Things I am Thankful For

I realize that it is late in the day (5:49pm) as I start writing this. I’ve been burrowing through the last couple of weeks with some extra duties at work and have not had time for nor felt much like writing.

I am thankful to G-d who made this vast and wondrous creation…a universe that extends farther than either eye or telescope can see. I’m glad to be part of it and I hope to see those wonders and mysteries in person when I move beyond this life.

I am thankful that my parents and family and friends are still here. I did lose a cousin, Nicola on of all days, September 11th. She left two daughters, her parents, three brothers and the rest of us. A lot of folks have lost loved ones this year and I pray for your comfort and stand with you as you take moments to remember them at this time of year.

I am thankful that I am still working. Anything more about that is the subject of other blog posts.

People who know me personally have not come to expect me to talk much about what I’m going to say in the next paragraph or two. Personal expressions that are traditionally or socially expected are not really my thing. But for some reason today I felt like talking about the things I’m thankful for.

Things, Time, Space, Life

I’ve had a temporary schedule change at work. I will be posting more this week and next week and should have my time back fully after Thanksgiving. Right now, when I am not at work I am focusing on my relationship with things. After reading Bruce Sterling’s article, “The Last Viridian Note,” I am removing from the house everything I have not touched in a year or more. My goal is to take at least ten things out per week. The hard part is seeing the veneer of the emotional attachment and cutting through it. It can be thick in some places. It depends on the object. I got this Tuaca Lemon Drop cup at a liquor booth at a festival. I thought it was a neat thing to have so I paid whatever the price of the drink was and took it home. That was four years ago. I haven’t bought Tuaca or ordered a Lemon Drop at a bar since.

TuacaSo why keep it? What is my attachment to the thing? Is it the color? The shape? Or that it’s something I don’t see very often? It’s hard to pinpoint an exact connection with this one. Expanding from that, what is my connection with every one of the “dust catchers” I have around here? I doubt it’s the same for everything but is there a connection that’s common among certain items. There are a few that I can tell you exactly why I have them and exactly why I plan to keep them. But that covers maybe a handful of things. The rest have been occupying space in my house for years. They were special at one time and while I can probably tell you where and maybe even when I got them, I’ll be taking them off shelves and out of boxes where they’ve been packed away. Soon they’ll be on their way to Goodwill to people who are quite possibly starting their own collections of crap.

I could destroy the stuff. Maybe it would be better to bust, shatter, cut and crush rather than have it continue it’s space-taking, emotion-leaching, shelf-sitting, dust-collecting, being-curious-looking, conversation piece existence…long metaphor…sorry. Donating or selling it is nothing more than pushing the objects of my soon-too-be-former packrattiness off on someone else. I don’t like that idea but I don’t see much in the way of options. I don’t have a grinding wheel and we’re under a long-term burn ban. I could bury it in the back yard. But until it finally breaks down I’d be running both my own personal landfill and the risk that I might dig it up and wash it all off or worse, buy more. Hey, maybe someone will pick it up who doesn’t have a compulsion for collecting. I am going to do one thing different this time. I’m going to remove the shelving and repair the sheet rock where the screw anchors are. These things have taken up enough space. It’s time for a clean wall. It’s time for clean space…a new space.


Preparing for the Winter Bug-in

3-Day BagIn the last five years I’ve had to spend a couple of nights at the hotel across the street from my job. Texas doesn’t handle really cold winters well. A good three day snow can shut us down while places like Ohio would be bustling with plows and salt and the roads would be open again in a few hours. They’re used to that. While we’re used to triple-digit summers.

February gave us our first and last inclement weather days and a couple of us camped out in the hotel Thursday and Friday nights. By the weekend the slushy stuff had melted and dried and we were left with the sandy/salty stuff all over the place including our cars.

I usually keep a duffel bag of clothes and a toiletry kit in my car year-round. I didn’t restock it after the days 9 months ago. I think I still had one change of clothes where I usually keep two. I reloaded it on Labor Day because of the chance that we might have to evac. because of the fires. Now the fires were quite a ways down the road and the chance of us needing to leave was very remote. But I’d have to help other people get their stuff together and that process would go more smoothly if mine is already taken care of.

We were still baking then so I didn’t pack any winter stuff. Now that we’re finally in November I decided to get the bag ready for the cold. I’m not packing for a bug out situation. The ice usually clears up in a couple of days and I’m betting that society and the economy will be as intact as they are now.

Bag Contents:

2 changes of clothing
Several pairs of socks
Several pairs of underwear
Toiletry kit
Knit hat

I keep a first aid kit in my messenger bag but I’m going to start adding first aid supplies to the toiletry kit. I’ll also be adding meds and supplements plus some protein bars and the extra stainless water bottle.

Again this is for what Nutnfancy would call ROL or Rule of Law times. I still need to put together a full 72 hour kit. I probably need a few more items and a backpack that can hold it. The thing is in an evac. situation you don’t want to have to repack a bunch of stuff that is already packed.

Episode 5 – Bylaws

I haven’t commented on the last couple of episodes because I didn’t see anything that applied to preparedness or survivalism. The last couple of episodes mostly had drama themes.

One of the characters in this episode used the phrase “Frontier Justice.” I guess that’s harsher than the way we do it in our modern, civilised system with brutal murderers being able to lay on a table in an air conditioned room and fall asleep.

Let’s say this economic time bomb we’re dealing with goes off tomorrow and we begin a full power descent into chaos with food riots, looting, civil unrest on an uprecedented scale. Think Rodney King to the nth power. Small sub-communities should form made up of a couple, maybe three neighborhoods. Security would be mainly an amped up version of Neighborhood Watch.

How do you handle justice in this situation? The community might be forced to banish someone or execute them. These are not easy decisions. They should tear at your gut. And the community is diminished by having to make them.

Pray for wisdom, because you’ll need it.