So I married this “preppy” girl…

Now Shaunda is not “preppy” in the 90’s kind of way (you may remember turned up collars and spiked hair).  No, she’s “preppy” in an “almost a survivalist” kind of way.  And she’ll tell you that she has taken more than a little bit of teasing from the rest of us over the years.

Y2K was an exceptionally “preppy” time for Shaunda.  That’s when I first remember scanning for “best by” dates at the warehouse store, but it certainly wasn’t the last.  Several cases of bottled water and several dozen cans of tuna and corn later, we all learned that during Y2K, well, nothing really happened.  Back then we even tried samples of survival food and decided that “survival” may not be worth it after all.  Nothing to worry about though.  By then we had enough canned corn to last three years. 

Fast forward to March 2020 and you will find that we were still enjoying an additional bit of levity at Shaunda’s expense, but not nearly as much.  This time we got to sit back and chuckle at the “great toilet paper fiasco” and the run on alcohol based hand sanitizer and bleach based anything.  The “shortages” never turned into anything all that major either as supply finally caught up with demand, but yet we “prepped” on.

Then came the 2020 presidential elections, a time that I described as “stupid going stupid”.  The rumors ranged from anarchy to apocalypse and were nearly more than a “prep happy” wife could bear.  All this drove us well past bottled water and canned vegetables.  Although I never imagined that any of the furthest out conspiracy theories would really happen, I felt there was enough of a possibility to warrant serious consideration.  Shaunda was far beyond serious consideration.  And though I was not sold, I figured it might be better to give in to some of her inclinations.  

And so we were at it again.  In addition to more corn and additional cases of water, we stretched way out this time and purchased a small generator for our RV along with two five gallon gas cans.  While we were at it, why not purchase a couple extra RV sized propane bottles and have them filled?  Not anything we would likely ever need you understand, but if it made Shaunda sleep a little better it was well worth the investment.  

Then came the election followed by the inauguration, and it seemed to go the way of Y2K and toilet paper shortages (at least up to now).  So there we sat with gallons of propane, a brand new generator and, oh yeah, even more canned corn and bottled water.  

Then out of nowhere a freak winter storm descended on Texas.  Eight inches of snow.  Ice and snow covered roads that forbade travel in a state where there are few salt trucks… and even fewer snow plows.  And then a low of -3.  Electricity failed, and so did water.  Store shelves magically cleared.  The mail didn’t come.  And this was Texas. Texas is big. And this covered all of Texas. What in the world are we going to do?

I know.  Let’s see. The heat in our RV runs on propane. At extremely low temperatures however, exposed propane pipes result in the pressure being diminished.  The propane would not adequately supply our furnace.  No worries though.  I have multiple propane tanks.  I quickly learned to switch them out, warm them up and then switch them out again.  Electricity?  How about that brand new little generator?  Enough to charge the RV batteries, run the refrigerator, power the auxiliary heater in the bedroom AND the electric blanket!  We were never cold.  And equally important, we discovered we could switch between the heater and one other appliance, like a toaster or a coffee pot!  

Inconvenient? Yes!  Devastating? No.

I’m not a fan of going days without a shower, but with no place to go and a brand new stick of deodorant, I was tolerable… I think.  You can cook and make coffee with bottled water, eat off paper plates and use plastic utensils to limit the dirty dishes.  And you will have all those paper and plastic products as well; at least you will if you have a “preppy” wife.

And all of this really matters…. when you are thirty-six hours without electricity and ten days without water while the thermometer plunges to those lows in the negative numbers, and never gets out of the teens. I began a routine of getting out of bed several times every nigh, putting on two sweatshirts and a spring jacket and walking into a totally dark night to gas the generator and switch out the propane tanks. 

Unlike those other “panic times”, this one really happened. 

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I have nothing to complain about.  Many have struggled far more than we have.  Some are still without power, and many more without water.  I have not waited in line for bottled water.  We were not on the roads when the black ice caused a massive pileup in a neighboring town and claimed the lives of so many.  We had plenty to share with others who had none.  I went without very little (except sleep), mostly because I have a wife who listened to an inner voice instead of the voice of her husband.  And I was somehow astute enough to listen to her outer voice.  And for the record, my car’s gas tank is full. Would you have expected anything else? 

Are you making any preparations?  There will come a time when you will be glad you did… or wish you had.

Today the power is on. It was nearly 70 degrees after church yesterday. Our generator, no longer new, sits quietly awaiting it’s first oil change.  The propane running smoothly.  Water again flows freely.   There is gas in the car, bread in the pantry… and still plenty of canned corn in the cabinet.

And I am uniquely thankful.  Thankful to be warm.  Thankful to be alive.  Thankful to be clean. Thankful to watch the video of my Grandchildren building a snowman and sliding down a hill in a plastic box.  Thankful to not be thirsty… and especially thankful for a “preppy” girl who agreed to be my wife, and then stayed through all of this crazy Journey we call life.   Oh yeah, and thankful that just this once I was not too stubborn to listen.

I wonder how many times God has whispered to us and our response was “that’s silly”.  I don’t see a need for that. I’m pretty busy right now, no need to prepare for a future that may not come anyway.

One of the keys to surviving tomorrow is preparing today.  I have stood with many grieving parents and reminded them (and me too) that times like these are why we go to Church when we’re tired.  Why we read the Bible when watching TV takes so much less energy.   Why  we pray when we can barely breath.

I cannot assure you of how politics will play out or what civil insurrection may look like.  I have no idea how much “smarter” men will become while rejecting God and actually becoming infinitely more foolish (seems like I read something about that).  I sense all around me that creation is doing a bit of “groaning”.  I do not know when this way of life as we know it will come to an abrupt end, but I know it will and I know how.  It all begins (or ends based on your perspective) with the sound of a trumpet.  Are you prepared for that?  Are you “prepping” spiritually? If not, it will come like a “thief in the night”.

You don’t need a generator or extra bottles of propane to get ready for this eventuality.  A full gas tank or ten thousand gallons of water won’t get you ready.  The only hope for this one is to accept Jesus Christ as you personal Savior… and then you too can hold onto the “blessed Hope”.  And remember what we’re told about that?  As believers, this “looking forward to the blessed Hope” will cause us to purify ourselves.  Perhaps it’s time to quit worrying about how far we can go into worldliness and still be considered a good church member, and start worrying about how far we can go into holiness to be ready for His return.  

The Lord is coming, and I believe soon.  I encourage you to make your “preparations”…

Because there will be a time when you will be glad you did… or wish you had.