The "Ah ha" Moment
by Nettie Jacobs
(St. Ignatius, Montana)
Here I am, 54 years old. A Computer Scientist with degrees in Computer Science/Applied Physics and a Masters in Computer Information Systems, a good salary and the stress and long hours to go with it. I was born and raised in Western Montana, and it seems as though my DNA kept pulling against the route I have taken in life, education and profession.
Many "preppers" testify that they had an "ah ha" moment. A point at which something 'clicked' and they realized they had to prepare for themselves and their families and to do anything less would be irresponsible to themselves and their community in the case of a disaster or emergency. I have had such a moment, even more than one.
I myself lived on the East Coast of Virginia for a couple decades, and the several hurricanes I went through took me to school on preparedness pretty quick! Then about a year and a half ago after moving back to Montana, I lost a job and went through a 6 week unemployment period. Extrememly short compared to what many have suffered, but it scared me. Made me realize everything I had was wrapped up in a house with a hefty mortgage and some credit card debt, and the ever present student loans from my masters. Then my brother-in-law died suddenly, leaving my sister in a terrifying spin of not knowing what was going to happen to her - she couldn't even grieve because the fear and stress of financial ruin hanging over her head had her immobilized. That's when I had the final "ah ha" moment.
I prayed about it, and what I got was
so simple, I shook my head thinking "yup, just like God to come up with something like this!"
Gee, how about selling the the house with the big mortgage and buying (outright) something I could afford with the equity? How about snowballing those credit and student loans out of my life? How about going back to being a "Montanan" right here in Montana!?
So we started looking for land and found some nice (small) acreage in St. Ignatius, north of our house in Missoula, and once the house in Missoula sells, I will be able to pay for it OUTRIGHT, lock, stock and barrel! (It went on the market last week). I have snowballed two monthly payments out of my life and have the others in my sights once I am not paying a mortgage.
Next, create the garden in the upper pasture, build sheep and goats pens in the back 3 acres and prepare the lower pasture for wheat and other grain crops. We planted two trees in our little "orchard" yesterday! We have a total of 6 now. To make the back 3 more accessible, we've gotta build a bridge across the creek.
So it begins. We have a 33x48 metal building on the land that will be converted into a house, and a little (<800 sf) house that we are all in right now.
We know we have years of hard work ahead of us before much return, except in major satisfaction. But we have started, we have obeyed that nudge, and "ah ha" became "uh huh" and I won't look back. Who needs a pillar of salt in their long term storage that big?