November 10

Posted on: November 10, 2012

With what I saw yesterday, I was even more concerned with my friends on Eagle Beach; they’re not from here and have no family close by.  I knew the schedule the ‘house parents’ kept.  Duane cooked breakfast and left for home around 8.30am; Sandy did dinner, and left for home at 9:30pm.  By 8:20am, I was parked at the end of the road, waiting to flag Duane down.  He was the one in charge and I had to talk with him.

When I saw his red pickup, I got out of my car.  He stopped, looking perplexed.

“What’s up, Deborah, car trouble?”

“No, Duane, it’s fine.  Can we talk a couple of minutes?” and not waiting for his answer, I opened the truck door and climbed in.  He put it in park, and shut the engine off; he was conserving fuel too.

“I didn’t want to do this in front of the guys.  No sense in worrying them,” I started. “Supply lines are already shutting down, I’m sure you’ve noticed”, he nodded, “it’s not my business what you’re stocked up on at the house, but I’m going to suggest a few things.  First, IF you can, get to GFS and get as many non-perishables as you can: pasta, rice, canned goods, anything that doesn’t need refrigeration.” I paused, to let it settle in.

“I’ve been working on a list, but I see I’ve got too much that won’t keep,” he looked down the road, already lost in thought.

“That place has a whole house generator, right?”

He nodded, “Automatic turn on when the power goes out for more than five minutes, propane fueled.  And you’re going to tell me to get the tank topped off, right?”

“Yep,” I smiled.  “Power isn’t going to last much longer, Duane.  That gennie will keep the freezers going, but you should use that food first. AND you need power to run the blower for that outside woodstove.  Without it, it’s going to get mighty cold in that house, especially facing Lake Superior like it does.”  Something’s need reminding of, some don’t; this one did.  Too many think that because they have a wood burner, wood is all they need.

“I hadn’t thought of that,” he confessed. “How do you know all this, Deborah? And what’s your interest?”

I sighed, “Well, Duane, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the term, ‘Prepper’, but that’s what I am.  I have spent years getting and being prepared to survive just about anything.  I’ve had uncountable conversations with others a lot smarter than me, on what we depend on and what could go wrong with it; what we need and what would happen if we don’t have it.  Guess that’s why the Township has appointed me as the Emergency Manager, and kept me thru three administrations: I’m real good at thinking about the worse possible things that can happen, and then trying to see our way past them,” I laughed. “My interest? Nothing, except that you’ve got a dozen guys back there that are depending on YOU, and it’s part of my job to help you do that.”  I climbed out of his truck, and he leaned over saying “I guess we need to talk more about this.  Can I stop by sometime?”  Duane knows where I live, since I bought my house from his dad!

I went back home, still mulling over yesterday, and hoping I wasn’t too late talking to Duane.


My normal cold weather lunch has been a pint of homemade soup mixed with a pint of some vegetable.  As I grabbed the two jars off the back pantry shelf to heat up, I stopped.  It just occurred to me that I’m going to have to ration myself!  The majority of my pantry food was to get me thru the winter… now it’s going to have to last longer, a lot longer, unless I want to go vegetarian.. yuck.  I put one jar back.

I still wasn’t over my encounter from yesterday, and needed to stay busy, I needed to do normal stuff, so I baked:  First bread, then a focaccia.  I don’t know why I did the focaccia… I don’t eat sweets, but it smells heavenly in here.  I used apples, raisins, lots of cinnamon and walnuts.

Next I did laundry.  Knowing that power could go off at any time, I’m trying to stay ahead, even to the point of doing small loads, what I wore yesterday.

Then I gathered the empty water jugs for a trip to the spring.  Only two were completely empty, and the third half full.  I poured the water into a couple of buckets, wanting to collect as much from the spring as possible… it might be a long time before I can go back, and it’s only a 30 minute jaunt: ten minutes there, ten to fill and ten back. I was nervous the whole time.  Once I got there, and remembered how isolated it was, I knew this was a stupid thing to do.

The roads were eerily free of traffic, but now I have a full 20 gallons of fresh spring water to drink.  I’ll set up my Berkey if need be, but not until I can’t get the artisan water anymore.  I know I shouldn’t be making those kind of trips alone anymore, but it sure is hard. I’ve been alone and independent for so long, it’s a tough habit to break!  I’ll have to work on that.


The news tonight said a total of ten states had been affected by the quake: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Damage was concentrated along the Mississippi river, and the New Madrid fault line, then branching out from there.  Still no word on a total of dead…. They may never know.

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