Believe it or not, I've never been a Boy Scout.
For reasons known only to my parents - said
organization was suspect at best. While part of
me is grateful for having avoided such a group
activity, I regret my lack of training in related
disciplines. Take survival skills for example.
Some might question my ability to make a go
of things sans the usual creature comforts. As
I consider camping out to be an evening at a
Holiday Inn - one might concur that my ability
to do without has it's limits. Therefore we can
safely assume that I will not be doing a guest
stint on "Naked and Afraid" anytime soon.
Defining what it means to "be prepared" differs
according to one's individual needs. For me it's
as simple as having plenty of pressed linens in
the cupboard. Plus a well stocked larder filled
with all of the proper accoutrements that insure
survival of the fittest. First and foremost one
must have plenty of wine. And at least in my
house that means French, Italian, and Spanish
varietals. Next a properly stocked liquor stash.
One with all the basics. Bourbon, gin, vodka,
and vermouth. That plus a couple of six packs
of tonic, some olives, and several jars of the
best imported Italian maraschino cherries.
All of the above insures that should disaster
strike, all can be quickly lubricated. It's also
important to keep one's kitchen shelves full
of basic necessities. Hence at our house all
of the essentials are ready and waiting. That
includes anchovies, plenty of pasta, a jar or
two of chutney, bottled (not canned) Italian
tuna, and plenty of pickles (thanks Blanche).
On top of that enough crackers to last a year
or so, canned peanuts, almonds, and last but
not least - some butter cookies to be safe. All
of that plus a freezer full of meat, veggies,
home made stock, and ten pounds of butter!
Should we ever lose power, I've got enough
hand-dipped beeswax tapers to last several
years. Plus a backup stash of Cire Trudon
candles and if truly in dire straights - some
red current Votivos. The sum total of all of
the above and more is that come hell or high
water, we can easily scrape together a rather
decent dinner party. Meaning that even if
perched on the brink of distinction - we can
go out in style. After all, it's the little things
in life that count. Thus I'm prepared to face
any challenge as my backup plan insures my
basic needs are met. Take that Kim Jong un!
Going... going... gone
Of course all of the above could be for naught.
There are times when one is lucky to get away
with their lives let alone with that sable they
had hidden away in cold storage. Post facing
calamity dead on - it's a blessing just to have
survived. Post such a trauma - most hit by
Mother Nature's wrath are devastated by the
loss of their most personal of mementos. Be
they family pictures, important documents,
or their favorite pair of flip flops. Being left
with absolutely nothing is not only beyond
devastating, it's edifying. After all, what do
most of us truly treasure? Stuff or life itself?
At this point in life we older types have seen
it all. Meaning that there is little that can or
will rattle our cages. Having been there and
done that is exhausting. But ultimately all
of those win/lose cycles in our lives teach
us that possessions mean nothing. Instead
it's those we know and love that truly matter.
Soon after I'm gone everything I've amassed
will be redistributed. All the more reason to
enjoy the here and now. Chances are that
whatever rainy day you're saving for may
never see the light. So why not be prepared
to enjoy the here and now before it's too late!