The real estate appraiser walked through the rows of rotating shelves in our basement with a look of wonder on his face. “You guys have, like, a 7-11 down here!” he exclaimed.
And it was true. My mom was the Self-Reliance Queen. Our house on Russett Road was a split-level with the entrance on the landing. Each week, after Mom had been to Safeway, the groceries went there first. From the landing, they were dated and sorted – upstairs to be used right away, and downstairs to be added to the food storage.
And it wasn’t just groceries. Medicines, backpacks with toiletries, rope, swiss army knives, rain ponchos, sleeping bags, first aid kits, flashlights, candles, small endangered animals to sell on the black market should we ever need money…. You name it, she was prepared.
And then, there’s me.
I know I’m my mother’s daughter… somewhere inside. But if we had to evacuate our respective homes, my mom’s response would be, “Grab the survival backpacks and let’s meet at our designated spot!” Mine would probably be more like, “Well… I could grab my guitar and write a song about the drama of this moment. Maybe if I wander around singing it, someone will feel sorry for me and give me some of their water….”
I had initially thought to plant a garden to take a step toward self-reliance. My roommates had the same thought, so we started a small one together. It’s not the lush, biologically diverse tropical rainforest that I envisioned, but it’s coming along. So, that was a step in the right direction.
To augment that beginning effort, this week I started out at www.providentliving.org, a site maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It’s an excellent resource on everything self-reliance: employment and finances… social, emotional, and physical strength… emergency preparedness and food storage…. education and literacy…. basically anything you can think of that has to do with being able to meet your own needs.
After looking at the website, I decided to focus on a three-month emergency supply of food, drinking water, and financial reserve. I have been fortunate enough to have some extra money available this month from all the performing that I’ve been doing, so the first step was to put that away in my savings account for a rainy day. My next stop was at a store by my house called Emergency Essentials.
The store had cool things like freeze-dried raspberry crumble, pasta primavera, and blueberry cheesecake, but I don’t know many people who consider those things to be essential for survival. And the food was pretty pricey. But, I did find some less expensive things like a small first aid kit and a beginners survival packet with some handy things in it. I also saw a three person tent there on close out, so I got it to keep in my car for emergencies.
I went to Costco next to pick up some food storage items. I tried to find things that I would use- both perishable and non- so that I could rotate the storage as needed.
After sweeping the store and filling up a cart, I was wondering if I might need that rainy day money sooner than later. But loading the food and sanitary items onto my shelves at home gave me a sense of satisfaction. Almost like a rite of passage into adulthood.
It’s still far from my parents’ basement 7-11, but my own little supply is growing. Along with my self-reliance. I just hope that I don’t really ever need to use my powdered milk.