Years before apocalyptic movies and TV series became a mega-genre, my daughter and I stockpiled things for the apocalypse. Starting with catchall drawers in our kitchens filled with fast food ketchup packets, soy and duck sauces, chopsticks, forks/knives/spoons/napkins wrapped in plastic, PB&J single servings, artificial maple syrup, salt and pepper packets, individually wrapped straws and hand wipes.

When the drawers filled, we added a closet of extra cereals, canned foods, US Navy MREs with instant heaters, more hand wipes, tissues, better plastic utensils and supercharged chewing gum. Batteries of all sizes, flashlights, Sharpies and post-it notepads, boxed and bottled H20. Her husband said none of it would help if the apocalypse was nuclear in origin. We were thinking more of zombies.

Time passed. My sons graduated college, started their own business. Her husband went and came back from Iraq. His mother died unexpectedly shortly after my husband. Trump became President. The grandsons are either in college, college-bound, or playing hockey. My body started to revolt. The Zombie Apocalypse drawers and stockpiles were forgotten until recently, at least in my house.

From the Alzheimer's years, sugar packets, medical supplies, Adult Day Center swag. His extensive tool collection, eclectic music plus ways to play it on every device made, thousands of books, clothes for all temperatures, gloves to protect against zombie bites. The potting shed contains weaponry in the guise of gardening equipment.

Recently, I collected all the pens, pencils, markers, crayons I could find and tested them, tossing out nonfunctional ones until I realized they might be useful in an apocalypse, along with old spiral notebooks, graph paper, local and world maps. If you look around your home, sometimes you realize you already have everything you'll ever need.


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