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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Acquiring “Nails”

Years ago I used to work as the night maintenance guy for McDonald’s. It consisted of a lot of cleaning and prepping equipment for the next day’s busy business cycle. It wasn’t my dream job that is for sure, but it did allow me to get “maintenance” experience that lead to my current millwright job of the last 29 years.

While I worked nights I would have the radio playing. I will be dating myself here and I doubt ten percent of the readers will know this, but I always had Jay Roberts’ Music ‘Til Dawn on WJR radio. There was a PSA that played four to six times a night. It started out with the old Ben Franklin piece;

For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
for want of a shoe the horse was lost,
for want of a horse the rider was lost,
being overtaken by the enemy and slain.

Forty years later that still sticks with me as to the importance of small detail. When I was an MP instructor in the reserves one of the things we drilled into the students was “Attention to Detail!”. It is the small things that make a difference.

Being a prepper means that you need to have the ability to handle lots of hiccups in our daily lives. It could be just a school closing on the day you absolutely have to be at work. It could be a blown light bulb in the lamp you need to do some work with. We make a quick phone call to one of your trusted friends that are part of our mutual support group and drop the child off on the way to work or we open the closest and pull out a spare bulb and keep on steppin’.

The thing is, of course, that it takes planning and work to be able to do that. You have to be friends with folks to develop a network of support and you have to plan ahead and buy extra items for those quick repairs. Those are the nails as it were.

Being a prepper isn’t always an ammo can full of bullets and a pantry full of canned goods, although that is part of it. What about a supply of spices to cook and bake with? Spare everythings are important if they are no longer available at the store.

On little thing that my wife and I do to help keep all those little things in the house it this. Since Michigan has a bottle deposit law we turn our bottles in once a month or so. We then pick up items we want to store up with the deposit money. Since that money was already spent we look at it as “free money”. Between what we pay deposit on and the bottles and cans I pick up we generate about $7 a month. Not a lot of money but enough to add all kinds of items to the larder.

Make a list of the items you would want extras of and then start picking them up with small amounts of extra cash. In time you will find that you have a lot of “nails” around to keep from losing the shoe, the horse, and the rider.


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