by Marlene Prescott
The first order of business in an emergency situation is to make sure you are warm. I was able to get a fire going. I have a wood-burning stove so it’s pretty easy for me since I usually have hot coals from the night before. To start a fire in a wood-burning stove, put in some crumbled paper, a few twigs from branches of a dead tree, then a piece of wood that is quick to burn followed by criss-crossing a few other logs. Open up the flute and close the door.
When you want to bathe, place a pot of cold water on top of the heating stove as you prepare for your sponge bath. If you are still waiting for the water to heat up, plan your breakfast and evening meals. I alternate my morning breakfast—one day something quick and easy like oatmeal (instant individual packs are what I use) that only require hot water. But I always add a spoonful of honey and a slice of butter. Even in an emergency situation some breakfasts can be a little fancier. I put sausages in a skillet and cover it with a lid on the wood-burning stove. Then I put some olive oil in another skillet on the stove. And when the oil is heated, I fill it with shredded potatoes for hash browns, covering the pan.
Now I am ready to use the water I have heated for a sponge bath. I wash my hair at least every third day so I have to heat two pots of water on those days. Make sure that each time you empty the hot water pot, you refill it immediately so it is always available. Hot water is a real luxury when there is no electricity.
Everybody Gets Fed!
Now back to breakfast. I take the cooked sausages out of the skillet and scramble a couple of eggs. So now I have my breakfast which I share with my “babies”. Sugar is a toy poodle and Spice is a Shih Tzu. They are the best! After breakfast, I check and refill a couple of bird feeders so the birds have their breakfast as well. It is such a delight to see the cardinals, blue jays, finches and sparrows feeding themselves while you are washing your dishes or calling someone on the phone. I have the bird feeders directly outside my windows—one by the window at the kitchen sink and the other window in my office where the only land phone is in the house. Cordless phones do not work when there is no electricity.
I only wash dishes once a day, right after breakfast. Once the dishes are washed, I assess my needs for the day and the next day. Things you might want to consider are—do I need to drive to a store for milk, eggs or bread? Should I visit some friends to see how they are doing? Do I need to go to a bank to deposit or withdraw money? Is a trip to the post office or the gas station what needs to happen today? You definitely want to keep a couple of gas cans filled for your generator. Right now, I only have one 5-gallon gas can, and there are none available at any stores within a 25-mile radius.
More Planning Ahead
If you are going to be away from home for an hour or so, remember to fill the stove with wood so the house stays warm while you are away.
You also may want to decide what your evening meal will be so that if you need to take something frozen out of the freezer, it will thaw in time for you to start cooking. One day I thawed some stew meat and did my errands. By 2:30 I was back home, placed the stew meat in a skillet with some olive oil, covered it and put it on the stove. I also checked to make sure that a pot of water was filled and heating on the stove. Then I went outside and carried in enough wood to last until the following day or longer.
Around 4:30 I put 8 ounces of egg noodles in my pot of hot water, put some asparagus in another pot on the stove and added a can of mushroom soup in with the stew meat. An hour later I strained the egg noodles, added 4 ounces of sour cream to the stew mixture and mixed the two together in a casserole dish. I placed the asparagus in a serving dish and warmed up a croissant in a skillet with some olive oil. Sugar, Spice and I had a wonderful evening meal.
About half an hour before it gets dark, I start up the generator, making sure the gas tank is filled. I usually turn the generator off between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. Spice always lets me know when he wants the lights out and total silence. He wants to make sure we all get plenty of rest. I make sure the wood stove is filled with wood so I will have some hot coals when we wake up. And the first thing I do every other morning is to take the tray of ashes from the wood stove and dump them in my “Circle of Fire” campfire in the yard before I stoke up the stove again.
I give a few decrees and songs each day at my altar in my sanctuary. And I have a few personal rituals—one is blowing a small Indian flute one time in each direction starting with the east, then the south, the west and finally the north. I believe this comes from a chapter in the book of Numbers where the people of God were told to blow a ram’s horn to remember that God protects us from our enemies. I do this before I start my decrees. And at the end of my decrees, I hurl my Saint Germain’s Miracle Pouch three times in a circle above my head.
I am constantly giving glory to God for meeting my every need. It truly is a wonderful life!
Feb. 4, 2009