The importance of keeping some things low tech

Certain skills are going by the wayside and Iím not so sure itís a good idea. Today I am teaching a few women in my womenís group at church how to can green beans. I have my great-grandmotherís pressure canner and use it with pride. I have this skill because I saw a need to learn how to preserve food. We are such a high tech society we forget the origin of our necessities in life. That being said, I must say I love modern technology. Iím a big fan of electricity and air conditioning. There is nothing better than zipper storage bags, bleach, cell phones, refrigerators and the internet. It is very nice to walk into a dress shop and buy a ready made outfit so I donít have to go to the trouble of cutting out a pattern or tanning leather for shoes. Where would we be without deodorant? However, if there should come a time when our basic necessities may not be so readily available, what could we do?

Recently, I was called a Ďprepper.í Iím not a prepper. I donít have a bug-out bag. But I do see a need to have skills to keep my family well fed, warm and fully dressed if a natural disaster shuts down our comfortable way of life. In writing the story about Light and Life Missionsí Honor House, I thought about the importance of having a sewing skill and being able to support a family by creating a product. What pride they must have in learning a skill they didnít have before and reforming their lives.

Not everyone has the physical ability or enough interest to learn such rigorous skills. Not everyone has someone to teach them and the instructors of these skills are becoming fewer and fewer. Basic skills are not an easy row to hoe. It takes both the know-how and physical strength to chop wood for a fire or raise livestock. My grandmother taught me to bake bread, my mother taught me to quilt, and my father taught me to shoot a gun and how to fish. My husbandís family taught Dan and me to garden and his father was instrumental in teaching my husband how to build. Itís these skills keeping us from being out of touch with the basics.

It is time we take a step out of our comfort zone and learn something more than how to lay tile in a kitchen or grow grass on the lawn.

I believe it is important to have modern technology at our fingertips but itís also vital to know how such technology works where you can both maintain and repair such machinery. If you canít do so, it may be difficult come a disaster and the generator quits and it canít be repaired.

Canning vegetables is one small step toward basic skills. All you need is determination, jars, lids, canner, and a bushel of veggies to fill a pantry. The satisfaction in viewing a shelf of sparkling quart jars is matchless.