Chapter 82

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Time On My Hands

On Friday afternoon, March 2nd, I'd packed some selected Gear, Weapons & Equipment for my 2-day trip to "The Cabin" – several changes of clothes in my old VietNam-service US Army Duffel Bag, Full-Auto, Class III AR-10® .308cal (7.62 x 51mm NATO), with the new 15½" Barska® 10-36x Zoom w/ 100mm Lens Sniper Scope with Green Mil-Dots and .308cal ammo in the new 20-round magazines, Remy® 11-87 Semi-Automatic 12ga Shotgun with devastating Federal® 12ga .00 Buck (9 pellets) "FliteControl®" Shells, my Beowulf® .50cal with a newly-fitted Trijicon® TA648-50 6x48 ACOG Scope, and 10 extra 11-round mags for .50cal 335gr rounds, a Single Lens 8 x 20mm Spy Scope, my daily carry-piece, the Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with a Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazine in the well, a Galco® PLE Paddle Holster, a special Galco® Paddle Dual 8-Round Mag Carrier for 2 extra Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazines, my invaluable Satchel Bag, full of "all kinds of survival necessities", Yellow Safety Raingear, my 12" LLBean® "Maine Insulated Hunting Boots", a multi-caliber Hoppe's® Premium Field Gun Cleaning Kit, a new 16" Bowie® Knife, my Northend® Sport Jackets Co's Style 88651® Men's Sherpa Fleece-Lined, Seam-Sealed Winter Jacket, and Thermolite® Thinsulate Gloves – all fitting-nicely in the Jeep's Cargo Bay and back seats. I'd also set-up Murphy's dry/wet food & water bowls with plenty of everything until I returned.

After my 20:00hrs (8pm) Church Meeting, I left for I-83 North in the rain; thankful it

was a "balmy" 48°F and it wasn't snowing, instead. But after exiting the interstate, it was indeed snowing, as outdoor temps in these mountains had already dropped 18-20°F on the long, winding road to "The Cabin", about 15 miles south of Adam's Junction. Figures. I pulled into the snowy 1,000ft lane and parked under the snow-covered carport on The Cabin's left side. The side door's lightbulb was burnt-out, but the front porch light was still on and provided just enough light to see what I was doing, so I disarmed the building and went in to find Jenny waiting for me. Temps were dropping rapidly, I turned-up the heat to 78°F, fed and watered Jenny, unloaded my Gear, Weapons & Equipment from the Jeep's Cargo Bay, replaced the burnt-out 60w lightbulb at the side door and re-armed the building. I hadn't brought any perishables along on this trip, and the 'fridge was full. Good enough for my immediate needs. I shaved, grabbed a shower, some fresh clothes and sat down in the Living Room to do some reading with the newly-arrived copy of "Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America", which was still on the table, bookmarked at page 71, where I'd left it from last weekend. It was only 21:55hrs (9:55pm) and although I was tired, I needed to get my mind off of all the week's events and problems, which were hampering my usually-crystal-clear evauation, decision-making and judgement process. I knew that I'd have "weird dreams", if I didn't clear my mind before going to sleep, tonight. The reading worked. With my old Nokia 6060 "Clamshell" cellphone on-charge, along side of my Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with a Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazine in the well, and 3 extra mags, on the nightstand, next to my bed, I called it a night at 23:45hrs (11:45pm); the snow and sleet continued.

By 05:00hrs (5am) on Saturday, Jenny was getting restless and needed attention. I got-up, turned-up the heat to 75°F, donned my Turkish Bathrobe, fed & watered her, and went back to sleep until 09:00hrs (9am). That felt good, and was "almost exactly" what I needed. I made Fresh-Squeezed OJ w/ lots of pulp, Country Bacon, Grits, Sunny-Up Eggs, "Texas Toast" & Butter and 3 mugs of French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee (from whole, freshly-ground beans) with my Chemex® Drip System. After doing the dishes, I built a fire in the Living Room's Hearth, and picked-up Levin's "Ameritopia", to continue reading. Since William-The-Caretaker wasn't

doing my "chores" – at my personal request and add'l payment – but was helping Bev, until Tony could get back on his feet after the sudden heart attack, last weekend (opens in a new window), I had a long "list of stuff" to get done. Much of it I'd already done before I left last Sunday afternoon, but it would need redoing before I left again, this Sunday. I called and spoke with William, who told me that Tony was "almost there", and that he'd be able to take-back The Cabin's chores this Monday, in addition to his feeding and watering of Jenny, daily. That took a load off of my mind. I put in a call to Bev and left a voicemail; likewise for Capt Clay, at the AJ Police Station. I really didn't want to "work" this weekend as a Volunteer Deputy Sheriff, but if he needed me for a shift, I'd accommodate it.

I bundled-up and went outside to get some wood from the Firewood Stack on the Back Porch, but wound-up pushing 9-10 wheelbarrow loads of wood on the well-worn path, from the Firewood Storage Shed in the Backyard to replenish it, tarped it, and then moved 2-3 armloads, plus 3 unsplit yule logs, inside to the fireplace stack. I was now set for the weekend. I also cleaned-out and refreshed Jenny's 2 litterboxes in the 2nd Bedroom. It was only still 19°F/Wind Chill 11°F outside and the Spring storms which had ravaged the Southeast and Midwest were now moving just to the north of us, bringing much colder air and frequent snow squalls to this mountainous area. So much for some relaxing, reading time outside on The Cabin's front porch, or on the right-side deck. The snowfall intensified, noticeably from one of The Cabin's

front windows. Shit; I wasn't going anywhere for a while, in these unpredictable squalls, even in the my Jeep Grand Cherokee, so back to reading and a cozy fire. The AWD Jeep, parked in the carport, could easily-handle it, but no sense in going outside if I didn't have to. And I didn't, so far.

It was now getting on to 12:00hrs (12noon) and I decided to make a light lunch of "comfort food": a Plain, Old-Fashioned Grilled Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomato Soup and plenty of tall, iced glass refills of Ocean Spray® Diet Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice. I watered & fed Jenny, and she curled back-up next to my chair, on the Oriental Rug; I still needed to pick-up her "missing" (repaired and cleaned) Kodiak bearskin from the cleaners.

I heard a truck outside, and saw that it was the local LPG Co delivery guy making a routine monthly delivery for my three 1,000gal tanks. He had guts being out in this weather, but he had to do what his job demanded, in spite of the weather, but with a snowplow mounted on the front of the truck. I waved him inside and offered to make some fresh coffee to refill his coffee travel mug, but he was okay. I signed the receipt ticket, gave him a $20 tip since he'd nicely plowed my driveway coming-in and leaving and he left. I went back to reading, when Capt Clay returned my previous call, on my cellphone. He told me to stay in and off of the snowy roads, for now; that all was okay with the AJPD. I told him that I'd be available, until Monday morning, if needed.

At around 14:20hrs (2:20pm), the snow finally tapered-off and I really wanted to go out for a drive around the historic village of Adam's Junction, but with the price of (virtual) gas now over $6.29/gal for basic Unleaded Regular at Roy's Shell Gas & Service Station, Bed & Breakfast Motel, I decided to do some porch/steps/deck

shoveling, and just stay-put in The Cabin while continuing my reading of "Ameritopia". I had all kinds of reading yet to do, stacked in my 2 antique bookcases: the 1930s Oak Stacking Bookshelves with 8 drawers and a Glass Front Oak Barrister's Bookcase with 4 large shelves. It would be getting dark in 1½-2 hours anyway, and I thought it best to stay-off the now snow-covered roads and let the DPW Road Crews get their plowing done. After re-stoking the dwindling fireplace, I put the book down, leaned my head back, and dozed-off. The unending dreams were not very pleasant and, after waking-up in a cold sweat, I noticed that it was almost 17:30hrs (5:30pm), and snowing again. Swell. I dried-off, splashed some cold water in my face, re-stoked the fire, put on my old Marlboro® Parka & new Fedora, and went outside on the front porch, for a smoke and some fresh air. After re-setting the front porch light timer, I saw a flock of Canadian Geese landing in the snowy meadow. Dinner? Mmmmmm, roast goose for myself and Jenny? Nah. Too much work, right now. I re-armed The Cabin for the night.

Jenny needed food, and so did I. After taking care of her food and water needs, I made Pork Chops, Coleslaw, Oven-Roasted Potatoes w/ Keller's® Butter, had some Jello® Mousse for dessert and several tall, iced glasses of Ocean Spray® Diet Cranberry-Cherry Juice, to wash it all down. It was somewhat strange, but nice, having so much time alone here at The Cabin, with Jenny, and not having any major interruptions. I brushed her coat, played with her and sat back down on the comfy Living Room couch, to read and relax. "Ameritopia" is a very challenging and thought-provoking read, as are Mark Levin's other two political books: "Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America" and "Liberty & Tryanny: A Conservative Manifesto", and often require the re-reading of various parts to fully-wrap my head around the super-cogent points he's making. (No, I haven't yet bought "Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish", but I will, someday.) It's certainly not "light reading", for anyone I know. I had to do the same thing with "Unintended Consequences" by John Ross, given to me by a good Conservative Friend, "flytosail", whom (and his lovely wife) I miss, since they moved up to New England, several

years ago. In fact, I re-read that massive tome, 2x.

With DST (Daylight Savings Time) beginning next weekend – Sunday 3/11 at 02:00hrs (2am) to Sunday 11/14 at 02:00hrs (2am) – it'll be staying lighter later (set your clocks back 1-hour!), even up here in the snowy, deep mountains, so I'll soon have some more daylight hours to help Capt Clay, or just to relax around The Cabin, now that I'm closed, out-of-business, unemployed and forcibly-retired by the US Gov't-destroyed economy. As I looked out of The Cabin's front window, it was now snowing heavily again, and going on 22:00hrs (10pm). Time to sleep; Jenny agreed.

The Cabin's alarm system went-off at 02:15hrs (2:15am) on Sunday, with Jenny out of the bed like a gunshot racing to the Living Room, I grabbed the Kimber, 2 extra mags and went after her, but stopped 15ft short of the front door. I dropped low, chambered a round, safety-off, could see a figure on the front porch with a rifle and aimed the .45cal ACP. Whispering, I calmed Jenny down and she went back into the bedroom; I closed the door behind her. Then, I heard a vehicle start-up, rushed the door and saw the pick-up's tailights as it drove away toward the main road. My cellphone rang and it was the AJ Police Dispatcher, letting me know that 2 Deputies were on their way. I told her the threat was gone, but I definitely wanted an Incident Report done, to "document" the situation; only 1 Deputy would be needed for that. I would eventually find that unknown POS, somewhere someplace, and kill him, I promised myself. And I always keep my promises. Deputy Jon arrived in 7-8 minutes – "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away" is the old saying – so I waved him to the side door, so he wouldn't mess-up the fresh footprints on the porch and steps. The snow had firmed-up bootprints and I wanted a picture of them, taken with my also "ancient" but trusty, Kodak 3900 Zoom Digital Camera, for his report, to document everything. All that done, Jon left, I shut-down and re-armed The Cabin. By now it was 04:00hrs (4am), and I wanted to sleep late, but I knew Jenny would need feeding & watering in a few hours. She was out in the Kitchen, eating dryfood and drinking from her bowl, as I climbed back into bed. It took a while to get back to sleep, although the physical "adrenaline rush" had stopped, my mind was still racing to figure-out who that was. I'd email the footprint pics to Capt Clay and the Dispatcher later, on Sunday after I got back to York and my Condo's computer.

Up at 06:20hrs (6:20am), I turned-up the heat, watered & fed Jenny, made breakfast from what I had left in the 'fridge, and French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee, grabbed a shower and started making "to-do lists" for the coming week. I know that have a lot of Geisinger Health Plan Conversion paperwork and decisions ahead of me, plus several meetings to attend, numerous and mundane errands, and other stuff to busy myself with. I hate "retirement"; it truly sucks. After 2 loads of laundry, re-making the Master Bed, cleaning the Bathroom and Kitchen floors and counter, bringing-in some fireplace logs from the snow-covered pile on the backporch, doing dishes and changing Jenny's litter boxes in the 2nd Bedroom, I sat down to rest. I planned to leave around 13:00hrs (1pm), if Capt Clay or someone didn't call, and get back to the York Condo to do some cleaning. Murphy would need caring-for, too. It felt good just to sit on the couch, and sip my coffee. Everything outside looked so peaceful and quiet, with its fresh blanket of snow, I'd almost forgotten about the "man on my porch" incident at 02:15hrs (2:15am). I had a Northern Cardinal outside, looking for food, so I refilled the birdfeeder, and many more arrived to partake of the various bird seed & suet mix I use.

Bev called my cellphone to let me know that Tony was now fully back on his feet, working "lightly", with young helpers, at The General Store, and that William-The-Caretaker could come back and work for me; she was appreciative of me letting her "borrow him", to help while Tony recuperated from his heart attack, last weekend. At 71, Tony's a bull and deserves a long, peaceful life with Bev; nat a premature death from a heart attack. I began packing-up, as it was getting on to 11:30hrs (11:30am), and I needed to get back to York. With Jenny's 5 bowls filled, all "chores" done, I loaded the Jeep, reset The Cabin's timers and alarm system, armed the building and left. On my way out of the snowy 1,000ft lane from The Cabin, I saw more snow squalls heading toward me and Adam's Junction. William-The-Caretaker could deal with it, I reasoned. As I headed toward I-83 South, on the long and winding road, the snow began. I was glad to be going home to get numerous unfinished projects, finished-up. At least Murphy would be happy to see me.

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