Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The New Renaissance

We have been Preppers/Survivalist for a very long time.  So long, in fact, that we no longer think of ourselves in terms of being Preppers or Surivalists.  Instead, over the years we have shed our former lives and embraced a new Renaissance.  We don't garden for the sake of preparedness, but for the sake of a better lifestyle.  We don't make cheese, preserve food, hunt or keep bees so that we can survive the end of the world - what fun would that be?  We do all of those things so that we can live a more fulfilling life today.

Twenty-five years ago, Sir Knight and I were a typical suburban family (well, perhaps not typical, but close anyway).  We window shopped in crowded shopping malls, ate late breakfasts at trendy, upscale restaurants and hiked on the weekends because it was part of the Pacific Northwest lifestyle.  We ate out three days a week, paid other people to care for our daughter and spent more time in traffic than we did at home.  Ours was a "normal" middle class existence.  We didn't think farther ahead than what we would eat for dinner and we actually thought that the model of vehicle we drove was important.

And then we had a huge Seattle-style wind storm, complete with pouring rain (what else was new), lightening (hitting the man-hole cover in front of our house) and a plugged gutter creating a deluge from our dining room ceiling.  After Sir Knight climbed on the roof to un-plug the gutter (in the middle of an electrical storm!) and we got the dining room cleaned up, a huge pop, accompanied by sparks, sounded across the drive (a transformer had blown) and the street went dark.

As a firefighter, Sir Knight knew that he would be needed to help restore the city after the storm, but not wanting to leave Maid Elizabeth and I without transportation, we all piled into his huge 4-wheel drive pick-up to make the 8 mile drive (the back way) to his fire station so I could bring the truck home.  Branches were scattered everywhere, making travel challenging for cars, however, Big Green drove right over all but the biggest impediments.  Two miles from our home, a line of cars stopped in the middle of the road bringing our progress to a screeching halt.  People littered the road, most on their cell phones, calling 911 to report a tree in the middle of the road.  They were requesting immediate assistance so they could make it home to their families.  Sir Knight got out of the truck, motioning for Maid Elizabeth and I to stay put, and made his way through the sea of people to get a closer look at the road block.  As he approached the first car in line, Sir Knight searched in vain for the offending fallen tree, but rather than the monster Cedar that he expected, Sir Knight found two small saplings, no larger than 8 inches in diameter.  Grabbing one end of a tree, Sir Knight quickly pulled it off the side of the road and then sauntered back for the other tree.  That was it!  All that was needed was for someone to pick up the trees and move them!

We spent a week with no power.  Sir Knight stayed at the fire station, going from one house to the next, making sure that the occupants were managing and reminding people not to heat or cook with their propane bbq's in the house - and if they were running generators, making sure they were doing so safely.  Maid Elizabeth and I dusted off the oil lamps, trimmed the wicks and spent the week playing games and reading books by the cozy glow of the fireplace.   We cooked on our bbq (outside), lugged all of our perishables to the back porch to keep cool and basically, pretended to be Laura and Ma from Little House on the Prairie.  Oh, we had fun!

After our storm wake-up call, Sir Knight and I began to think of other possible grid-down scenarios.  We mapped a way out of Seattle through an abandon train tunnel and made sure that we always had full tanks of fuel.  When Sir Knight's company had a job opening in the Redoubt, we jumped at the chance to make the move.

At first, we were preppers.  We made sure we had extra water on hand and a bit of extra food - just in case.  Soon, we were buying food in bulk, stocking up on reloading components and packing "bug-out" bags.  From there, we progressed to communication systems, water purification and fuel storage.  By now we had become full-fledged survivalists.  And then, little by little, our focus began to change.

Once, we had relied on stocking enough food for extended dry periods, now, we wanted to know how to grow our own food, how to save seeds and how to propagate all manner of growing things.  Rather than storing canned cheese, we wanted to milk our own cow and make our own cheese.  Rather than sending our children off to be educated by someone else, we wanted the opportunity to teach them the things that we believed were important.  We wanted to build our own buildings, reload our own ammunition, make our own wine and be our own doctors.  We wanted to have babies at home, make our own clothes and create our own businesses.  We became unsatisfied with merely gathering, we wanted to be part of the process of creating.

Although we are highly prepared for most any eventuality, we no longer consider ourselves "Preppers" - rather, we are the New Renaissance.  We are more interested in living a full and abundant life than we are merely surviving the End of the World as we Know it.

The term Prepper and Survivalist are no longer adequate to describe who we are - we are "The New Renaissance".


  1. Yep - spring with snow on the ground and 11 days w/o power after an ice storm a few years ago. We had a generator and were more prepared (cut off switch already installed) than most. Understand what you are saying. Just trying to aquire skills when I can, do and learn at my leisure.....before I HAVE to know them....You have a great blog. Your Irish Soda Bread is spreading in fame. It was "requested" for my daughter's recent birthday celebration .....natokadn

  2. Another way of looking at it-your lifestyle sounds very similar to what my grandparents described as everyday life, from the mid 1940s on back-it seems to me people became more and more disconnected from the sources of many things after World War 2, and that really accellerated in the last decade or so.
    I went about five days without power during a ice storm a decade ago-being something of a packrat left me "accidentally prepared"-and was a needed swift kick to back up and look at the big picture.
    I plan to get out, but it will be pay as you go, and saving up is a slow process. Personally, I don't think civilization will collapse,but natural disasters do happen, and it's easier to cope with them in rural areas. Cities are like technological toys-neat when the power's on, but not worth much if the power's off.

  3. I love where you're coming from - not trying to avoid "death" but living life in every moment.

  4. The new renaissance...I love it! Truly enjoy & feel honored to read your blog, as well as Patrice's.
    Ultimate inspirations of nobel, ethical & moral lifestyles. God Bless You <><

  5. Enola,


    Im home today with some kind of stomach virus that just has passed. I just saw the article on Drudgereport about North Korea's latest Nuke threat. This one sounds really serious.

    Thats why I just broke onto your blog, I was not planning on comming back for some time as you know, but I am very, very concearned. I off loaded cruise missiles once from my ship that were nuke capable. The missles are very small. You would be suprised how small a tactical nuke warhead is!

    North Korean ballistic missles are of no real threat. I could be wrong. I think the two biggest threats are from "short range ship launched nukes" and nukes smuggled in gunny sacks (like dope) on the backs of illegal aliens through our open border.

    Yeah' we got neutron detectors all over the border looking for nukes, yeah whatever. Pardon me being politically incorrect we also have Border Patrol all over the border and I see wetbacks crossing the border (jumping the fence)every damn day. That makes me feel real safe. Yeah' thanks alot Dept. of Homeland Insecurity, ever hear of the movie "Red Dawn"

    All it takes is a 10 kiloton nuke in a Kelty backpack to destroy a city.

    Maybe its just me' but if was in my driveway and someone walks up my driveway towards me and says "Im going to kill you"

    I will immediatly pull out my .45 1911 pistol and flick off the safety as I aim up on them and have my finger on the trigger with the intent to shoot. I take all threats serously. I may elimate the threat evan though it may only be an idle threat. If the treat is made, then my life is in danger. Thats the way I see it.

    What all this boils down to is prepardness. I will probably hit the atm machine and loot my account tonight and get six months of captaincrunch cereal and other foodstuffs I normally eat (maybe I will get six months of 'Shiner Bach beer) If the ballon goes up, I intend to survive (I can barter the beer:)

    I reccomend everyone do the same, better to have six months of beer than have no beer. (dont forget the Dorito's)

    Theres some humor in that last statement, but some logic as well.

    I wish everyone well and Enola and her family will be in my prayers.


  6. You guys are my heros. You live the life I aspire to. Keep doing what you are doing, and owning your life.

  7. He just grabs the little treelet and pulls it out of the way...
    Oh gosh, that's funny !

  8. Fascinating site, although darn near impossible to read with the current layout. Is this a challenge or an oversight? Please consider legibility or just continue preaching to the choir. Thanks!

  9. What a great post - it's so refreshing to read a post with a positive outlook. Yes, there are dangers in the world. However, you are sending a wonderful message to your children (and to your readers), that the goal is to live the lifestyle that you have chosen for your family. You decided to walk in what you believe is a better path, not because you're running in fear. I see a nice parallel to the Christian walk - we are not just trying to squeeze into Heaven, as it were, but really to live well in fellowship with our Creator. Thanks for a nice start to my day!

  10. Great post ! One of the best " reminders " as to what our life is evolving to. We have storables, but now am giving serious thought to making our own cheese, raising the chickens etc. Our garden does well - just started an orchard.

    I chuckle when I think of our BUSY life compared to my siblings who are " searching " for the mundane ( checkers, cards etc. ) to keep themselves busy. Wouldn't trade it for the world ! Thanks again for the refresher !

  11. I have just discovered your blog and so appreciate your outlook and attitude. We moved rural 20 years ago. We are still half in and half out of everyday life. We farm, we home school, my husband works in "town" (30 miles), our children participate in sports/music, we love our church family. Each year we try to add one new off-the-grid improvement. I absolutely love and agree with your statement of becoming "The New Renaissance". It describes your family, and many who are striving in your same direction. Thank you for the heart-warming and honest input and assessment of family life and attempting to live off the grid. Well done!

  12. We also found your page recently; it is great. I read this post and it expressed how we feel about prepping, those terms doesn't really apply my family any longer. The term "The New Renaissance" is much better! my family has adopted that theme as our own. New Renaissance Living will be the name of a new blog that they are putting together. Thanks

  13. When we get our site up and running would it be ok to link to yours? Thanks