December 5

Posted on: December 6, 2012

Cold this morning!  Only 25 degrees and a light dusting of snow.  I was happy to see so little snow, as I had plans for the day.  I didn’t eat all of that baked potato last night so I diced it up, heated it in my omelet pan and cracked an egg into it.  I skillet fried some toast and made a breakfast sandwich.  My favorite kind of morning meal!

Before I headed to town today, I took the two buckets I set aside, and emptied the mixed beans.  Since I left them in their individual bags, I just lined them up on the floor so I could see the variety: kidney, pinto, lima, northern and split peas.  Then I pour half the rice into that bucket.  I got four half pint canning jars from the other shed, and filled two with soy sauce and two with Worcestershire sauce from my gallon jugs, labeling as I did.  I nestled one of each jar down into the rice, and divided the beans up equally, filling the rice buckets.  I put them both in the back of the car and tossed a towel over them; I got two dozen eggs from the cold pantry and set them on the car floor next to my purse, along with a dozen cans of tuna fish for Jason. Then I loaded up my water containers and went to the township hall.

I had to stop at Fram’s first to get some gas, I was getting pretty low.  I signed for my weekly two gallons, and then parked across the street at the township hall.  Thankfully everything is really close.  I shoved the covered buckets over to one side to make room for the water containers.  After I filled them, Pete helped me load them into the car; he never even looked at the buckets.  I used the town’s landline phone to call Kathy on her landline, so she knew I’d be stopping by.  Living in the basement like they’re doing, they’d never hear me knock.  Our cell phones might not be working because of no power, but these regular phones have been a god-send.

Bob was waiting for me with the garage open so I could use the interior back door, right next to the stairs going down.  I handed him a bucket and followed him down.

“What’s this?” he questioned, as I handed Kathy a dozen eggs.

“A present for my best friends,” and I took the bucket opener out of my pocket, popping the lid to expose the food.  Bob didn’t say anything, but reached out and gave me a long hug.  It made me think of how I miss John’s hugs.

“I know you’ve got plenty of water, and you can heat it on the grill,” I went on, “I don’t know how often you’ve cooked dry beans,” I did know, and that was never, “so I’d suggest putting some beans in a pot, cover them with boiling water and let them soak overnight.  Then cook them.  Meanwhile, you can at least have rice, with some eggs.  And don’t worry about the fresh eggs, the girls just keep laying so I have spare.  I’ll bring more when I can.”

Kathy came from under the blanket she had wrapped around herself.  She was wearing a turtleneck shirt, sweatshirt and sweat pants, with big fuzzy slippers that looked really warm.  “How do I say you were right about stocking up?” I could see how thin her face was getting, “and how do we say thank you?”

“Say thank you by staying alive and by NOT telling a soul where you got the food!  I don’t need anyone breaking my door down.  I‘d hate to have to shoot somebody,” I laughed, but I meant it.

“I know Christmas is still 20 days away, but can we come over?” Her lip started to quiver.  Bob put his arm around her and said,

“Paul and Olive both passed away a couple of days ago; they had no heat, and no food in the house.”  Kathy’s parents!

“Oh, Kath, I’m so sorry.  Of course, please come over for Christmas.  I have one ham left, we’ll have a feast! Come early stay late.” I was getting good at keeping my front up and cheery; inside I was sobbing, I really liked Kathy’s parents, but I would mourn them later.  Her dad always came wild blueberry picking with us and I will miss him.

I let myself out and headed over to Jason’s.  The roads were good for the most part.  The snow had melted, but with the cold temps a few spots were slippery.  As I pulled in their driveway, I noticed Angela’s car was still gone.

Jason met me at the door.   “Hi Mom.  When I heard the car I thought it might be Angela.”  I didn’t have to see his face to know he was disappointed it was only me; it was definitely in his voice.

“Are you going to tell me what’s going on?  Oh, and grab that bucket, would you?”  I had set the bucket on the ground and brought the smaller items in with me.  As he set the bucket down in the kitchen, not even interested in what might be inside, he handed me an envelope.  I set it aside and just looked at him.  “She went into the city, didn’t she?”  He nodded.  CRAP!  “Let’s open these first,” and I pulled out the bucket opener and popped the lid.  “It’s not basmati, but there’s about 15 pounds here.”   Then I took the tuna out of the bag, and the eggs.  At that point, I picked up the envelope and opened it.  In Angela’s neat scrawl, it read:

“Jason, please keep one thing in mind as your read this: I love you with all my heart.  I love Jacob with all my heart.  But I also love my daughter and my friends, and they need me more than you do right now.  I’m taking the extra gas, and going into Marquette to see them.  I know that if I had waited until you were awake, you would have stopped me, and I have to do this.  I have to be my own person and make my own decisions.

I know that you and Jacob will be just fine without me.  If I’m not back soon, you know your mom will take you and Jacob in.  I wish I had a mother who loved me as much as your mom loves you.

I’ll be home soon.



I was stunned she would actually leave.  I looked up at Jason; it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen him cry.

“When did she leave?”

“Last week.” A week and he hadn’t told me.

“Do you want me to pull a few strings and see if we can find her?”

“No, she’ll come home when she’s ready, or not,” he heaved a big sigh at that point and spun a can of tuna with his finger.

I reached across the table and took his hand in mine.  “Whenever you need to, Jason, bring Jacob and stay with me.  Just don’t bring Downey,” I looked around for their little Shih Tzu dog.  “Where is he?”

“Angela took him with her.  All his dog food is gone, and his dish.”

“Do you want to come with me now?” I still held his hand, thinking, she chose her dog ????

“No, we’re ok for a while,  Now.  Thanks for the extra food.  Jacob loves rice and his scrambled eggs.”

I stayed for another half hour and played with Jacob, then went home before it got too late, my heart aching for my son.


Earlier I had pulled out a package of coarse ground burger from the freezer.  Now I needed to figure out what to do with it.  Maybe ‘chicken fried burgers’.  To me that meant make patties and dredge them in seasoned bread crumbs, then fry; Sounds good to me.

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