A dear friend recently told me preparedness is declining in the wake of Trump’s election. We both agreed The Donald taking office may stave off an economic decline for awhile, but not forever. It does, however, buy us more time. America is still staggering under a massive and unpayable debt level, and for this reason alone I urge people not to let their guard down.
Almost two years ago, I instigated a weekly blog event called a “Friday Roundup.” The idea was to post whatever we did during the week, big or small, that inched us toward increased self-sufficiency or self-reliance. It lasted about two months, then faded away (turns out Fridays are actually pretty durned busy for us).
But I thought the idea was kinda cool: namely, since everyone’s circumstances and situations are different and we can all learn from each other, I invited everyone to pitch in and explain to other readers what steps they took during the week — remember, big or small — toward preparedness.
So I’d like to re-introduce the Friday Roundups. Ahem — you’ll notice this blog post is appearing on a Thursday, but “Thursday Roundup” doesn’t have quite the same ring. I can’t guarantee a Friday Roundup will appear every week on the same day like clockwork — it may drift around a bit — but the date isn’t as important as the content.
So let’s get started. Since it’s winter and we’re waist-deep in snow, outdoor work is limited; but we’ve done a few things this week:
• I ordered two sweet cherry bushes from Burgess. Last summer we got our first small crop from our two tart cherry bushes; and while they puréed beautifully, we also wanted sweet cherries for fresh eating. (We also wanted bushes instead of trees.) After some research, we found these sweet cherry bushes which hopefully will fill the niche. When ordering, I confirmed with the company they wouldn’t be shipped until later in the spring, since I can’t even get through the garden gate due to snow. We do, however, have a place to plant the tiny bushes when they arrive.
• I’m purging. Forget spring cleaning — spring is usually too busy — but snowy weather is an incomparable time to dig down in the corners and eradicate the unnecessary. Don and I started with our bedroom, which – being upstairs away from the vacuum cleaner – tends to accumulate dust. (Dust is something of a mainstay around here, between the farm and the woodshop.) Don’s allergies finally demanded we do something about it, so we gave our room a thorough cleaning and purged clothes and shoes we no longer needed. We ransacked the dark recesses of closets and found two old dog toys Lydia had stashed there ages ago. The bedroom is now bright and airy and dust-free (for the time being).
Buoyed by this success, I started tackling other neglected corners. We are a book-heavy household, and over the years began accumulating books we read once and no longer wanted to keep. Same with magazines. The books, being heavy things, probably jettisoned hundreds of pounds of weight all by themselves. This is an ongoing process I’ll continue through the winter.
• We’ve been strengthening our neighborhood ties. Preparedness is a three-legged stool, and “community” is one of those legs. Don and some other neighbors got together (as they do about once a month) to discuss increased neighborhood cohesion and assistance.
This time of year, part of this cohesion and assistance involves snow removal. Here a neighbor is using a tractor-mounted snowblower to clear our driveway:
Here we’re getting another neighbor’s truck unstuck in the week after Christmas.
• We held our weekly potluck — which also contributes to neighborhood cohesion and assistance.
So, with the understanding we’re in the middle of winter and projects are limited … what’s your Friday Roundup?