Sunday, November 3, 2019

Solar Man -The End of the Beginning

Purely Fiction? - Part 1 of ? A continuing Story

It was hard to believe. I had made this trip for the past four years, and this would be the last one. The traffic was light and I had some time to contemplate the trip. I tried to soak in what I was seeing and appreciate the things I liked and confirm again for the hundredth time things I had almost hated about these trips.

The trip into the Austin hills was my favorite except for the excessive traffic at times. If I was allergic to Cedar I would have been in a bad place, but my allergies were never a large problem. My old van hummed along as in all the years it made it's way up and down hills and endless stops and the almost excessive number of lights which seemed to be adjusted to really irritate me. At least that will not be a problem in the near future as I contemplated why this was my last trip and that I would soon leave all these people I encountered on the roads today to their own life and death experiences which I felt were in the future.

It was mid-September 2021 and I had to run the heaters to keep my greenhouse warm enough. I was delivering my last batch of baby greens. This summer was the shortest I had ever experienced and had ended early. It was far worse in the northern states, as they were looking at many inches of snow this month and complete crop failures. Many of the farmers this year didn't even get a crop planted. Things were getting crazy. Gas was $8.99 a gallon and seemed to go up every day. The prices were eating into the money I had put aside. I had asked all my clients to pay with cash if they could.

The trip I was making was the delivery of fancy baby greens which I had started and developed as a business right after my first encounter at growing old in the hospital with a heart attack. Before that trip in a blaring ambulance, I had problems just walking up and down our simple stairs on a trip outside to get something from the car.  As I look back I could see it happening even 10 years before but tried to not even notice it. That eventually caught up with me as I was now looking at a bypass, and before it was over there had been five of them. The doctor told me I would feel like a truck had hit me after it was over, and he was right. I could hardly walk to the house after being released.

Being forewarned by others who had gone before me, I chose rehab at the hospital. Soon I was running on the tread mills at the hospital. Things would not go well that year and the years before, as I had to deal with My brother’s death and My mother needing attention in a nursing home. I had soon after that lost her, had surgery and even before I could even get rehabilitated, I was laid off from my job of 10 plus years. It was a triple whammy that would make me think. I felt lucky though as at least I had a business and could feed myself and my family. 

As I look back, being laid off was a blessing. It freed me from the man and having to put up with crazy clients. I could focus on what I needed to do and not have to answer to others. It was getting cold and things were getting out of hand.

My new business. 

The area I live in has many really wonderful restaurants. While things are going crazy all over the US, this area still had some money. This place that I live is a foodie, local food type of place that many advertised as using local farmers for their produce sources. Looking for something to start a new life, I decided to start growing fancy greens. There was little or no competition and I grew in my greenhouse that had been abandoned because of my health. I was greeted with open arms and quickly my business expanded.

Snapping out of all this thinking as a car honked at me as I had partially wandered into his lane. Wake up dummy I told myself. I have a tendency to go over things both past and present. Becoming cognizant of my environment I tried to refocused on my driving, but was soon thinking again the one thought that I had focused on for the past 4 years almost exclusively. That thought was the coming cold period and the Global Super Grand Solar Minimum, huge crop loses and probably starvation. This fact was the reason for this being my last trip as I was soon to be the last in my family to leave for warmer climates and location and the possibility of surviving the Grand Solar Minimum that promised to be a Super one or worse.

As I looked out on all those people driving their cars to places unknown, I could see that perhaps 1 out of 10 would be alive in 4 or 5 years. How depressing I thought.

After I had made my last deliveries and tried to absorb all the goodness and joy I had all those years, I arrived back at the farm. It was really weedy as no one had cut the grass in the past year. It was in the late late summer and what fruit trees were left were not bearing fruit, and the sweet Texas Dew Berries that were extra sweet this year had already been picked. Getting home brought no joy as I opened the gate, for I was the only residence here. I was alone and only memories and my physical body inhabited a once thriving loving place. 

My first step was to turn off all electricity to the greenhouse. I took one last look inside as the dripping stopped in my hydroponic NFT trays which would eventually kill everything and shut the latch on the large door that My son had installed. The cooling  and heating system would never run again and eventually, what sun we would get here would destroy all the plastic that covered it. That thought even depressed me more. Hopefully the new owners would use it.

Looking around, I could see that the cats, dogs, chickens, horses and other farm animals were no longer around. My wife's two ducks, our chickens, cats and pet pig which needed feeding every morning making their demands known as I walked outside would never happen again.

The place was essentially dead except for me and a few bugs buzzing around my ears. Well I need to prepare for the trip I thought as I headed for the house. It was just a house now, as it did not contain my wife anymore. She had made it a home, and when she was not here it quickly just became a house again. It was devoid of life, warmth and any kind of good feelings as I sat on my wife's favorite easy chair she had cherished for years. It was to be mine after my surgery, but I gave it to her as I was too busy to even sit in it. There was very little furniture left. Just enough for me to live here for a few more weeks. The Farm had been sold, and I had to be out in three weeks. Most of the simple furniture would stay as it had been sold with the house. The easy chair I sat in was just too heavy and big to transport all those miles but had not been sold. Slowly I drifted into a semi-state of sleep. It seems My mind could not even rest in this quiet house and even as sleep approached, my mind stayed focused. It was all about what was coming. It had been discussed a thousand times and was the reason we were no longer going to live here.

Yes it would be cold I told myself as I drifted into sleep.

(too be continued)


  1. Thank you for all your personal thoughts and information.

  2. Looking forward to each segment that you put out about "Solar man - the end of the beginning", as yours might be the first reading of what happens during a GRAND SOLAR MINIMUM. Thank you.

  3. Thanks Gary. Yes there will be many segments. Another out in a week. Was going to publish as a complete book but decided to give it away. Probably one a week or so. Dennis