It's funny what we grow accustomed to. Right now, it's 75°, and I just heard my daughter say, "It's cold outside." ;)
Temperatures here in Maine have been usually hot for the past week or two with the mercury rising above 100° on at least one day recently. On the hottest of recent days, I was doing a few errands, and as I pulled out of the bank parking lot, I realized I had a flat tire.
So, I backed back into the parking lot to take a look. Yep. Flat.
As I assembled all of the tools I'd need to change the flat, a young man came out of the bank to ask if I needed a phone. Who would I call? I thought, and said that I could probably handle it, and that there was no one I could call anyway. He looked at the tire iron and jack I was holding, and mumbled something about not being car savvy. He offered the girls some ice cream and said they could wait inside the lobby of the bank, which was air conditioned.
The digital read out on the bank's sign said it was 103°.
After I changed the tire, I went into the bank to get my girls. One of the tellers showed me to the bathroom so that I could wash my hands and splash some cold water on my beet-red face. She told me that I'd done much better than she would have. She'd have waited for Triple A. The problem is that I don't have Triple A, as I refuse to pay for a service that I *might* use once every five years. It just doesn't seem like a good use of my money.
On the New Society forums Dmitry Orlov is discussing his recently re-released book, Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects, and one Professor has asked for advice on how he should invest the small excess he has each month. Dmitry says "Gamble." I say, learn to be self-sufficient.
In the long-run, being self-sufficient pays dividends that can never be earned through any other investments, and unlike other investments, no matter what happens, self-sufficiency is always there.
Sure, I could have been sitting in the air conditioning eating Choco-Tacos while some guy changed my tire for me, but he would have walked away with all of the cash that I'd just deposited. As it turns out, my daughters got free ice cream, I got a free workout changing the tire, and my money is still in the bank.
The next morning, I asked Deus Ex Machina why he wasn't impressed that I could change my own tire (and just FYI, I drive a Suzuki XL-7 SUV, and not some tiny, little compact car - it's a little more of a challenge to jack up an SUV than it is a Honda Civic ;), and he said that changing a tire is something we should all be able to do. It's the very least he would expect from me or anyone else, and the fact that I have learned a skill that everyone should have isn't all that impressive.
Not to him, maybe, but I think I'm probably a celebrity at my local bank - the little woman who single-handedly jacked up an SUV and changed the tire ... in full sun ... on blacktop ... when the temperature was over 100°.