Thursday, July 23, 2015

Prepping and Old Memories

So my time out day was over this morning and I've been running errands all day again!  Even in a small town it's amazing how long a trip to the bank, post office, pharmacy and grocery store can take.  We are in our 'tropical weather pattern" so I got rained on twice.  It's ok I LOVE living in Florida. I'm a 5th generation Floridian and wouldn't want to live anywhere else in spite of the tropical rain showers!

I got home and put away the groceries and started two crockpots.  I make most of Sarah's foods, so today I'm making her beef stew and chicken noodle soup.  I make it nice and thick so even when it's pureed it has a thick consistency.   Between the two crock pots I should have about 20 meals for her (if no one else starts eating it!)  After it's done, I puree and freeze it in 2 cup size glass containers.   I also made a chicken and rice casserole for supper along with black eyed peas.  I'm so grateful for crock pots!  I use mine all the time. 

Well last night we watched Netflix-big surprise there huh?  I don't even know why we bother with cable anymore.  Anyhow we overdosed on "Extreme Preppers" a show about people who believe the end of the world as we know it, is coming.  They are preparing their homes and families. 

I grew up with two little old ladies who had survived World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cuban Missile crises etc.....they were extreme preppers!  We had freezers FULL of food.  We had cabinets from the floor to the ceiling filled with canned goods.  They bought soap, sheets, toilet paper, whatever was on sale....  Most of the foods in the freezers and canned were homemade, straight from our garden or the family farm.   They grew gardens that put mine to shame.  I can't believe now, their stamina.  By the time I was school-age, they were in the 70's and working huge gardens.  Most people would call it a small farm actually.  It was smaller after my uncle died but not much.  I am such a wimp I could not do all they did. 

So I've always been one to "stock up" on stuff.  It's second nature to me.  I used to coupon a lot, I need to get back to that but it is so time consuming.  I have a friend who is a Coupon Queen.  She could have her own TV show.  A lot of times I buy things from her.  I still get a huge discount. 

I have another friend who is an "extreme canner" she cans everything!  I love seeing her pictures on FB and she has offered to come and work with me but I'm afraid I'd kill us all with food poisoning!!! 

During the summer of "04, Florida was hit by four hurricanes.  We survived all but the last one quite well.  The last one left us without power for over a week and phone for about a month.  One of my friends had neither power nor water for over a week although she was on county water.  I had prepared really good for number two and three but number one and four were more surprises to me.  For the first one, we had just moved out of our long term leased home and had bought a mobile home to put at the prison (prisons in Florida allow staff to live on the grounds)  We did that to save money since I'd just quit work because of Sam who was a newborn.   Anyhow we were waiting at my brother in law's  to have all the permits approved on our new home.  That hurricane surprised us and turned at the last moment.  Luckily we did not have a bunch of damage, but those to the south of us sure did.   By the next hurricane we were moved in to the trailer and rode it out in the prison's administration office.  The same way with the third one.  So after all that, I just kinda tuned out about that fourth one.....only one week after the third one, until it hit!  And it hit us hard!  We were so unprepared.  Like I said we lost power for over a week.  That meant no electricity, no grocery stores open, no gas stations open....it was a nightmare.  We (along with everyone else) had lunch furnished by the Red Cross, we got ice and water from them too.  I felt like we let our kids down by not being prepared enough for them!  I don't' ever want that to happen again. 

At our old house we lived on a well.  We had a hand pump added so we'd never be without water even if the electricity went out. Here we are on county water, I can't help but remember what happened to my friend.  She and her family were able to eventually go to a local gym and shower after the roads were clear but it was days.  So I bought a few cartons of water today and hid them from my husband.  One of his worst traits is he is addicted to bottled water.  The kids will drink water from the fridge and so will him if he can't find any bottles (LOL he does occasionally read my posts so I'm not telling where the water is!!!!) 

Anyhow I do feel no matter what is going on in the world, it's good to have supplies at hand.  We, who live in Florida, think about being prepared for hurricanes.  But any type of natural or man made disaster can happen. 

So like a good scout- Be Prepared!!!!

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Just a few days ago I was told by a couple of hometown friends that the old house I grew up in was "gone"   No one knows what happened, it's just gone.  The lot is empty. 

Here's a picture taken of it in 2013.  I was up in Perry for my 30th High School reunion.  My friend and I drove by and were shocked at how terrible it looked.  I asked the people on the porch if I could take a picture and I swear they scared me!  They did consent, grudgingly. 

My great uncle built it in 1919 and my family lived there until about 1990.  The last one to move out was my Aunt Ruby.  After she'd passed away I rented it for a short time, then sold it to someone.  I knew it had gotten worse but it had been some years since I had seen it. 



From the front you can see the front porch.  The porch used to be all across the front but when I was about four they made that side a playroom/bedroom for me.  It had 3 windows on the front and 4 on the side.  Plus two more windows that opened towards the porch.  It was so cool.   We had huge azalea bushes on both sides of the front door.  And huge trees in the front yard.  Along the side of the house we had trees and bushes as high as the house called "bridal flowers"  And there was no flag pole in the yard!  I moved out in 1984 and the picture does not seem like the house I know.  Often when I dream, the dreams are based in that old house.  Lots of good memories associated with that house.  Lots of night spent on that front porch!

After I heard the news, I made myself sit and try to visual each room, as I knew it.  My kids had never gone in it.  My husband had a few times to help me empty it after my aunt died.  Hardly anyone except my childhood friends have ever seen it.  But it is a part of me, even tho it's gone. 

It was a "shotgun" house.  The front porch opened to the living room, then there was the dining room and then the kitchen.  The kitchen opened up to the back porch with a bathroom back there.  On the right side of the house was four bedrooms that opened up to each other and the last one opened up to the back porch also. 

Of course it did not have AC.  Nor did it have central heat.  It gets much colder in north Florida than down here!  We used little gas heaters that were attached to the walls of each room!  Talk about a death trap!  I burned several dresses by getting too close to the flames.  Every morning the heaters had to be lit, we never slept with them on so the house was so cold, you could see your breath!   But back then it was no big deal.  I only had one friend who had a house with central heat and air! 

One time we drove through Perry, about ten years ago and we showed Steve the house.  He was shocked and said "poor Mama"  I started laughing and told him it wasn't really THAT bad!  He was very serious and upset about me living in the house.  I told him it was in a bit better condition when I lived in it. 

Anyhow I'm not one to look back too much, but hearing the news that the house is gone did make me think about it......

1 comment:

  1. Seems like a sweet ole life for you,husband, and kiddoes! Yes excuse my grammer ...before y'all attack it----u I'm learning! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete