When I first started my garden, after several years of apartment living, I also started watching gardening videos and reading gardening sites. With a few exceptions, I found most of them not helpful. I already know most of the information they offer. I can't help it, I'm not being a smart ass, but, you can't get this old without know a thing or two. I did find a lot of them entertaining though. Somewhere along the line I slipped into the survivalist gardens and lifestyle. I've ran into survivalists before in my life and they are often interesting people, at least for short periods of time. After a few conversations though, my interest waned. Survivalists are people who think the world, as we know it, is going to end and they will be prepared. They can hunt, fish, garden and live off the grid. Uhh, I can do all those things too, but, I don't think the world is ending. They might be right and I might be wrong, but, I doubt it.
When I was a kid we didn't call it being a survivalist. We called it being poor. We were really poor, dirt poor. My father hated working. On my birth certificate his occupation is listed as "cotton picker." That cracks me up. I don't remember him ever picking anything. I remember us picking crops and him sitting around in his fancy duds and dapper hat, drinking, while hatching get rich quick schemes. If anyone was a survivalist, it was my Mother and Grandmother. My Grandmother was a sharp woman who could "make do" and she taught me to make do. We are the makin-est do people you ever saw. Later on, when I grew up and eventually became what all poor kids dream of, I still made do.
But, this isn't a sob story. I don't think kids give a shit if they're poor most of the time. I never did. Oh, sure, you wish you had a decent coat for school, but, that's only a temporary worry. Kids are happy because they're kids. No matter how bad life gets, you still find pleasure in the discoveries of childhood. Someone should tell Jon and Kate that. Kids don't need mansions and vacations....they just need the day to begin every morning. After that, they will entertain themselves.
Some of the survival videos are comedy gold. One guy held up a handful of green onions..that's all he got in his first attempt at gardening..and told the camera "My wife and I won't have to buy onions for a long long time." Seriously. Can you not laugh? He was so sincere. Dude, I can buy an onion for 15 cents. I can live without onions. Let's move on. There's one interesting guy who lives in a fairly decent cabin in the mountains with his wife and kids. They are "off the grid." Which means they are not beholden to any utility company. He tells about survival techniques and his kids help. They are small children and they're learning, but, what I like about them is, the kids look damn happy. Little barefoot critters, dirty, running to the outhouse, bathing in the creek..these kids don't know anything else. They are happy when Daddy shoots a squirrel for supper. My Daddy was too damn lazy to shoot squirrels, we had to learn to do that ourselves. It was kind of a cross between The Clampets and Grapes Of Wrath. Still...childhood is happy. Just because you're a kid. People should remember that.
Who would have thought, back then, that I'd have a blog on this thing called the Internet? I guess I know a thing or two about survival. You have to feed your mind too. That's for sure.
Photo credit: Dandy-fjs.