WHEN THE GRID GOES DOWN/The Way We Live

Power Distribution Station with Lightning Strike.

“What Will You Do When The Lights Go Out? The Inevitable Failure Of The US Grid”

“Without electricity, all forms of fuel that our society relies on will stop flowing. All of our vehicles will be dead in the water, and more importantly, the trucks will stop delivering food. The grocery stores will be stripped bare in hours, and will not be replenished for a long time.”

“MIT Warns Trump to Secure Electric Grid”

For the last couple weeks, I’ve wanted to write something but nothing seems relevant. The world we live in is self destructing, its destruction helped enormously by the world governments.

It’s difficult to find the balance, some ray of hope.

I don’t sleep very well and I often wake up about 3:30 am in a panic. I sit in my fake fur covered rocking chair for a while and drink a glass of wine to calm myself and then I can usually go back to sleep. I feel fear and dread and I feel hopeless.

In the morning, in the early morning light, I usually sit on my deck for about 30 minutes. blue latticeI drink a cup of coffee, as I listen to the rooster crow, the horses calling for their breakfast and I watch the wolfdogs play and the cats frolicking……feeling hopeful3

And everything is beautiful.karen's chairsalmon colored tire pot

petunia boxpuck:red grazingEverything is perfect.

The past 2 years have been the most difficult in my life and I’ve had some very difficult years in the past, surrounded by death, loss, grief…. having to climb out of the darkest hole.

My greatest teacher, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross often told a story about a time in her life when she was facing tremendous obstacles. She was very much in touch with her spirit guides [guardian angels if you want to call them that] and one night when she felt she could not go on, she asked for their help. She asked for a shoulder to lean on. The answer came back: “Thou shall not be given”  She asked then for a hand to hold and again the answer came: “Thou shall not be given”  And she understood the message: that she had the strength to go through all the pain, the loneliness, everything…alone

So that’s how it’s been for me these past couple of years..asking for a sign, for a message, for a reason which would explain so many difficulties…. and hearing “Thou shall not be given” or  not hearing anything at all…only silence.

But as I watch the world self destruct…..from the quiet here in this place that I live, I start to think there is a reason so much has been taken away.: Why we’ve had to learn to live with almost no electricity, depend more on the greenhouse for food and natural medicine…and why hard as we try, there’s been so little money. Because maybe we’re entering a time when there won’t be any….money. Why we’ve had to use barter a lot..maybe barter is coming back….has to.

Last night I was thinking of another difficult period in my life and how years later, I came to think of it as essential part of my life’s journey, the greatest blessing although at the time, I felt as I have these past 2 years: stuck in a deep dark hole of despair and hopelessness.

I was in my mid 20s, totally lost, drinking continuously-day and night and I decided to sign up for an Occupational Therapy Assistant course at Houston Community College. The class which was made up of about 25 women of all ages, went from 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday and was held in a dreadful, dark building in downtown Houston. I hated it from the beginning.  I had thought that Occupational Therapy was a type of Art Therapy which I was interested in but I soon found out it had nothing at all to do with art therapy.

As the year went on, I became more and more miserable and I decided to drop out.  I told the woman who taught the class, I was finished but she begged me to stay, to finish the course. It was pretty close to the end of the year and she was very encouraging so I completed the course and got my certificate as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.

It meant absolutely nothing to me then but 15 years later, I got a job providing Occupational Therapy for a hospice and I found what became my life’s work: working with terminally ill patients, taught by Dr.Elisabeth Kubler Ross. If I had not completed that Occupational Therapy course, none of this would have happened.me:ot:hospice art

So there is a reason why things are as they are…just very hard to understand at the time.

Now in these times, maybe we are being prepared for what’s coming..maybe we will be able to help others learn to survive in the times to come….because like or not, they are coming.

I made this slideshow about the way we live and the way we live is off the grid..depending on the sun for electricity, wood from the forest for heat. It will seem in this slideshow that we aren’t lacking for anything and we aren’t..only money.

Usually when I mention anything about the grid going down, people give a sort of nervous chuckle and then quickly change the subject. Or they don’t even believe it’s a possibility. Life will go on as it has.  So be it.

Last night a neighbor brought over some homemade wine and it reminded me of the  Hank Williams Jr. song “A Country Boy Can Survive”

homemade wine

Homemade peach wine and a wine glass from The Dollar Store

I can make this wine I thought..no need to buy it. I don’t really like Hank Williams Jr. or the song but it is true…country folks can survive:

“We grow good old tomatoes and homemade wine
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive”

I don’t really care about trying to convince anyone else to live this way. For the majority of people, I imagine it would be very unpleasant but I do think some very difficult times are coming and it seems wise to prepare in some way. And there are ways.

Following is a short article on what will likely happen when the grid goes down and also a short video of the children’s artist, Tasha Tudor who was famous not only for her art, but for her beautiful gardens and her choice to live in the old way without electricity…an inspirational teacher for the times to come.

*If you care to contribute to this blog, it’s much appreciated. It’s my way now of contributing as the work I did in the past is no longer possible. https://www.gofundme.com/poohsrainbow   we appreciate contributions also to the welfare of our many rescued animals

 WHEN THE GRID GOES DOWN

1. All commerce will cease. The ATMs won’t work, the banks won’t open, and the cash registers won’t…well, register. For a while cash will be king, but if the crisis goes on for more than a few weeks, then people will view it as worthless. We’d be back to a barter economy in short order.

2. Communications will shut down. If you think you can rely on your cell phone to work in a disaster, think again. In a crisis, when everyone instinctively reaches for their phone, that limit is quickly surpassed and the radios on the tower get sluggish, thus causing the fast-busy signal. Mobile analysts estimates that a cell site can handle 150 to 200 calls per second per sector. When a large group are making calls at the same time, the network can’t handle the amount of calls. More importantly, communications with police, firefighters, and ambulance services will cease. Many of the workers in these positions will try to soldier on, and keep doing the best job that they can for as long as they can. However, without ordinary citizens calling them to report crimes and emergencies, they’ll be helplessly watching their communities burn down around them. It won’t be long before they give up, ditch their posts, and return to their families.

3. Without electricity, all forms of fuel that our society relies on will stop flowing. All of our vehicles will be dead in the water, and more importantly, the trucks will stop delivering food. The grocery stores will be stripped bare in hours, and will not be replenished for a long time. Even if you live in an area that is rich in agricultural resources, there may be no food to be had, since those farms rely on fertilizers and farming equipment that must be delivered by trucks.

4. And of course many of those farms will lack water, as will your plumbing. For a couple of days after the power goes out, you’ll still have running water since water towers rely on gravity to feed the water to your home. However, electricity is required to clean that water and pump it into the tower. Once it’s out, that means that you won’t be able to flush your toilet. So not only dehydration be a major threat, but without the ability to remove human waste or wash your hands, every community will face daunting sanitation problems.

5. When the grocery stores are stripped bare, the pharmacies won’t be far behind. Millions of people who rely on life saving medications could die in the weeks and months that follow. But perhaps more shocking is what would happen to the people who aren’t using drugs that are immediately life saving. 13% of Americans are using opioid drugs, which are highly addictive and cause horrendous withdrawal symptoms. Another 13% of Americans are on antidepressants, and likewise, the withdrawal symptoms are pretty problematic. In other words, within a few weeks after the grid collapses, about 25% of your neighbors are going to be in an awful mental state that is not conducive for survival.

6. And finally, one of the most shocking things that people will have to deal with, is the lack of GPS. The GPS satellites will probably keep running, but eventually the devices that read those signals will give up the ghost. These days people are pretty reliant on GPS for directions, and there aren’t as many paper maps lying around. The average person is going to be utterly lost if the grid goes down.

In summary, law and order will break down at every level, and death will be around every corner. It’s one thing to grow up and live in an era that lacks electricity, but to be sent back to such a time on a moments notice would be one of the most challenging things that a person accustomed to modern amenities would ever face.

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