In these hard economic times, with snow coming down outside my window, my thoughts turn to Russia. Minneapolis can’t be that different in climate from Moscow, can it? But the people of Russia have surely endured harder times than we have. What with a history of pogroms, famine, purges and Communism, perhaps we could learn a thing or two about how to get by from studying Russian survival tactics during the late-19th to roughly mid- 20th century.
Idea #1: Don’t Throw Out Those Bones
If you eat meat, you need to think about using everything. Save the fat for cooking or making soap. Use the bones of chickens, turkeys or porkchops for soup. Or as bait for luring rats from their hiding places so you can club them to death and eat them.
Idea #2: Make Boots Out of Old Tires and Rags
Idea #3: Give Up Your Fancy Veggies and Fruits
All you really need is the potato and some other root veggies, like turnips and beets. They will last all winter in your cellar. You do have a cellar, don’t you?
Idea #4: Quit Your Health Club Membership And Take Up Hunting
Spending all day Saturday tracking a buck or house cat through the woods burns more energy than three days of the treadmill.
Idea #5: Give Your Children Corn Husk Dolls and Sticks To Play With
Or even better, put them to work gathering food, hunting, begging or working in a factory.
Idea #6: Take In Boarders
One family to an apartment or home is an unusual luxury.
Idea #7: If You Run Out of Firewood, Burn Furniture
Or mattresses. Anything to keep you alive.
Idea #8: When Your Neighbor Is Taken Away By The Secret Police, Raid Their Stuff
It’s guaranteed they aren’t coming back and where they’re going, they won’t need it anyway. When the police leave, see if you can sneak in and snag some goodies.
Idea #9: We’re All In This Together
We all suffer as one. Comforting, isn’t it?
I guess what I’m trying to say is, we think we have it bad right now and we’re scared but, really, we live in a land of ridiculous luxury and choice. Our mistakes, speaking in broad terms, were/are charging too much, saving very little and buying palatial homes we can’t always afford. But this is still one of the best times to be alive in human history in terms of suffering and war and all you have to do to convince yourself of that is to read some history. Sure bad stuff is happening right now, all over the place. But here in the U.S., we have a lot to be thankful for.
I’m thankful that I don’t have to pick through garbage. I’m thankful that I don’t have to beat my clothes against rocks to clean them. I’m thankful that today, at least, I have a job and it wasn’t assigned to me by the government.