And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It Came! It Came! -or- Wendy's Wonderful Book -or- My Very First Blog Giveaway Win!

“That book you’ve been waiting for came.” Mr. Barefoot woke me with these simple words, waving a simple brown envelope at me from the doorway. “You wanna come out and help me unload the pork?”

That’s Mr. Barefoot all the way. The object of many hours breathless anticipation arrives on my doorstep and, instead of joining me in the frantic joy of ripping open the plain packaging, he reminds me that real life is waiting for me. Spoilsport. I did indulge myself long enough to rip open the envelope and take one long look at my new book… Wendy’s book… the first book written by someone I knew before they were published.

I looked at it, all glossy and pretty sitting there amid the tangled covers of the bed – hey, I had been sleeping, ya know – and sighed a little bit before putting it into my work bag. I had ten hours of uninterrupted reading time heading my way at work, and right now 186lb of pork needed to find a home in my freezer.

Once at work, I had no shame. I cheerfully rushed everyone out the door, impatient for my time alone. The minute everyone was gone, I settled into my favorite chair with my soda and Cheetos (cuz that's the way I roll). I took out my new book _Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs: The Thrivalists Guide to Life Without Oil_ and opened the cover, eager to start reading.
Four hours later, I read the last word and (regretfully) closed the book. Yeah, I'm a fast reader. Especially when I like what I am reading. And I have to say I am impressed. Very, very impressed.
It's a simple idea, at the heart of it: 21 Days till TEOTWAWKI (the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it, without the I-feel-fine tacked on the end, for those of you who don't know), and what are ya gonna do? Like so many ideas that are - on the most basic level - simple, prepping for TEOTWAWKI has a lot of aspects that aren't so simple once you start figuring out what you wanna do about it. Shelter... lights... heat... water... food... health care... oh, my!
Now, logically, to go from absolutely NO preparedness to fully prepared for TEOTWAWKI in 21 days is pretty near impossible. Well, unless you have lots more $$ than I do. Still, it's surprising how many of Wendy's ideas can at least be started in 21 days. Even if you only take the 21 days to think about each subject and research your options fully for that day, coming up with a plan for what you would do, I figure you'd still be ahead of the curve.
Wendy doesn't waste time making statements that one "absolutely must" do this or that. She offers options, and brings up subjects that maybe we haven't thought about, or thought seriously about. She offers what works for her, what she thinks would work for different situations, and isn't afraid to tell her readers to use the net, library, and any other source they can get their hands on to research what is the best option for them. There were topics she brought up that made me say "Yes! I'm already doing that, or have plans for that, or that would work for me perfectly!" She brought up other things that made me feel a little ashamed that I wasn't doing so well in that area. Things that I take the easy road on, even though I know better. Mostly, she inspired me to do a little more, to plan a little better. She reminded me that, End Of The World or not, there is pride and security in knowing that you can take care of yourself and your family in any situation.
While I was wondering how I was going to go about blogging about this book, I realised that my favorite part of it isn't really anything Wendy wrote. It's where she is coming from. Wendy lives in the Frozen North, just like me. A different part of the Frozen North, for sure, but still the Frozen North.  She also lives in a neighborhood similar to mine, and faces similar challenges in planning her little "garden of eatin". She has to deal with neighbors, and she willingly acknowledges the challenges of working within or around HOA restrictions/ town ordinances. She has a family... children... a job. While reading _Surviving the Apocalypse..._, I felt like I was reading something that was written for me. About what I can do. And I tell ya, that makes all the difference. I felt like I was having a discussion with a respected friend over the kitchen table, bouncing ideas off each other and trying to figure out how to deal (logically) with a world gone crazy.
Most importantly, it wasn't a book filled with doom and gloom. It was a book of hope. Wendy is saying "You can do this, and TEOTWAWKI isn't the end of everything good". And I couldn't agree more...
~...and that's all I have to say about that...~

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