Chapter 71

November 4th, 2011

First Winter Storm

I was on I-83 north by 16:30hrs (4:30pm) and at the exit for the quaint old village of Adam's Junction in a few minutes, driving down the long road to The Cabin, and its 1,000ft, "Princeton©" American Elm-lined driveway. Once there, I parked the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee "Laredo" in front of the large deck & picnic table, on the right side of porch. After disarming the building I went in to see Jenny, brush, rub her down, and feed & water her and turn-up the heat to 78°F. I called William, my caretaker, on my way

up I-83 north, and told him to "stand-down" until Sunday evening when I left, and would call him again to come by on Monday morning to resume care of her and The Cabin, until my next weekend's visit.

After unpacking my Fall-Winter clothes and gear into the Master Bedroom and stowing some extra provisions into the well-stocked Kitchen Pantry. I grabbed a shower, some fresh clothes, and plopped myself down in one of the LR's comfy chairs to rest from the past 10 weeks of 7-days-a-week, and especially the frenetic past 5 days of closing my business forever. I had some food and personal item shopping to do at Bev & Tony's General Store, and some freshly-baked crusty Italian bread and delicious "Hot Cross Sticky Buns" to get at Old Mrs Patagonia's Bakery, before they closed at 20:00hrs (8:00pm) today, for Saturday's 09:00hrs) 9:00am opening, depending upon the coming snow, so I closed all the windows, loaded both the AR-10 .308cal (7.62 x 51mm NATO), with the Leupold Gold Dot Mark 4 CQ/T Scope, and Beowulf .50cal with an EoTech Red Dot Scope into the Jeep's back compartment, armed the building, put Jenny in the passenger's seat with the seatbelt on, and left for town. I had my Fall-Winter clothes & gear along, since it was getting colder and snow was imminent. On the way there, I filled-up at Roy's (the new owners kept the name even though Roy was in prison and his son Randy, my original caretaker, had been killed on July 30th in a drug deal-gone-bad) Shell Gas & Service Station, where lots of truckers and scores of tourists now stopped-in right off I-83, in both directions for fuel, food and the new 45-room Motel, since completed and booked-up for the distant future. I had plenty of time, since it was only 17:45hrs (5:45pm), and a very cool-and-dropping temp of 38°F, according to my The Cabin's Weather Station, as compared to a rpidly-cooling-down 44°F, when I left York. Snow was coming quickly the next morning, and alerts of a major ***WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING*** were all over the AJ Police Scanner, for these mountainous environs. I might get stuck here a while. I called William to thnk him for his caretaking, made sure he got all of his monthly checks on-time and remind him to get me plowed-out if we got more than 10-12", up to which my Jeep could easily handle.

I checked The Cabin's back-up solar generator back-up generator power supplies; there was plenty stored in reserve for 4-5 days, in case the storm knocked-out power to this area. And I had 75-100 large pillar candles, also in the pantry reserve from last Winter's storms and Spring floods, which caused havoc on numerous occasions up here. The Firewood Stack on the Back Porch had 1½ cords of tarped, split firewood and 25-30 3ft yule logs neatly-stacked, courtesy of William, plus the Firewood Storage Shed in the Backyard had another 10-12 cords of stacked, split firewood, ready for these Winter month weekends of mine. I brought-in plenty of split wood and 5 logs, and re-tarped the stacks. Jenny and I were ready for whatever came; she had cases of wet and dry food stacked in the pantry, and I had stocked almost 2 years of provisions. The fresh items we'd get in a little while, on our trip to town.

I stopped-in at the AJ Police Station & Town Hall, parked in my #7 slot, next to all the shiny new Police

Cruisers and their personal cars in the adjacent lot, put Jenny on her leash and went inside to the front desk. Deputy Alan was on-duty and greeted me. He was the one I had my doubts about making it this far, but he had, and I was glad he did. I had my Deputy Sheriff Badge on my belt next to my Kimber 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP and my ID along, and I also had my a dark, navy-blue Deputy Sheriff Baseball Cap, so there was no admittance issue to my Office adjoining Capt Clay's. It had been unusued but well-cared-for since I was here last August, and I was grateful for all the new accoutrements he'd added for me. He notified Capt Clay that I was here, and Clay came out to shake hands, give me a hug and quickly-usher me and Jenny back into his spacious Captain's Office, replete with comfy leather chairs, leather couches, and his framed commendations, badges, autographed celebrity pictures etc all over the walls, plus the adjacent AJPD Conference Room & Offices, with a large oak conference table, all kinds of even newer electronic displays and laptop computers. I was impressed since I'd been in here last August 26th, and he was just getting the new offices renovated and into shape. And he was very impressed that I was impressed. He'd obviously put-in some long hours getting it to where he wanted it to be. Jenny curled-up on the large rug next to the conference table, and snoozed, while Clay and I talked at-length, in private.

I told him about my personal and professional anguish at losing the GC&N Complex, but that it was financially-time to walk away from it, before I got into any kind of real debt which I couldn't handle and resolve-quickly. I had two serious potential buyers for the 20-acres with buildings/roads/parking lots/improvements/utilities/landscaping etc, and would meet with them and Dad next week to talk serious money and sales. He seemed pleased that I was finally going to get out from under 21 years of it all, and find something new to do. He offered me a permanent job at the AJPD as First Lieutenant, though I'd have to leave York and move to The Cabin. It wasn't as spacious or as modern as my Condo in East York, but I could easily "adapt" to that change in lifestyle. I'd still have to go to the PA State Police Academy for 6 months of very intensive training, but at almost 62, I didn't think that I wanted or needed that "effort"; 30-35 years ago, I could have flown through there, after 3 tours in The Nam with 3rd Special Forces 101st Airborne (Green Berets), but right now I was looking for a respite from 7 years with The Boys Scouts of America (JS v1), 17 years on NYC's Madison Avenue (JS v2) and 21 years of founding/owning/operating my own horticultural business (JS v3). I needed a rest and some time-off, to re-group myself mentally and physically for "JS v4". I told him that I'd be here until late Sunday afternoon, and if the Dep't needed me, just call my cellphone and I'd be there for them. Tonight, I was going to "deep sleep" and get as much of the angst out of me as I could. We shook hands and Jenny and I left to drive around Adam's Junction, to look at all the beautiful homes, which I hadn't seen since August 26th, on my last visit.

There were so many to drive-by and see: the old Carriage House & Library, the residential section of my former 10-square block patrol area, and another residential section of my former patrol area, the homes on South Poplar Street, the Acton Home,

the Franklin's Mansion, the Village's namesake Adam's Mansion, the Henderson home, the namesake Adam's Junction Bed & Breakfast Inn, the Jefferson Mansion, the Elgin Mansion, the Gen Jackson Mansion, the Tidewell Mansion, the Gen Habor Mansion, the Brickman House, the Adam's Junction Hotel, the Capitol Hotel, the old alleyway off Main Street, and of course, the Old Village Square. I liked to "mentally-imprint" them each time I visit, just so I have them in my indelible memory. I envy the folks who own them and live there, but I'm sure their many family generations have spent "more-than-just-a-lot" restoring and upkeeping them over the past two centuries-plus.

I made all my grocery/personal stops, kept Jenny on her leash for each store visit and purchase, and loaded the Jeep's cargo bay with lots of goodies. By now, I was beginning to nod-off, so I stopped at Nell's Kitchen Restaurant & Drive-In, for some strong, black coffee. It was now 16:00hrs (4:00pm), getting dark and that "spin around town took almost 2 hours. The "killer coffee" helped get me back to The Cabin, park under the left-side carport, get Jenny inside, unload the Jeep, arm the building, check the front/rear spotlight arrays, put everything into the 'fridge or pantry, grab a shower, some fresh clothes and get ready for bed. I laid-out everything for breakfast in the Kitchen & Pantry, set the Dining Room Table, got some books from my two bookcases – 1930s Oak Stacking Bookshelves with 8 drawers and the Glass Front, Antique Oak Barrister's Bookcase with 4 large shelves – for weekend evening reading and relaxing. I had them both almost filled with hundreds of Conservative books and other ones many Friends had given or recommended to me.

I took 3 Rx 1mg Lunesta®, so I'd sleep sound and late on Saturday, getting the R&R, which I desperately-needed after today's traumatic closing-down. After shutting-down The Cabin's temp to 76°F, I went to sleep, with jenny joining me at the foot of the bed. My Kimber 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP amd 4 extra mags were on the nightstand, right next to the bed, as usual. All the other weapons were safely-stowed in the Master BR's closets. Lights out at 20:00hrs (8:00pm).

I woke-up at 23;45hrs (11:45pm) and 02:30hrs (2:30am), sat on the side of the bed and had a smoke, turned-on the Police Scanner and my Cabin's Weather Station, to check the storm's progress. Looking out the front bay window, I could see a freezing-mix already coming down. Temps outside were already 29°F and falling fast. I'd definitely need my Winter gear this weekend. I went back to sleep until 08:30hrs (8:30am), and it was already snowing heavily. Wet, heavy snow on trees with leaves: a recipe for much widespread damage and unending power outages. On October 29th? Yes, I called it: "an early Winter", several months ago. And once again, I was right.

After turning-up the heat to 78°F, I watered and fed Jenny, made a large carafe of French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee (from fresh-ground, whole beans) with my Chemex® Drip "Mother Nature's In Charge; We're Just Along For The Ride." – John D.M. Shelley II, pre-1996 System, started a fire, sat in the Living Room and just watched it come down. It looked wet and heavy and was coating everything, including the 1,000ft stone driveway, very quickly. This might be a "big one". I made Fresh-Squeezed OJ, Sunnyside-up Eggs, Home Fries & Yellow Saffon Gravy, Grits w/ Butter & Sea Salt and heated-up some "Hot Cross Sticky Buns" slathered with Butter.

The power flickered off-and-on 15-20x, for various lengths of time; I finally lost count. So I disconnected from the grid, and started-up my Cabin's back-up solar generator to provide continuous and reliable power, instead of lighting any of those pillar candles. Jenny was curled-up in the Living Room, on her bearskin rug, in front of the roaring fireplace, which is where I wound-up, too. I *almost wished" that I'd had a bottle of 50-year old Brandy or 30-year old Scotch to drink, instead of just a glass of Ocean Spray® Diet Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice, to quell my anger at the wet, heavy snow-caused, power problems. But I'm glad that I didn't. It was 16:15hrs (4:15pm) and it was snowing heavily. We'd already gotten 6-8" and the Police Scanner and my Weather Station called for another 12-18", minimum, depending upon how the storm tracked. No calls on my cellphone from Capt Clay, so the AJPD and the AJ Public Works Dep't Road Crews were dealing with it; I wasn't needed. I'd just ride this one out with plenty of battery power in reserve for 4-5 days and nights, if I conserved some power.

I heard William's snowplow truck come through the 1,000ft driveway to clear it and the circle turnaround, and then out he went, to his other customers' properties. I decided to stay inside and not venture out in the Jeep at all, today. The roads were becoming iced-over with frozen slush and would be dangerous for anything except emergency travel. I just curled-up on the couch, by the fire, and napped. It would be over, soon enough, according to my Cabin's Weather Station, and I'd go out tomorrow and cruise through snow-covered Adam's Junction, close-down The Cabin around 15:00hrs (3pm), and then go back to York early in the afternoon. I just hoped the roads would be passable, without too many fallen tree blockages.

I was hungry from not having any lunch, so I made a Late Night BLT with Fried Egg and Cheese Sandwich and washed-it-down with Ocean Spray® Diet Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice, watered & fed Jenny one last time for the night, and decided to get to sleep early, as usual. I secured and armed the building, checked the spotlight arrays, closed the fireplace flu halfway, turned-down the furnace to 72°F, threw an extra soft wool blanket on the bed, took my Kimber 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP and Remy 870 12ga Pump Synthetic Express Super Magnum with devastating, 4" narrow-pattern Federal 12ga .00 Buck "FliteControl®" Shells into the Master Bedroom, and Jenny joined me for the night. I'd be up early to water and feed her, but would go back to sleep for an extra few hours, before going into town, since it was Sunday and almost everyone would be at their Church by 8:30m. I wanted to take a drive through snow-covered Adam's Junction, in October; something I'd not done before.

I was up at 03:30hrs (3:30am) – after napping for hours, staying inside all-day during "The Halloween Nor'Easter Storm" and going to bed so early, I just couldn't sleep any longer – so I turned-up the Cabin's furnace to 78°F, watered and fed Jenny, made a large carafe of French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee, Sunnyside-up Eggs w/ Squash, Oven-Roasted Russet Potatoes (with skin-on) cut in 1" pieces, drizzled w/ EVOO and Kosher Sea Salt and Grits w/ Butter & Sea Salt. The Cabin was toasty-warm in a matter of minutes, and I built a fire for extra measure for Jenny to curl-up in front on her bearskin rug.

My Cabin's Weather Station showed the October record-setting Nor'Easter Storm had moved-up into New England, leaving totals around here of 3.5" to 14", and even more like 18-20" here in the mountains. The forecast was for a sunny and 40-45°F day, which would turn everything to slush, and probably re-freeze again on Sunday night, making entry into the "former GC&N Complex" difficult. It was a mere 19°F out there now, and bitter cold. With at least 3 deaths blamed on the storm and many millions without power, I felt fortunate to be where I was with a back-up solar generator and roaring fire. After eating a large breakfast, I laid down on the couch for a nap until daybreak.

By 07:15hrs (7:15am), just as it was getting light, I heard William's snowplow truck and saw his 6 spotlights coming down my 1,000ft driveway, turned-on the front spotlight array so he could see the entire area better, got dressed – in several layers of Pendleton Woolen Shirts, jeans, my Air Force Parka, 12" LLBean Maine Insulated Hunting Boots and HD Gloves – grabbed a snowshovel from "Mother Nature's In Charge; We're Just Along For The Ride." – John D.M. Shelley II, pre-1996 the back porch to begin cleaning-off the side door's steps and front porch, side deck and front steps. We waved; I invited him in for coffee, but he said he had too much to do right now and thanked me anyway. I could see 5-6 empty Nell's coffee cups and muffin/egg/bacon sandwich wrappers on his dash, so he was well-juiced with caffeine and breakfast sandwiches. He'd probably had very little, if any, rest all night, doing both private home driveway plowing and public-contract Adam's Junction plowing, to open the main and side roads. He said the Dep't of Public Works' plows had been out all night, too. In a day or so, this would all be gone, but other Winter storms wouldn't be far behind.

After getting back inside and thawing-out in front of the fire, I slumped back in one of my comfy chairs, and rested-up. Suddenly, I could go back to sleep for another 3-4 hours. Jenny didn't even wake-up; she just snored. I worked on my "shopping list" for Weis Market, for when I returned to York, which would be sooner than I hoped, as I had shoveling and clean-up to do at my Condo, too, and at Mom & Dad's home. I also needed to get to Sears to get a small dehumidifier for the garage to protect the gunsafe, and then to Boscov's to look for a Tan Cord Sportscoat. They still didn't have their "Winter Line" in by October 15th! Guess the chinese hadn't made or shipped them yet.

I did the breakfast dishes and pots/pans, put them in the double-sink rack to dry, a load of laundry, grabbed a shower and fresh clothes, made-up the Master Bedroom with fresh linens, cleaned the bathroom and shower, brought-in another 3 loads of split firewood and logs, started the Jeep and let it warm-up for 10-15 minutes, then shut-it-down and locked it. It was good to get back inside; the bitter winds were howling at 35-45mph+.

I threw some more split firewood and a small log into the fire, and settled back in a comfy chair to do some reading – "Liberty & Tryanny: A Conservative Manifesto" by Mark Levin, – until it got light, downtown Adam's Junction awoke and a few stores began opening. I also had his "Men In Black" by Mark Levin, to finish reading at another time. I wanted to stay-off the roads since the Public Works Dep't Snowplow Crews were out clearing streets, and I'd just get in their way. Jenny just slept after my restless night and early morning awakening. I nodded-off too, until 7:45am.

I dressed in Winter Gear again, took my Beowulf® .50cal with an EoTech Red Dot Scope, and 10 extra 11-round mags of 335gr .50cal rounds (causing massive damage to whatever it hits inside of 200yds) in its Eagle Carrying Bag, turned the heat down to 72°F, armed the building and set-off for AJ's Main Street covered in snow, and stores were beginning to open. I stopped at Bev & Tony's General Store to chat for a while, pick-up a carton of Marlboros®, and some personal items, as well as cold-cuts, pasta & chicken salad, Rye bread etc for the coming week at the Office, and talked about my late fianceé, Gabrielle. Tony was at Church and would be back within an hour, so Bev and I sobbed together about her death on Christmas Eve, 2010. I was going to lay a single red rose, from all three of us, on her grave, before I left today for York. There'd never be another Gabrielle in my life, ever. I said goodbye, gave her a hug and continued on my way.

I stopped by the AJPD again and went sinside to talk to Capt Clay, who was doing paperwork; mountains of it. He despised the volume, but it was necessary to run the

Department. We talked for almost an hour, and I told him that since I folded now-closed business on Friday, Oct 28th, after 21+ years, I'd be coming here to spend more time on weekends and would be available for some part-time duty as Deputy Sheriff, in-between looking for a job in the York area. His offer of a full-time job still stood, he said. The only caveat: I'd have to move to a "virtual town", and I'm not sure how that'd work. I'd think on it and let him know, soon. We shook hands and I left.

I stopped at Midlands' Garden Center and bought a rose, drive to the cemetary, knelt at Gabrielle's Grave, said a prayers for her, and laid the rose at her headstone. With tears running down my cheeks, I continued my drive over to Nell's Kitchen Restaurant & Drive-In, to get some more "killer coffee". As I was sitting at the Kitchen' Front Lunch Counter, two fat, redneck Holtzapple scum appeared and one tried to push me off my stool. That didn't sit well with me at all, and I showed him my Deputy Badge, which he spit-at and missed. I drop-kicked him square in the balls, dropping him like a 500-lb sack-of-shit-on-a-20-mile-hike. I quickly drew my Kimber 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, clicked-off the safety and pressed it right against the other asshole's forehead, causing him to wet himself, bigtime. I called the incident into the AJPD on my cellphone, as did several of Nell's employees. Two new AJPD Cruisers with Deputies Alex and Tim, were on-site within minutes, cuffed them both, filled-out the necessary paperwork, took my and the restaurant employees' statements, and hauled the punks away to jail. I got my coffee, paid and left.

Enough excitement for a Sunday morning; I had some other places to go before going back to The Cabin. I stopped by William's home to drop-off a check for his The task ahead of you is never as great as The Power behind you. snowplowing and a two-month advance on the next month's caretaking of The Cabin and Jenny. With all the work I have to do to dismantle the former GC&N Complex, I don't know when I'll get back up here again. Plus, I have to set-up an "office" at home to get personal things done, which I'd normally do at the former-Office, during the early morning/late-afternoon hours. The tasks ahead were daunting, to say the least. Next, I was off to the ACE Hardware Store to see of they had small dehumidifiers, or whether I'd have to get one back in York. They didn't, so I'd have to either order one online or go pick it up at the nearby Sears. Too bad.

It was already 10:30hrs (10:30am) and the several Churches were letting-out worshippers, and the streets were getting busy, once again. So was the AJ's Main Street. I had one last stop to make at the AJPD before I left, but Capt Clay was at Church with his family, so I just left a private written note for him. Back to

The Cabin, pack-up, shut-down and head back to York.

I watered and amply-fed Jenny with several extra bowls of both wet and dry dogfood, packed the Jeep, shut-down the back-up generator and put The Cabin back on-the-grid, and checked the spotlight array. I notified William to "take over" on Monday morning, by leaving a message on his cellphone – must be asleep from plowing for 1½ days straight – brushed and talked to Jenny (the mixed-breed, half-frozen puppy I'd found along the road, rescued, and bought from her uncaring owners for $150, last Winter), armed the building and hit the road back to I-83 south. I'd gassed-up the Jeep yesterday and had plenty to get home. I'd be back as soon as I could manage it.

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