Four years ago, sitting at the desk of a new job, I sat across from this outspoken, fast-talking, techie. Yep, that was Sam. I remember at the end of my first week sharing with my sister that this young lady was intimidating.

Now, putting it in perspective, I’m 75 and Sam would be like – a granddaughter! At the same time, I’m fairly savvy about computers and online marketing, etc. I create websites and help small businesses with marketing. I also published a local tourism magazine.

I was certain that Sam and I would never get past our personalities! Oh, yes, famous last words! For today, Samantha Groff is a best friend – trusted, loved, appreciated, fun, creative, and much more. Her family is my family. Who would have guessed this from our first weeks at a job four years ago!

Unexpected friendships are the best onesAs we’ve grown and changed over the past four years, it’s been an interesting experience. At times, when I feel … well … invisible and unimportant, Sam will come to me with questions and asking for guidance, reminding me that my 75 years are valuable. I’m thankful to her for that.

At the same time, her energy, ideas, and forward-thinking are like double doses of caffeine for me! She keeps me aware of new things happening while also asking me about how to integrate it. These conversations, especially during this past year, have led us to Beyond TP and Milk!

While Sam and her family began their gardening plans, harvesting and storing food, I was looking for ways to streamline my own single lifestyle. As we watched the distribution of goods falter, the lock-downs detour our normal routines, and the masks and social distancing affect relationships, we started to share ideas for survival in a frustratingly complicated situation that was now global.

Now, we are not survivalists or even preppers. But we both believe that preparation is key to living well. We don’t have cabins in the woods where we can retreat. But we’re doing our best to streamline our lifestyles so that we can enjoy today while preparing for tomorrow.

In coming posts, we hope to share our ideas – successes and failures – with you. Use what works. Discard what you don’t need. But enjoy our journey. We’ll do our best to add humor and wisdom along the way.

My favorite personal quote:

The myth of Common Sense is that it’s not common!

Ellie @ BeyondTPandMilk.com