Ready or Not #211: Small and Simple Things

“It’s all about the small things isn’t it?!”  That was what I heard when I answered the phone the other day.  It was my girlfriend and she had just solved two problems that had plagued her and her husband for years.

The first problem was her husband’s nasal passage that always seemed to be running.  It was like he had hay fever year round and they couldn’t figure out why.  Just in passing an acquaintance asked what kind of pillow he used.  His whole life he had used his favorite type of pillow which was an expensive down filled pillow.  His friend suggested that maybe, just possibly, he might be allergic to the feathers and it was possible that was why he was stuffy and his nose was runny all of the time.

That night he tried changing his pillows and for the first time in his life, that very next morning, voila’ – he wasn’t stuffy!  He could actually breathe and he no longer needed to wipe his runny nose all day long.  A small – important – thing.

When I was younger, my dad literally had a headache of some sort, every day of his life.  He had had a lot of health issues as a child and so the doctors just attributed his headaches as a leftover symptom to his previous problems.  But when my dad had an extended stay at a hospital that lasted for several months, his headaches mysteriously went away.  The day he came home he got his headaches back.  He claimed that it was us kids that gave him the headaches, but we protested.

A few months later, and a lot of headaches later, my dad had to go back to the hospital for another extended stay – and again his headaches went away.  He liked not having the headaches and so he and my mom started to look at all the differences between home and the hospital.

After removing us kids from the equation, the only difference was dietary and the only thing that they could find that changed dramatically was his consumption of milk.  For years we lived next to a dairy and we would buy two gallons of milk every day – one gallon for the family and one gallon for my dad; he really liked milk.  After making this connection he was tested and sure enough, he was allergic to milk!  He wasn’t lactose intolerant, he was just allergic.

All those years as a child and as an adult, his headaches were caused by something so simple.  An important thing.

The second important discovery my friend made was a simple gasket change.  For months and months my friend’s car would stink every time they drove it; it smelled like burning oil.  It was a nice luxury car and they had taken it to the dealer several times to have them diagnose the problem, but the dealer couldn’t find any problems.  Along comes another friend who suggested that it might be the gasket to the oil cap.  The minute they changed the gasket, the problem went away.  They could once again drive in comfort for only a three dollar investment vs. their $200.00+ investigatory costs.  A simple thing.

I once had problems with a car that cost several hundreds of dollars trying to figure out the problem.  Several dealerships later, with no results, my car finally ended up dying in a small farming community.  A tractor dealer ended up fixing my car with a .35 cent fuse and I never had a lick of problem after that!

Sometimes our lives are so complicated that we forget to check the small and simple things.  We adapt our lives, sometimes at great expense, to live with things that we don’t need to if we would look for small and simple ways to make it better.

That is the way with preparedness – it is a small and simple thing.  We know that problems will arise and so if we take the time to think it through and look at our options and get prepared beforehand, we can avoid potential difficulties when problems do come our way.  Store your water, figure out how much food your family needs to stay healthy and happy for a year (remember that eating should bring us joy, not sorrow), work towards becoming debt free, build a good 72-hr kit and first aid kit, and collect informational books all the way from gardening to survival.

And again, store your water.  That is a small and simple thing now, but if you don’t have water when you need it, it won’t seem so small and simple.  Start now – and keep your life simple.

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