March 11

Posted on: March 11, 2013

Although the electricity was on for only two hours yesterday, it was a good sign, and I needed to know more.  I backed my new-to-me four wheeler out of the make-shift lean to, and headed to town.  John didn’t even question me going alone, which seemed odd, but maybe he had better things to do than to shadow me.  I sincerely feel we are past the worst of any threats, that being said, I still wore my Keltec in the shoulder holster that now felt like a second skin.

I bundled up for the ride, but the air temp was again approaching 60, and I tooled along at a moderate 30 mph, enjoying being outside in the sunshine and warm breezes.


“Good morning!” I greeted Darlene, who in turn gave me a big smile.

“You’re in good spirits.  You must have noticed our surprise yesterday.”

“Oh, I certainly did.  It was too short, but I’m guessing it was a short run to test the circuits.” I hesitated a moment, getting serious.  “Have you heard whether the power will be back to stay, and when?”

“Actually, I was on the phone the power company this morning,” oh, she looked like she was going to spring something good on me.  “We should have full, regular power by this next weekend!”

“Oh, my, oh, that is such great news, Darlene.  But I think we need to do some checking around town.”

“You always seem to be one step ahead of me,” she laughed.  “Yes, we need everyone to shut as much off as possible so the surge is lessened.”

“We’ll have to go thru all the vacant houses too, and shut the breakers down completely,” I added.

“That was suggested too.  We’ve got four days.  They said they will throw the switch on Friday at noon.”

Just then Paul and Donna walked in.  Everyone was in a great mood, mostly from the glorious weather I think.  These two were unaware of our short burst of power yesterday.  Donna sank in the nearest chair when Darlene made the announcement.

“Glory be!” she exclaimed with a sigh.  “I can’t wait to take an endless hot shower!”  We all laughed, but we all understood and felt the same.

“We do need to hit all the houses and camps and shut the mains off.  You want to head that up, Paul?”  I asked.

“You bet.  Things here have been pretty quiet; we could use something to do.” He smiled and took the remaining chair.

“This reminds me,” I started.  “My oldest son, Eric, made his way up from Florida on military transports.  He and my granddaughter are staying in Tom’s house with Jason.” Paul sobered, remembering how hard I was hit with my brother’s death.  “He’s retired military, Paul; 23 years in; Special Ops.  Think you might be able to use him in your new police department?”

“Absolutely,” he didn’t even hesitate.

We spent another two hours going over maps, marking where we knew were camps, and marking the on grid ones.  In town, going door to door seemed to be the most logical way to reach everyone within the town limits, and check every house at the same time.

I volunteered for the town route and suggested that Jason and Eric team up, since most everyone in town knows Jason; and that John and I go together, as most know me.  This way Jason could introduce his brother around town, and I could introduce John.  Strangers showing up at the door is not a good idea; after all that has happened, someone might get shot!   Jacob and Emilee would spend a day at the school, in a real classroom; the kids need some socialization.  John and I would also take the stretch of houses by Dawn and Guy.  I knew that most of those neighbors were gone, but Dawn and Guy would know which ones, and could help identifying which homes needed attention.

Paul would search out the camps with Vinnie; Donna would take the houses around the inland lake, where they themselves lived.

We agreed to meet the next day at noon, at the township hall.


I really wanted to get home, to enjoy this weather, unstressed, just sitting outside and breathing in the coming Spring, and dream of gardening.

At first I couldn’t find John, and thought he might have gone across the road to visit with the boys.  I really need to stop calling them boys; they are adults, both in their 40’s!  But I guess they will always be MY boys.  I poured myself a glass of water and planned on sitting on the deck for a while.  When I got to the door, there was John, already sitting on the deck …… on his cellphone.  I opened the door.  He hung up rather quickly and smiled at me, pulling the other chair closer to him.

“Your phone is working?  I didn’t think we were getting reception yet!” Who had he been talking to? Was my first thought; my second was trying to reach my sister, Pam!

He looked just a bit guilty, though it might have been my imagination.  “I’ve tried to keep it charged.  After the power yesterday, I thought I would try.” He took my hand.  “I just talked to my daughter.”  He grinned, but I could see that dampness in his eyes.

“Oh, John, that’s wonderful!  How is she?  And the rest: your mom and sister?” I was honestly relieved and happy for him.

“Everyone is fine.  They’ve all been worried about me, and wonder when I can come home.” He kissed my fingers, but my heart was stumbling.  “I told them I am home, but that I would try to visit when things settled down.”

3 thoughts on “March 11

  1. THERE is that declaration (story) Deborah was looking for when the Wheelers came to town! John is just a bit closed with his emotions sometimes. I hope (story) Deborah gets to enjoy that sentiment for a while before the next unwanted surprise.

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