January 7Posted on: January 8, 2013
I took one more bucket of rice to Pastor Carolyn and told her it was the last, I shared all I could. She said she understood and thanked me for all I had done. I decided against adding the pasta or bouillon; some instinct said I might need it, or it might be needed more by someone else. I’m confident Carolyn will keep my donations her secret. I know I could give her more, but that would only encourage dependency on the part of the town. They now needed to stand up on their own, or leave, or die. Many of them would indeed leave when this bucket ran out. Would it be too late to go to the city? Would they even be allowed in? I guess I should ask Don White about that next time we talk.
When I arrived at home, Jason’s truck was in the driveway. My mother’s spidey-sense flicked on: this wouldn’t be good news.
I walked in and swept Jacob up into a hug, which made him giggle. Then I looked at Jason. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him so … sad. I put Jacob down and he went back to his basket of toys in the other room.
“Where’s Angela?” but I was pretty sure of his answer already. “She went back to Marquette, didn’t she?”
He nodded. “This morning. I begged her to stay but it didn’t do any good. She hates it here; sometimes I think she always has. She’s gone to stay with Lori.” He took a deep breath. “I’m out of wood to burn and the snow is too deep now for me to cut more, plus I can’t leave Jacob alone. The house is really cold, and Ang took the bucket with the last of the rice. I didn’t know where else to go, Mom. Can we stay with you for a while?” He glanced over at John.
“Of course you can,” even a 40 year old son needs his mom on occasion. “We can use the extra security, too, right John?”
“Actually, we can. Did you bring your 308 with you?” John was really getting into the guns, and having all of our weapons cleaned and ready for possible use was a huge relief to me.
“It’s out in the truck… and some clothes, more of Jacob’s things and his school books. I wasn’t really sure…………,” Jason trailed off.
“Oh, Jason, you know me better than that. I would never turn you away.” I gave him a mom hug and went to get the linens and bedding for the futon that he and Jacob would share. While in the back room, I paused, looking at the food I had stored, hoping it would be enough for four of us now. Then reminded myself of the buckets of long term storage that I hadn’t even tapped into, except for the few buckets of rice I gave away. Yes, there would be enough, that’s what I planned for, why I prepped like I did, sacrificed all that I did. It was all for this, for now.
I knew they all must be hungry, I know I was, so I heated up a couple of jars of soup, added a half cup of rice, then made some ramen for Jacob. John sliced up bread and set the table. It sure was nice having him here, having the help.
After lunch, Jason brought in all their stuff from his truck. He handed John his rifle and walked the clothes right into the bathroom, for washing I assumed. I asked John to start the generator, but Jason jumped up to do it. John scowled. Of course Jason knew what to do; he was the one who put the system in for me.
I got the first load of laundry started and asked the two of them to have a seat at the table.
“If Jason is going to be here, we need to redistribute the chores,” I said to John. I looked at Jason, “Right now, John shovels, brings in the wood, gases and starts the gennie and maintains the guns.” I stopped and looked back at John, “Which chores do you want to give to Jason?”
He smiled. I knew giving him the choice would make things go much easier. “He can have the generator duty and the shoveling. If it’s a heavy snow, we can share the shoveling.” Jason nodded. John’s choice didn’t surprise me; I know for some reason he really likes hauling in the wood for me; maybe that’s it, it’s a chore that’s a direct benefit to me. That’s sweet. In all this violence, this mayhem, this change, my heart smiled.
“And I will give him the chickens to tend,” I piped in. “I’ve still got plenty to do with the cooking, baking, laundry and house work, though I do expect you to take care of your and Jacob’s room,” I said to Jason. “And we all pitch in during the day to keep the stove fed.”
“I think this is more than fair for what you’re giving me in return. Mom, John, thank you,” his voice cracked, and he gave me a hug, then held out his hand to John. They both smiled and shook hands.
Jacob came into the kitchen and asked for Sponge Bob. Jason got up to take care of that. “Mom, the TV isn’t working, no cable signal.” He called out from the other room. I suggested one of Jacob’s DVD’s instead, appropriately; he picked Ice Age, just as the snow started falling, again. I wondered why the satellite dish wasn’t operating, it had power with the generator on, unless……………… Unless the cable company disrupted the signal for lack of payment! Wouldn’t that be ironic? I guess that’s just one more thing for me to look into at the office when I had a real phone.
By the time I had done two loads of laundry for Jason, and hung things on the wooden racks by the woodstove to dry, it was getting dark. I re-filled the water buckets I had emptied then put their t-shirts and underwear in the dryer while Jacob watched the end of his movie. I started to fold clothes and asked Jason to shut down the gennie. Tomorrow we would run it again for a short time to finish drying their heavier clothes, but tonight they needed clean and dry things, like Jacobs jammies.
John’s comment to me about all the pasta keeps creeping into my head. I got a box of multi-shapes from the back and made mac & cheese for us for dinner. Even Jacob ate some!
The past couple of days had been full, even traumatic, for most of us. John put wood in the stove for the night. As we snuggled into bed, he told me the snow was still falling, and was already at a good 6-8” in just these few hours.