November 14

Posted on: November 14, 2012

It was bitterly cold this morning as I went to Eagle Beach to see John for his weekly massage.  It was pleasantly warm inside and lights were blazing in every room: obviously the generator was working well.  Duane was still cooking breakfasts, which was odd.  Usually by the time I arrive, everyone has eaten and he’s in cleanup mode.  It seems that not all of the guys are doing their shifts at the mine, and are just hanging around.  From what I’ve heard of Green-Path, that won’t be tolerated for very long.

John was very quiet and preoccupied.  When I asked him what was wrong, he said he couldn’t reach his family in southern Indiana.

“I know they’re all grown adults with families and lives of their own, but they’re still my kids and I’m worried.  I can’t reach my mom either,” he mumbled into the face cradle of the massage table.  I stilled my hands on his back, trying to give him some of my positive energy.

“Well, it’s likely they’re fine and it’s just that the cell towers are down.  I’m expecting my cell to go out soon.  The tower near me has only a few more days of backup power.”  I don’t think I was very reassuring, but it was the best I could do.  It got me thinking about lost communications.  What would we all do?  It’s been so easy just to pick up the phone and call whomever we wanted.  I needed to talk to Eric today.  What if I never heard from him again?  I didn’t want to mentally go there.  My sons mean the world to me; now I understood how John was feeling.


Back home chores still needed to be done.  I hauled in extra wood and more kindling; the nights are getting very cold.  I fed the chickens and let them out into their sheltered yard. Then I started up the generator so I could have water to wash dishes.  After the dishes I washed the globes on all the oil lamps, and topped the kerosene off.  It was make-work: the lamps were fine.  While the gennie was going I took a quick shower and washed my hair, glad now for the shorter cut.  I filled a bucket of water for flushing, then shut the gennie down.  An hour in the morning, and an hour at night, should keep the deep freeze going for a while.  One of my goals is to use something from the freezer every day for dinner.  In time I’ll be able to keep some of it in coolers on the deck, but not until the temps stay below freezing.  Tonight dinner will be chicken legs and the last of the romaine for a salad.  I’m really going to miss salads.  I still have half a head of garden cabbage in the fridge; cabbage keeps so well, especially when it’s that fresh.  I will keep it for fresh coleslaw, and when it runs out, I will use the coleslaw I canned last summer.  Wish I could thank David for that recipe, but he hasn’t been online lately.  In fact, all the groups are strangely quiet.  I think we’re all quite busy just surviving.


While I had the generator running this evening, I watched the news.  The pictures are horrific.  The Mississippi is slowly draining because of the new ‘dam’ up near Hannibal.  There’s talk of blasting it open, but they don’t want to trigger yet another quake.  The Army Corp of Engineers are there now, and scratching their heads like the rest of us.  It’s possible they can blast in increments to relieve the pressure.  What they don’t want to do is send a twenty foot wall of water cascading downriver.   What bridges along the river that didn’t collapse during the actual quakes are being examined, but many of them have footing or structural problems which make them unsafe for heavy traffic.  The good news is some of the bridges can be used for foot traffic.  The death toll keeps climbing, and now there is a plea for body bags.  At this point, one of the new concerns is disease.

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