One of my friends who rode out the Texas deep freeze commented that we take modern conveniences for granted. That got me thinking. My children lost power for several days and had planned on using the gas fireplace for warmth. Guess what? It had an electric ignition that could not be bypassed, rendering it useless.
While I maintained electricity, the water was out for several days. Do you know my toilet takes two gallons of water to flush? Rationing enough to do the deed was stressful. One alternative was to draw water from my pond. But it was partially frozen, and wading into the muck to fill a bucket was unappealing. Therefore, the flushes were few and far between.
News reports indicate that the Lone Star State’s power grid was minutes away from a catastrophic failure. Such an event would have left millions in the dark for months because of physical damage to the power structure.
Then, my mind raced.
Could I make it without electricity for a month? Its failure would set off a catastrophic chain of events:
- Nuclear and fossil fuel power generation would cease.
- Water pumps would shut down.
- Gas stations would not be able to supply gasoline to power cars and generators.
- Food in stores would rot.
- Electronics, including cordless phones, could not be charged. But, if you had a landline with a telephone that plugs into the wall, you might be able to communicate.
OMG! Just the thought is enough to turn me into a survivalist, or at least stash more canned goods away in case of emergencies.
Fortunately, living in the country has many advantages:
- Firewood is plentiful, and I can start a fire with one match or flint.
- My pond is filled with fish. We own fishing poles and can cook and clean the critters.
- A supply of guns and ammo to kill feral hogs as well as small mammals. I bought my son-in-law a field dressing kit as a joke, but it might come in handy. The next step is to work on my shooting skills.
- Abundant prickly pear cactus, a staple of Mexican cuisine, eaten boiled or grilled.
- A small cabin with screened windows designed to grab a cross breeze (and a wood stove if it is cold outside) will make life tolerable.
- Rope to lash two branches between a tree for a makeshift latrine; skills courtesy of the Girl Scouts.
- Manual can opener.
- A shotgun, crucial for keeping looters at bay.
Depending on the time of year, dewberries and mustang grapes are available. While you can’t eat the grapes raw, boiling them produces grape juice. Acorns and pecans are around.
One thing struck me about the Armageddon scenario—most of our day would be spent surviving and staying safe. We would have infrequent opportunities to work on other needs described by psychologist Abraham Maslow such as love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.
As stressful as we think our lives are, we are extremely fortunate. Our ancestors had little time to pursue happiness: they were merely staying alive. Modern conveniences provide an opening to fulfill our dreams.
P.S. While researching this blog, I went down several rabbit holes, learning how to skin and cook armadillos as well as processing acorns. My first trial run at preparing a stew with the creature will be next weekend. That is if I can manage to actually shoot the critter. Y’all come.