Remembering 9-11-2001

So, what has changed in my life since the morning of September 11, 2001?

Lost Innocence

I used to get out of bed in the morning and not give much thought to world events.   Most happenings on the news seem so distant…with little, if any, impact on my life.   Not anymore.   Now in the mornings before I turn on the television news a part of me wonders what catastrophic event is currently taking place that I am now just about to hear when I click on the TV.   Yup, a part of me braces to anticipate the worst.   Even though we are surrounded by lots of good things that happen in our lives daily, it’s foolhardy to forget we are also immersed in a world of true evil.   Terrorists like to cast fear and worry…but they also like to act when we let our guard down and become susceptible to their insidious acts against mankind.

Increased Vigilance

Perhaps we were once naive to think it could never happen to our country…that some group of radical people could use the freedoms enjoyed in our society to cause so much harm against us.   But they did.   We watched it happen before our unbelieving eyes.   Like most others, I was glued to the television to see what would happen next.   It seemed as if I went through different phases upon learning of the terrorism act.   First amazement, next disbelief, then came an urge to be close to family and gather together all who were important to one’s life…and the emotions continued in the hours and days to come.   All in all, we became suspicious of everything and nearly everyone.   When people acted strange we would view it with heightened curiosity and seriousness.   Still do to this day.

Have A Plan

We never thought we would see a day(s) where the planes stopped flying (well, commercial ones anyway).   Indeed, 9–11 gave us a taste of what life would be like turned upside down.   Imagine if cell phones no longer worked.   Imagine if the Internet was completely out…or even spotty and unreliable.   Imagine if fuel and electricity…the very things that power our society were suddenly in very short supply.   How would we react?   Well, it caused me to develop a plan.   Family knows that priority number one is to assemble at our home as soon as possible.   Once we’re all together…we will then assess the situation and gather needed resources.   But the plan can only work when we are all safe and together no matter what it takes to make this happen.

Take Nothing For Granted

As many of you know I have become an avid ham radio operator in the past year or so.   While so many people laugh about what they perceive as playing with outdated technology, I see it more as a time-proven reliable technology.   In fact, what most hams practice for are the type of situations we hope we never have to use in reality.   In other words, if the world is relying on hams to communicate…it likely means some dastardly event has taken place to cause it and life will not be carrying on as we once knew it.   Yes, I have both the equipment and the know how to communicate over a wide area…and potentially around the world given the correct conditions.   Best of all, this can be powered by batteries and recharged from my vehicle.   As landline phones slowly disappear and we all depend on phones carried in our pockets…you tell me if you can’t imagine the potential problem with this situation.   Yup, don’t take things for granted and have a backup means to communicate.   Wise to have a backup for everything you do in life.

Greater Appreciation For All Men & Women Who Serve

I really don’t care what your feelings might be about why we went to war.   Nor do I care about the politics, at least to some degree, that are seemingly woven into all aspects of our life these days.   Yet, what I do care about are the fellow citizens who fight to keep us safe.   Whether soldiers fighting in a war zone…or cops fighting in some nasty cultural uprising…we have brothers and sisters doing a tough job for little reward.   They do it because they care.   We all need to appreciate that.   When is the last time you thanked a soldier for their service?   When is the last time you purchased a cup of coffee and a donut for a police officer?   We all owe these people a lot and it takes so little effort on our part to show some proper appreciation.   These are the folks on the front line acting as a buffer keeping us separated from evil.   They sacrifice so much to do what they do.   If there is one good thing that came out of 9–11 it’s that these heroes in our life have been given an opportunity to shine and be respected by all of us.   Let’s be sure to do that!!

Help Me Understand Why I Need A Year’s Supply Of Toilet Paper?

Let me be forthright in saying I am not mocking or ridiculing in any way the prepper mentality.   That being said, I just don’t completely understand or appreciate the extent many people appear to be taking this end-of-the-world survival concept.   Seriously, a year’s supply of toilet paper?   Check out this video:

Now, ever since my Cub Scouts days I have been groomed to be prepared for many of life’s challenges, but sometimes I think people take matters to an extreme.   I suppose at any one given time my household has a two month’s supply (or more) of toilet paper, but that’s only because we often shop at Costco and nothing comes in small packages sold there.   I view a video like this and afterwards I’m left wondering…just how ill prepared am I for the future?

Seriously, I am a big proponent of being prepared for emergencies, but mostly this has been to the extent of a winter survival bag in my truck, maybe a pantry full of dry goods to get us through an extended power outage after a storm, you know…the usual preparatory activities.   But call me foolish, if you will, I fail to see the value in prepping for emergencies lasting months or years in duration.

I guess people have to do what they need to do to achieve peace of mind.   Oh yeah, given this current state of our world affairs and political climate I can envision things going south quickly.   It could certainly happen.   I don’t view it as inevitable, but during my lifetime I have seen enough “surprises” taking place in this world to know nothing is completely certain from one day to the next.

Still, this possible “uncertainty” does not fuel my desire to spend boat loads of money for a year’s supply of food, medicine, various hygiene items, etc…all of which do not last indefinitely.   I get it, some people purchase insurance and if you don’t use it the money is gone.   Yet, stockpiling food and various other supplies seems like such a waste with no imminent threat I can detect.   Obviously, time will either show me as the fool I am or confirm why a prudent person can reasonably maintain these doubts.

Honestly, the extent of my “prepper” activities will probably end this spring at purchasing some heirloom garden seeds that are not hybrid varieties or some Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).   Why?   Mostly because many of these historical seeds have some great stories to them.   Not to mention, if handled and stored properly can have a viable shelf life for 10 years or longer.

In reality, a small container of heirloom seeds (I purchase mine from Seed Savers Exchange where a former high school classmate manages the store) is a good investment in the future.   Many of these seeds worked well for our ancestors during a time when all they had to depend on was themselves, so it can work that way again if heaven forbid it has to.

So, tell me where I’m wrong.   I’d love to hear your comments and rationale for having a more aggressive approach to taking measures on preparing for an uncertain future.