Being Prepared (just in case)

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Girl Scout. That’s because I’m always prepared. I can’t help it. I’m a compulsive planner and a bit of a pack rat.

My mom said whenever she gave us kids Popsicles, I always asked for two, “Just in case I drop one.” Invariably, she’d insist one was enough. So I’d grip the stick tighter and hope for the best.

In high school, my sister thought I was demented. She couldn’t fathom why I finished my homework before dinner when I could do it over Cheerios in the morning. But I liked knowing it was done, just in case. In case of what?  I have no idea.

That’s precisely why the Y2K threat didn’t concern me. Although we’d been bombarded with horror stories of what might happen to our computerized nation at exactly 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2000, I never worried because it appeared I was inadvertently prepared for what may come.

One scenario: the computer glitch would close down the banks. No problem. I stashed some cash in the house, just in case. Don’t even think about it. It’s long gone. And besides, I have 3 ferocious dogs and a killer cat. Your ankles would be gone before you reached the living room.

My friends tease me about the amount of food I have stocked in my pantry. But if grocery stores didn’t open on that January 1st, I could have lasted until Groundhog Day.

Why worry? My files were safely backed-up, the closet full of heavy quilts, wood neatly stacked for burning and my candle collection was ready to finally see the light. Whatever that new year brought, I was content knowing I was thoroughly prepared.

Now don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I can overdo it. I’m always finding food that’s past its prime because “just in case” often means buying too much of one thing.

I love to bake so I actually bought a case of cake mix. (Who knew those things had expiration dates?!) Then there’s the multiple propane tanks for my camping stove when I haven’t camped since 1986.

Sometimes I have good intentions but the execution isn’t so swift. Upstairs in the spare bedroom is a workout bench I ordered over a year ago. It’s still in pieces on the floor. This is due partly to the fact that I can’t figure out the maze of confusing instructions for what appears to be a simple apparatus. Do I really need an engineering degree to put that thing together? Apparently so. Therefore, it still sits…

Then there’s the super expensive, state of the art camcorder we bought many years ago because of all the great movies we planned to take chronicling our lives and the lives of everyone we knew. We used it twice.

So I’ve discovered there is a fine line between being prepared and being ridiculous. I mostly hover somewhere in-between.

I hear if we have a really bad storm this winter, PG&E could be out of action for days. What will happen to all that food I have stored in the freezer? How will I survive without my morning latte from my sweet little Italian espresso machine that requires electricity to froth that wonderful foam and deliver that delectable crème into my awaiting mug? What to do, what to do….

Maybe I haven’t thought this through enough. Now I’ve gotten myself all worked up with the possibility of not being ready for what could be a week-long blackout. This is one of those times when the use of a generator can never be underestimated. I should probably look into that.

Just in case.

4 thoughts on “Being Prepared (just in case)

  1. So Janet, what are you going to do on Dec 21st, the Mayan calendar ends and rumor has it the world does too. I’m coming down to your place and help you out. I’ll bask in the glow of your candles and cuddle in the warmth of your quilts and help you prepare your canned foods while we sit and wait to see what happens next…..because that’s what friends do…. glad you prepared. P.S. I’ll bring the alcohol…..

    • Well, I guess I’m glad, then, that we gals are having our holiday party before the 21st. May as well get in one last hurrah before the world ends (just in case!)…

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