RURAL WOMAN SURVIVAL: HIDE IT

Reader Contribution by Rhonda Shephard

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recent snow storm dumped ten inches of snow on western Oklahoma, reaffirmed my
beliefs certain things must be hidden. If you have a spouse like mine, nothing
is sacred in the ownership department: brooms, cleaning supplies, cookie
dough.Over the course of our marriage
power outage sometimes take on the days to a week proportion, so I learned the value
of reserve items.

If
you live in the country, a good generator is a must.I can’t take credit for this one because the
valuable nature of keeping cattle watered at the corrals near our house was the
foremost concern, not my comfort level. When
the comfort factor was established it was easy to convince my spouse our son
and partner, really needed one at his
house. Besides sometimes its like opening Shephard B&B when the electricity
goes out for extended lengths of times with the neighbors.

When the electricity is out, and you live in a
total electric home, the central system pulls too much electricity, and is the
first to go. If you have a wood stove,
and wood, that’s golden.At my house
it’s an iffy situation. I purchased ceramic heaters over the years, and thought
we had plenty units during our last outage to keep the house toasty.Not so, my son forgot to buy them, and
disappeared with mine from the travel trailer. I couldn’t deny my grandson
warmth, and I had two extra. Not exactly, one I thought well hid ended up in
the pump house. We survived until the morning light with one heater I reserved.

Flash lights or lanterns; never store them where somebody can find them.
Over my married life, I might have provided runway lighting with disappeared
flashlights. There was always a valid promise to return to the specified drawer
and protests they needed light now. A broken swather sitting in the dark didn’t
earn money in a summer alfalfa field. Lesson learned, purchase a good
lightening source, and hoard it, no matter what the protests for illumination.
Next time you won’t be stumbling around in the dark.Burned fingers and dripped wax happen less
frequently with battery operated lights.

A good shovel or snow scoop, this has wide and varied uses; clearing the
walk to the doorway, or a path pampered pooches to do their duty, or an
inspired snow sled for my two year old.The wide bladed wheat or snow scoop is another item that
disappears.I think I might have dug a
horizontal oil well with all my missing equipment. I won’t mentioned household pliers, rakes,
hoes, and hammers.

My point, living in the country is often
not survival of the fittest, but the winner of the best hidden. If I sound
inclined not to share, that’s not the case. I could continue my diatribe about
cookie dough, cleaning supplies, cleaning clothes, cookie dough and pecans that
disappears from the freezer, even batteries taken from the TV remote to power
the GPS device. I learned my lesson well.After years of bumping around in the dark, huddling under blankets so
the water pump doesn’t freeze, and sitting in the dark because the flashlight
borrowed in July never saw the inside of my storage spot again. The best path I
found was hiding.

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