I Wish I Had Paid Attention
A reader recently left a comment saying that he was new to prepping, but that it seemed to be pretty much the way his grandfather had lived his life just as a regular thing, not calling it prepping or survivalism. I'm sure the same could be said for a lot of us.
My Virginia grandparents were very much urban/suburban folks, despite my grandmother's father constructing a fallout shelter during the early 60s. My grandfather was a WWII vet, but had never even pumped his own gas until the late 70s.
Now my Idaho grandparents were a different story. Grandma had grown up on a homestead in eastern Montana. She and her sister spent the winters in town with their grandparents because they would not have made it to school otherwise. Grandpa was self educated and could build or repair anything. When I was a little kid, they were full time RVers, traveling the country in their trailer, while Grandpa worked as a trouble shooter at mills for three months here, six months there. They retired to Couer d'Alene in the late 70s and I spent about a month each summer with them through middle school and high school. We fished the glacier lakes for kokanee and I learned to use a chain saw and a splitting maul. Each summer I brought home something survival-related. A roll of barbed wire from a yard sale, a wrist rocket, a .38 special derringer, illegal m-80s and m-100s from the res... all kinds of cool stuff.
But I missed learning a lot of stuff that at the time, did not seem survival related. I know better now, but it's too late. The kokanee were these little fish, supposedly a cross between a trout and a salmon, and we trolled for them with a couple hundred feet of line out, and a corn nibblet for bait. We caught them by the dozens. Grandpa would smoke them and Grandma canned them. Grandma's sister had a huge garden and put up all kinds of fruits, jellies, veggies and meats. Her pantry was always chock full of home canned deliciousness.
Their legacy lives on, despite me not learning how to make the most of the harvest from them. I have several of Grandpa's guns, and my brother has his '49 GMC pickup that has been in the family since it was new. If you are lucky enough to still have older folks who have lived through lean and tough times and have the skills, take the time to sit at their feet and learn. Do it now before it is too late.