When doomsday finally gets here, this will be my big chance to show my friends and family how my “little prepping hobby” will come in handy. My siblings have laughed at me, and my co-workers have rolled their eyes behind my back. When my gal friends spent hundreds of dollars on designer bags; I was investing in a green education, a top of the line Swiss Army knife and a GI Joe watch which is also waterproof. But hang on to those Coach bags ladies, you may be able to haul water in them.

S-H-T-F, (Shit Hits the Fan) is an endearing term that preppers use which means the outbreak of civil unrest, financial collapse, earthquake, apocalypse, Armageddon, pick any crisis. It basically means that society as we know it is interrupted. For instance, no morning coffee, no ice at Piggly Wiggly, and no law enforcement. There will be no selfies, no pouty lips, (thank God), no 140 character tweets, and no one will care about Hollywood gossip. Well maybe somebody will.

Whether I bug out (leave town) or hunker down (lock the doors), my grandmother will be by my side. Even though sometimes she forgets where she is or tries to put the cat in the refrigerator, she can shoot a dime off a cell phone tower in the next county and I’ve seen her use a broom to beat the tar out of grandpa for staying out all night. It’s a safe bet she has my back. She won’t fit in my bug out bag, so she must use her own two feet. I will make sure she has the best all-terrain boots and extra pairs of socks.

Grandma has numerous recipes for rattlesnake, possum, and crow and she is pretty good with a slingshot too. Along with the usual array of survival gear in my bug out bag, you can never fully appreciate a bottle of Honey BBQ Sauce until you have to eat wild beast and weeds.

Hair spray can be used as a weapon, sprayed into the eyes of the attacker the smell will drop him to his knees. It will burn his eyes too. Highly flammable, it can be sprayed on kindling as a fire starter. If you don’t know what kindling is, you need to brush up on survival skills. Hair spray also kills bugs, but don’t use it on the bugs you want to eat, no amount of BBQ sauce will get rid of the hair spray taste. You just can’t appreciate a can of hair spray until the humidity plays havoc on your hair. It is a must have.

When I die, among my possessions, pressed in between the pages of my Bible, are important documents such as birth certificates, property deeds, and photographs. My family will never be able to make sense of the photograph of five men, torn from the page of This Old House magazine.

They taught me how to power up a generator, install a home security system, purchase a log splitter, and even build a tornado shelter. Things that a gal really needs to know.


When I was a little girl, my dad introduced us to camping. He taught us all about survival in the wilderness; how to cook on an open fire, choosing the perfect spot to pitch a tent,  how to use a compass and of course fishing for your dinner. We loved it. It became a regular summer activity and over the years we had collected all the camping gadgets on the market. Eventually we had an RV when we were teens.

However, the first time dad took us camping, it turned out to be a cold and wet weekend in April. The heavy rains drenched the ground and winds howled. As evening fell, my fathers lantern was the only thing we could see as blackness surrounded our tiny tent. Even though my brothers and I were packed and wrapped into heavy sleeping bags, I could feel my socks absorbing the ice cold rain as I fell in and out of sleep.

My dad was a rough and ready product of the 40’s and 50’s, and he did not show affection either verbally or physically. But on this dark and stormy night, he fetched contractor bags from the trunk of the car and covered us to keep us warm. I fell asleep warm and comforted knowing my dad loved us and had everything under control. He was prepared.  Sometimes you can just never fully appreciate a trash bag until your dad wraps you up in one.

To be continued…


Dad 1960
My Dad and Me