by Michelle Plamondon

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Self Sufficiency

Summer Is the Time for Teaching

I don't know what the future holds for my children. Right now my boys are 16 and 13. One wants to go to college but he can't nail down yet which career he wants to do. The other one just wants a job where he works with dogs.

He wants to do anything with dogs or do a job where he can take his dog with him. Hmmm...That requires a lot of thought and prayer. So I'm not sure if they will endeavor to live the simple, homesteading life that they've been brought up by. They may have nice jobs and want to live in the city with a city wife and city children and do city things. That's okay too. But whatever they do in life, it's just a good thing to know some skills whether they ever use them again or not.

I would hope they have a good enough job and be financially free enough to be able to pay someone else to fix their car when it breaks down, fix their roof when it leaks, unplug their plumbing, lay their carpet, and buy fresh organic food from the grocer. However, that may not always be the case. Life can throw some wild curve balls.

I was thinking about all this while we butchered our meat chickens this week. It's a nasty job indeed. With the cost of meat rising in the stores, homegrown birds are a good buy. Anyway, everyone had a station, as we prepared and packaged the chickens. Some were for us, and some were for another family that paid cash for our time and care and butchering abilities. It's not a pleasant thing, but it can be made into an enjoyable time together as a family. We had so many serious life discussions during our working time, as well as lots of laughs over stories. It definitely made the job easy and even fun. I was thinking all along that if my boys never again had to butcher a chicken, it wouldn't be a bad thing, but some skills are needed in case they ever do need to raise their own meat. Also, it gives an understanding of biology and anatomy and reminds you where your food comes from.

Education and skills are things that no one can ever take away from you! You can lose your wonderful job, you can lose all your money and investments, you can lose all your networking connections, but you'll always have what you know how to do for yourself! That's why in addition to whatever career my boys select, I ask that they learn a trade as well. You never know when you may have to fall back on it. People will always need electricity in some form, a warm house in the winter, or a reliable bathroom. Knowing how to grow and harvest a garden, basic sewing or mending, cooking, raising and butchering meats, carpentry, home maintenance and repair, car repair, wood cutting and burning, etc. will always be with you wherever you go and whatever you do.

That's more than just living financially free. That's living self-sufficiently. You're free in the knowledge that you'll be okay no matter what life throws at you. So duck the curve balls, and they'll fly right past you.

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