Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Home Skills -- Required?

These past couple of days I've been communicating with folks dealing with the deep freeze back on the mainland. A number have blogs and have been posting about their troubles. The one thing I've become aware of is that many of them lack basic skills to deal with their problems. Thus they are on a long waiting list for repairs.....damaged rooves, broken water pipes, furnaces that won't work, no electricity, frozen doors and locks, fallen trees blocking driveways, etc. Learning some basic skills would have come in handy. 

While living back in New Jersey back in our young days, because of the lack of a savings account, out of necessity we had to learn how to maintain our vehicles and do basic repairs (brakes, new rings, timing belt, new clutch, oil changes, etc). Hubby learned to do plumbing, with galvanized, copper, and plastic piping. He also learned to do electrical. I learned to repair our appliances -- range, washing machine, clothes dryer, furnace. I even managed a few repairs on our refrigerator. We figured out how our water well worked, re-primed ours using a hand pump, repaired the water pump multiple times, replaced check valves. Figured out how to unfreeze pipes and sewer lines. Learned about septic systems and built a new leach field. Built French drains and swales when we had flooding problems. Learned how to repair broken windows and screens, fix doors, repair roof leaks. Even put on a new roof and exterior siding. Figured out how to install new windows, doors, and insulation. Learned to use hand and power tools safely, including a chainsaw. 

Back in those days we couldn't google it nor watch YouTube videos to learn how. We did it the old fashioned way -- went to the library and took adult education courses at the local vo-tech college. 

Call me old fashioned, or just plain practical, but I think knowing basic skills is a necessity when living on a small farm or living independently. This recent deep freeze is showing that. Blogs written by older established rural types show them going about their day successfully dealing with the ice, snow, and sub-zero freeze.  But other blogs and Facebook pages show people struggling to survive and awaiting rescue via the repairmen. Several were poorly prepared. 

Guess I'm just a Boy Scout type.....be prepared.