Friday, November 15, 2019

Solar Man - The List Week 2

Purely Fiction? - Part 6 of ? A continuing Story
Part one is at this URL
Part two is at this URL
Part three is at this URL
Part four is at this URL
Part five is at this URL

Finally I had received my shipment notice of my freeze dried food and if I could just get it here it would be mine. The FedEx trip would take four days of all went well. I could just see in my mind someone hijacking the truck and my food.

I made a list. I hate lists. I wish that my wife had been here as she was the list queen. I never got away with anything around here. I never missed an appointment and always was handed a piece of paper when I was out shopping. Just thinking about her made me laugh.  Well it was my turn and I had to make two lists. There were two lists to be made, which were week two and a Trip List. Week one had already passed. I looked around and found a black pen. Just the thing I need to check off things as they were finished. If my wife were here she would be laughing as I have never been a list sort of person. My laughter rolled around the almost empty house. As I checked the news and texted some of my global friends, I quickly learned that things in Asia and in the UK and EU were going downhill. Things had been bad enough in 2019, but that was two years ago and the SGSM was slowly doubling its intensity every year. A chilly vibration went down my spine as I had the feeling that loads of things could go wrong in two weeks. 

The List
·         Pay power company - give them info where to send final bill - get money to Mace
·         Give a forwarding address to the post office. That would be Maces address.
·         Communicate with realtor. Power - Propane information.
·         Write up information on how to transfer propane tank and gas for new owners - see above
·         Get a box to store things that the new owners would need. Keys, extra gate opener etc.
·         Start cleaning out the refrigerator. - note - thaw out shrimp!
·         Start packing my suitcase
·         Purchase a large supply of batteries
·         Purchase an all in one solar battery charger / USB /LED Light
·         Charge up my two cheap  Chinese UHF radios.
·         Put the UHF magnetic mount car antenna in the van.
·         Have the oil changed in the van and make sure the coolant levels are good.
·         Keep taking out 300 dollars of cash every day from the local ATM.
·         Note: close out bank account at the end of week two. 
·         Pick up the twenty 12 volt / 100 watt solar panels and the five 500 AH 12 volt batteries. Bring cash.
·         Crap that is enough!!

Not on the list was my freeze dried food. Of all the things that I had to do, the food was the most worrisome thing on my mind. While there was ample food at our new home, the freeze dried food would be our backup. Hopefully we would never eat it, but it was our backup if things did not work out.

A trip to the power company finished up one item on my list. I paid our monthly bill and gave my friend Mace's address as the place to send the final bill. I enjoyed doing that as the power company during hot summers and cold winters had kept me a poor man, especially in the last two years. I called the realtor and gave him information on my propane account just in case it was needed. The tank would be half full when I left. I rented the tank, so the new owners would have to contact the company. I also put the information in the cardboard box. I started dumping keys, gate openers and other things in the new owner box as I thought about them. The next item was the refrigerator. There wasn't much left in it, but the list made sure I had an eye on the frozen shrimp again. For the next two weeks I would live on oatmeal, grits, eggs and some expensive pre-packaged salads from the store. I wish there was beer, but my blood sugar made drinking beer impossible.

My suitcase was actually my flight bag I had used many times in the past. It still had a frilly pink, orange and red ball of yarn that my wife had made for me so I could easily pick it out in the luggage claim area. I laugh every time I see it as it was an old friend as I visited many places around the world. I wondered if anyone had looked at the frilly thing and had wondered as well. There wasn't much to start packing as most of my clothing was packed away at our new home. Laughing, my thought was that it would mostly contain dirty clothes.

All of this packing and following a list was starting to make me nervous as things around where I lived were starting to heat up. In the county's surrounding me were millions of unemployed people. For the past three years they had come across the Texas border by the millions. They were looking for a better life which I can understand but little did they know that north was the wrong direction. The influx was essentially killing the country as it did not have the infrastructure or money to take care of all of them. Soon Texas would look like the place they were escaping from. Crime had increased as the numbers grew. I packed a weapon no matter where I went. Tent cities were breaking out everywhere and some counties tried to clean them up, but had mixed results as there were no places for them to go. I was glad that I was soon to leave this area as it seemed to be run by the worst of worst politicians. The sheriff's department in my county wasn't even investigating small break-ins and trespassing which made me even more nervous. It seems they were overwhelmed as there were thousands of calls. Lock up your house they told people. I was sure at some point that all of the law enforcement personnel would not show up for work and go home to protect their families.

That’s when the free for all would start and I didn’t want to be here.

Glancing at my list, I decided that it was time to work on the radios. Being a ham radio operator for 68 years made that a simple task. I had programmed them to frequencies that I would communicate with my family as I approached our new location. All I had to do was charge them up and make sure they were topped off. One of the radios would be used to monitor repeaters during my travels. The CB radio which just plugged into the cigarette lighter socket was for monitoring what was happening on the roads. I hated the antenna which was large and heavy and stuck out really high on my van. The UHF antenna was shorter, lighter and easy to place. At that Point I decided I needed another box which I called the radio box. In that box along with the radios, would go all the batteries I would purchase. I made a note to go to a place that sold all types of batteries at bulk prices. Also into that box would go the solar battery charger / USB /LED Light. This was actually a backup, but if necessary could be used to charge my UHF radios and my cell phone.

I drove myself almost silly checking my tracking number every day and multiple times. I even checked the weather in places it passed through. From the tracking information, the FedEx truck was coming from a city in the north. Its final destination was to be a FedEx facility in a small town about 15 miles from me.  Checking and rechecking I could finally smile when I read “Out for Delivery”.  As I am out in the country, I suspected that the truck would arrive late in the day. I kept the gate to the farm open and I made sure that I could see the gate from where I was sitting in the house. I was right, finally the most beautiful FedEx truck in the world turned into and through the gate. I motioned for the truck to follow me back to the Barn where I would help unload. After signing for the delivery and waving to the truck driver, I closed the gate and checked out my order more completely. Everything looked good and undamaged. Closing the door to what we called a barn but was actually a large work place, I headed back to the house to check another item off my list. One load off my mind I thought, but there were other things to consider and enough for today as I am one day closer to the escape. I never got to the list as that would be for in the morning.

Now was the time for that shrimp I had been thinking about. I loved sea food, and just the thought made me remember the many fishing trips I made with my father. We spent many days living on some of the small islands in the bays off the Texas coast. Red fish, Trout, Croakers, Flounder and shrimp purchased off boats made for some good times and deep memories.  

Funny I thought, this may be the last shrimp I will ever eat.

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