Word on the street is we might get some snow this week. Worse, it might get down to twelve degrees. Twelve degrees. Which is probably fine if you live in a place that’s supposed to be twelve degrees, because then you would have bear skins in your cave, and wolf and fox carcasses hanging up and extra Sinew and Sinew Skills, plus the secret of fire. We don’t have any of those.

Here in our cave we can’t get anything to stay lit and there’s nothing but damp squirrels to stitch up.

The newspaper helpfully offered advice of what to have on hand for the coming cold snap. It wasn’t a big list. I don’t think they’re even trying anymore. (They did make a joke about the stores running out of kale like last time, but that’s not funny–that really happened.) It was pretty much peanut butter, toilet paper, and extra flashlight batteries. They need to add more items because putting the peanut butter right up next to the toilet paper like that is a little too vivid. And really, who needs to run to the store to stock up on toilet paper? If you don’t have enough toilet paper on hand, it’s its own emergency.

We’re not going to the store to stock up on peanut butter because we are old-school and still have survival skills leftover from yesteryear. By that I don’t mean anything as fancy as whatever my mom and her family did on the farm, where they had to drill through snowdrifts to get to the outhouse and shovel coal into the stove and whack random edible critters for dinner. North Dakota winters required a level of stamina we don’t much see anymore. When my Uncle Cliff finally sold off his cows, I, a city girl, wondered aloud if he didn’t kind of miss them. They were cute. He was a mild-mannered and pleasant man and his response was both louder and more vehement than I’d ever expected from him. The upshot was no, he did not kind of miss his cows. Sixty years of walloping their butts into the barn for milking every single, uh, blessed day, twice a day, in all kinds of weather was quite–as it turned out–enough. Thank you.

No, our skills are not of that caliber, and neither are we. However, if we’re hungry, we will walk to the grocery store. This is because we are very good at walking and willing to do it, and also we live within three miles of several grocery stores. We live in a walkable place on purpose. We walk to the bigger store with backpacks and if it were not for the occasional kitty litter run or a sale on canned goods, we wouldn’t drive at all.

Also, we’ll be okay if the store’s card readers are on the fritz. We have cash. On hand. Because we’re boomers.

If the grocery store runs out of food we could be in a bit of trouble after a while, but it’s nothing we anticipate. What we are supposed to do is be prepared with at least three weeks of provisions in case of the massive catastrophic earthquake they’ve been promising us, and no, we don’t seem to have done anything about that. But we do live next to a person who is prepared and we’ve been very very nice to her over the years.

It’s a plan.