I'm preparing for:
In 1989 my husband and I were newly married. An earthquake struck the Bay Area, collapsing freeways and stunning the world by shutting down the World Series baseball game. Our apartment was only a few miles from the epicenter and we lost everything breakable except one hurricane lamp that miraculously withstood all the shaking. And when I say everything--I mean all of the crystal and china that you recieve when you're newly married and 400 people celebrate with you at your wedding.
In 2009 the Jesusita Fire came within a 1/4 of a mile of burning down our home. We evacuated for several days, taking with us many of the wrong items. I remember standing at the kitchen sink and only wanting to clean. Clean a house that was about to be burned... Looking back, I realize I was a little bit paralyzed by the nearing flames, and cleaning allowed me to remain calm by doing a familiar task... After the earthquake we made a list, and taped it inside our pantry cabinet so that if there's a next time, I will choose packing over scrubbing the floor!
Two years ago my husband and I decided to finally prepare for a disaster. Like really follow the guidelines of the experts. I bought him an emergency radio for Christmas :) This fall, after not doing much beyond buying the radio, I've incorporated these efforts into our homeschooling routine and we're finally getting things done! I'll be sharing more about this as we continue, but for now, we are about half way "prepared." If you've been thinking about putting together some sort of emergency kit, my advice is to get it on your calendar and start doing something about it. John Ronan and I are working on it every single Friday, so I keep a running list on my computer of what we've done, what we've purchased, where things are being kept, and what we still need to do. Each week I update it so it's completely current.
One thing that is just about complete is a meal kit of food for five people, to last three days. John Ronan wrote up a meal plan, counting calories and looking at serving sizes, and we went shopping over several weeks to various stores. All of the products have an expiration date of 2019 or beyond. That way we can replace things each year, around September or so. We are keeping this food in two boxes that are light enough for me to pick up and get into a car. Here's some of what we've purchased:
2019 box of food (3 days, five people):
Pistachios, raw almonds, peanut butter/ jam, several soups (lentil, chicken, clam chowder), canned salmon, tuna, canned french beans, 3 bags of jerky, many protein bars, jars of salsa, tea, lots of oatmeal packets, several plastic fruit cups, gummy bears, cans of tuna, six dehydrated camping meals. We still need crackers and mayonnaise, small coconut oil, olive oil, salt, pepper, and another spice or herb mix. And boxed milk. And chocolate pudding :)
If there is a disaster and we are able to stay at home, then we also have access to a large pantry that I keep well stocked with lots of whole grains, canned jams, etc... What I learned in that first earthquake is that kitchen cabinets with food in them need closures--or else they may bounce open and then all the food inside crashes to the floor. I don't think I'll ever forget cleaning up that kitchen floor in 1989 that was a mix of oils and vinegars and spices and sharp glass and sugar and pickles and molasses...
I'm also preparing for...
The print book about St Brigid that was first published in 2009 has been out of print for a couple of years now. Since I get so many requests for this book, I collaborated with Father Zechariah, the illustrator, and we re-launched the book through Amazon's Createspace. The print book is now available through Amazon here in the US, in the UK, in Canada, and in Mexico. And the kindle version, which has never gone out of print, is least expensive through Orthodoxchristianebooks.com. If you aren't acquainted with Saint Brigid, now's the time. Her story is one of courage, kindness, and love.
This is the time of year when I get many emails from folks requesting signed copies of my books for Christmas presents. I enjoy signing and sending books, but I only do it until about the tenth or so of December so I can then focus on our own family preparations. If you're interested in purchasing a signed copy of any of these titles: The Man and the Vine; The Woman and the Wheat; The Life of Saint Brigid; The Hidden Garden; Sweet Song; When God Made You; The Suitcase; or A Book of Questions, send an email to email@example.com and we'll get that going!
Lastly, I'm preparing for...
I'll be writing today, and gardening, and building with magna tiles, and brushing the dog, and probably working on my linen tablecloth that is almost fully edged. I'll be going through some things in the garage with my husband, which will probably lead to a cup of tea this afternoon. I'll be setting up my classroom in the chapel at church this evening, then vespers, and then dinner around our very scratched and very loved dining room table. Enough of preparing, it's time to just be, and do, and clean and pray, and try to soak up this moment.
Published: October 21, 2017 | Filed under: Me