Chapter 47

December 31st, 2010

For Sale?

I knew that "The Cabin" would never be the same again. I had to go back and feed & water Jenny, my virtual dog, but I decided that I needed to take stock of the whole operation and either put it up for sale, or just be an "occasional visitor" to Adam's Junction, when I wasn't thinking about Gabrielle. And that was very, very difficult to do, right after her viewing & funeral, last week.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. I'll wait a while, make some infrequent visits to The Cabin over the Winter months, and make the rational decisions about keeping or selling it, come Spring. Right now, I was drinking too heavily to make any rational decisions about anything, and I needed to "get my life back together", before I did anything more.

I really wanted to go back to The Cabin, right after Christmas Dinner with Mom & Dad, but I was too tired and felt like I was coming down with another cold, so I opted to stay at home.

The snow light started around 4:15pm and continued through the night, delivering 1¾" in two hours; the idiot weathermen were very wrong, about their "prediction", as usual.

Since I decided to take Thursday off, I packed my gear, grabbed the Full-Auto, Class III AR-10® .308cal (7.62 x 51mm NATO), with the Leupold® Gold Dot Mark 4 CQ/T Scope, and .308cal (7.62 x 51mm NATO) ammo in the new 20-round magazines, and headed-up to The Cabin. I had plenty of food there, but stopped at the State Liquor (CB) Store to buy a bottle of 50-year old Cognac ($675), since I had run low, last time Gabrielle was there. The snow got deeper and deeper the further I strode into the mountains. I had put on my 12" LLBean® "Maine Insulated Hunting Boots" and worn my Air Force Parka, and I was

glad I did.

As I pulled up the 1,000ft gravel drive to The Cabin in 10-15" drifts, toward from massive front deck, I noticed a 450-500lb black bear crossing the meadow, with a young deer in its mouth, probably headed back to its den to "feed the family". I stopped and waited for it to fully-cross the meadow before driving any further towards The Cabin, so as not to spook it. I took the AR-10 out, made sure it was loaded with a fresh mag and leaned it against the deck railing, and began shoveling the front steps and porch. Black bears were notorious for circling around behind fresh prey, and attacking, and if that happened, I'd be more than ready. Just then, Roy's son Randy, from Roy's Shell Gas & Service Station, Bed & Breakfast Motel, came roaring up the driveway, plowing it open, along with the circle turnaround. I moved my Jeep so he could get to that area, too. I gave him a $50. I unarmed The Cabin, and carried my gear inside, and waved at Randy's vehicle leaving. I re-armed the building, brought-in three armloads of split firewood from the tarped pile on the back porch, turned-on the furnace, opened the flu damper and lit the fire. Within a couple of minutes, it was roaring. Just like "old times". Hardly; without Gabrielle there with me, it would never be "the same", ever again.

I unpacked and did laundry, re-making both beds with fresh linens. I plopped myself down in my overstuffed, comfy leather chair, next to the matched unit I'd bought for Gabrielle, and poured a small snifter of Cognac. I could already feel and taste salty tears running down my cheeks. After quaffing-down the snifter, I got re-dressed and decided to pay a visit to Gabrielle's grave site, after stopping at the local florist, for her favorite bouquet: 24 Red Roses, Ferns & Baby's Breath, to sod-pin on the grave.

I drove to the local florist and paid for the bouquet, and they immediately recognized me. Their eyes welled-up with tears, as did mine, and I thanked them and left. I stopped at Bev & Tony's General Store, and we hugged and cried together. I asked them if the wanted to go to Gabrielle's grave site with me, as I had her favorite bouquet to pin to the ground, so it wouldn't blow away. They said this was between her and me. I drove out to the grave site and must have spent 45mins to an hour thinking about her and me and all our "plans", said a prayer and then pinned the bouquet to her grave and blew her a kiss. I drove through town and the streets were neatly plowed, unlike NYC's, and all but deserted. I stopped at Nell's Kitchen Restaurant & Drive-In, ordered a triple-decker Club Sandwich to go, as many other customers came up to me with offer condolences, with a handshake, hug or kiss. I tipped my usual 25% and left for The Cabin. It was getting dusk outside and flurries were coming down. I drove the Jeep into the lean-to along the left-side door, carried my rifle and food to the front door, dis-armed it and went inside. It was still nice and warm, but the fire could use a few more split logs, which I accommodated quickly from the stockpile I had brought inside to thaw-out.

After making "short-work" of half the Club Sandwich, I put the rest in the 'fridge for either a late nite snack, or for breakfast. I poured a small snifter to the last of the 50-year old Cognac, and sipped that by the fireside, in my chair. Piles and piles of Conservative Books, all with bookmarks, surrounded me, but by now, I'd lost interest. I just stared into the fire. Time for some sleep, soon. I wanted to visit Sgt Clay in town, tomorrow, needed gas, and refill Jenny's 3 bowls of food and water, before leaving for York.

I checked The Cabin's alarm system, put the front and rear spots on automatic, took a nice, long hot shower, and changed into some clean clothes. After turning down the furnace to 71°F, I let the fireplace burn down to red-hot coals for the night. I crawled into the Master Bedroom's Queen-Sized Bed, and fell asleep, quickly. It had been a long and very busy day for me.

I was up at 6am, made breakfast, did the dishes, got dressed, dis-armed The Cabin, turned-off the automatic spotlights, loaded my AR-10 into the

Jeep, and noticed that we'd had another 1¾" of snow fall over night. I drove into the AJPD, and asked to see Sgt Atler, but was told he and a Deputy were out on patrol. They contacted him by radio, and he said he'd head back to the Station right away to see me.

I waited on the wooden bench in the entrance for him, and he was here in 15-20mins. We went into his office, closed the door and he expressed his condolences about Gabrielle, once again. I thanked him. I told him of my thoughts of selling The Cabin and its 43 acres, come Spring, but still being an "occasional visitor" over the Winter months. He agreed that it was my "choice", but that he and the town would miss me if I left on a permanent basis. I turned-in my Deputy Sheriff Badge & ID to him, and said since his Deputies were now now back-up to "full strength", they wouldn't be critically-needing me any more. He said he'd keep it just as is, in his desk's top drawer, just in case. My decision. We shook hands, and I left.

I stopped at Roy's Shell Garage & Service Station, and filled-up the Jeep at $3.05/ gal for Regular, same price as in York. Randy checked the tire pressures, anti-freeze, windshield wiper fluid and pronounced "me fit to travel". I told him that I'd call to get him to plow the 1,000ft driveway, before coming back, but that I had a lot of "decisions" to make about The Cabin and its acreage, before Spring arrived. I thanked him and left for York.

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