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2/9/10

New Boy Scout Motto: They'll Prepare

If the Boy Scouts were formed today instead of 100 years ago, "Be Prepared" I'm guessing would be way down on the nominations list for a motto.

How many people do you know who could make it through a week or month without going to the store? How many even have enough water or heat for a few days if they were cut off from whatever it is that makes the water heater work?

One difference between life on a small farm and life in a town of whatever size is that many services taken for granted by the urbanite are self-maintained by the rural dweller. Granted, many country folks (including lots who own farms of substantial size) are simply suburbanites with an extra long commute and pretty well act that way regarding their own "infrastructure" - i.e. they call someone when the faucet just sits there instead of running.



Of course our primary energy comes on wires and wheels like everyone else's but because we don't have town jobs (at least not steady ones) we do need to think about our personal infrastructure a little more – we can't call the plumber at the first drop or even first drip.

We have a well, septic tank, propane tank, burn barrel, wood lot/pile/shed, pond and various other ways of harvesting runoff, not to mention the pantry, store room, freezer and meat on the hoof/foot/whatever.

None of which make us all that much less dependent than city folks, it just make us a little more aware of how thin is the veil of "modern life".  And it certainly is much easier than life would have been here 100 years ago when the Boy Scouts were formed. In those days "Being Prepared" was required every day not just when something out of the ordinary happened.

Like the guy in Maryland whose power went out along with his heating oil after the big snow. He tried to dig his way out with a front-end loader - to get to a motel 6 I guess - but failed at that, so he went to a shed and ran the engines on his various vehicles until they ran out of fuel. Luckily his cell phone still worked because the state police came in a helicopter and carried him out.

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