Chapter 7

Retreaters – Chapter 7

The Arrivals

6:04 pm

Main Storage Pole Barn

Matt set down his end of the last sheet of 4’ x 8’ OSB plywood into the storage shed, and wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back side of his left work glove.

“Thanks Michelle, appreciate you getting this here today.” he said through the N95 mask he was wearing.

“Sure, things are slow, so I really appreciate this order. It really helps out my numbers for the month, thanks. The rest of the items not in stock, I’ll let you know when they are in and I can bring them over.” said Michelle, who had just made her second delivery of the day from Menards, as she handed the delivery ticket to Matt.

“Actually the other incubator and the chicken supplies you can just direct deliver to Jack Benny down there on the farm, and bill us (Matt pointed in the direction of the Benny farm house down in the valley). Thanks for adding those batteries on a last minute verbal too” said Matt.

“You know, that’s the largest single order of batteries I think I’ve ever delivered. Why so many, and should I ask what’s with the mask too?” asked Michelle.

“Members here are all coming for a long weekend, and I’m just getting everything ship shape. Only the second time they’ve all been here at once, so I am going to be busy and don’t want to get that cold going around”. Said Matt.

“Fair enough, you going to be at volleyball on Thursday?” Michelle asked.

“No, probably not. Sorry will that make us short?” asked Matt.

“Lizzy said she might be out of town with Lady Templeton, or it is Princess Templeton? I don’t know how royalty and East Coast blue blood works, only that I’ll be happy when she’s put in her Northwoods peace core time, or whatever she calls it an moves on. Yeah I’m sure Eddie will sub, and can probably bring his sister too, so we’re good. Later Matt.” Michelle said as she stepped up into the cab of the Menards pickup and waved, but then looked back, “Matt, looks like you’ve got an arrival pulling in now, I’ll give them some space” and Michelle drove off pulling over at the side of the road to let the mini-van by on the gravel driveway.

Matt recognized the vehicle, it was Lisa Paulson from Madison . Certainly the most attractive of all the members, and a real estate agent in Madison . Matt started walking toward the attached garage of the first unit in Complex one, which was theirs. Matt politely waived as the attached two car garage door started to go up. Lisa pulled in to the center of the empty garage, as three kids and two dogs came out, Cody, Peter, and Ellen running over to greet Matt, “Hi Matt!” they all said, then being a little stand off-ish vs. the usual hugs as he was wearing a mask.”

“Hey everybody, did you have a good drive up?” Matt asked.

“We get to miss school for the rest of the week” Cody said. “It’s that totally sick? (Matt smiled under the mask at the ironic play on words the 10 year old didn’t know he had just made) Mom says we can play on the swings, but can we go shooting later?” Cody said with Peter’s sudden attention and enthusiasm to that suggestion.

“Maybe, but starting tonight we all have to stay inside though, and we can only come out with a mask on, OK? Talk to Mom and Dad about this, we all have to do it, OK?” Matt said. The nodded and ran toward the swing set.

“Hello Matthew” said Lisa, the last to exit the vehicle. “Could you please help me carry a few things in? I see you’ve got gloves and a mask on and all, so figure that isn’t a risk then, right?” she stated.

“Sure” Matt said. “Look, I’m sorry to be the one to say this, but we are going to be in quarantine. So far your kids are the first kids here, but once others arrive, which will be in a few hours I think, you must keep your kids inside, and we can not allow them to play together, and frankly, that goes for the dogs too. Sorry, but it’s my job here to over see that”.

“Sure Matthew, just let them run around a little first, then we’ll lock them in. Joe is at the shop, and loading up a trailer load of stuff and driving it up tonight. I’ll be heading back for a closing tomorrow, and then I’ll be up for good too, and we’ll wait this thing out” Lisa. “How’s here so far?”.

“Just Mike and Susan Hastings got in an hour ago, I didn’t speak with them since I was busy unloading food from Sysco and then supplies from Menards, but I know several are planning to arrive tonight or early tomorrow morning, including Larry” had said adding “You know, you really shouldn’t be heading back to Madison under our 201 protocol, is that absolutely necessary?”.

“Sorry Matthew, in this market closings over three quarter mil are not very common, so this is one commission I am not going to miss” Lisa said, as Matt grabbed two large plastic bins out of the back and carried them through the garage entry door into the kitchen.

“Could you please take those two suitcases upstairs and the and two duffle bags down stairs?” she asked as she was checking her iphone. Matt complied, but parted with “Remember, kids need to be in shortly, it’s about to get dark soon anyway. I am going to be really strict about all this once more people are here, and tomorrow we close the gate.” said Matt as he left to go next door to his unit to login and check emails.

Matt thought he better print out his list of the members, so he could keep track of who was there. The phone system did allow a quick overview, as they used the do not disturb function as a poor man’s in or out. So far, only SR9 – Hastings was off, so they were there. Matt sat down at the computer between the kitchen and living room, his “control center”, printed out the list of member, and then logged in to the group page to see who was coming.

He grabbed his quick reference list from the printer. He thought for a moment, this probably was going to be the first time they were all here at once. Other than one big meeting, there had never been more than half the units occupied at once.

Matt checked over the list of members he had updated a few months prior.

COMPLEX 1

R1 – Joe and Lisa Paulson, Madison , WI

Children: Cody 10, Peter 8, Ellen 7

R2 – Matt Thompson

Larry Thompson, Sturgeon Bay , WI

R3*- Paul and Andrea Rogers, Brookfield , WI

Children: Pamela 20, Mark 18, John 12, Penny 10 (Pam & Mark 1st marriage)

R4 Ralph & Nancy Lutwig Milwaukee , WI

Children: Erica 23, Brice 20

R5*- Terry and Nancy Powell, Chicago , IL

Children: Anthony 20, Edward 19, Molly 16

R6*- Scott and Sandy McCormick, Winnetka, IL

Children: Jordan 25 (live-in girlfriend Emily Cole), Jackie 23

· Original 3 Founding Members

COMPLEX 2

R7 Morgan & Patrice Hathaway, Minneapolis

Children: Alex 20, Elizabeth 18

R8 Steven & Laura Ramcke, Elgin , IL

Children: Nadia 23, Gabi 21,. Monica 17

R9 Mike & Susan Hastings, Lake Geneva , WI

R10 Bihog & Susan Saldanha, Madison , WI

Children: Nish 17, Aisah15

R11 – Scott and Judy Ericson, Chicago , IL

Children: Paul – wife: Mary

Grand Children: Scott 8, Kathy 6

R12 – Leon and Natalie Weathers, Sun Prairie, WI

Children: Ron 18, Tosha 16, Emmanuel 14

Matt checked the messages on the group site. As usual, Paul was first.

[SR3Rogers]: Hello everyone. No new news on what it is exactly from SurComINT.net, though the confidence factor is now up to 91%. Please explain here what you are doing, and when everyone is coming up there. Don’t call Matt on the phone, he’s busy getting everything ready, just email to the group page here so we all know your situation and what is going on. For me, Andrea is just about to leave with Mark, John & Penny. Pam should be driving up on her down tomorrow, though I have asked her to leave tonight from her dorm room in Madison . I am pack a trailer tonight and plan to leave early in the morning, so I get past Madison prior to rush hour.

Remember, we prefer you get there first and then do shopping, and remember to follow procedures, mask, disinfectant wipes, and so on. Do not bring young children into the store with you. We need to take this seriously. Remember there is that SuperWalmart on the SE side of Eau Claire . If you must, go there, because most everything else around are convenience stores in gas stations, even in Osseo.

Check over your protocol 201 and remember your important items, meds etc., use it as your checklist and don’t forget anything. Good luck all, safe travels.

[SR6McCormick]: This is Sandy . I helped Nancy pack today with Molly, picked up some of her prescriptions, did some shopping for her, and I have convinced her to come up without Terry. She was able to reach Terry, and he said he could fly into Eau Clair or Minneapolis/St. Paul if nothing else. Tony and Edward are going to drive up together separately, probably tonight. As for us, Scott and I are coming up tomorrow after he finishes something at work. The kids are coming up on their own tomorrow also, again, as they wrap up things at work.

[SR12Weathers] This is Natalie. I am driving up Tosha and Emmanuel tonight. Ron is helping Leon pack, and will follow him up early tomorrow. See you all there. Well, I know we are supposed to stay inside, but I’ll feel so much better once we are all there. God Bless you and watch over you all for a safe trip up.

[SR10SaIdanha] Susan is very busy at the hospital, and I have lectures tomorrow and Thursday I really can not miss. I am trying to have a TA cover the Thursday one, but we just can not get away right now, but we have decided to keep the kids home from school. We should be up Thursday evening, I plan to leave with the kids when I finish my lecture, and Susan will come on her own when she can.

[SR8Ramcke] Hello all. Laura is coming to have a tough time getting off work, but will take TH and F off. She’ll bring the kids. I’ve got two important meetings Thursday morning, and will have to come after that. Nadia can get off work, and drive down to Central Illinois University and pick up Gabi and then come up. Monica will come up with Laura then. Bad week for this.

[SR7Hathaway] Patrice is on the way with Elizabeth . I need another day, and I am closing the shop down at the end of the day tomorrow. Alex is flying in tonight from school, and not very happy about it. If any of you need someone else to do some shopping for you, since many of the rest of you seen to be separated as well and have young kids, Alex and I will be able to do some shopping, email or call me, I’ll be happy to do it, I am bringing the big trailer, so I have plenty of space.

[SR11Ericson] Paul and Mary are leaving tonight with the kids. Scott wants to get his plane up to Chippewa Valley Regional Airport , as it’s the closest one big enough. If he can’t get someone else to fly it, I may be driving and then picking him up. Don’t know yet.

[SR4Lutwig] Ralph is having a hard time doing cancellations. There are only three dentists, and Norm is on vacation, so it’s really tough. Also Erica is busy at Marquette Dental School, and Brice is there undergrad also, so she will give him a ride up, if that car of hers makes it, I worry. I’ll let you know when Ralph and I can make it. Good luck everybody.

[SR9Hastings] We are here! Saw you working unloading stuff Matt, didn’t want to bother you, figured you saw us come in. We are going shopping tonight, and plan to get some extra. We saw Lisa drive in, I’ll check with her if she needs help.

And Matt typed in his posting,

[SR2Thompson] Hello all. We are going to be having some more deliveries, so please keep the parking lot clear for trucks to get through. If you need help call me on the phone system, I am keeping the wireless on me, so you can reach me. Excuse the mask, but I am going to strictly enforce the quarantine procedures we agreed to, and remember the kids must stay inside. It’s going to be tough on them, sorry, but we must do it, lock the doors. Also, starting tomorrow night I am going to close the light gate, so remember your remotes to open and close it our use the code at the keypad and intercom.

I’ll feel better when you are all safely up here. Drive safely. See you all soon. – Matt