Journal Entry #1

I don’t know exactly how to start this.  I only know that I want to give you an account of what has happened and what is happening.  Maybe it will just be for my own purposes, I had hoped one day to be a writer and maybe this will help me process things that have happened.  Maybe it will be useful to my children or the generations after.  Maybe, one day, it will be used to help put the pieces of the puzzle together regarding what happened to us all.  I wonder if the United States will ever recover from this.  I have hope that we will, we’ve suffered many things in our history, from the Revolution itself till now.  Hopefully, we will carry on, endure, and learn from our mistakes.

Anyway.  Where should I begin?

I suppose it would be good to recall that I had known, in one degree or another, of a rising need to prepare for these hard times.  I could go as far back as ’94, my father taking me camping and teaching me field-craft, taking me to the shooting range and showing me how to operate different types of firearms:  revolvers and semi-automatic handguns, shotguns, bolt-action, lever-action and semi-automatic rifles; even muzzleloaders.  It was an exciting time for me.  Barely fourteen.  It was a stage in my life where I realized that this training, this trust being given to me was part of a rite of passage.  My father was including me in the company of dangerous men.  Retired or honorably discharged soldiers, all of them.  Good men, but dangerous men nonetheless.  It was this goodness and danger that I found myself drawn to like a magnet.  It was here that I was introduced to men like my father on a new level, not just a boy-son tagging along with the men whose conversations didn’t make sense, but a young man-in-training.  I was included.

I could move forward in time a few years to the Y2K scare.  Ten years after everything went through into the New Year without a hitch, it had become a laughable event.  But I remember being concerned as a young man about this event coming to pass.  Among many good-natured folks, my father had been making preparations just in case something bad were to happen.  Better to be prepared than not.  I had been trained under my father’s roof to take care of myself in more ways than one and I planned on falling back to his place with my future bride in tow.  I remember struggling to understand why, even if things wouldn’t go south, why people would refuse to have some level of disaster or emergency preparedness in case they had to fend for themselves.  Time and again my father would quote the book of Proverbs, chapter 22, verse 3:  “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” 

I hated my step-father for shirking what I saw to be his responsibility to protect my mother and provide for her.  I had learned that as a man, it was my God-given right to protect myself.  Further, I had learned that it was my God-given duty to provide for and protect my wife, children, and family.  If I did not, I was like “a heathen who has denied the Faith”, as I recall the New Testament saying.

For awhile, right before all this (what we are in now) happened, I felt like I had denied the Faith for a while.  I had let skills that I had learned long ago slip, I had grown complacent with being prepared for something that wasn’t happening.  I had grown cynical from listening to and observing blow-hard, arm-chair quarterbacks have pissing contests on who would “show up” when “the day” arrived and how their superior weapon and only that was going to save the day.

My father’s words continued to ring in my head:  be a prudent man.

Even though I was late, and suffered for it, I am glad I took counsel in my fathers words and began making preparations again.  It would be much, much worse if I hadn’t.


About JustTom

Acta Non Verba.
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2 Responses to Journal Entry #1

  1. Chris says:

    Your Father-in-Law is married to your mother? Are you from Arkansas?

    (“I hated my father-in-law for shirking what I saw to be his responsibility to protect my mother and provide for her.”)

    • Sometimes when one is writing, even if one pours over the manuscript time and time again to make sure it looks good and makes sense, things STILL get missed. Glad a second set of eyes finally caught that, thank you for letting me know about that mistake. I don’t know where my head was, I could have sworn it said “step-father”, it’s corrected now!

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