29 September 2012


As a missionary in Miami in the mid-1980's, I had the opportunity to get know many Latin cultures, but I felt a particular affinity for the Cubans.  Perhaps that's because they essentially ran Miami as a northern suburb of Havana (which, let's face it, it is) or maybe it's because their preferred method of cleaning the house was to simply bring in a hose from the backyard and spray down every last bit of the plastic-encased furniture and formica sculptures, but I digress.  A common refrain I heard from Cuban brothers and sisters on cleaning days, as well as pretty much any day, was 'Preparate!,' loosely meaning 'Get ready.'

I thought about that one word command a lot today as the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and I made our way to the nearest big box hardware emporium to buy this:
The latest addition to our garage
Yes, we are the proud new owners of a Troy-Bilt 7,000 watt generator. Jealous?  Don't be.  This surrender to Mother Nature purchase means we really or that we will really need something like this.  Last year, before moving to this fine little corner of New England, they bore the brunt of a brutal, weird storm in October.  Our neighborhood was without power for 10, count 'em, 10 days.  Now if you're keeping score, you know that for the six years that we lived in Chicago, we never put a backup battery on our ancient sump pump. This meant that we spent each and every storm praying, sacrificing goats, doing whatever it took to make sure that thing kept running and that our basement did not turn into an open sewer.  By some miracle, it worked.  This time, though, we've decided not to play those odds.

Now we live in the sticks.  It's not like we can just run down the street to get a few things in the event of a power outage.  No, if we lose power for a day, let alone days on end, we will  have to fend for ourselves.  So adding the generator makes the spectre of living 'Little Hell House in the Prairie' just a little easier. Now to figure out how to work the thing...

I couldn't help thinking about the many lessons in Church over the years about the need to be prepared and living providently.  It is wise counsel. It's made us a bit of a peculiar people and not especially popular with movers. There's always an ugly moan when they see the boxes of food storage.  I for one hope that we never have to break into that stuff but if we do, I know we'll get by.  Oh the things we'll do with ground wheat!

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