As I sit down today and compose a message of Thanksgiving, my heart is torn. An optimist by nature, I find it difficult not to be dragged down by the events of the world. Like many of you, I am experiencing a personal feeling of helplessness as I watch global enemies face off in an unconscionable manner. I worry for my friends and I worry for my family. I worry for the world.
As I wrote last year, over the years I have shared all types of Thanksgiving messages, from the upbeat and optimistic to downright depressing. This year I prefer to stay somewhere in the middle, for as bad as things are, we still have a lot to be thankful for.
What are those things?
More and more, I am seeing that preppers are embracing a “less is more attitude”. They are purchasing only what they need after assessing their risks and making wise purchases that meet those needs.
Skills are beginning to trump stuff. “Doing it yourself” has become the preppers mantra as self-reliance bubbles to the top of the prepper wish list.
Preparedness is now being seen as good common sense and not fodder to entertain and ridicule. I hope to see more of that going forward, thanks in part to broadcast journalist Ted Koppel and his book, Lights Out.
Preppers are spanning the generations. I read emails and comments from preppers in their teens all the way up to seniors in their eighties and beyond.
These are just a handful of the trends that I have seen this past year and it warms my heart to know that the readers of Backdoor Survival have contributed to these trends by walking the walk, and living the lifestyle, even if they do so in just a small way.
Backdoor Survival Thanks You
I have so much to be grateful for. This past year the website has grown beyond my wildest dreams and although the work days are extremely long, I have been able to enjoy another year shunning doom, gloom and fear-mongering.
I say this often: Backdoor Survival readers and fans on the best on the planet. I wish I could pinpoint what it is that I do that continues to attract such a wonderful base of good people but whatever that it, I hope I can keep doing it.
Today I thank you for letting me be part of your life and allowing me to be myself. Yes, I am sometimes quirky and sometimes trite, but always honest and forthcoming, no matter what the topic.
The Backdoor Survival of the Future
At the risk of losing some of you, I readily admit that I am no longer a young whipper-snapper. Quite the contrary. Last week I turned 66 years old which qualifies me to be everyone’s “Auntie Gaye”. And as I do at this time each year, I remind myself how precious life is and that life is not to be wasted. Believe me, that is a whole lot easier to say than to do.
This year I have been in deep thought about how best to maintain Backdoor Survival while also giving myself permission to pursue other activities. That, too, is easier said than done and over the past six months I have tried a few things. Some worked out and some did not, but at the end of the day, what fell out of the process is that I need to continue to serve your needs while having fun in the process.
You read that right. Having fun has to be part of the equation or it is simply not worth it.
What does that mean going forward and what is the Backdoor Survival of the future? I am still trying to figure it out. I want to write a book – a real book and not a simple little eBook. I want to do more DIY projects and more with essential oils and home remedies. I want to share more of your stories, tips and real-life experiences. And finally, I want to do more partnering with trusted contributors in order to bring you credible information that spans my own sphere of knowledge.
The Final Word
What started out as an annual message of Thanksgiving has become so much more than that. You are my family and as family members do, I have shared some of my most private feelings about the blog and my own role in educating the world about preparedness and self-reliance.
Everything so far is written in pencil but the energy is there so I will keep pressing forward.
As you gather around your Thanksgiving table this year, do reflect upon the good that is happening in your life. Give thanks and be grateful for all that you have and not fret about what you have not. That is what I am doing
My heart is full today, as always, as I think about how far we have come. I know this from your comments and, emails. Even if you do not contact me directly, in my heart of hearts, I know you are standing tall and are ready to live the rest of your life with an abundance of gumption and spirit.
My wish is for you to continue to thrive, to be well, and to be safe. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to things that will enhance your quest for preparedness. Looking for the perfect gift? Check out The Prepper’s Holiday Gift Guide.
Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath: The book, by Ted Koppel, may finally wake up the masses that believe that nothing bad could ever happen to them. The consequences of a cyberattack on our power grid may through us back a century or longer. Are you prepared?
Luci EMRG Inflatable Solar Lantern: This is the original Luci EMRG Solar lantern. I have put mine through its paces and it is one tough cookie. It has weathered both a wind storm and rain storm while hanging outdoors for a month. Lightweight, waterproof and shatterproof, Luci EMRG provides ultra-bright, reliable light to guide your way indoors and out, through blackouts or extreme weather conditions.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and weighs only 2oz. It works quickly, taking roughly 3-5 seconds of sucking to start the flow of water through the filter. It’s ultra-light and inexpensive but effective. There is also the LifeStraw Family that will purify up to 12 liters per hour.
BaoFeng UV5R Dual-Band Two-Way Radio: I own two of these. Something to keep in mind that if you are just planning to listen, you do not need a license. This is the prepper’s choice when it comes to emergency radios. Special Note: BaoFeng and Pofung radios are one and the same. Some units are branded as “Pofung”. Need help setting them up? Read How to Set-Up and Master Ham Radio Without Going Crazy.
The All-American Sun Oven: Without a question, this is one of my top picks for the prepper who truly wants to be self-sufficient. Through a special arrangement with Sun Ovens International, you can pick up a fully equipped Sun Oven valued at $448 for a final price of $315 which includes shipping.
RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers. For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports.
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