Hello Everybody, Frank here.
We recently received a comment that I can't quite shake. It wasn't anything major, traumatic, big or little, but I just can't shake one statement made toward the end of the comment.
"Do you have any suggestions or resources you can point me towards, given that we're not in a position yet to make a go at homesteading?"
This benign statement, and probably stated with no malicious intent by the commenter, hit me in a peculiar way. You see, there are always things that we can do to prepare ahead of time. Please excuse my exaggeration here, but there are a bazillion things that we can do for a pre-homestead mode. Having a house and a little bit of land does not make a homestead. In my opinion, a homestead is in someone's thought pattern and attitude. If you would, please read my response, and then we'll discuss it more. But please let me qualify, I am in no way or means attacking this sincere comment, or the individual that sent it.
"Hi, I'm new to your blog, over from SSM's. I feel the unease too, but it
seems hard to prepare since my husband and I are paying down debt and
living in an apartment. We're hoping in the next 3-5 years to be able to
pay everything off and get a little house with enough room for me to
have a veggie/herb garden, but that seems remote, and I still worry
about what we can do now. Do you have any suggestions or resources you
can point me towards, given that we're not in a position yet to make a
go at homesteading? Or just soldier forward, paying down what we can,
saving what we can, and getting into a place we own as soon as we can?"
"Sure you can practice
homesteading. You can grow a handful of plants in pots.You can start
changing the way you dress to be less noticeable. You can put a small go
bag in each one of your vehicles, and a larger one for adults and able
bodied teenagers in your house. You can get yourself in better physical
condition. Quit some medications that you can. Lose weight if you need to. Go to a farmer's market and buy 20 pounds of carrots and learnto
can. That'll take a canner, jars, lids, and storage space. Quit buying
useless petty junk, and buy solid tools that you can use for the rest of
your life. Start paying attention to your surroundings, know who you
are and where you are at all times. Study maps of your area, know how to
get out. Start looking at property, go visit pieces of land, know where
water is, and how to treat it. Learn to use a firearm, and prepare
yourself mentally to do
the unthinkable. Study history. Get involved in a
church. If you need to, drive to a country church and get to know the
people. And if I've missed anything, do that too. Beans, bullets and
bandaids. Learn first aid. Learn survival techniques. Take classes at
the local college or vo-tech, but take real classes. Get your ham radio
license. Learn how to use a radio. Make sure your vehicle is in great
condition, and it has in it what will last you at least two weeks if you
have to leave immediately. Know your local laws. Get a concealed carry
permit and practice, practice, practice. Shoot to stop, not to kill. Get
to know your Creator. Ask and talk to people that know what they're
doing. Learn to tell the difference between truth and fiction. You say
there's nothing you can do where you are now? Get a grip, it's near.
You see, I know folks that live in the country, have small amounts of acreage, and mow every square inch of it. They have a beautiful lawn. Are they homesteaders? Are they preppers? Are they survivalists? Who knows? So, a house and a piece of property is not a homestead. A homestead is a frame of mind, how we see life in general, what we think about ourselves, our family and our future. I could just as easily use the word prepper or survivalist, but the author of the comment chose the word homestead, and it has a much better ring, and not the negative connotations of other terms.
But let's pick one topic in my response. Let's take the automobile. You're going to put gas in it to drive it, why not keep it full of gasoline all the time? Keep the vehicle well tuned, tires at proper inflation, windshield clean, your to-go bag ready and in the vehicle. We all know gasoline is expensive, but practicing your escape routes and alternative routes, is a small investment in your future.
Pick a couple of areas where you think you might want to live. Drive out to these places, buy gas at the local gas station, go into the grocery store and walk around, see if you like the people and see what their attitude is like. While you're out there, look at the houses. What shape are they in? Are they growing gardens, or are they mowing lawns? Check out the porches on the houses. What kind of fences do they have? Open the windows and listen to the birds. Are they raising horses for show, or do they have goats, chickens, dogs and cats?
Drive out on a Sunday morning and go to church. Meet the people that are sitting beside you, in front of you and behind you. Pay attention to how they talk to each other and how they dress. Watch their kids play with each other. While you're there, pay attention to the message also. If you go on potluck Sunday, even better. Linger around a little bit after church and shoot the breeze. Pay attention to what kind of vehicles the folks drive. You can tell a lot about a person by how much they try to put on the dog. There are lots of things you can do with a car or an automobile.
Like I said earlier, there are a gazillion things you can do to prepare mentally, spiritually and temporally. Pick another topic, any one you choose. Let me help you. How about food preparation? Just imagine how many different ways you can branch out thinking about food preparation.
So, are there things to do before you make the big move? You say you want references or resources? Go to the right hand side of this blog and scroll down to sites that we recommend. You'll find these folks to be good, decent, honest, reliable people. Most of them are very experienced at what they do. This will give you weeks and weeks of reading, pick something, start with it and change your life now. If you choose to dally, that's your choice. If you choose to change, prepare and get ready, then this instant is the time to do it.
We'll talk more later, Frank