Chapter 7

March 12th, 2010

Lots On My Mind

I needed to get away for a while and empty-out my mind of all the bullshit of the past week.

I pulled the Jeep into the lean-to, right next to the kitchen's side door. I drew my Kimber .45, chambered a round, checked for broken or jimmied windows, entered the cabin and checked all rooms & closets with my drawn Kimber 1911 .45cal; all was quiet, to make sure it was "unoccupied" and safe for me. The snow depth was now at 13-18", and with all the blowing and drifting, it'd gotten worse in some spots. I had to do no shoveling to get inside. At least the mid-40°F temps were melting some of it. I have Accu-Trac on the 2002 Jeep; no sweat. I quickly unloaded supplies as temps began falling into the teens. The LPG-powered

generator kicked-on with the flick of a switch, so I decided to get the oversized hearth fire underway. I noticed additional truck tracks to the 2 x 1,000gal LPG tanks on the side of the Cabin, so I knew I'd just had another 300-450gal fill-up from Roy's Gas Company in Adam's Junction. Nice. His last bill was around $460, so I knew I'd be good to go for a few more months, at this rate of visitation and usage. Jenny was happy to get me back.

The Cabin warmed-up quickly, and I went out to the back porch to gather a load of split-wood, and logs for the massive hearth. I soon had that fire underway and went to the pantry to get some food for Jenny. I refilled her two dry food bowls, wet food bowl and water bowl. She was soon satiated and curled-up on the Kodiak bearskin in front of the fireplace.

I had a lot of things pressing on my mind. How do I get my company back to the halcyon days of doing over $1mm? We're going to have to "reinvent ourselves" and get back to what we did best: provide great customer service, follow-through and work our collective butts off. We've gotten fat and lazy over the 20 years, as I've added more staff to spread the responsibilities around. We've also gotten older and slowed down. We all agreed in our reduced Staff Meeting on Monday, that we had to hit the deck running and not slow down for the season. Jennifer's enthusiasm was infectious for Dad, Alan and me. I hope we can keep-up the level.

I poured a quarter snifter of Brandy, lit a Marlboro and settled back with Savage's "Liberalism Is A Mental Disorder". I decided to go into town tomorrow and visit the local garden center & nursery, on the outskirts, just to see their offerings and meet the folks who own the place.

I was tiring quickly, so I turned the thermostat down to 65°F, closed the fireplace damper halfway, checked the front and back doors, and climbed into bed. Jenny soon followed and I needed a good night's sleep, for the past few days for which have been very stressful on me.

Since my IT guy was sick with pleurisy, I decided to stay 1-2 more days and nights, and rest-up, myself. I woke at 7am, shaved, showered, made Eggs Benedict and coffee, fed Jenny, put her in the Jeep and headed to Adam's Junction to shop for some new furnace/ AC filters and a new 10 CuFt, top-loading freezer. The old Kenmore I had must be 25 years old and no telling how much longer it would last. Besides, it iced-up too frequently and I had to remove everything and chip the ice away and carry it out in buckets. The new units were self-defrosting and drained into a bottom pan, which could easily be poured down the sink.

I drove the 15 miles into town, and stopped at ACE Hardware, introduced myself to brothers Karl & Allen, where they were having a "sale" on GE and Kenmore appliances. I've had the shits of GE over the years, so I bought another Kenmore 13.0 CuFt top-loader, on sale for $359.99, marked down from $449.99. They offered to deliver it, remove the old unit, hook-up and plumb the new unit, no charge. (I'd make sure they'd get a nice tip for that work.) Done deal! They had an opening on their schedule for Tuesday, March 16th, and I gladly accepted. I paid for the new unit and signed the paperwork. I noticed a small, young boy sitting on the side counter, eating a Tootsie-Roll Pop, and smiled at him. He smiled back. He was Allen's son, and thought to be autistic. But he jumped down and walked right over to me and Jenny, and started petting her. She licked his face and he let out the loudest giggle and laugh I'd ever heard from a child, who wasn't in pain. Both Karl & Allen were stunned, as Sammy introduced himself to me, and I to him. "He's never talked to strangers in all his 7 years," Allen proffered, but it seemed that Jenny and I were "different", and he identified with us. I shook Sammy's hand, Karl's & Allen's too, and found the 16" x 25" x 1" micro static filters I needed for the furnace and AC units. I paid for those, said goodbye and we left. Sammy was at the window, waving.

I drove around town for the next 35-40 minutes, admiring the immaculate 19th and early 20th Century homes, angle parking, well-kept stores and no litter of blowing paper, anywhere. It kind of reminded me of the towns I grew-up in the in the 50s & early-60s. By now, it was going on 12noon, and Jenny and I were getting hungry. I drove to the family diner, got a couple of double cheeseburgers, a medium fry and Coke to go, and went back out to the Jeep, where Jenny was already licking her chops.

As I came out, I noticed one of the town's three police cars pull up and stop behind me, blocking my exit. He was a young (I'm guessing 25-27) man, military brush cut, and he came over and introduced himself: Corporal Clay Atler, the Chief's son-in-law, three tours in Iraq with MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force), and I knew this guy'd been through hell and back. I thanked him for his service to America and to all of us. He nodded. He thanked me for standing-up to the DHS jack-booted thugs in the Town Hall Meeting, a few weeks ago. I nodded. He told me that Jenny was one of his female mother dog's litter, before she died, and that he was glad I was giving her a good home and care. He wrote down the local vet's name, address and number, just in case of emergency. He also wrote his cellphone number down, as well as several of "the guys", just in case I ran into some "bad elements" from other cabins in the adjoining woods; they'd be there with minutes, he'd promised. I thanked him. He asked if I'd be around during hunting season, to go out with "the guys" and get local game for the townspeoples' supper tables and foodbanks. I said that I'd be honored to go with them. He smiled, tipped his hat and got back in his patrol car and drove away.

By now, Jenny had smelled the burgers and had drooled all over the Jeep's window and door, and I knew I had a cleaning job to do when I got back to The Cabin. I put the cheeseburger, minus the pickles and onions, down on the front floormat, electronically-slid the passenger seat all the way back so she'd have some room to feast, and she made short work of that sandwich. When we got back to The Cabin, I thoroughly cleaned her side of the SUV, including the floormat. Good as new.

The Corporal's phrase, "bad elements from other cabins in the adjoining woods" began to bother me. Were these 'skinheads', 'militia', 'racists'... what? I called him on his cellphone, and asked the pointed question: "What exactly am I facing out here, Corporal?" He said that there were all kinds who'd settled in these woods over the years; some just meddlesome and other real bad asses. Oh shit.

With the Jeep pulled into the lean-to, I opened the gun safe and laid-out all my "carry" weapons on the 10ft long, oak dining room table, on top of 5-10 sheets of newspaper. I got out all the cleaning kits, ammo and mags, and began bringing each of the weapons, up-to-specs. Choice One Security had the house wired like Ft Knox, and no one was going to get inside without me or Jenny knowing about it well beforehand. Lights and klaxons would be going-off, and all were wired to an internal battery, so there'd be no power interruption from any intruders. The driveway would be wired in 2-3 places, as soon as the ground thawed.

I carry the 1911 Kimber "Eclipse Target II" .45ACP, carry the Remy 11-87 AutoLoader 12ga, and Beowulf .50cal with me, everywhere. My other two (2) Class III AR-15s .223cal/.556mm NATO, AR-10 (7.62 x 51mm NATO), Henry Repeater .357 Magnum, the REMY 870 Synthetic 12ga Bushmaster Hand Guns (Pistols) Bushmaster carbon 15 type 21 pistol, stay in my company dbl-door Canon Gun safe, at work, as do my other pistols: Glock 32 (.357SIG) and 1974 Colt Trooper Mk III .357 Magnum).

I made dinner for myself — an 8oz Allen Bros Filet Mignon on the grille, scalloped potatoes, corn pudding, Bush's Country Beans and crusty garlic bread — and fed Jenny her Iams. I stoked the fire, brought-in some more split-wood and whole logs for the side of the massive hearth. Jenny settled on her bearskin, and I in my comfy leather chair, with a Brandy snifter, Cuban Cigar (don't ask) and "Domestic Enemies" by Matthew Bracken. According to my remote weather station outside, it was 53°F and mostly cloudy. Rain was due tomorrow through Sunday. I relish this time of the day/ night, since it's just Jenny & me, and no one to bother our solitude. And that's what I come here for, after all.

I'd no more than settled into my comfy leather chair, and Jenny on her Kodiak bearskin run, than the whole front yard lit-up. Must have been 5-10 trucks with spotlights. I flipped-on the five 10,000watt spotlights on the front and back of The Cabin. It looked like an attack, with 2-3 camo-dressed men from each truck, pointing various long guns at The Cabin. I immediately called Corporal Clay Atler on his cellphone, and he said he and his deputies would be "right there". Meanwhile, when seconds count, minutes from the police don't matter; I knew I was on my own.

I walked out on to the front porch with the Beowulf .50cal, and asked them what they wanted. "Me" is what they wanted. "Could they come in and talk?" I said that if they left their weapons on the table on the porch, and I checked each of them, then yes." They filed up to the porch, and I went inside and put Jenny inside the 2nd BR, for her safety. Each camo-dressed man laid-down his long gun, I frisked them for sidearms, and found 5, and put those on the picnic table with the rifles, and invited them inside. I even found a hand grenade, and put it on the picnic table. I switched from my Beowulf .50cal to my Remy 11-87 12ga AutoLoader.

With 20-30 camo-dressed and unarmed men seated around my LR table, standing and in some chairs, I asked them what they wanted. They wanted me to join their local militia, in preparation for the overthrow of the US Government. I listened while they rambled on and on about how a governmental and societal collapse was imminent, and absolute chaos would break out. We had to be patriots and united behind one cause: restoring the US Government. I agreed that it needed to be restored back to the Founding Fathers' Original Document, but they said it must be totally re-written to prevent something like this from ever happening again: no commies or marxists in the WH or government. They all needed to be purged and killed. Though I didn't disagree, I didn't say anything.

Within 5 minutes, three police cars, led by Corporal Clay Atler, roared into the driveway and front yard, now clogged with pick-up trucks and lit by my floodlights. He had the Sheriff, Brian Bunce, and five deputies with him. They came directly to the cabin, one deputy staying behind on the radio with the State Police. I let them in, and they told the militia members to collect their weapons and get off the property, NOW. No one back talked the Sheriff or Clay, and did as they were told. An ambulance pulled-up into the driveway, having been alerted there might be "trouble". I was relieved.

The "militia" quietly filed out of The Cabin, collected their weapons on the front porch picnic table, got in their trucks and left my property. Sheriff Bunce introduced himself, gave me his cell phone number and I invited them to have some coffee and talk to me about these characters who'd invaded my private sanctuary that night. I made coffee and we sat and talked for almost two hours about each of the players in that group. The Sheriff told me that 4 of them are "very dangerous" and would commit murder at the drop of a hat. The rest are captains, lieutenants, sargents etc; basically "followers" of the 4 generals. All are on the DHS and FBI "Watch Lists", and now that he had to file a report on the evening's activity, I would likely go on to a sub-list for meeting with them, although under duress. I assured them I had no intention of joining such a nefarious group, and that my "trips" up here were "virtual" and to escape the BS of my business and everyday life.

I introduced myself to all the Deputies, and thanked them all for responding so late in the evening, obviously interrupting their families' lives for me and Jenny. They all marveled at my Beowulf .50cal, Kimber .45cal and Remy 11-87 Auto-Loader 12ga. "You've got better hardware than we do!", several remarked, drawing a stern stare from the Sheriff. I told them about my Class III weapons at my office, and their mouths were agape. Sheriff, too. With that, they said good night and left.

I threw another couple of pieces of split wood on the fire, turned-off the 10,000watt lights, and expected to see lots of lawn and driveway damage in the morning, from all those vehicles. I

poured a ¼ snifter of Brandy, lit a Marlboro, let Jenny out of the 2nd BR, and settled back into my comfy chair, with her on her bearskin rug. It just began to hit me how close I'd come to a shooting confrontation with a bunch of crazies, and I'd have lost, bigtime. I could have handled 5-10, but 20-30 was out of the question. My hands were shaking slightly. The Brandy helped quell that problem.

As the fire began to die down, I closed the damper, armed The Cabin's security system, checked the Beowulf, Remy and Kimber for full mags, plus extras, and strategically-placed the two long guns in The Cabin, within easy reach. The Kimber went to bed with me and Jenny. It was a tiring day, and I had one more day to spend there, before returning to "reality".

I woke at 7am, shaved, showered, made Eggs Benedict and French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee (from fresh, whole beans) with my Chemex® Drip System, watered and fed Jenny, did dishes, laundry, some vacuuming and began packing for the trip back to York. I closed the fireplace damper, turned-down the heat, loaded the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee "Laredo", armed The Cabin's security system and headed back to I-83 south on the long and winding back road, south from Adam's Junction. Murphy was glad to see me, again.

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