The EPIC FAIL of a Self-Proclaimed Ninja
By Jeanette Vale
And then it happened...
One night I was forced to sleep in my truck far from home. Hotels, family and friends were not an option, and the situation was thrust upon me so suddenly. By this time in life, I was seven years an emergency-preparedness-ninja. I had taught classes or hosted booths on cooking with wheat, emergency kits, food storage, sanitation, and solar ovens. In my last city I was a member of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). This is a volunteer team trained by the local fire department, funded by FEMA and (cue the dramatic music) ... ready for anything... Earthquakes, floods, or fires.
You’d think that I was ready for an emergency sleepover in the cab of my truck. But guess what, my friend? I was not. I was in California, it was late September, and it was cold. It was nearing 11:00 P.M. when I parked on a dark street and prepared to bunk down for the night.
I took stock of my situation. What did I have in my truck? By chance, did I have a blanket? I knelt and looked behind the seat. One sock. I reached for it, gave it a shake, put it on. It felt good to have one foot hugged by stretchy fabric. Two socks would’ve been better. I failed to follow my own great teachings. Second, I found a small denim jacket that reached mid-waist, a fashion piece, almost useless. I put it on. Long sleeves are better than none. Well, that was all. Wow. Note to self: Be prepared for emergencies! I did not sleep at all that night, go figure.
A Witness to my Shame
As the sun rose the next day, I rolled down my window to find a rust-colored cat sitting outside my door. It was sizing me up, as cats do. It looked disdainfully at me, judging.
I wished it a cheery morning and started my engine. Time to shove off and solve the conundrum of why I had to sleep in my truck in the first place.
Kitty, please move. Thank you.
We have all been there. Life is normal and then in a split second, things are not normal. It is jarring. It is sudden. The time for preparing is past and we are up a creek with no paddle and one sock. In these moments we swear to never be caught like this again.
Versions of how we move forward from this varies among the sexes. Some carry a large purse with everything in it, others have a more organized tactical bag that is worth its weight in gold. Walk briskly past these warriors, and don’t make eye contact. You never know which way they could go, friend or foe. But the friendly ones are the people who save the other people. My advice is:
Be the person with the bag.
Today, I drive a van. When I park, it looks like the A-Team might jump out and start shooting up the place. But it’s filled with warm blankets, munchies, and several pairs of socks. It’s my ultimate purse, you could say. There is a tiny emergency kit hidden in an Altoid-tin, in case I bug-out from the van. I might use the paper clip inside to spear dinner. I might use the dental floss to hang my car keys from a tree branch. Okay...it sounds like I better learn how to use the tiny kit. Well, I’m off to do just that. Friends, Step on, prep on and enjoy the ride.
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