by Grey Woman, Survival Blog:
I am the invisible prepper. I am, on the surface, a caricature of everything that most SurvivalBlog readers seem to deplore. On the surface, I am a caricature of what the non-prepper community expects me to be– completely average in every way.
Who I Am
I am a twice divorced middle-aged woman, a committed democrat, a sincere atheist, a successful product of public schools, and what you would likely call a coastal liberal elite. If you met me, you would probably ignore me, scoff under your breath, and label me as sheeple or a snowflake.
What You Would Not Know
That’s perfect! What you would not know is what follows.
Moving my home to the “country” was less about lower property taxes, empty nest syndrome, and proximity to wineries than about avoiding more populated areas and enabling greater security in the event of a major event. Adding a fence and planting lots of blackberry, raspberry, and rose bushes around the perimeter of my property was less about “curb appeal” than about slowing down potential intruders.
The home renovations I have done have been less about spiffing up an older home or safety measures suitable for a middle-aged woman living alone. They have been more about added layers of physical barrier security that have turned an adorable cottage into something significantly more secure (but still an adorable cottage).
Starting a home-based consulting company was less about “corporate burn-out” than about minimizing business travel and avoiding a potentially deadly 60-mile trip home from work on foot.
Proficient at Self-Sufficient
Being proficient at sewing, cooking from scratch, making my own soap, bread et cetera is less about being “so crafty and creative – very cute!”. Rather, it has been about being as self-sufficient as possible.
Those two big goofy looking rescue mutts rolling around in the leaves will eat your face if they think you are a threat to me. (Aren’t I a good person for adopting homeless animals!?!)
What You Would Not See
There are things you would see and not recognize. Yet, what you would not see follows.
Concealed Vegetable Gardens and Chicken Coop
Behind the subtle landscaping and perennial flower gardens on the grounds of my adorably well-kept cottage are concealed extensive vegetable gardens. There is also a large productive chicken coop.
Wood For Heat
That picturesque smoke coming out of the chimney is actually how I heat my home. Though splitting and stacking wood is an activity no one would suspect me of, it’s my sweaty little secret.
Four-Season Stream as Secondary Water Source
The four-season stream across the street, which provides a musical counterpart to my days, is also a four-season water source if my well pump fails. Picking this house was not an accident.
That cute vintage car safely stored in my garage as a fun summer weekend driver is also completely stock so as to be impervious to EMP. It’s also easy to repair, even for me. And, yes, I can!
Basement and Bins
You would never notice that the visible footprint of my basement does not completely match the footprint of the house. These older homes are so quirky. Pay no attention to that bookshelf full of clearly labeled winter clothes bins. I am so organized!
Of course, you would never see that it conceals a homemade (by me with my own power tools) safe room that holds the results of all of my canning, dehydrating, bargain buying et cetera, which are regularly rotated into my small decoy kitchen pantry and cataloged in that binder, which you will also never see. You will never know that I can feed and supply myself and those select few for whom I privately prepare for at least two years.
Contents of Locked Cabinet
I hope you never have to know what is in the locked cabinet in the corner of the invisible basement. You won’t know where I go to practice or what skills that I have developed. Hint: One does not need to visibly worship the second amendment to achieve deadly hand/eye coordination.
The Value and Cost in Being the Grey Woman
There is value in being the grey woman. But there is also a cost.
The Non-Prepper World
The non-prepper world does not see me for what I am, because they are conditioned to rely on what they expect and what they see on the surface, handcuffed by their normalcy bias. They will not come knocking on my door for handouts in the event of societal breakdown. What could I possibly have to offer?
The Prepper Community
The irony is that the prepper community has the same blind spot for different reasons. Even if you did see hints of my preparedness, you would not recognize them for what they are.
Because I do not share your religious fervor, political affiliation, or social agenda, you would never suspect that I am a dedicated, if invisible, member of the prepping community. You might not believe that values and integrity are a function of character, not church membership, and that differing views on social issues do not necessarily preclude cooperation and mutual support among those of us who have invested our time, money, and energy in preparedness.
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