September 22 2012
Raining today so I thought I'd take the opportunity to write some journal entries. Tommy is improving everyday and becoming apart of our family. Tommy still sleeps outside but he's been caught napping in the house. It's become a joke amongst us and he's accepting the ribbing pretty well. His parents left him to fend for himself...I cannot imagine at any age how that must feel. He's told us his parents were drug users and fears they're already dead. He still has feeling for them and we don't try and dissuade him from having them. He has taken to the two younger nephews like a fish to water. He plays with them and unconsciously is teaching them. I saw him the other day showing them how to make a rope from the vegetation. It was for a game of cowboy...lassoing one another but all the same he taught them a skill. He has been reading books and writing things. He is quite the intellectual fella and soaks up any information he gets his hands on. He's been tinkering around with an old lawnmower and by golly I think he'll have it running within a week. Whenever we are working on tractors and the like he's always right there.
I have not heard directly from Larry and friends since our last visit/attack. Captain tells me they are well and interacting well with the soldiers. He tells me the community is now defended and the community is more at ease. Our soldiers have really become family. And I think a few soldiers are eying some of the single ladies. Our troop strength and numbers remain constant with a squad rotating out for 2 weeks. Most of the men are single and take they're leaves with gusto. So far nothing drastic has happened with their leaves as they tend to travel back to base.
Gardening has slowed to a crawl. We are canning and prepping apples, walnuts and persimmons from the fall harvest. Corn and beans will be harvested soon, as long as this rain stops. The military has brought us a new tanker of farming diesel. We were hoping to start this week on the beans but with rain it'll be a week or more before we can start. The hay harvest went well considering we forgot. We have enough to last through the winter as long as we manage properly.
Doc is going to administer flu shots in October. We are fearful of the winter as disease can spread quickly. And with medical assistance at a minimum, we are more susceptible to severe cases and even death. We discussed at the last Elders meeting of how to handle this potential. Right now we are keeping our discussions discreet and have made plans for an area just outside of town for a new cemetery. The old town cemetery isn't well kept and quite frankly we are nervous about digging graves there. Who knows what we'll uncover by accident. Doc tells us that Smallpox and Measles are becoming quite an issue in the larger communities (cities). Even Chicken Pox is being considered a threat. We have already agreed if anyone showing up from outside our community will be put in a quarantine area for 72 hours. We will provide them food and water but no physical contact. Doc will provide the military protocol and we'll follow his lead. He'll have the final say so on accepting anyone into the community based on their health.
We've not had any foot traffic lately. Military reports of travelers on the roads are few and far between. I'm assuming that when winter starts to set in we will see more people.
Our wild dog situation is decreasing in population as we are dispatching any canine without an orange collar. Some of the teenagers go on hunting parties with 2-3 military escorts. It's teaching them skills that will be useful later in life. And quite frankly, it gives them something for entertainment outside the community. So far they've discovered a cave that has potential for a shelter or hideout. We've not explored the depth of the cave but right now it extend at least 100 yards and is approximately 6 feet in height and 12 feet wide at places. Not the most luxurious place to live but will do nicely in an emergency. The teenagers have also been noting locations of game spotted. Deer is in quite the abundance and we've decided that each family, regardless of size, will be allowed to harvest 2 does and 1 buck. Our smoke houses will handle the limits and we've limited the hunting to weekends only and for two weekends. Squirrels and other small game will have no limits but excess hunting will not be allowed. These small game critters could become a valuable survival source if things go drastically wrong.