I sometimes wonder, reading posts like this one, just where I was, growing up, in relation to everyone else? I think that you and I are of a similar age (I was born in the early 1950's), and yet I don't ever remember the "ubiquitous" "duck and cover" drills that everyone else seems to. Perhaps the central California coast didn't feel that threatened?Icu4dzs said:When one reviews the title of this thread, one is forced to answer a very difficult question. I have been thinking about this before I answered it because it demands great thought.
I have decided that "What I am preparing for" is my waning years when I can no longer work and my health is weaker. I believe that my garden will provide not only sustenance, but solace where I can contemplate the years I have spent on this earth and prepare my mind and body to make the transition from this life to the next.
I will admit I have grown up during the "atomic age" when the threat of nuclear destruction of not only my home but that of my country and my planet are to be considered. I have never had one day without that fear/dread/concern. As a child, we drilled by hiding under the desk in the classroom to avoid falling debris in the event of a nuclear explosion. We would be marched into the cellar of the school and lean against the wall or each other with our hands covering our necks to avoid injury. I particularly remember liking to lean against one of the girls in my class named Kathy. We sat in the room in a specific order so when we were marched to the cellar, she was always the one against the wall and I had to lean against her. Another girl had to lean against me so as to make the grouping 3 deep. There were days when I couldn't decide who was more fun...the leaner or the leanee!
The truth of the matter is that despite the concern for nuclear destruction (which at the age of 10 I could NOT truly understand) I have more deeply feared the return of the "great depression". My theory is and will be that "it happened once and it will probably happen again". Having a place to live now makes that fear somewhat less. Having chickens who make eggs, having a milk cow, having beef cattle and having a garden are all forms of insurance that can NOT be "devalued" by Wall Street in the event of another of their criminal behaviors. My farm can not be worth less to ME than what it can do to help me eat and be sheltered every day for the rest of my natural life.
So to answer the question, "I am preparing for old age or another depression, whichever comes first" and my deepest, darkest impression is that both will come but I am not certain as to what order they will come.
Saepe Expertus, Semper Fidelis, Fratres Aeterni
My grandparents were adults, and my parents teenagers during the depression, but I don't remember them talking about it at all. Of course, they were all of a very frugal mindset, so perhaps it wasn't that big a deal? My grandfather owned his home, and, as a writer, was used to the fact that what he had to offer was not what a majority of people wanted to buy, so perhaps it was just 'business as usual' for the family. I don't know, but I didn't grow up with a great concern about the state of the world - perhaps that is a negative for me; I can't say.
For me, I garden, and keep a full pantry, because I am essentially lazy. I prefer not to shop more often than necessary - necessary being every few weeks. We seldom have power outages here, but I would rather not be bothered by them when they happen, so I keep candles, and an extra gas canister for the grill. It happens maybe only once every 2 or 3 years, but occasionally our driveway has enough snow for a couple of days that we would prefer not to navigate it, so I try to make sure that we don't have to. My parents were not farmers, nor did they have vegetables in the garden (though mother was "into" herb cookery long before it was fashionable, and had a thriving herb garden). My mother never canned anything, beyond the occasional batch of jam, and her only preservation technique was the modern freezer, so I am not sure where I got my passion for preserving, veggie gardening, bread baking, "doing" for myself. She cooked from scratch, and sewed, and was very housewifely, but our talents, and interests, are very different - although I also cook from scratch, and sew. I tend to think that I am a throwback to an earlier time. That is fine with me, though other people tend to think that I am a bit odd. DH grew up in a large city, raised by parents also from large cities. They went through WW2 rather directly - being citizens of Germany - so had some interesting tales to tell. As did he - also being a citizen of Germany, and living there the first 27 years of his life. But my interest in gardens and chickens and food preservation is more of an amusing "thing" his wife does, rather than something he fully understands.
So, what am I prepping* for? The winter snow, or the next bout of illness. Why do I prep*? Because I can.
*"Prep", by the way, is not a term I use, nor one I like. It smacks of slang, and one thing my prim, housewifely mother discouraged in her children was the use of slang.