Recently we were blessed by several families from our local preparedness group who held a frolic at our little off-grid homestead. In February many in the group had come out for a barn raising. They had set the foundation baseboards and put the first several rafters in place on the hoop barn that is to become our greenhouse.
This time they put up the remaining rafters and bolted them all in place, as well as connected the rafters by installing the purlins (metal cross poles). Four of the nine sets of purlins are now completed.
While the men and some of the children worked on the greenhouse structure (yes, the younger children were thrilled to be able to help tighten bolts), some of the rest of us started moving things out of the “graveyard.”
Back when we first cleared land we needed to store lumber, fencing supplies, propane tanks, gardening supplies, and other riff-raff that had been in our barn at the old place. Since there was no building, we simply stacked things as neatly as possible in one of the cleared areas. That cleared area ended up being the view out of my kitchen window, which is not terribly pleasant.
Now we’re trying to find permanent storage places for everything in the “graveyard” so that can become our garden. Barnyard and animal supplies went into the tiny new (old) shed we recently found through Craigslist. Plumbing and pipes are going on brackets mounted on posts that will have privacy fence panels added soon to hide them. Pots and other planting supplies were lugged to a corner by the greenhouse, and so on. It was a start.
Would we have gotten all of this done by ourselves? Probably. But what was done in less than one day would have taken us many days to complete ourselves. The extra manpower seems to multiply the accomplishments, and the emotional boost continues even after everyone else goes home. Working together to build each other up has many benefits. This kind of community spirit is what will carry us through in a crisis more than many other aspects of preparing. The memories made, the friendships strengthened, the fellowship shared…all make such an event worth much more than just accomplishing a set of tasks.
Everyone in our preparedness group is terribly busy. It really doesn’t fit anyone’s schedule to go help someone else for a day. There are too many projects needing attention at home. And financially it doesn’t seem to be a good deal either. Why don’t we all just stay home and do our own thing? Isn’t that what we’ve learned as successful Americans? We don’t need each other anymore. We can and should be able to take care of ourselves. Everyone should mind their own business, right?
Unfortunately thinking like this has caused us to lose some of the strength that the early settlers possessed and that helped to form this nation. Jesus tells us to bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. When we make that practical it is a blessing for both the giver and the receiver.
When we were getting ready to move out here last fall, Silver Oak’s cousin challenged him to not be too proud to ask for help when needed as we set up our homestead. Oh boy, that’s tough because there is also the attitude among some that we should never tell others our needs because it makes people feel obligated to help. Which way is right? We believe openness and a willingness to be ready to help others is the way Christ would have us live.
Silver Oak’s cousin is part of our local preparedness goup and needed some work done, so Saturday we and a few others went to their house. The men put up wooden fence panels around his hog pen and installed chicken wire on other fences. He gave his three chicken tractors to others who could use them and now his chickens have a larger area to free range.
The ladies and girls enjoyed inside tasks which are difficult for his wife right now as she is soon expecting a baby. Again it was a great time of fellowship and encouragement. We want to do this more and build that sense of community that is so essential in a time of crisis!