A few weeks ago, I had a huge scare. Most people would think I was crazy to call it that, but to me, it was potentially devastating. But in order to understand the panic and relief, I have to give you a little background. Just a few short months after Jason and I met, I had my 28th birthday. We hadn’t known each other long, so I was not expecting any kind of gift. Much to my surprise, Jason handed me a small box, haphazardly wrapped with a huge grin on his face. It reminded me of my then 5 year old boy whenever he did something that he thought would make me proud.
I slowly opened the gift expecting it to be a gag gift. Instead, I found a Leatherman. At the time, I didn’t even know what that was. So I opened it up and started to investigate. Keep in mind, at this point, Jason and I had been camping a lot, but the discussion of marriage and definitely homesteading had not occurred yet. I accepted this gift with a smile on my face but questions in my mind.
“Why would he think I want this? Why does he think I need this? What did I do to him to deserve such a random gift?”
But I graciously accepted the gift and stuck it in my pocket, later in the glove box of my car and finally into my purse.
I don’t know about you, but I like for my gifts to be thoughtful rather than expensive. At the time, I just thought this gift was expensive. But over the years I have realized that this gift was just an early sign of how thoughtful Jason can be. But its just a multi-tool, right? No, this was my Jason when he couldn’t be there to help me.
In the time that I have had it, it has cut a man out of his seat belt in a nasty car accident, it has cut twine to tie up vegetables, it has tightened a screw to fix the washing machine and so on and so on. Basically, whenever I needed help, it was there. So now let me fast forward to the present.
Right around Christmas, we went to see Jason’s parents. On the way there, we stopped for gas. A man came in to the store and asked the cashier for a screwdriver, which they could not find. I offered to let him use my leatherman. I came out to the car and reached in my purse, where it has been for the better part of 10 years. IT WASN’T THERE! I started tossing stuff all over my seat, frantically searching. The man, starting to wonder about my sanity, politely excused himself saying, “You know what, its not that big of a deal, thanks!” I looked up at Jason and he was just as clueless as the guy I was trying to help. I collected everything, put it back in my purse and resumed our trip to North Carolina.
Secretly, I tore my purse apart. Tore the lining out of the pockets. Dumped everything on my desk. I still couldn’t find it. The feeling I felt at that point made me realize just how much I love my gift and my thoughtful husband , who was so wise in giving me this gift. I started accusing people at work, who occasionally use it, of not returning it to me. Again, everyone started questioning my sanity. Then it occurred to me. About a week prior, someone had tossed my purse in the back seat to hide it. I wonder if it is on the floorboard? I ran outside and saw a small glimpse of stainless steel. OH THANK GOD! I found it.
So what does this have to do with homesteading? Follow me. Jason and I have been homesteading for just about as long as I have had my Leatherman. We first started out of necessity and a passion to be more independent, much like Jason’s intention to give me my gift. But somewhere along the way, our necessity and passion for homesteading turned into complacency just like I took for granted that my Leatherman would always be around to help.
But just like how I found a new appreciation for my Leatherman, our passion to teach and reach people through our homesteading journey has been rekindled. So I encourage everyone reading this to dig deep. Find your passion, pull it out of the corner, dust it off and make something old new again! And be sure to follow us as we fan the fire of our passion to encourage others to be more self reliant.