Posts Tagged ‘pandemics’

We conducted an informal  poll at my local book club – The Blue Ridge Readers.  We have been reading and discussing books for over ten years now and lately asked the question:

 What is your favorite kind of book?

There were the Historical Novel lovers,

the Romance Seekers (aren’t we all?),

Avid Gourmet Foodies,

the Humorists,

Non-fiction Devotees,


Dor the Doomsdayer.

When I somehow stammered out the ugly truth, that I love doomsday books, there was a shocked moment of silence and twitters of nervous laughter in our normally all-accepting, socially correct gathering of serious readers.

And someone finally said, “You are the last person I would think would like that kind of reading.”

“Well, it is my contention,” I replied, “that one should not only enjoy reading, but one should try to acquire wisdom and learn something useful in the process.”  

The above haughty approach is what I meant to say but what I really said was,

“You know, I like survival stories. 

and by way of further explanation,

 “I LOVE reading about the Plague and am now engrossed in The Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks, where a small English village is left nearly empty of people and the roads are overgrowing with grass for lack of use (since everybody dies of course).”

Year of Wonders

This explanation did not help much to explain the pleasures of doomsday reading to my book group.  I went on,

Great Infuenza“I really enjoyed reading The Great Influenza.  Now that’s a winner and it’s all true stuff.”

“And I loved Isaac’s Storm about the devastating 1900 hurricane in Galveston, Texas and the arrogance of man against nature. Did you know that most of Galveston is only ten feet above sea level? “Isaac's Storm


But then there was a hint of a giggle from the back and that ended up in all-group laughter.  And they weren’t laughing at me (at least I don’t think so).  They were laughing with me for a preoccupation with surviving encroaching tragedy.

I am also preoccupied with stocking up for a potential pandemic but there was another post about that.  Did you know they have found edible honey in Egyptian tombs?

But, finally to prove my point to my Blue Ridge Reader friends, the last book we discussed at meeting, (which everybody seemed to love)  was The Widow’s War, by Sally Gunning, a novel about a brave woman struggling to keep her home and stay afloat after her husband drowned at sea.  Her “widow’s war” was a fight for her rights to an independent life and to own property in Massachusetts in 1761.

Widow's War

The Widow’s War is a perfect survival story.

The poor widow had to make her own cheese you know.  Could I do that?  I need to find a book on how to make cheese.

And she made her own candles too.  That was fascinating even though she practically burned her house down in the process.

But you get the idea right?

There is something to be said for doomsday reading.

Or are you laughing with me like the rest of my book club?


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Books n Pamphlets

Riddle:  What Numbs Pain, Kills Germs, Helps Time Go By and Lasts Forever? 

*Answer to follow after general ramblings.

I am not certain when I began to think about hoarding for some unknown crisis.  Maybe it was when Mom stocked up for oncoming hurricanes.  We lived in Florida.

Or maybe it was the time Bill and I in younger days, carried everything we owned in an old Chevy (2 knives, 2 spoons, 2 plates, etc.).  Could this have triggered a deprivation syndrome?

Then there was the pandemic threat – avian flu you know – and anyway, my favorite books were (and still are) “doomsdayers” like about the plague, the Great Influenza, the Perfect Storm,  the devastating 1900 hurricane in Texas, etc.

I am not a survivalist, so forgeddabout collecting guns or building a bunker (although such thoughts tend to drift in and out from time to time).

Instead I began collecting reams of ideas on What to do IF.  It’s all about “storing” (hoarding is such a negative word isn’t it?) and the ideas are filling up a big notebook.  I am not an actual hoarder either – but some things just make sense, like the notebook of course and knowing WHAT to hoard when it seems necessary.

Having experienced jocular ridicule, this notebook is only shown to serious visitors who promise not to laugh, and of course now sharing it with you, in short spurts (for impact) with no guarantees re your reactions either

There is a big section in the book about Food Hoarding Storage though!  And at least one of you INTELLIGENT bloggers has asked for more info about that.

Store Indefinitely

Food Item #1 if you may recall, was FRUITCAKE.  Do plan to stock up on edible tinned fruitcakes this winter since they are supposed to last forever!  Never mind shellacking them for doorstops.

Today’s Thought is re Item #2 for Practical Hoarding (remember the Riddle above?):

*What Numbs Pain, Kills Germs, Helps Time Go By and Lasts Forever?   


I heard (but have no real proof of course) that HARD LIQUOR will keep forever!  But it is said that all distilled spirits such as vodka, rum, whiskey, gin and tequila are “ever-afters!”  

I, myself, am not a regular drinker, but can see why one might turn to Southern Comfort in certain terrifying conditions. Think “Hurricane Parties!”

In addition to having potential nutritional value, there have been movies where alcoholic beverages served as antiseptics as well as superb pain relievers (anesthesias) for mortally wounded film heroes, to say nothing of mind altering drunkenness in the face of impending amputations.

Thus, from a rather sober point of view, hard liquors may definitely be construed as  hard working multi-taskers with endless longevity – the perfect items for hoarding.

Now I hope you will stay tuned for more Practical Hoarding tips.  You might be surprised.

And I can’t wait to tell you all the things you can do about WATER!

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