I Am Prepared!


I, as a Floridian, am prepared. I was taught to be prepared. I have even been threatened into being prepared. Mostly my preparedness involves huge storms blowing off the local waters with threats of severe loss of life and home. The threats often come from the media and the local people whose jobs depend on predicting mass destruction and then orchestrating the distribution of water and MRE’s when the power is out for more than 24 hours after the storms.  Just what I am prepared for is open to interpretation.

I take being prepared seriously. I am more prepared to do nothing that anyone else I know. If something is worth my time not doing, it’s worth being prepared for not doing it. Take my little detour into the land of bonsai trees.

I saw live bonsai trees somewhere. They looked cute. They looked serene. I loved the idea of them. I loved the idea of having them at my home. Anything worth having is worth getting whatever the cost. I was prepared to get me some bonsai trees.

I bought a book about bonsai trees. I researched the internet about bonsai trees. I printed pictures of all the tools necessary to grow, prune, train, and maintain bonsai trees. I began acquiring all these things.

I bought bonsai nippers at the local hardware store. I purchased Japanese bonsai scissors at a local nursery. I got the proper mesh screen and copper wire at the local art supply store. I found the dirt, sand and other ingredients I needed to mix the proper soil and took it home. I got some beautiful bonsai pots at the local pottery place. I scoured the internet for the perfect bonsai saw, planting implements, various size nippers and scissors and a fabric roll holder for all my tools.

I read the book I purchased. Well I skimmed it. I looked on the internet and read more about growing bonsai trees. I attended one of the meetings of the local bonsai society. I talked to the guy at the local super-mega-wehaveitall garden supply store. I went to a local nursery grower and picked out a pathetic small tree. I was told the best bonsai trees are the ones that have grown under stress. The most prized are the ones that grow in the rocks on the cliffs and require you risking your life to get to them. Pathetic and pot bound would do for my first tree.

I took the pathetic tree home, got out my roll of tools and went to work. The first thing I was told to do was to cut off the tree’s main root. Nippers. Root. Gone. That was the easy part. I continued and somehow I finished and had the pathetic tree in the beautiful pot I purchased. I then went about winding copper wire around the branches and bending them into eye pleasing contortions. I nipped needles off. It was a pathetic tree with needles. I stood back and eyed it. I made more nips and more bends of the wire and limbs. When the tree was pleasing to my eyes I watered it and set it in the shade, per the instructions. It was now officially a bonsai tree in training. The theory being that you have to train the tree to grow in the proper shape. Proper being a debatable word.

Each day I watered the tree and nipped the needles when necessary. Within a couple weeks I had the most pathetic, dead bonsai tree around. I killed five or six more trees before I retired my nippers and the rest of the tools.

I still have the tools in my house. I am prepared to do nothing with them.

I also have tons of rubber stamps and ink pads from the time I decided I could make beautiful stamped cards like my friend Jackie does. I purchased all the supplies and am now prepared not to make anything with the stuff.

I am also prepared not to make handmade books and have the supplies to prove it. I am prepared not to do needle work, not to preserve food, not to make topiaries, not to make vegetable garnishes, not to trim hairy dogs, not to paint like Donna Dewberry does, not to host twenty or more guests and serve them on fine china, and not to created a holiday wonderland inside my home, and not to power wash the world. Basically I am prepared not to do a whole lot of things.

I may have all the tools and supplies necessary to do any of the above noted things, but I have been prepared for years to do these and have never done even one of them. I am not sure why I don’t get rid of the things that make me prepared. I have an inkling, that somewhere in the recesses of my mind, it has to do with all that training that has been perpetrated on me to be prepared. On day I might want to do one of these things. If that day ever comes, I am prepared. Until then, well I’m still prepared, just prepared not to do them.

From the life and mind of:

Wanda M. Argersinger

©2010 All Rights Reserved



About Wanda Argersinger


  1. At least you’re prepared for retirement which means a do nothing state.

  2. Ah, at the beginning of your post I was almost tempted to think about getting a bonsai tree. I think they are adorable. However, I have a thumb that must be close to yours in its blackness. I can kill things people vow will never die. So, I am prepared NOT to buy a bonsai tree. I’m so glad you caught me.

    I have lots of that “stuff” for doing nothing with too, although a couple of moves have helped weed some of them out of my corners where they were hidden–for oh, so many years.

    The one thing I have learned is that I don’t agree with Ron’s comment up above. As my oldest son often asks me, “You never knew retirement would be so much work, did you?” Yup, I’m retired. I think that means I got tired once, then I got tired again, and soon got tired again, so I’ve been re-tired more times than I can count. But do nothing? Not on your life! Keeping busy is just too doggone much fun!
    Janet Elaine Smith, multi-genre author

  3. Just like a Girl Scout – always be prepared, nothing wrong with that!!! Fun read!

  4. What an enjoyable read! I wish I was as prepared to do nothing as you are. In fact, I think I may want to start preparing not to scrapbook!

  5. Great piece, Wanda! I was all prepared not to bother commenting, but I couldn’t help myself *grin*

  6. Well, at least you’re prepared. Who knows when your home my be over run by pathetic trees from Mars? Fun read!

  7. Ah, I do have to respond to Janet’s post. I am retired and I have less free time now than when I was working, even counting overtime. I wrote a blogpost http://unwriter1.wordpress.com/ regarding retirement.

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