This is the winning entry in my blog contest, “What makes you a Survival Mom?” Sue in Alabama wrote a heart-felt article that was a clear winner. She and a friend can now proudly wear, “Survival is a mom’s job!” t-shirts all across the great state of Alabama!
A year and a half ago I retired from my job to care for my terminally ill husband. We had battled his disease for seven years, and the time had come to live and love each other for whatever time remained. We also had two disabled adult children who would remain with me for the rest of their lives.
I began to think about the future without him, living on retirement income and not wanting to return to work because my boys needed me at home. My future was uncertain to me, all though the Lord knew all about it. He began to prepare me.
Always somewhat of a spendthrift, I chose the path of frugality. Oddly enough, I had been led to become debt free (no mortgage, car payments, credit card balances) several years ago. This was accomplished through pure hard work and extra shifts (I am an RN). However, I never thought twice about paying full price for anything, and while working, never had a food budget of any kind. I began searching the Internet for frugal living sites and eventually was directed to preparedness sites as well.
I suddenly felt a new freedom! There were logical steps that I could take to provide for my family during short-term and long-term times of personal financial need and economic downturns. I began with coupon clipping and food storage preparation. As my pantry expanded, things became more adventurous. A wheat grinder seemed in order so I researched and decided on a Family Grain Mill, both motorized and manual. Thus began my adventure into bread making. I stored up wheat, oats, rice, beans and more, everything bought cheaply, save the wheat, which was mail ordered. I then turned to water storage (backwards I know, but I was a newbie). We had purchased a Big Berky filter a couple years back so I felt that additional water storage could consist of two weeks worth in gallon jugs plus additional bottled water. Currently I am rethinking this and am researching, trying to find 55 gallon drums at a reasonable price.
Living without power is a concern even in good times. We are in an area affected more by hurricanes than snow. There are two freezers in the garage mostly full. A generator is not financially feasible. Last year I began to pressure can meats and what a blessing this has been. It is my goal to keep most of my meat preserved this way rather than freezing it. I have delved into solar cooking, using the inexpensive “Cookit” model. My homemade solar cooker unfortunately was not very sturdy. A Sun Oven is my goal, but for now I am satisfied. A charcoal grill is my backup, along with a hay box. Cooking without power is a never ending quest for information. My oil lamps are ready to go, along with backup supplies.
My dear husband passed away last November and how I miss him. The boys and I are fine. We lack nothing even though there have been financial challenges.They love all the home cooking from food storage and brag on the meals from the solar cooker. I am not naive. My sons have major health issues and depend on life extending medications. We would probably not survive a total TEOTWAWKI but our faith will take us as far as we need to go.
This is my story. This is why I am a Survival Mom. A seed was planted within me to take care of my own and others. It was watered and nourished by all the wonderful preppers who blog and teach and inspire . Thank you for making a difference in my life.
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