Taking Life as It Comes

Are you doing anything to prepare for Armageddon or whatever the next national or international crisis might be?

If there is anything major, like the entire electrical grid being sabotaged in the United States as I spoke of yesterday or the nuclear threat of the cold war era, I doubt anything I could do to prepare would be efficacious for any length of time. To survive such a wholesale catastrophe would take a huge expenditure of time and money, to say nothing of skulking around to prepare in secret because if something did happen, the unprepared who knew what you had done would try to take you out to get to what you have.

But even without any sort of preparation, people can — and have — survived localized disasters.

I’m sure I’d be okay for a short time as long as I wasn’t ill or injured. I have one of those metabolisms created in less affluent ages, where systematic starvation was rampant. The less I eat, the less I need to eat without any loss of energy, which makes it almost impossible for me to lose weight, but in a time of hardship, I’d probably do fine.

Water would be a problem, so I do keep a few things on hand, like bottled water, a wee bit of food, and some common emergency supplies, such as flashlights and batteries, as well as first-aid supplies.

To be honest, I wouldn’t want to live in a time of chaos, where it is truly a dog eat dog or human eat human world. Though, also, to be honest, as long as I wasn’t in too much danger or suffering unduly, it could be interesting to watch such a scenario.

Either way, I’m not preparing for much of anything except my own uncertain future. (Uncertain because all futures are uncertain, although that isn’t exactly true. We know our ultimate fate; only the time, place, and cause are uncertain.)

It still amuses me the things people stocked up on when The Bob was first mentioned. Of all the necessary things, toilet paper wouldn’t even be on my mind. An old sheet cut into small pieces does the trick. Of course, you couldn’t flush it, but then, if civilization was in total turmoil, chances are no one would be flushing anyway.

I know I’m better off in my own house rather than in a high-rise in the middle of a city, so to that extent, I did prepare. I would never live in a highrise. If the electricity went out and I’m fifteen or twenty or thirty stories up, I’d be trapped. Nor could I ever live on a lower floor with a whole building above my head (an edifice built by the lowest bidder, I might add). I can just imagine my trying to sleep while feeling the weight of the building above me. Eek.

So to the extent that I think of such things and act on them, I do have a survivalist mentality. But for stocking up on toilet paper, stacks of canned goods, huge vats of fuel? No, that’s not for me.

If I’ve scared you now, and you want to prepare for calamity, there are all sorts of survivalist guides and kits out there. But for me? I’m taking life as it comes.

At least, I’m trying to.


If you haven’t yet read A Spark of Heavenly Fire, my novel of a quarantine that predated this pandemic by more than ten years, you can read the first chapter online here: http://patbertram.com/A_Spark_of_Heavenly_Fire.html

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Feeling Vulnerable

I’ve been doing a good job the past year or so trying to keep focused on the day rather than what might happen in the future, especially when it comes to my precarious financial situation and my advancing years, but the exorbitant increase in house insurance shocked me out of my complacency, and I’ve been feeling unsettled and vulnerable.

Knowing so many people who are getting The Bob adds to the feeling of things being out of kilter. It certainly doesn’t help that one of the library books I got was about electric grid of the entire United States being destroyed, which reminds me how vulnerable we really are. If the electricity goes out, so will heat, plumbing, communication, and transportation. Which means after a few weeks, people will be dying en masse of dehydration and disease and starvation since water won’t be coming into the house, wastes won’t be going out, and food won’t be distributed to the stores. Just what I do not need to be reading when I am feeling vulnerable to begin with!

I’m not sure how I would handle such a calamity as the book portrays, but I did buy some bottled water today to have just in case. I have camping equipment, including a little stove that works with twigs and other readily available bio-fuel, and a solar powered charger, so I could charge a phone, assuming there would be anyone to call. I have learned from camping that one can keep a whole lot warmer at night if you sleep in a tiny tent inside a larger tent, and I could set up the double tents inside the house, so my tiny sleeping area would be warmed by whatever body heat I could engender.

I also have solar lights outside my house, which, if necessary, could be brought inside.

It seems surprising that a book written in the past year or so didn’t mention the ubiquitous nature of such lights. The author just talked about it being totally dark at night. Around here, when the electricity goes out, there are still quite a few lights on because of solar lighting. But then, this is a relatively sunny area; maybe other areas aren’t as accessible to solar power.

For my own peace of mind, I’ll have to ignore the vulnerable feelings of the past few days and go back to believing (all evidence to the contrary) that I will be fine. Even if it’s an illusion, it’s still important for me to act as if everything will work out. Because who knows — things could continue working out for me, and it’s possible (at least according to some theories) the belief itself will make things come true.

And if all else fails, there are all those origami cranes I am folding to ensure my good fortune.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God