Feel free to ignore.
I was just reading an article in Newsweek, about Preppers, and The American Prepper Network. I thought it was a well balanced article, taking in both sides of it. Unfortunately there is something about comments that I can't stay away from. I admit it, I rubber necked.
Part of it was that these comments were indeed about me. I write for The American Preppers Network, and The Kansas Prepper Network. So I just had to read these, right? Of course. Its like eavesdropping on a conversation about you. Oh the things you can learn about people.
I have always known that people can be extreme. I have always known that some people won't listen to an opposing argument. And I have known that Survivalists have always been portrayed as the Uni-bomber or Timothy McVeigh. And I have always tried to distance myself from that label. Of course now that I am writing for a Prepper group, I have thrown myself right into it all.
For those of you stopping by for the first time because of this article, please allow me to tell you who I am and why I homestead.
My name is Phelan, nice to meet you. I am 32 years old and have been homesteading for almost 10 years. I am the mother of 3 living boys, and a 4th that died many years ago. I was a homeless teen. I have been beat up and beaten down in more ways then one. I grew up in a nice suburban home. My father was a retired Police Officer and US Naval Officer from Panama. My mother was a radical (card carrying) from California. I am an Independent that tends to vote Dem or Third Party. I am well educated as is my husband.
We chose to follow a different path then what had been set up for us by our parents. This path lead us to our 5 acres in South Central Kansas. I didn't intend on farming or homesteading or prepping. I wanted to get my children (well only the 1 and was pregnant with another) out of the city. They just couldn't play. With budget cuts I lost my job the same year that we bought our home. I had to quickly learned how to make our budget stretch. I even took on a third shift job that paid very little, and would seem to some as below my position in life. (that would be me waxing poetic) So gardening it was, and canning. Soon husband was making enough money for me to stay home. Next came the goats, because husband had always wanted one. Then the chickens, sheep, cattle and horse. We fell in love with this life.
Now the prepping thing. I have been called much worse than a moron, and I don't believe I am Mormon nor a terrorist. And I only own 1 gun. But we have problems with wild dogs, and other large critters that a shovel whack just doesn't seem to control. I also carry throwing knives, because deep down I have always been a Goth girl and knives were fascinating, still are.
I don't have cable news. What I do have is a past that has shown me that anything can and will happen and that it doesn't hurt to be prepared for it. Those of you that think I am nuts can go right ahead.
I do indeed help my neighbors, and my neighbors help me. I live in a rural community that depends on each other. And that has always been something that I have pushed and I believe that with the preppers, they feel the same. You can not be totally self sufficient, but you can be a self sufficient community. It is impossible to do everything on your own to live, but your neighbor does things you can't, and you do things they can't and so forth. I might feel lonely at times, but I know when push comes to shove I have people there.
I was asked to write for the Preppers because of my homesteading. Nothing less, nothing more. I do not have a bunker full of food, or weapons. I like knowing where my food comes from, I like that I know what is in my food. I raise as much of it as I possibly can. And with the most recent lay off of my husband, this homesteading thing has come in quite handy. I know it could be much worse if I didn't have these skills, and if I didn't have the neighbors I have.
I have never liked lumping a group of people together. I still don't care for it. All the things that anonymous people feel free to say because of the screen that blocks their view of the real person. Hey, even nut jobs have emotions.
I admit, I do have a tendency to say something without thinking. It makes me sound harsh, or unsympathetic, or complaining. I'm just uncouth like that. But I do apologize if I have made a mistake. I do figure in other people feelings when I am responding to something they have said. And with a screen and a keyboard, you can actually take a moment and think about what you have written before clicking post. oops, I just deleted something naughty.
The group of Preppers are very diverse. They have many different beliefs, many different reasons for prepping, and of course mental status. I am clinically un-hinged. They are a fascinating group. So many different skills and abundant knowledge, however I am still waiting for some one to help me with this sewing thing, that learning from them, no matter what or who they are, if we agree on things or not, has been eye opening.
I enjoy them as individuals, even the more extreme ones show a light heartedness at times that is endearing. But many people will never see that because they believe that we want the end of the world to come. I find that sad. Growing up my mother taught us that we were all equal, that love was blind and that Marx was. . . um never mind that part it blows the loving mother story (LOVE YA MOM!) she was an atheist, yet encouraged her children to attend different churches, for them to discover who they really are. And that is how I like to see life, exploring, learning, growing, finding out who or what I really am.
And you know, it feels a little unsettling to learn that people that never met you think you are an idiot. I guess I feel more for Survival Mom than I do for myself of course. They might have been attacking us as a community, but it was her name in the article. I got it worse when I was in the WSJ. I was compared to Hitler. Of course this person didn't know their history very well, I had to teach him which dictator he should have been referring to. And some of the names were rather graphic. The Newsweek crowd is tame in comparison. And the extremist Survivalist (if they truly are that) I don't believe in most of what you are saying.
The Y2K comments crack me up.
Funny, if the journalist hadn't compared Preppers to Survivalists, would there be arguing over being a hippie/green movement, boy scouts gone wild?
Boy Scouts gone wild, I like that. Gives you very strange visions in your head doesn't it?
Just as long as we understand each other. We are not all gun clinging bible thumbing buck toothless, grease haired, standing in front of our trailer home wearing a tube top pregnant, barefoot, a kid on the hip smoking a cig and drinking a beer, people. We are hard working, 9-5, tax payer, government utilizing, life loving people. Salt of the Earth, farmers, homesteaders, hippies, and garden lovers.
And if you don't shoot at me, I won't shoot at you.
Well, that has been my midnight rambling. Hope you enjoyed it.