The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Group of Your Own

Is it a natural occurrence for people to come together as times get harder? In some instances, I would say yes, and in others, no. For example, there are more and more violent attacks happening around our country. Some only involve one victim and others many victims, but the same event touches people in different ways. In some people it fosters a festering hatred for anyone associated with the perceived offending group. In other people it brings out an increase in empathy and altruism. These are two diametrically opposed opinions and perspectives about a single event.


For instance, take the murder of police officers across the country. For some reason, there are people that have decided, and some even loudly advocate, the murder of law enforcement personnel. Not because these particular officers have done anything to offend the killer personally, but just because they chose to protect and serve the community for a career and as a means to pay the bills and raise a family. That's a good, logical reason to commit murder, wouldn't you say? I know that is dripping with sarcasm, but really, some people seem to truly believe there is nothing wrong with this activity, they even preach it from their pulpits.


As offensive as this situation is, it has brought some people together. In some instances, I would even guess it has brought people together that never had anything to do with each other before. These murders have become their common bond and motivator. They have joined together to take care of each other in some form or fashion.

The murders that took place in Oregon a few days ago targeting Christians have resulted in comments by a number of people. One I read said that Christians need to have concealed carry permits so they can protect themselves. The campus that the shooting occurred on was a gun free zone. If someone there had been able to carry a concealed weapon, legally, you have to wonder if there would have been as many casualties and injuries. 

But there is another group these shootings have brought together. They are those that would take away guns from everyone. Except the criminals, of course, they would have them anyway. 


The people in these two groups will never see eye to eye. One group claims guns kill people, even though they are inanimate objects and can do nothing of their own volition. The other group claims that the right to keep and bear arms is part of the basic foundation of our Constitution and no other law can infringe upon that right. Along with the right to keep and bear arms comes the right to protect yourself against those that threaten your liberty or life. 

Group. Faction. Division. Clique. Sort. Classify. Club. League. Cabal. Caucus. Union. All adjectives that can describe a number of people that join together for a particular purpose. 

The time is drawing near that everyone will have to choose what group they will belong to or attempt to join. So why not choose ahead of time and develop relationships with folks in your area? Folks that have the same goals of survival and self-reliance that you do. For a long time Frank and I didn't talk to anyone locally about what we were doing and how we were trying to prepare for the coming collapse of society. We tried to gently warn people to have some extra food, grow a garden and store some water. Most people just gave us that funny stare like a third eye had just popped out of our foreheads or something. Others saw no reason to do all that work when you can go to the store any time you want for anything at all. Then we started the blog and started sharing with you. At first we were very careful about what we shared and what we said. Don't get me wrong, you don't know everything we're doing or thinking. We're still careful. But the time has come that we have started sharing with some of the local folks, like the people from the radio class.

Frank told you in the last article that you too can start a survival radio communications net, and he's right. That is one way you can join with other people to increase the chance of survival for everyone in the group. It is a way to begin a core group of people that are now beginning to look out for each others safety and well being. Now think of ways you can expand that thought. That is what we are doing.


We have friends who garden and preserve their harvest. This is another way to join together for the benefit of everyone. You don't have to garden together, but let's face it, there is a lot to be said for encouragement. If your friend down the road is fighting the same squash bugs you are and has found a better solution, that's very good information to have. It could mean the difference between a productive garden with food on the shelf, or a failed crop with no food on the shelf. In a collapse scenario, that could mean the difference between life and death. Dramatic? I really don't think so.



So how are you going to communicate with that friend down the road in a collapse situation? By radio, of course. See how everything ties together?



 
Medical skills will be a highly valued commodity in a collapsed society. Do you have any skills? If not do you have supplies that can be bartered for those services? Do you have medical supplies that can become part of the service needed? 



What I'm trying to do is give examples of ways we can develop a means to help and support each other when the time comes that what we have is all we have. That includes people and their skills, whether it is gardening,
radio communications, running a sawmill or tending livestock. Even though Frank and I are natural loners and would like nothing better than to be alone on our homestead, in a collapse situation, that just won't work. We can't do all the work necessary, guard our place and each other, and get enough sleep to survive. No matter how much we want it to be so, it just isn't feasible. That means we need other people, and for us to fulfill that need, we need to reach out to others and develop the relationships necessary to not only receive, but provide support to others.

Is this a scary proposition for us? Yes. At times do we feel vulnerable to what may come of sharing some of what we are doing and how we are preparing. When, not if, the SHTF will there be
people showing up at the gate we have to turn away, even by force if necessary? We can only pray that it would not be so. I was talking to a long distance friend today and we discussed this very thing. What she told me really struck a chord. She said that we have been called to live this life in this manner. Not only that, we have been called to share with others to try to help them prepare as well, and if that leads us into danger then God will take care of it. 

Folks, it's time to join together in neighborhoods or communities to support each other during the coming calamities. Trying to make connections and build relationships after the SHTF will be very trying and stressful. If you have built a foundation ahead of time, you will have something to fall back on, others to turn to if there is a need. Don't wait until all hell has broken loose to show up at your neighbors gate and say we need to work together now. It will then be too late and you will be seen as a taker. Takers are apt to be turned away with whatever force is necessary. Don't be a taker, be prepared to be a benefit and support, not a burden. Frank and I have been saying this more and more, and I'll say it again. The time is now.

Until next time - Fern
 

28 comments:

  1. I completely agree with the need to develop relationships with neighbors before the panic hits. What I am discovering is that nobody but me and one family member believe that we are in trouble. Nobody in my building is the least bit interested in what is going on in our country. They can talk at length about the latest TV series or about sports, but ask what they think of the latest executive order and the result is that eye in the middle of the forehead thing. They are all very nice people and good neighbors, but clueless.

    There are two Senior apartment buildings within two blocks of my home. I have met many of the folks living at both. If I try to open a conversation about remembering how our parents gardened and canned their own food, the usual response is that they don't want to be bothered with doing that sort of thing. If I mention that I am on my way to the store to stock up on a particular item on sale, I usually hear that they just don't have room to stock up and anyway, they would rather shop weekly, buying only what they need for that week. My own family echos these opinions, even though they are well aware of my reasons for canning and dehydrating and stocking up.

    I have gotten to the point where it appears that my son and I will have to go it alone. I wish it were different. But so far, finding like-minded neighbors has proved an impossible task. Perhaps living in the city has something to do with it, for country folks seem to be better at taking care of themselves. All I know for sure is that my quest so far has failed.

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    1. I'm not too sure about country folks being able to take of themselves, Vicki. Few folks where we live have gardens. Very few. Very few can and prepare food. Some do, but the vast majority don't. Our rural friends shop at the same stores our city friends do, eat the same products and have neighbors just a little bit farther away. At church, which is a rural church, folks talk about TV, commercials and sporting events on TV. There's really no big difference. Maybe a few more folks in the country prepare, but the vast majority don't. But we like to have those pleasant thoughts, don't we? Because when things do collapse, some city folks think they're going to go out and live in the country, because all those folks out there raise their own food. The majority of the folks out here will be going to the city to see if they can find food. People look at us just like we're crazy, and who knows, maybe we are. Thanks for sharing.

      Frank

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  2. For quite a while I have been saying things like "bad times are coming" "things are going to get worse" "maybe you should store some food" "maybe you should invest some of your retirement funds in hard assets" And get that third eye stare every time. A friend and neighbor brought over some canning jars cleaned out of his mother's basement the other day. After thanking him I commented that it looked like when the economy collapsed I would end up doing all the canning for the community around us. All I got was a laugh, and a sarcastic reply " yeah, sure. When the economy collapses" ha, ha, ha.
    You just can't get people to wake up, we apparently are the crazy ones.

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    1. Hi, Anne. We're surrounded by it everywhere, but I do feel sorry for the children who have parents that can't, or refuse to open their eyes. No one can feed everybody, that means that there will be mass starvation. I can't wait to see that. Turns my stomach just to think about it. Just imagine millions and millions and millions. I don't even want to think about it, but I bet our government has. Thanks for the comment.

      Frank

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  3. Really love your blog. Thanks for sharing. These are things I grew up doing and still do, but like the last two readers most times I feel like the lone wolf. Have you found a solution for those squash bugs? Didnt get a single squash or pumpkin this year.

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    1. I haven't found a good solution yet, Suzie. Hand picking and feeding to the chickens is one way, but it sure is labor intensive. You miss a day and a million more show up. Thanks for reading and sharing with us.

      Fern

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  4. Lots of older people canned and put food up when they were young and just don't want to do it anymore. My own mother was totally enthralled with the idea of TV dinners and frozen foods. Never canned a lick after that.
    We have no neighbors to speak of and town is 20 miles away. Since we haven't been here 100 years we are still considered outsiders. So it will be my DH and me, too. My folks went thru 2 world wars, depressions, inflation, etc. and always said America was too strong to fail. They are rolling over in their graves now.

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    1. Hello, Tewshooz. I believe that would be Swanson TV dinners. I can see a whole freezer full of them. Yep, what do you want for dinner tonight son? I can still taste those terrible mixed vegetables. And don't forget the pot pies.

      That was the beginning of a new era. The men were home from WWII, production was strong rebuilding Europe and Japan that we had just blown to bits, the rural infrastructure flourished, suburbs sprouted up everywhere, credit became available to the common man, there was a giant spike in the comfort index, and all the country cousins moved to the suburbs. Life was good.

      Well, that pendulum has swung it's course and is now heading back the other direction. This thing ain't gonna be pretty. We have over populated the planet. There is a correction coming.

      Frank

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  5. Chris in NE Washington StateOctober 4, 2015 at 6:22 PM

    We definitely used to get the same "eye in the middle of the forehead look" when we lived in the Seattle area and in suburban Orlando, FL. We specifically bought property in this area well north of Spokane because of the number of like minded people. Our immediate neighbors are great people. They are always willing to help, although there have been a couple of rough spots over land usage/easements that we'll eventually leave behind us. We've found that church is a great place to meet others, as well as monthly association meetings (just be careful - one of our local associations is on an extremist list). You just need to ask around. You can also look for people posting on blogs like this and then make an effort to get to know them if they are local.

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    1. Hi, Chris. Pretty area, northeast Washington. When we would drive back each year to Alaska, on occasion we would go through that area. Pretty place.

      Use caution when affiliating with any group. All it takes is one bad apple, and most groups have at least one. OPSEC is to never be taken for granted. Take care.

      Frank

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  6. Just an FYI. There actually are not more violent attacks happening around the country. In actuality the violent crime rate is down around 50% since 1992. However, the media hypes existing events to a much higher degree therefore creating the perception that violent crime is way up. Also, the rate of gun crimes is also down around 50%, but when the public is polled they believe that shootings are way up. The media is trying to sway perceptions by sensationalizing events which do occur. You must ask yourself why they would do such a thing. I still believe bad things are coming but it is a good idea to be fully informed. To verify my info you can go to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports.

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    1. You are correct. Serious crimes against the individual are down. Gun crimes over all are down. But mass attacks are up. Killing of police officers is up sharply. I don't trust the FBI data any more than I do any other government data. But we as individuals need to be very cautious and very careful. There are serious changes in the wind and I'm not sure our society is strong enough to resist. Thank you for sharing your information.

      Frank

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  7. Even the people I know who do believe everything in America is coming undone are either too ignorant (I mean "not having knowledge") or are too afraid to admit that everything they have believed in and loved will soon come to an end. They seem to feel that, if they can just keep their heads down and not acknowledge it, the crises will all go away and everything will be okay. While that attitude perturbs me, I can understand it. I, too, am overcome with inexplicable grief for the loss of culture, country, and the bountiful prosperity and liberty America has known. Some days, I just want to ignore what is going on and never read or watch "news" again.

    People I love seem to understand what is happening, but they refuse to move a muscle to do anything about it -not even to prepare with a few weeks extra groceries. This makes it all the harder for those of us who have been preparing. It is so hard to trust people anymore, even those who have been friends for years.

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    1. Hello and thank you. We feel the same way, there are days that I just don't even want to think about it. It grinds on my spirit, soul and heart. But I pull myself up, and continue on with everyday life.

      If folks will study history, wars don't start with a single event, there are multiple divisions and factions that are precursors to war, or what we call the beginning of a war. We are well advanced into those stages right now. We are going to experience war in this country. The lines are being drawn. Our government is actively dividing this country. I can't speak of the divisions, because I could be charged with a hate crime. This is where we are, and remember, we are well into this process. This process can't be stopped. Get ready.

      Frank

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  8. We're in the country and have lived at the same place 30 years. Only 2 neighbors were here before us. One of those is a frugal, common sense family and they garden. The other older neighbor is retired and now somewhat disabled due to diabetes and heart disease. His children were undesirables who all got pregnant out of wedlock, went on the govt dole while mooching off of Dad.

    The other neighbors came here from the DC metro suburbs. They all have a completely different mindset and somehow, having a 5 acre plot, they feel they are living some fantasy country dream. Yet they all still commute back to the city 5 days a week to pay for their McMansions. These are the people who have called the cops on us for using our firing range. These are the idiots who have tried to tell the cops that we are shooting at their kids. And some of these people have trespassed onto our property to sneak a few peaks at our livestock -- we are the anomaly, not them. None of these families have been cordial or even tried to 'fit in' with the residents who have lived here for decades.

    Not all neighborhoods are as sweet as pie like "Fern" wants us to believe. Needless to say, none of these neighbors are in my help-them-out long-range plans, except for security and perimeter guarding issues.

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    1. We understand what you are talking about. This movement you mentioned from the cities is a common problem everywhere. By the way, we have neighbors that are what I will eloquently call maggots. But that's what they are, low life thieves, thugs and trash. They're everywhere, whether they are in big houses or little houses, they are everywhere. Some wear white shirts and ties and others wear torn t-shirts. These folks I am truly worried about. Take care.

      Frank

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  9. Chris in NE Washington StateOctober 5, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    People take time to acclimate to country living. I know we are. We had a lot of preconceived notions about what life would be/should be like, and were wrong on a few counts. Unfortunately, it takes time to get to know your neighbors. Visit and talk. That's the only way to get on the same page. One of our neighbors wants to set up a community pistol range, another can't stand the sound of gunfire. One of our neighbors is crazy man on his tractor and will go overboard on road projects, another will object to us planting fruit trees on what he "thought" was his property but is actually ours via a survey. We like both of them and we've found that after initial objections, everyone seems to figure out how to get along. We are even starting to get involved in vetting new neighbors before they buy a home in our community. We have them over for dinner, or whatever it takes to get to know them. Believe me, this is the time to let them pick up on potential problems living next to a neighbors with a self sufficiency agenda and conservative political viewpoints.

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    1. Hi, Chris, nice to hear from you. We have had property line issues with neighbors before. When we moved here we had our property surveyed and the corner post that had been in the ground since before dirt, I was informed, was a couple of feet off. Well, they used GPS now to do surveys, and when this property was laid out, maybe 50 years ago or farther, that post was in the right location. I did replace that post, but it went in the same hole it came out of. I'd be careful vetting my neighbors. Remember, you're still the new person. Take care.

      Frank

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  10. About ten years ago, our little village organized a farmer's market. It's modest, but has become the place to be on Saturday mornings. While most of us don't take in more than $100 a week, (and that's significant, in my world) the friendships we have made have been worth all the hard work. We make jams and jellies and breads too. We comply with all health department and state regs. And as I get older and decide that potatoes really are a lot of work, I now know people who will sell me 50 pounds for $15. I have traded a bushel of peppers for a bushel of tomatoes when my crop blighted. We share recipes and miseries. It's worth trying. And if you can't do a garden, you can hang out at the market and get to know other people who are interested in local foods.

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    1. Good job! I started selling at the tiny farmers market in our local (15 miles away) town last year. We average 3-8 vendors, so quite small. I don't really do it to be a market gardener...I grow a big garden to practice growing enough food for my extended family in the coming bad times, with enough extra to trade to neighbors for needed things. That way when those bad times come, my garden will be big enough and I will have enough knowledge to know how much of each crop to grow and when, which varieties do best here, how to best preserve each crop, how best to save seeds and improve varieties for this location and what to grow when to properly balance our diets while eating seasonally. I preserve as much as I can and try to sell the rest...and give the remainder to our family and neighbors. The money I make covers the cost of the garden seeds, fruit and nut trees, perennial plants, tools, fencing, trellising and the like...plus one meal out a week, on the day I harvest, clean and package the produce, plus make baked goods and just don't have time to cook.
      And this weekend I brought it even more local...started also setting up in the parking lot of the nearby meat market on weekend afternoons less than a mile away. No town here, but an expressway exit for a state road leading to hunting/fishing/tourist areas, so enough traffic to make it worthwhile along with our local folk. Its a tiny little start for our own local farmers market, which will transition to our own trading post when hard times come.
      PlantLady

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    2. Great idea! Can you share what the starting factor was for the Farmer's Market? Was it an individual movement? If you could, share how it got started. I find getting things started is the hardest part, not just for other folks, but for me, too. Here in the near future that might be the only market we have. Share if you can. Thank you.

      Frank

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    3. PlantLady, very interesting and thank you very much. It's stories like this that are going to help all of us survive. People need a start somewhere, and then it can either grow or relocate, but we all need a means for starting. Thank you again for sharing. It's extremely important that we all share with each other.

      We have a little town 2 miles in one direction, in the other direction there is one that is 5 miles. These are our options at this time.

      I wish I had more insight into mobility. Yes, I can walk 2 miles, or 4 miles round trip, but I'd rather not. Bicycles may be handy. Tricycles may be handy. Just thinking out loud. Thank you for your input.

      Frank

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  11. I couldn't agree more! There is no way a single family can do it all themselves and thrive, so you HAVE to rely on your neighbors, whether you agree with their views on everything or not. This is known as tolerance and it is a skill we all must develop and encourage amongst everyone around us. It takes work, but you can generally find common ground on at least a few points with almost anyone. It is a wonderful thing that everyone is different...that means everyone is not a clone with the same skillset or thought patterns. This allows the gardener to trade their produce for mechanic work, medical aid, meats or whatever...whether or not they are of the same religion, have the same political views or both prefer the color blue. So many of us are divided by race, creed, mindset or lifestyle...we have to get over that. There is value in most everyone. That is why early America worked so well...the immigrants from various warring countries in Europe or wherever with various warring religions got along just fine here and didn't allow those formerly divisive thoughts and actions to affect them here...because they couldn't afford to. They had to cooperate to survive and build their communities. This allowed everyone to thrive, rather than just survive on whatever they could do all by themselves.
    I have been working with our neighbors for years and am starting to make some decent progress. Luckily, we have a big headstart here, living in a northern wonderland supporting fertile farmland, massive forests, more fresh water than anywhere else in the world...and a very low population that is only a couple generations away from mostly self-sustaining farms. Our biggest benefit is that our family has lived here for 8 generations and has a good reputation for helping people and the community. A good reputation will be worth more than food when things go bad, just like it was in times past. If folks know your word is your bond, they are far more willing to trust you...even if your religion, lifestyle or race is different from theirs.
    And those of us who are blessed by the foresight to see which way the wind is blowing have an obligation to make the first move. Meet your neighbors, be nice to them, show them the way. Don't insist that they share your views on being prepared...figure out what will motivate them to become prepared for whatever life throws at them. Don't talk apocalypse, talk saving money - that appeals to everyone. Show them how growing and preserving food is like printing money. Everyone needs food. Look for common ground then work from there. Don't let race, religion, lifestyle or mindset divide us, we are going to need to work together to survive and what is coming and then thrive in the aftermath.
    PlantLady

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    1. PlantLady, I hope everybody reads this comment. It is well put, articulate, direct and has a smooth flow.

      Sadly, I know folks that got angry with a neighbor over something really small, and to this day have no contact with that person, or any of that person's family members. What got them upset originally was a small issue that the other person probably isn't even aware of. I get along with both groups. It is so sad that people can't get over the petty issues in life. Sad.

      But, on a different tone, you are exactly right, we are all going to need to work together. I've been married for 30+ years, Fern and I still have our differences, and if we are married for 30 more years, we will continue to have differences. It's just the reality of life. A friend of mine used to say, it's time to put on your big girl panties now, and deal with it.

      Thank you for all you said, it was very well put.

      Frank

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  12. Frank, in a previous reply you wrote, "I do feel sorry for the children who have parents that can't, or refuse to open their eyes." Amen to that. Shame on those folks who call themselves 'parents'. End of rant.

    Many here in the Pacific NW are informed through sites like yours and are taking action. For years our weak (actually non-existent) link was communication. We are excited about our new radio net via AmRRON. Neighbors and church members are coming on board. The COM is great. The camaraderie is priceless.

    Suffering is coming. And at this point, the only way out is through. Build your group NOW.
    Diane D

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    1. Hi, Diane. Our local communications group is in it's infancy. In the not too distant future, I will expose our group to the AmRRON website. I've looked at it many a time, it's doable and it's workable. Thank you for sharing, maybe someday we will HEAR from each other.

      73's, Frank

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  13. I jut stumbled on to your blog and find it refreshing! I bought a place in the country in middle Tennessee and have spent the last year modifying it to fit my needs. One of my sons is a truck driver and so he lives with me when he is not on the road. Our country neighbors, 3 miles in either direction, live on between 5 and 200 acres. There are several cattle ranches and hobby farms so most folks buy in bulk because it takes so long to get to the town or larger city.

    I never talk prepping, or war, or canning, etc. My method of starting conversations is about food and product prices. Did you notice that xxx went up 30% in the last month? Dang, chicken feed went up by $3.00 bag! Is there a way to get this cheaper? What are you doing to get by?

    When I retired and left the city, I left most of the non-believers, non preppers, etc., to their own devices and just dropped out of sight. I only keep in touch via Christmas cards, with no return address and mailed in a city an hour away. I never invite anyone to come visit as they would be the first ones to show up in a disaster. Sounds mean but they had their chance but chose not to listen.

    Thanks for sharing your blog.
    patient momma

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    1. Patient Momma, there are people that would say that your approach is mean, but I don't think you'll find that here. You are correct, people have had the opportunity, and either they choose right or left, up or down, but it's their choice. Are you familiar with the term OPSEC? Operational security? It's good to keep your thoughts to yourself. It's also good to find ways to discuss these issues without sharing your inner ideas. It's good that you can see. Take care.

      Frank

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