Ready or Not 98: What Everyone Needs to Know

A friend of mine got a letter from her dear Aunt Vera who shared with her some family stories.  My friend then turned around and shared this one with me.

“My father, Ernest Motes, was born in 1887.  He bought his 1st car, a Model T Ford in 1917.  In the late 20’s, my father was our family’s ‘Driver’s Education’ teacher.  While he was teaching my sisters to drive, he told them that every woman needed to know 3 things.  First, every woman needed to know how to drive a car.  Second, they needed to know how to shoot a gun.  Third, they needed to know how to milk a cow.  I guess this was his idea of preparedness in the 1920’s.   If he were alive today, I wonder what his 3 points of preparedness would be?”

My friend then went on to say: “This question got me thinking.   I think it would still be, to have the skills and equipment to move to safety in an emergency, know how to protect your family, and know where to get your food from.   It is Interesting to me to see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

I agree; the more things change the more they do stay the same.  We have always been advised to get an education, stay out of deb,t and have at least a one year’s worth of food/sundry storage. But I also agree with Grandpa Motes when he said that every woman should know how to drive a car, shoot a gun and milk a cow.  Let’s modernize this list just a bit, add to it, and include the male gender also.

First, it is important that you learn how to drive a car.  I don’t mean just getting behind the wheel and moving forward while texting, talking, applying makeup, listening to really loud music, eating, or a variety of other distractions.  We need to learn how to really drive, and drive defensively.  There is a time for multi-tasking and a time for driving and they are never to be done at the same time.

You also need to know how to change a tire, change the oil, check the fluids and do a maintenance spot check before going anywhere.  You don’t necessarily need to do all of the maintenance all of the time, but you should at least know how.  And for heaven’s sake, if you can’t drive a standard transmission – learn how.  I made my children learn how to drive with a stick shift before they where allowed to drive an automatic.  I never wanted them to be in a life-threatening situation and not be able to drive any vehicle that was available.  I have had friends in that situation and it is a terrible and scary feeling.

Grandpa Motes also stated that women need to know how to shoot a gun.  I agree.  Both men and women should know how to handle rifles, shotguns and pistols.  No, you don’t have to own one and you don’t even have to like guns, but you should know how to at least use one.  If you have never shot a gun, you are missing out – it is a lot fun.  Go to a shooting range and give it a try.  I would also like to expand this and say that both men, and especially women, need to learn how to defend themselves.  I would suggest that you take a self-protection course or some form of karate or other self-defense type art.  The benefit of this would be that you could defend yourself and get some great exercise.

The last item that was mentioned was the need to know how to milk a cow.  Okay, I know that the chances of you being able to find a cow, let alone milk it, are slim to nothing – even in this area. But there are other things that you can learn to do that are in this same genre.  I think whatGgrandpa Motes was trying to say is that you need to know how to provide for your family and be able to do manual labor.

Yeah, yeah, laugh it up.  Of course you know how to do manual labor, right?  I’m afraid that not everyone does.  It really makes me nervous how many young people can’t carry their weight when it comes to physical labor.  I’m getting closer and closer to 50 years old every day and I can still out work a lot of kids half my age and younger, both physically and mentally.  In order to prepare our children and ourselves for life in general, we need to teach them that working hard is a gift to be cherished and not complained about.  There is something deeply satisfying about working hard and doing a good job.  So let’s get prepared and get to work!

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