Friday, November 1, 2013

Gratitude - Day 1

My very good, real-life friend reminded that I've been neglecting this space in favor of Facebook. Which is really a shame, because I held out on not joining Facebook for a very long time, and I still have this reluctant commitment. I don't enjoy Facebook, not in the same way that I enjoyed blogging and reading other people's blogs. It's just different, and there is a lot more of the kinds of stuff that I would filter out of my blog experience that tends to capture and hold my attention in not terribly positive ways.

I've found myself fixating on some things I see on Facebook, and sometimes I'll spend hours (the whole day!) arguing, trying to make my point, about things I really should just let go.

Which is why, when I saw on Facebook this morning a reminder of the Thirty Days of Gratitude, that I knew I had to do it, and so I posted over there, that I was. I forgot to come to my friend, my blog, and post my intent here. My very good, real-life friend reminded me ;). So, thank you, T-Jo.

And I do have so much, so VERY much, to be thankful for. I have an amazing life, and every day is a gift. Over the next thirty days I will remember and count those gifts.

This morning, I finished reading William Forstchen's One Second After. It is about how a small town in North Carolina struggles to survive following an EMP burst. I'm planning to write - a lot - about what I thought about the book (and I do recommend it, because I think it's a good thought exercise, even though there was a lot I didn't like about the book), but for the moment, I just want to say that I'm thankful to my friend, Laura, who recommended it.

I especially thankful for writers, like Mr. Forstchen. I am extremely grateful to those visionaries, who have considered the possibilities and written about them - as a warning or a challenge to us to do better than we are.

One Second after is definitely in the warning category, and both the foreword (by Newt Gingrich) and an afterword warn that such a strike and the events described in Mr. Forstchen's book are all too possible. I think it would be easy to be really scared about the possibility of something like that happening, and it would be really easy to play the ostrich and just pretend that it would never happen here, because our government will take care of us ... or to play Scarlet O'Hara, and just decide to worry about it tomorrow, although we'd probably never face it, until we had to, in either case. A much better reaction, however, is to take control. We may not be able to stop something like that from happening, and we can't ever be truly prepared, but we could take steps to empower ourselves.

I'm incredibly thankful for all of the doomer writers, because they force me to ask the question: What would I do? And then, to find some answers.


  1. I actually enjoy older science-fiction writers, like John Wyndham (Day of the Triffids, The Kraaken, The Chrysalids)and novels and real-life biographies of people who grew up poor, through the depression or through war, because they have first hand knowledge of what it is like to live with little, without much technology, and still make a reasonable, meaningful life. Like the wonderful moment I read about the other day - an old man was remembering how after dinner each night all the children had to crumple up old brown paper bags between their hands to make them nice and soft for a gentler toilet paper experience. Now there's a hint to keep in mind!

  2. I love Depression-era stories, too, and I was also very impressed with stories set in the South during the Civil War. We don't learn, in school, how difficult it was for the southerners during the northern blockades, when no supplies were getting through, and they were running out of everything, including buttons and needles and thread.

    I've read several stories set in Europe (particularly Germany and France) during WWII, and it's the same - no supplies, and people have to be very creative with what they have.

  3. Your mention of the Civil War reminds me of an article about Texas homesteaders growing cotton in front of their cabins because of the blockades. I read it in a fiber magazine and enjoyed it so much, especially since we drive past huge plots of cotton where we are and I have a bag of it my dad brought me earlier this year to gin and try to spin. It's going to be pretty laborious - I suspect the kids will think it's fun for about 5 minutes, then I'll be left doing it alone. ;)

    Anywho, one of the big things the women out here specifically needed was carding combs. One town had what amounted to a riot when combs finally came through to a merchant!

  4. @ Melonie - When we were at the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania, we met a woman who grows cotton. She lives in Virginia, and she wears a trademark quilted vest all of the time. She was one of the presenters. She told us that she spins her cotton. I was very impressed and thought it was just the coolest thing.

    I don't think cotton would grow here in Maine, but wouldn't it be cool if more people grew just a little?