Lessons from the Past {Self-Sufficiency}


Lessons from the Past: Self-SufficiencyEverything for a few years was COVID, COVID, COVID. I had wanted to write this post so long ago, but I just couldn’t. I tabled the idea and hoped that the world would one day return to (mostly) normal, and this would be a much more fun reflection piece than it would have been in April of 2020 when it first came to me. I wrote a really quick synopsis post of my stream-of-consciousness right when we went into lockdown, and I’m actually glad I did. It’s a great little time capsule now. I had been reflecting on lessons from the past and the importance of self-sufficiency.

Here’s what I had written on my Facebook page at the time:

🦠COVID-19 got me thinking like…
πŸ…I need to plant a vegetable garden.
🐣I need to start raising chickens.
🍞Ima start baking my own bread.
🐐 Do I have room for a goat??
😷I need to get my sewing machine out.
🧻 What are TP alternatives?!
🐢 It’s a great time to get the puppy we’ve been planning for.


Before I really get into it, I thought I’d share some comments on that post from my friends:

“Basically becoming a Prairie wife over here. Our dishwasher and dryer went out and I have a house full of Amish friendship bread. I’d offer you some, but we can’t cross the river,” Danielle B., my friend on the other side of the river.

“I thought about dying my own purple highlights,” Melissa L.

Others said, “Smart lady; do it!”, “Me, too!”, and “All of this.”

Another said, “I hear stores are saying seeds are ‘non-essential’. Better buy them now.”

How did civilization even live off their own land in the past? This is definitely a developed country/21st century-privileged question. The query did pop in my head when I realized how reliant we were on the global economy and even our own local economies at the start of the pandemic.

I got to thinking about how we could be self-sustainable on our own little piece of land and in our home… without having to have interaction with outside world. I’m vegetarian and figured my family could do it, too, if they had to. The only animal’s milk that doesn’t bother my stomach is goat’s milk, so why not get a couple goats? I eat eggs for protein, so let’s set up a chicken coop and raise chickens! We eat lots of salads and vegetables, so we could start planting several gardens… I finally bought my dream mixer in kitchen-themed aqua but haven’t used it… I have a bunch of gluten free flour; I could start baking from scratch until the flour runs out…

There is so much to mend, and I could alter my old clothes as Ady grows, so I should pull out the Singer sewing machine in office-themed navy blue and white that I also still hadn’t used yet. Oh, but wait! We can’t get toilet paper from anywhere, and we’re already running out of our stash of paper napkins – what would we do about toilet paper???!!! Dry leaves or showers immediately after we use the restroom each time?Β 

Now is the perfect time to get a puppy! We’re all home all the time to get through potty training and everything else. Let’s find one to adopt! Oh, no, everyone else is adopting all the dogs, and we can’t find a single one that is the right fit for our family. Guess we’ll just keep dreaming of sweet baby Beagle or Corgi girls…

My spiraling mind became quite the source of entertainment there when we were all freaking out about this unknown virus and all the terror the unknown brings. I’m glad that I had captured that little snippet of time in my own crazy mind and had the sense to post it to Facebook. I’m also so very glad that I can look back at it and, most importantly, realize how blessed we are to not be freaking out anymore about the lack of toilet paper and how we are going to wipe our bums. πŸ˜‰

What ingenious or silly thoughts did you have when the pandemic first hit the Midwest?

For me, I realized that we could be mostly self-sufficient if we REALLY have to but that we have so much to be grateful for in regards to the everyday conveniences of our modern American lives. Looking back at the lessons of the past helps us learn resilience and thankfulness today.

I tried growing vegetables; the bunnies and deer destroyed it all. I realized goats and chickens were way too stinky and too much work for me to do unless absolutely critical to my survival. My mixer didn’t actually get used until this past week for the first time. I still have hand-sewn a ton of things but never used my gorgeous sewing machine. Somehow, we survived all the TP shortages! And, we finally did get a puppy. πŸ™‚

Most importantly, we’re still here – and able to one day share with future generations the lessons of the past we lived through.


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