When I was a very small child neighbors would often call to ask if they could borrow me to help with their canning. From the time I was old enough to understand how to take the stems off of cherries I helped can. I helped my mom, my grandparents, and my neighbors.
I loved learning how to garden from anyone who would show me what to do.
As I got a little older I discovered the magic of books. I read literally every book in the school library and moved on to the public library. Everything I read about I wanted to try…
I stole my dad's hammer when I tried out geology, I gathered all the bones I could find, even stealing them from the dog, when I was reading about archeology.
My Barbie dolls were the subjects of many experiments.
When I went to girls camp I was the only one who could start a fire, catch a fish, cook on a fire, and more. Our camp was visited by other girls as they came to see what I had created out of some twine and sticks to make our camp more comfortable.
Then came college where I discovered that a homemade loaf of bread was better than gold and I had a waiting list of guys who wanted to fix my car in exchange for a piping hot loaf of bread. I had people ask me to teach them how to cook or run a household as their wedding gift. I was always adding to my toolbox of independence (knowledge) which came in handy more and more times as I remained single, took care of grandparents in their last days, and now live with my parents as they have had health challenges.
Depending upon the time in my life I have needed to know how to do chores around the house traditionally assigned to a man or to a woman and have been able (with the help of the internet and books) to always step up to the bat and score. I may not always hit a home run, but I always find a way and that's because I'm prepared with a score of tools, knowledge, and ingenuity.
There really is no greater gift than that of knowing that you can take care of yourself and your loved ones. Nothing scares me for long because I know that I have prepared myself to handle most anything and if I haven't learned about it yet, I'm more than willing to discover something new.
I had an instructor once who told me I was trying to go down the river of life with too many canoes; he wanted me to stick to one thing. I told him that I was not traveling in a canoe, I was building a raft and I wanted as many logs as possible! As time has gone on, my raft has become a solid boat; I'm hoping that someday it may even be compared to an ark.
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