74: “Your situation is very compelling, I hope your job search advances aggressively.”

Thank you sir. I’m not going to go into my line of work, because… well, frankly, it simply doesn’t matter, in the grand scheme of things. Let’s say that if the NSA wanted my help, I COULD fix their BILLION-DOLLAR facility in Utah… That’s no bullsh!t, because that’s what I do. I could get it online and running at 100%. But truth is that the NSA and the rest of the spy agencies disgust me. If they made me an offer I’d turn them down flat. Considering what a threat they are to Americans at large, they literally don’t have enough money to buy my loyalty. I COULD fix their problems, but the government is the enemy, so “F” ‘em. In the meantime, I’m flying out for an interview Sunday, so we’ll see. :)

Me: “… issues I’ve also run across include usability of the RV, entertainment, internet, sewage and water issues, weapon storage (forget about gun safes)… and the utter absence of privacy.”

OK, time to get back to what I promised to address… I apologize for being distracted, between the questions and the various thoughts that keep coming into my head as I write all this, I find myself going down bunny-trails, without hope of getting back to what I’m supposed to be doing.

1. Usability. It seems simple enough, having a cabin, a couple of beds, a small kitchen, dinette, bathroom and shower. For true SHTF scenarios, having all of these things in one place should feel like Heaven, yeah? Well….. NO. First of all, your living quarters become your living room for evening entertainment, your school room for teaching reading writing and arithmetic, your dining area, your entertainment area for guests, your sleeping area, your storage area for clothes, coats, food and bottled water, toys, spelling and math books, shoes and anything else that doesn’t fit under the floor in your (now too small) storage area. In other words, you’ll have so many competing interests for every inch of space, that you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to keep everything organized… much less CLEAN. The kitchen table is for eating, homework, and every other task that requires horizontal space. A small notepad/work desk is divided between holding a printer (for what personal and work documents I still need to use it for), additional homework, and when everyone else is occupied at the local pool or beach, I strap my reloading press to it to whip out maybe 50-75 rounds of ammo, before others start complaining, and I have to break down my gear. The takeaway from this is that NO SPACE IN YOUR RV/BUGOUT/HIDEY-HOLE WILL BE A SINGLE-PURPOSE LOCATION. Everything will be negotiable, every cubic inch will have different owners depending on when you can allocate time to do YOUR sh!t in it, and basically your interests will always come after everyone else’s. This is the reality of living in a small space, with multiple people.

***As an added point with regard to usability, a single bathroom, two girls and a wife means you’ll always have to find…. alternative locations… for doing your business, especially when #2 is in order. The girls and wife will demonstrate the amazing power of always occupying the toilet when YOU need to go, so be ready to be banished to the woods (or outdoor restrooms) when the question of who goes first comes up. If you decide to challenge this, do so knowing that IT WILL BE YOU CLEANING UP THE MESS. ***

2. Entertainment. When living in your house, you’d think that a sufficient supply of DVDs and I-Pads will provide enough entertainment to keep the kids out of your hair, right??? DREAM ON. Games using dice and cards will become very important as alternatives to the electronic gizmos that quickly kill the (precious) batteries under hard use. The magic of electronic toys quickly fades away, they get bored, and now you have to spend time with them… The takeaway is that you can’t rely on such toys to substitute for your time, attention and love.

The good news is that you’ll have the chance to play with your kids, talk with them, interact with them at a level you’d never imagined… the conversations you’ll have, the trust and love you have share with your kids will grow at an exponential level… and at the same time, your APPRECIATION for them will grow. It sounds utterly hokey to say such things, but that’s been my experience. My younger daughter, mildly autistic, was always… a bit reserved around me, even after all this time. The experiences we’ve had have removed most of those barriers, and she’s opened up a lot to me. So…. the circumstances have been unpleasant, but I can honestly say that I’m grateful for some of the lovely results that’ve happened as a result of the circumstances. :) :) :)

Finally, with regard to entertainment… since we’ve been in the same general area for the last three months, we’ve found several museums with kids sections for little ones…. dinosaur parks and play areas, science-based parks, and an entire amusement park (covering several hundred acres) geared toward very small kids… So we have enough variety to keep them busy and entertained, and even a little bit of leverage to keep them working on their homework…. math, reading and writing. ;)