When my eldest son and I started talking about the books by James Wesley Rawles (Patriots, Survivors), and prepping, I had another conversation about disaster preparedness with a neighbor.
It was the middle of an active hurricane season. We were lucky not to take a direct hit that year, there were so many storm systems. The two conversations were similar but separate. I never told her about my sons' prepping, the economic crisis he sees coming, or other disasters. She and I talked about getting ready to make it through the storms better prepared than ever before. I thought it was harmless friendship.
Those conversations were just normal women talking about the hopes and fears women have when raising children on their own. Been there, done that. She has young ones and a long way to go toward getting them raised. When the subject of the storms coming our way came up, I told her there were things she could do to get ready. A sure thing in Florida is there will be strong to severe storms that could develop into killer storms with long periods without power or even running water. She was all over the idea of getting ready a little at a time. We talked and planned and that is part of why I started this blog. There is a whole lot more information and ideas rattling around in my head than two people can talk out in an afternoon over some green tea.
Time has passed. I never mentioned the blog to her, never told her about the other sons' extensive supplies or ammo reserves, never said anything about my long term prep plans or supplies. Then Monday happened.
We were talking about budgets and all of a sudden she said she stopped putting away food supplies for after the storms, because it wasn't worth it, the storms never come and besides, she figured my son and I would take care of her kids because we were so close.
Well, she thought we must have more than enough by now to take in a few strays and why not?
After a good long pause, she started to giggle uncomfortably and asked, right? I told her no.
We all live in the same economy and we are prepping for ourselves. We never made plans for what she called strays. Besides, my supplies are not on site and I have no plan to stay in my home in a real long term crunch. I have an evacuation plan and someplace to go. If the disaster is worse than a week without power, I have supplies ready to support me and my needs.
I asked her how she figured my sons would feed her and her kids if she wouldn't.
She was surprised. (I was shocked.) I never talked to her about my sons' activities and she assumed a great deal.
My sons are preppers. They have more than they need to take care of themselves and their families for a period of time beyond a local weather disaster. We are very private people, we don't blog to brag. We don't brag in general but it seems we are seen as a reserve fund by people who assume they know us.
They assume too much. She assumed too much, she hasn't even met two of my sons.
We are compassionate helpful people but, we help our own, first, those who can not help themselves and we are prepared to assist others who try but need aid. If we have extra it is for family that cannot spare a penny for the future. There is a huge difference to me and to mine between trying and falling short and not trying at all but depending on handouts and giveaways.
We have charities. We are not cold. We give to two charities, firefighters on the corners with boots with an emergency vehicle nearby and we buy poppies. That's it. We don't trust just anybody with our money. We are the kind of people who dislike takers and users. We have to work to have, so we think others should work to have. We are just simple like that.
My neighbor asked me again, right? You'll help us out, right? I don't think she is going to spend time in the shade drinking tea anymore.
No. I am not going to help her. I gave her my best advice and suggestions. Now, my best suggestion is get back to work preparing for your own family because when the stuff hits the fan, I won't be here.