Tuesday, April 14, 2015

When it happens

Unless you're here for the first time, you probably already know I'm a prepper. Not a survivalist, per se, but a person who strives to be able to maintain a certain level of civilized existence when winter storms take out the power,  have enough food for awhile if calamity hits to eat well for at least a month or two, that sort of thing. 

Reality just kicked in. Today, my sister-in-law called and told me their house was on fire, and it was a total loss. 

Believe it or not, I have my own go-to guy. My oldest brother, twelve years my senior, can do anything. Period. 

Anytime I find myself lacking in knowledge or materials; electric, heating, A/C, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, welding, or just an HONEST opinion of something, I go to him. 

I learned today that he can't save a lifetime of labor from an electrical short in his dryer.

Now I'm actually afraid. I saw an RV go up in flames in less than twenty minutes that I had been living in here on Turn Here Rose.  Thankfully, I had moved out of it when it burned, and didn't lose too much.  I KNOW the devastation a fire can produce first hand, yet it didn't hit me until today how unprepared I truly am. 

Thankfully his wife's sister lives nearby, and has room to take him and his family in, providing shelter and hearth until he can rebuild his home. But he lost everything. He had a house worth of irreplaceable memories, an attached garage that was the finest workshop I've ever seen, medications, food, clothing, water storage, his fucking LIFE in that house. And now it's gone.  

He was in the barn, and his wife and mentally retarded daughter were away from home, so he at least has one vehicle left and his family is unhurt, but he will have to rebuild 63 years of living with literally only the clothes on his back. 

Mark has needed surgery on both shoulders for years, is in constant pain from having his back broken some years ago, and both he and his wife are in very poor health. I, of course will do anything I can to help, but this level of devastation is hard to come back from for the heartiest of folk. And my brother takes pride to a whole new level when HE has to ask for help. 

I sit here, waiting for my wife to get out of work so we can drive down and see what we CAN do, and realize just how futile my plans relative to being prepared really are.  Five acres of land, and if a fire started on the 980 square feet my trailer sits on, all my work would be lost to the flames. 

Most of the little I have put away for emergencies will be going to my brother now. But as I restock my supplies, I realize I will have to separate this from my home. It truly is a simple and yet very profound adage that tells us not to keep all our eggs in one basket. Eggs, like our lives, are extremely fragile things. It's time I take stock of all I have in this basket, and maybe take stock of my thinking too.

Live well, Dear Readers. But live ready. 

1 comment:

Phil said...

There really aren't words that accurately convey just how absolutely and completely fucked that is.

My deepest sympathies.
I have already said one prayer so I think a couple more are in order.