Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thought of the Day #14

Jumping a little bit off of yesterday's post with regards to potential famine and economic collapse, I was thinking about the necessities of life. Food, water, shelter and clothing. If the world's economy collapses and I find myself without a source of income, could I survive?

As good fortune would have it, I married someone who inherited a decent home and, in addition, we bought the house directly to our north. The house has a wood burning stove that can and has been used as a heater. Plenty of old growth trees on our property. Shelter covered.

On this property, we've got an orchard, plenty of land to farm and a little herd of sheep. I don't like lamb/mutton, but if I had to eat them, I would. It would be a stretch to survive all winter on the canned food from the previous year's harvest, but we could probably make it stretch. So, I would like to think I could cross off food.

Water, well, let's hope we will have some of that...maybe collect rain water? Snow? We are part of the part owners in the canal system, so, with any luck, our garden would get some nourishment, in order to nourish us.

Finally, clothing. The real purpose of this post. It has dawned on me at this ripe old age, that if I were to stop buying clothing completely, I could probably make it through the rest of my life without another purchase. I've got far more than I really need. Sure, fashions will change, but if I just need to block the rain/snow/cold/wind and sun, I'm pretty much set. I would garner to guess that 90% of the women in the US could say the same thing. We literally have stockpiles of clothing in our closets. Admit it!

If you've looked at photos from the great depression or dust bowl, etc, (see Shorpy for examples http://www.shorpy.com/) you'll see people in tattered and repaired clothing. In our "throw-away" society, we rarely patch anything. Got a hole? Throw it away. Got a thread-worn area? Throw it away. Got a spot that you can't remove? Throw it away. BUT, if we had to, we would patch and wear that stain proudly. It would be a huge amount of stress to wear stained and tattered clothing the first time. I'm betting if the economy collapses entirely, we'll all be in the same situation and even give patch advice to one another, and brag about how "I've made this sweater last for 10 years now..." rather than bragging about how we got an awesome deal at Macy's or The Gap or Old Navy or...

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