that. Eventually, they decided to join Sam’s Club and started making the three-hour round trip to Sam’s once every few weeks to fill up the back of their SUV.

Tom originally wasn’t very enthusiastic about prepping, but he wasn’t opposed, either. Like most husbands, he learned pretty quickly that “Yes, dear” was the easiest way to ensure domestic tranquility. Watching and reading the news over the last couple of years gradually converted him to being more supportive, and the 2016 campaign finished converting him completely. Finding out he was going to be a father just redoubled his determination to do everything he could to protect his growing family. So now they’re both on-board.

Jane says they think of themselves as “sane preppers”. They haven’t gone overboard on any one aspect of prepping, except perhaps LTS food. They have a ton of that–actually much more than a ton–and are continuing to build their stockpile. But, as Jane says, this is all stuff that they eat anyway, and it’s not going to go bad anytime soon.

I’ve said before that I’m uncomfortable going into detail about what I buy, not from any OPSEC considerations but because I don’t want people to just copy me. And I know from hearing it from numerous people that that’s just what some people do. Including Jane, originally. I’d mention ordering, say, six #10 cans each of Augason egg powder, butter powder, and cheese powder, and she’d place exactly the same order as soon as she read it.

I finally decided it really shouldn’t bother me. It’s not like I’m buying a lot of useless stuff, so if people buy what I buy they’ll at least be advancing their preparations. I just hope they also listen when I talk about buying boring stuff like bulk staples. And if Jane decides to order the same Augason stuff I mentioned above, that’s okay with me.

Jane isn’t looking for any advice at this point. She thinks they have all the important stuff taken care of, so now they’re just filling in some minor stuff. She says they’re fortunate in every way. They live in an excellent location. She and Tom both have secure jobs with decent incomes and good health insurance through their employers. With her parents’ help, she’s already paid off her student loans. They owe the bank only for her car loan. Their house was purchased from a family member, whom they’re paying back directly under a formal loan agreement. They won’t even have much in child-care expenses because they have two grandmothers and several aunts and great-aunts who are looking forward to helping them with daycare when their grandchild arrives. So they’re in just about an ideal position.

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