March 13

Posted on: March 14, 2013

March 13

Even though the oatmeal cookie recipe made four dozen cookies, I sent only two dozen with the kids to school; not good to have anyone, young or old, get use to something they can’t always have.  The kids were dropped off shortly after 9:15am; school starting time has gotten very fluid with only a dozen students.  Some showed up later, some not at all.  I made a simple jelly sandwich for Emi, and sent a package of ramen for Jacob.  The school was very use to Jacob’s finicky eating, and happily boiled some water for his noodle-meal just so they could be sure he would eat.

The four of us were at the township hall when Paul and Donna showed up; Darlene was already there.  Vinnie didn’t show.

“Even though we both knew we were doing something important, I think Vinnie was really bored yesterday,” Jason commented.  “Or maybe he didn’t want to face any bodies today.  I have a feeling as we branch out, that becomes more of a possibility.  I’m not sure that I want to either, but I’m willing to risk it to get the power back on and stable.”

I’m so proud of Jason; I thought: he’s come a long way. None of us want to find bodies, but better us than some children.

We teamed up differently this time: Paul, Donna and Eric; John, Jason and me.  There was a reason:  yesterday Donna had met some opposition, some not-so-friendlies, and tough as nails as she is, it shook her up pretty good.  Paul wouldn’t let her go alone again.


The three of us headed for Guy and Dawn’s place, on two of our new four-wheelers.  The road looked pretty good, but only because no one had used it; with two of us on one machine, the weight bogged us down and we had a rough go of it for a stretch.  Guy & Dawn’s drive was well packed gravel, and I breathed with relief as we got sure footing again.

“Guy? Dawn?” I called out as I was dismounting.  The door opened quickly and Dawn came running out, grabbing me in a bear hug, all 5’3” of her.  The first thing I noticed as I hugged her in return, was the gun.  This was a huge surprise: Dawn was deathly afraid of guns!  I stepped back, holding her by the shoulders.  “Okay, who are you and what have you done with my friend?” I smiled as she looked confused.  “The gun, Dawn, the gun.”

“Oh, that; I took your advice and ‘got over it’,” she grinned.  “Turns out I’m a pretty good shot!”

“No,” Guy spoke up, “she’s a damn excellent shot!”  Dawn beamed.   She almost wept with joy when I told her about the power coming back and why we were there.

“So I’m hoping the two of you will come with us, or at least tell us which neighbors here are gone, and which ones might still be around.

“That’s easy,” Guy said.  “We’re the only ones left on this end of the lake.  Everyone else left early on.  Oh, there is one house you might want to avoid: The Cutter’s.  They stayed for a while, but around Christmas we heard two shots, spaced.  When there was no more smoke from their chimney, I figure it was a double suicide.”  He described the house, but said he would go there instead.  John went with Guy to disconnect the houses to the south, and Jason, Dawn and I went to the north.  The only thing we came across was more dead pets.  I don’t think I will ever become immune to the anger and sorrow I felt;  from an early age, I was always more connected to animals than I was to people; and I would get emotionally distraught even hearing about the death of a beloved pet.

In just over an hour, we met back at their place, having disconnected fifteen empty houses. “Now, don’t forget to unplug your refrigerator and freezer on Friday morning!  You certainly don’t want the surge to short out anything. I doubt we could get a repairman up here,” I reminded them.  “With as many as we’ve managed to take off line, it shouldn’t be a problem, but I’m sure not taking the chance!”

Before we left there, Jason pulled me aside.

“Mom, I’m sure you haven’t forgotten it’s my birthday today,” I just smiled, of course I remembered, I would never forget one of my son’s birthdays.  “I don’t know if you had anything in mind, but could we invite Guy & Dawn and Paul & Donna over?” He hesitated.  “We’ve been searching Tom’s basement.
There are cases of his home made beer still there down there,” he said excitedly,  “and a case of Norene’s wine too.  If I could talk you into making a couple of pizzas, it could be a good way to celebrate getting the power back on.”  How typically unselfish of him.

“Of course, Jason, it’s your birthday, invite anyone you want.” I tried to remember if there’s enough Mozzarella cheese for two large pizzas; if not, there’s always parmesan.


When we all grouped again at the township hall, Eric had already collected Emilee and Jacob from the school.  The kids played a game of tag in the near empty parking lot, while the adults watched.  Jason made his offer of beer and pizza to Paul and Donna, who quickly accepted.  Little did we know that Donna had a surprise gift for Jason.


“After watching those two kids playing, I just knew I had to share what we’d found,” Donna paused to sip her cold beer.  Jason had filled a cooler with snow from the north side of the barn, the side where the snow lasts the longest, and packed in a dozen brown bottles.  A cold beer was the biggest treat of all.  “If you will all step outside with me for a minute, the kids too.”

Once we were all there curious as can be, except for Eric; he knew what was coming, Donna opened the back door of their truck, (I was pleased to see they didn’t use the patrol car for personal use).  I heard her mumble something as she reached in, and pulled out a Golden Retriever puppy!

10 thoughts on “March 13

  1. I too find the unnecessary loss of animals really difficult to take. I suppose it’s because people understand or should understand what they need to do to remain alive, and animals just may not.

  2. PUPPY!!!!! Depending on the age, the little fellow/gal could well have been conceived in the confusion of the first few weeks of the power being out. As slim as pickings might be, there are some folks that would be sure their fur companions had something to eat. Canines can and will eat scraps and parts that most modern humans won’t. The offal from the hunts as well as fish heads. Small game and rats as well. Being a bit more omnivorous then a cat, gruel and veggies will get them by.
    I can not wait to see Tuff’s reaction to this new addition. Feline curiosity or feline disdain.

  3. I totally did not expect that ending. Awwwwwww!!! hurray for puppies!

    ….we also are “between dogs” right now & miss their companionship very much. If we move to the country we have to get chickens — to keep the ticks at bay… but even in town I want a dog.

  4. I love animals, dogs most of all, but they can be expensive. We at one time had five(5) dogs, one(1) cat and six(6) chickens, not the best plan for a family on a fixed income. We only have one (1) cat, dog, and chicken still surviving. And unless we decide to get another dog as an early warning system for post event, we are done owning animals. I am going to miss them. 🙁 I miss the ones that have passed over the years still. It’s just a matter of economics, and in our case it just doesn’t add up.

  5. I am another hooked reader! I have to admit, I get a little upset when it isn’t there everyday (No offense intended real Deborah, I’m just hooked and a reading junky!). I sat down and read from the beginning to where I was in the story in about an hour or so.
    I hope you keep the story going through the summer!!! I would love to read about (story) Deborah’s gardens.

  6. Deborah, the more you write the deeper drawn in we become. I’ve become hooked on your Journal, in fact, you’ve created an audience for your talent!
    I hope that you are able to continue this Journal, for as long as possible, and then reward your avid readers with a sequel.
    We know that summer will be coming and you will be meeting yourself coming back from all that you have to do…but next winter…

  7. Unselfish son Story Deborah has for sure.. and to have a puppy for the kids, a puppy obviously found alive after seeing so many family pets gone, what a wonderful blessing turning on the power is turning out to be, and not just for the power being back on either!! Awesome, I am still loving this ‘fictional little story’ that is really not so little…LOL!!!!

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