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Share how knowing skills saved your day

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AZDuffman:

I have a friend or a few who just don't see how the learning skills thing is valuable.  I feel they as much think it is either "cute" or there are better things to do.  I've been trying to learn skills informally and unorganized a few years now, just signing for 13 Skills this year.  It has been nice, but tonight was the first time in a long time I really saw how great it was to know skills.  Probably in top 10 of my life.

Bear with me a sentence or two here and I will get to it.......

I bought a very, very fixer-upper duplex two summers ago.  I mean a mess.  But affordable so I can pay it off in 5 years or so, even with no tenant.  Debt elimination is the first rule of prep IMHO.  So some of the major work it needed was plumbing, place was a plumbers nightmare.  I knew some basic plumbing, but what I knew was old school and not great for emergencies.  As part of the remodel my brother showed me stuff called "Pex."  Easiest stuff to work with, though not the cheapest.

I get home today, ready to do something constructive and I smell water but not sure.  I go downstairs for something else and then *hear* water.  Fitting on a pipe came apart, water gushing all over.  Level 1 water leak.  I turned it off right away, cleared the drain and the immediate emergency stopped.  (Prep practice already helping.)

I take a look and it looks a mess.  It is 6:00 so a plumber is going to be hard to come by and cost big time.  While waiting for a few texts to be returned to find a referral.  As I am I look closer, size it up, and realize I can fix this myself, fairly easy.  Trip to The Home Depot and get 4 fittings.  I have some tubing and pipe cutter.   Boom, boom, boom, done.

So what did my preps and skills do for me?

1.  I didn't panic.  I rushed to turn the water off, but no panic.
2.  I knew what to look for.  Sure, I could have hired out the plumbing when I remodeled.  Next time I very well may for at least some of it.  But by digging in the first time I knew what I had, even if I didn't know each and every term.
3.  Because of #2 I knew how to fix it.  I fixed it in 2 hours or so, which is probably less than it would take for an on-call plumber to even arrive.
4.  My cost for materials was about $47, add the gas I burned off and call it $50.  I can't see an on-call plumber getting out of their truck for <$200.

This is not to brag, it is to inspire.  Any other stories from you peeps out there?

Oh, next time my buddy says just hire someone I will smile to myself.

Cedar:
I am not ignoring you, but thinking..

Skills that I have learned over the years, although not being used every day are valuable. Often even if the skill is not one close to the one you actually need, you have enough skills to be brave enough to tackle something. Many skills are invaluable, save money, save time. Sometimes there is no one to 'do' for you. Many of my skills are so used so often, that I don't even think I am doing anything extraordinary.


--- Quote from: AZDuffman on April 01, 2014, 05:27:29 PM ---I have a friend or a few who just don't see how the learning skills thing is valuable.  I feel they as much think it is either "cute" or there are better things to do. 

--- End quote ---

It is your friends who are confusing to me. Can they change a tire? Or do they call AAA and wait for hours for them to show up? I used to be really good at changing a tire once a week and got really good at it. Would they feel helpless at not taking a Basic First Aid class or would they be taking pictures with their cell phone instead of helping the victim? Would they know how to turn off their water if they had an incident like yours. Can they survive if their car runs off the road in a snowstorm in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere? People like that boggle my brain.

Cedar

nelson96:

--- Quote from: AZDuffman on April 01, 2014, 05:27:29 PM ---I have a friend or a few who just don't see how the learning skills thing is valuable.  I feel they as much think it is either "cute" or there are better things to do.
--- End quote ---

I agree with Cedar on all, but I feel sorry for your friends, they must have a pretty boring life to not even have a hobby to learn and enjoy.

busymomx3:
The best example I can think of is that I can crochet and have made blankets and hats.  They have come in handy when our power went out or just wanted to snuggle :).
I have become much more self sufficient learning new skills and homesteading.  I have gained confidence and saved money since I could just do it myself.  Sure we made mistakes when we put in our first floor but when we helped our friends with their floor it was our third or fourth time laying floor and we knew what pitfalls to watch for.  It saved them a bunch of money.  Basic construction building skills come in handy on our farm all the time.  But I guess if you live in the city you wouldn't see the value in this.  I'm sorry your friends are so dependent on the system.

FarmerJim:

--- Quote from: busymomx3 on July 01, 2014, 05:51:19 PM ---The best example I can think of is that I can crochet and have made blankets and hats.  They have come in handy when our power went out or just wanted to snuggle :).
I have become much more self sufficient learning new skills and homesteading.  I have gained confidence and saved money since I could just do it myself.  Sure we made mistakes when we put in our first floor but when we helped our friends with their floor it was our third or fourth time laying floor and we knew what pitfalls to watch for.  It saved them a bunch of money.  Basic construction building skills come in handy on our farm all the time.  But I guess if you live in the city you wouldn't see the value in this.  I'm sorry your friends are so dependent on the system.

--- End quote ---

At least half a dozen of my family in GA wear winter caps that my wife knitted this past fall! I try to keep my garden fully fertilized with fertilizers that I've made myself, even in our daily life the skills we learn can help immensely.

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