Chapter 50

January 28th, 2011

Slipping Away

After food shopping on Friday, I decided to go to The Cabin for Saturday and Sunday, to get away from it all, to just relax and read. I pulled in under the carport next to the kitchen door, disarmed the building, went in with my gear and rifle — AR-10 .308cal (7.62 x 51mm NATO), with the Leupold Gold Dot Mark 4 CQ/T Scope — and Jenny was happy to see me. I refilled her 3 bowls and gave her a good brushing with her favorite brush. I unpacked and laid the AR-10 on top of its Eagle rifle bag, on the dining room table, just a few feet from the fireplace. I had 6 loaded extra mags along in the bag's pouches. I took my Kimber 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP off and laid it on the table next to my overstuffed leather chair, in the Living Room & Hearth. After turning-up the furnace to 75°F, I carried in an armload of split firewood and lit a fire. There was at least 3ft of snow on the ground up here in the mountains, as compared to 18" in York. Soon, Randy showed-up and re-plowed the 1,000ft gravel drive to The Cabin, and circle turnaround, with about 10" of snow on it. I waved to him from the large bay window at the front of The Cabin. He'd make sure everyone in Adam's Junction knew I was here.

I took an Rx 12.5mg Ambien® CR™ sleeping pill on Friday night, and had a terrible night: weird dreams (one of its many notorious side effects), woke-up every 3hrs, and felt like crap on Saturday. I called my Rite-Aid drug store in Stewartstown, and OK'd the Rx 1mg Lunesta®, which my primary care physician had prescribed 2 months ago and which Geisinger Health Plan refused to pay for. I'll pay for it, but it's expensive. It's $212.50 for 30 tablets, even with my 10% Wellness® discount from Rite-Aid. Yikes! No generics available, but I have to try something other than Ambien CR®.

I started making breakfast: Eggs Benedict, oatmeal & Mauna Loa Coffee. After doing the dishes and putting them into the drying rack in the double stainless sink, I sat down to read "What Is My Cat Thinking?". Something light and funny. I marked my place in the book, and went to the front door to see how much snow was on the front deck/ porch, and it was snowing hard again. The "Northern Clipper" was here, bigtime. I opted to wait to shovel a path and the steps until it was over, so I wouldn't have to do it twice. I decided to go for a drive to Adam's Junction, to gas-up the Jeep and just drive through the town while it was snowing. The town is beautiful with mostly early 20th Century homes, meticulously cared for and maintained. I stopped at Roy's Shell Gas & Service Station, where Regular (89 oct) was $3.29/ gal. It took 17 gals to fill-up the 22gal tank. Yikes! His oldest son, Randy, is the snowplower in the family and was out plowing other peoples' driveways, so Roy filled me up and we chatted for about 15 minutes.

With the exception of a few people, the town's streets and sidewalks were almost deserted. Several people recognized my vehicle and waved, and I beeped the horn back at them. I stopped at Nell's Kitchen Restaurant & Drive-In to get a double cheeseburger and fries to go, for lunch. It was busy, as usual, so after I placed my order, I had a seat on the bench across front the register. Her burgers were massive — ¾ lbs finished weight — and fries always done perfectly and salted nicely. Several people stopped to shake my hand, say "hi" and chat about what I was doing at my business this time of year. I suddenly noticed tat there was a line of 9 people waiting to shake hands and chat, and I was stunned. I spent 15-20 minutes with them all, and then my order was ready, and Nell called me over to the register. I paid-up and shook some more hands, and left. It was snowing even harder than when I came into Nell's, so I headed back to The Cabin. There was another 3-4" on the ground by the time I hit the carport, disarmed the building and went inside.

I ate the massive lunch and washed it all down with a glass of Fresh-Squeezed OJ instead of a beer, since I quit drinking all alcohol on January 10th. Next, a short nap was called for, since I slept so badly last night. I armed the building and marvelled at the intensity of the snowfall up here in the mountains, as compared to York. I curled-up on the couch; my Kimber within easy reach, and nodded-off until 4pm. Jenny's barking woke me; someone was on the front deck. It was Sgt Clay Atler but I took the Kimber along in my righthand behind the door, round chambered and safety off, to answer the door anyway, just in case "someone" was behind him wih a gun to his back. There wasn't and I let him in. He was just paying a "courtesy call" to bring me up-to-date on past events, and make sure all was okay here. We talked for 30mins and he left. It was still snowing, but not as hard as when I went to sleep.

With the clouds and snow, it was beginning to get dark already at 4:45pm, so I decided to go back to reading and finish "What Is My Cat Thinking?" and finish it since it's only 93 pages with lots of pictures and illustrations. I armed the building and set the front/rear spotlights on automatic. For the first time in many trips to Adam's Junction, it looked as though it would be "uneventful and peaceful". For that, I was grateful. I needed the R&R, away from it all.

I had the local Police scanner on, and heard my name referred to as being "in town" and that any on-duty Deputy's Patrol Car should cruise by on a regular basis, and if not too late, make a cellphone call to check on me. I smiled.

I made dinner: some of last night's leftover York Chinese Dim Sum — shrimp toast, steamed pork dumplings, shrimp-fried rice and a generous helping of Gen Tsao's Chicken over white rice — which I'd brought along on the trip — since I hadn't thawed-out any 10oz Allen Bros filet mignons. It was very good, and even Jenny liked a pork dumpling. I had plenty of all to share, not having much appetite last night. I washed the few dishes and put them in the wooden rack to dry in the double sink. I threw another couple of split logs onto the fire, but no 3ft log, as I was planning to go to sleep soon. I had some Rx 10mg Valium® along and 1 always put me down for the night, and gave me a peaceful night's sleep. I was looking forward to it.

I shaved and showered, and then went to bed. Last time I was here, I vacuumed The Cabin, changed linens in the Master Bedroom, did the washing/drying/folding in the Kenmore #9825 24" Gas Laundry Center w/ Dryer, made the bed, all turned-down and ready for occupancy. I went back to the fire and lit one of my dwindling Cuban Cigars — I had another case of 200 on the way via "secret courier" — and sat down and stared into the fire and was mesmerized for a good hour, while enjoying the cigar and a glass of OJ on ice. I'd take both the AR-10 and Kimber 1911 .45cal into the BR with me and Jenny, after rechecking The Cabin's alarm system and spotlights. The road sensor plate was useless with all the snow on top of it. No matter, as the 4 x 1,500w front/ 4 x 1,500w rear spotlights and buiding alarm, tied into the Police Station and Sgt Clay's cellphone, would be enough, while I had my AR-10 and Kimber .45cal at-the-ready for whatever "action" occured. Hopefuly, I wouldn't need either tonite.

It was 8:15pm and the fire was dying down, yet I had plenty of splitwood on the Firewood Stack on the Back Porch and a 3ft log for the hearth standing-by for Sunday morning. I turned down the furnace to 70°F, and closed the flu damper halfway, to conserve heat. Interior lights off, except for the Master BR, and Jenny followed me in, waited until I'd settled-in, and took her place at the bottom of the bed on the right side, so I'd have access to the bedside table light, alarm clock and Kimber, on the left side of the bed. I'd taken the Valium® about 30 mins ago, and fell asleep almost right away.

I was up at 6:15am, fed Jenny, made breakfast — an English Muffin & OJ — and it was still dark outside. Instead of sleeping in 1-2hr "fits" and having bad dreams as with the Ambien CR®, I slept in 3-4hr stints and had good dreams all night with the Valium®. Quite a difference. I was only up 2x during the night for a sip of water. I felt rested on Sunday morning, but decided to go back to sleep for another couple of hours. I slept until 9:30am, packed-up my gear and clothes, refilled Jemmy's 3 bowls, armed the building and left for York. I had a bunch of errands to run, an Rx to pick-up at Rite-Aid in Stewartstown, food shopping to finish and probably a ton of email in the inbox queue.

I was back in York, despite the snow-covered roads, in short order, and unloaded my rifle and gear at the condo, fed Murphy, made-up my shopping list and set out to get things done. It was 19°F/ 0°F Wind Chill, but I didn't mind the cold this time, as I was purpose-driven.

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