I've been working some Over Time, so I haven't been on every half hour this weekend.
Looking forward to the next chapter!!!!
I've been working some Over Time, so I haven't been on every half hour this weekend.
Looking forward to the next chapter!!!!
I've been working some Over Time, so I haven't been on every half hour this weekend.
That's ok Jeep, I've been checking every 15 minutes to make up for it.
If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under... Ronald Reagan
Being PC will be the death of us all yet!
"But we've got to have faith or we have nothing. We have to have faith in our God, our resolve, our cause and our brother patriots."
Black, Leo - The Last Stand on Earth.
World War III might start on Tuesday so anything between now and then would be good.
If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under... Ronald Reagan
guess I'll feed my pet while I wait:
and do some laundry:
do a little "MOAR" dance:
did it work yet?
maybe I should drive up to the stores for some snacks:
or maybe practice with the band?
or maybe I'll get the gang together and we will do a different little dance:
uh oh, I think the party is getting out of hand:
ROFL!!! Y'all are just something else. Sorry I am so late getting this posted. Finally got rid of all the teenagers on Sunday and today was one of those kinds of Mondays that I dread. But I did finally finish this next section ... so here it is for what it's worth ....
The New Geek Empire
Pulling up to the trailers I stated the obvious. “Kelly is going to have to stay in the truck until we can get some of this grass cut down.”
“Both of you stay in until I can get this.”
“I can …”
He said, “I’ve got this.” He didn’t wound angry but he was being a guy about it so I backed off wanting to argue. If he was that set on getting hot and sweaty and covered in prickles so be it.
It too about thirty minutes to clear a path around the truck with enough space that we could set Kelly up in a play pen. After we put up a canopy to keep her out of the direct sun he told me, “Lord, maybe I’ll just stay with her in the shade.”
I know he was just joking but I told him seriously, “I wish you would; and drink some water too. I’ll look around inside while you cool down a little and pacify Kelly. She’s not too happy about being cooped up in this heat.”
He nodded and asked, “You sure?”
He was sweat soaked and I knew how hot he had to have gotten because I had roasted just sitting in the truck. It was still unseasonably warm for September. “Of course I’m sure. I’ll at least get things aired out for us.”
Because Dad had done handled most of the repairs and maintenance out at the mill he had a surprisingly wide range of skills … not all of them what you would call mainstream. One of those skills was breaking and entering into places where either the lock had broken, the key had been lost, or any number of other odd things that tend to happen. What was fun is that he taught Will and I many of these same skills. He was the one that taught me to break into trunks so efficiently and he also taught me the next trick I intended on using.
Lock bumping (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD_6_...eature=related ) used to be a lot easier than it became after the advent of bump resistant locks but human nature being what it was too few people replaced their old locks with the new-fangled ones simply because of the expense and inconvenience. I had noticed that rarely did people put the really high end lock brands on trailer doors and the one in front of me was no exception. I put in the bump key Dad had made, gave it a couple of relatively gentle taps, and I was in.
After I got that first door opened I learned to turn my face and head away from the door when the first whiff of confined air escapes. The trailer was like an oven and smelled unkept and unclean even though at first glance there was no reason for the smell. On second glance of many buildings being salvaged you noticed the plethora of dead flies. Usually this was a result of one or two flies being inside while the refrigerator or freezer went bad and oozed, then multiplying exponentially in the waste; not always, but usually. It was the not always that I hated running into but this first time wasn’t one of those times.
I hadn’t learned any of that yet however. I had just put my hand on the refrigerator door when Jax stuck his head in and said, “Whatever you do don’t open the frig or freezer.”
After he said it I felt pretty stupid. No one in their right mind would have opened a refrigerator after the power had been off so long but then I was new at the art of salvaging back then. Even as a novice though I knew there was no way I wanted to smell the nightmare that would waft out of that box if I had opened it.
I detoured towards the small utility room and told him, “Let me open the back door to create a cross breeze and let some of the stale air escape. I’ll also open a window in each room back this way if you’ll get one or two in the front room.”
He shook his head. “Before doing that see if there is anything worth the trouble or time.”
I felt creepy pawing through people’s stuff. I hadn’t known the couple that lived here except by face when our paths would occasionally cross. I certainly hadn’t realized they’d had kids. It appeared the woman and her boyfriend had two daughters; one about Kelly’s size and one old enough to need training bras if what was slug over a small desk chair was any indication.
The two bedroom trailer felt crowded when it shouldn’t have. There really wasn’t that much since if it had any decorative theme at all it was minimalist. Perhaps it was the ghosts that were in there with me. The pictures of happier times for the occupants adorned the walls and if you went by the pictures the woman and girls were happy thought when the man was in the picture he seemed rather hesitant like he wasn’t sure he belonged.
“Jax?” I called. “Come take a look in the bedroom back here and see if there is anything you need for Kelly. There isn’t much but there’s a few things that might work.”
When I saw him come out of the adults’ bedroom I thought his red face was due to heat at first but when he gave me an embarrassed grin I had to ask, “What?”
He shrugged and pointed vaguely back into the room. “They’ve got a … um … interesting bottom drawer in their dresser.”
He laughed only slightly less embarrassed, mostly I think at having to explain it to me. “We found … er … enough of that kind of stuff in town. You know … people’s private … uh … lives. I guess most don’t stop to think what happens when strangers have to go through their things if they get taken unexpectedly.”
I had started to get an inkling of what he meant. “Oh. You think strangers are bad, imagine being family. I eventually got to the place where I could read my brother’s journal – it was something his doctors encouraged – and sick or not it turns out he was a normal guy his age. As a joke his friends had smuggled in a couple of those … you know … girly magazines. It was strange to read what his reaction to them were and how mature he ultimately sounded. He had planned to throw them away but … well … he never got the chance and I found them in the back of his closet. And don’t even get me started on what it was like going through my parents’ belongings.”
Jax’s face was priceless. “You’re … you’re parents?!”
I slid the drawer in question open just enough to blanch at the contents and push it closed again real fast. “OK, so nothing like that,” I said laughing nervously. “But Mom had some … er … racy night gowns and the like. It turned my head inside out at first, then I was just glad that they’d been happy together … in every way God had meant for them to be.”
I sighed and started to walk back to the kitchen. Jax stopped me and asked, “You ok?”
“Yeah. I told you it just hits me every once in a while.” Suddenly feeling selfish I asked, “Are you OK? About your parents I mean.”
While he watched Kelly through the window in between poking through the coat closet from which he pulled out a few rifles and shotguns and the ammo that went with them he told me, “My parents’ marital problems started when I was born. My mom had never wanted kids. I don’t mean that is a bad thing; and, she liked kids in general just fine. She just never wanted to have any of her own.”
“Because she was a teacher all day long?”
He shrugged like it was something he’d stopped wondering about a long time ago. “Mebbe, don’t know. She and my dad had had an agreement that if he didn’t push her to have kids then maybe after she retired they’d adopt or be foster parents or something. Didn’t work out that way. She got sick and it screwed up her system for a while and what she thought were symptoms of the treatment she was taking was actually morning sickness and stuff. She was almost five months along before the doctors realized she was pregnant. She’d finally started … you know … to show. By then she couldn’t get anyone to give her an abortion because they said it would likely be as dangerous to do that as to have the baby … have me.” He snorted. “I was almost a statistic and would have been if Mom had had her way.”
I was leaning against the counter completely flabbergasted. “Is … look you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to … is that why you were so determined to get Kelly?”
“No … and yes.” He sighed. “At first it was more that I didn’t ever want the baby to wonder like I used to when I first understood the things I was hearing Then as the baby became a real person in my mind and then I realized that littler person was part of me … I just couldn’t fathom not being part of her life. It’s … I don’t know … people in the family kept saying it was Mom’s fault I was being so stubborn … but it … it was more my dad.”
“Your dad wanted you to fight for Kelly?”
“No. He really wanted me to give her up.”
“OK,” I said. “See me standing here seriously not understanding.”
He shrugged then sighed. “It was his way of trying to save her from what I went through. Mom was honest and upfront about how I had come into the world. She never tried to hide it from me and had absolutely no shame about it. She did love me, she just … it’s complicated … she loved me out of duty, raised me because she felt responsible for making what she saw as a mistake. She did the best she could, was at every game, every school function, every scouting event, went camping even though she hated it, helped me with school, gave me all she had to give because it was what she was supposed to do. She thought that was the price of having brought me into the world when I would have been better off never having been born … or at least that’s how she thought of it. Dad was different. He never talked at me but to me. Mom loved me because she felt she was supposed to; Dad loved me because he wanted to – couldn’t seem not to no matter what I did – and it made all the difference.”
Jax’s words stayed with me as I took from the kitchen what I thought might be useful. A few pieces of hardly used cast iron cookware, some decent quality knives, a large speckleware roasting pan; all of the remaining cooking pieces were cheap aluminum things that looked like they’d been burnt more than a time or two. There were some glass casserole dishes that looked just as bad but I took them anyway as I had no idea when they’d be making any more of the things. There wasn’t a lot of food in the cabinets and what was there was opened and useless. There was no vehicle in the drive so maybe they picked up and moved at some point … but maybe not, there were too many valuables left behind.
I did manage to grab the sugar, salts, and spices and then found an unopened can of real Hershey’s chocolate syrup as well as a couple of cans of sweetened condensed milk in the little cabinets over the refrigerator. I also found something else.
“What the …? Jax? Can you come in here?” I called.
He came up the front steps from where he’d been piling a few things he’d found. “Yeah?”
I showed him the gallon Ziploc bag of mixed pills. “I think somebody was dealing.”
He whistled. “If they weren’t they had one heck of a habit. Give me those and I’ll stick them in the duffle bag with the ammo in it. Those little ones with the holes through the middle that kind of look like a heart are valium and I bet the little yellow ones are diazepam.” Coming close enough to see the contents of the bag more closely he gave a surprised snort. “And you see that orange capsule? That is a 30 mg Adderall. Man, someone had to be ripping off a pharmacy big time to get this stuff. Since the Rx law went into effect – well you would know because of Will – but these drugs would be worth a small fortune … maybe even a big one considering all the shortages.”
“How do you know what all of these are? I mean I’m not stupid and I know what those little blue pills with the word Pfizer on them are but these others? Maybe if I looked them up in the Physicians Desk Reference in the library, but certainly not by sight.”
He smiled, “It isn’t as big a deal as you are making out it to be. One of my classes was on recognizing drugs in an emergency situation … OD, meds found near a suspected heart attack, that sort of thing.”
Still admiring his knowledge I said, “Cool.” I handed him the bag and added, “There’s also a slew of those little liquor bottles up here. You want ‘em?”
“Opened or unopened?” he asked.
“The seals are still good,” I answered.
“Then I guess take them. Might as well, might come in useful for something I guess. “
He asked, “What? Something else up there?”
“No. I was … uh … hmmm. Do you drink?”
He shook his head and I was glad to see it was no big deal for me to ask. “Not really. A beer every once in a while but being a teenage father wasn’t exactly conducive if you catch my meaning. I could have lost Kelly or my job at the mill … either or would have been bad and it just wasn’t worth it. Why?”
“Uh … Matt does … or did. I just … I don’t know … it got to where it made me uncomfortable sometimes.”
He started helping me put the stuff on the counters into some Tupperware like containers that I had found to keep the small stuff from rolling all over the place. “Yeah, I thought he was pretty smooth on the booze for a novice. My uncle would have flaked if he had known. Don’t worry about me … I’m no drunk; I never liked the out of control feeling it gave me. I might have a sip if offered but don’t generally seek it out on my own. What about you?”
“Me? Geez no. I mean my parents would let me have a sip at the holidays once I was … you know … old enough. I like cooking with it though. Once the alcohol is all cooked out the sugars and starches that it leaves behind can be really good. If we get a pig when it gets cold I’ll make you a Pork Chops Marsala that is real good (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pork...0000001599630/ ).”
I finished the areas I had been going over and then after double checking behind myself I turned and saw him carrying out what we had bagged up. I asked, “Anything else?”
With a fake matter of factness that immediately got my attention he said, “You might want to check out under the master bathroom sink.”
When I went in there I smiled in spite of my embarrassment. The woman had either gotten a heck of a good sale or was a coupon-aholic because it looked like she had two years’ worth of feminine hygiene products stuffed under there. At second glace I realized some of them were specifically for young girls so maybe it was a year supply for her and the training-bra aged daughter.
I took a garbage bag and loaded it up with that stuff and the unopened bottle of shampoo and conditioner that I found as well as towels, wash rags, and sheets from around the house. When I staggered outside, fighting with a persistent and annoying fly, it was to find Jax quickly picking up some packets from the ground where he’d dropped them. When I realized what they were I must have made some kind of sound because Jaxed jumped and looked up.
He stood slowly and said, “I … uh … found these in the nightstand. I … I promised I’d take care of you.”
I just nodded. Carefully he asked, “Are you upset?”
Carrying stuff down to load it into the truck and wagon I told him, “No. But I don’t want you to think I’m like Darlene or your mom. It’s just that I’m … I’m not even … I mean … things are … and no doctors … and …”
“Hey,” he said stepping close and taking the bags out of my hands. “It’s OK. Really. I love Kelly but I’m not ready to make her a sister. But …”
“But?” I asked hesitantly.
After putting the bags into the wagon he slowly wrapped in a hug. “But if it happens, I want you to be the one I do it with. If it doesn’t happen, I still want it to be you. Are … are you OK with that?”
I relaxed into his arms and responded, “Yes.”
Our mutual deep, soul searching gaze was shattered by “Hug!! Daddy I wanna hug too!!”
He sighed and I grinned as we broke apart. Jax went to Kelly and I went on to the next trailer. That one was about in the same shape as the first except that the kids were a little older, both of them boys, and the décor and belongings reflected a different lifestyle. Less eclectic messy-minimalist and more Field & Stream. Sports, hunting, and fishing equipment was to be found in organized storage containers but it also spilled into odd corners of the living spaces. For instance, instead of brooms in the broom closet in the kitchen there were bows and quivers of arrows, a couple of canoe paddles, and fishing rods.
The dad and Jax must have been similar in size because we found a good winter coat for Jax (Dad’s was a little short in the arms for him) as well as some other gear, even some unopened packages of socks and men’s underwear. Dad wore boxers that Mom sewed for him but Jax was used to his tidy whities and was happy to find his brand.
It wasn’t just the broom closet that was different. The kitchen cabinets held all manner of instant powdered sports drinks, bottles of the same type liquid, a couple of cases of Coors and a local favorite from the Yazoo Brewing Company, several cases of Beanee Weenies and Vienna Sausages, several eight packs of the high-test energy drinks, and several containers of individually wrapped junk food.
“Don’t bother with the junk food,” Jax told me.
Irritated by a recalcitrant can of roast beef and gravy that had rolled out of the cabinet and nearly dented my skull I said, “Not that I was going to, but why not?”
I pulled out a couple of cans of powdered eggs – the kind you make liquid protein drinks from – while Jax stopped to answer, “We found it was stale ninety percent of the time.” Then he gave me a mischievous smile as he saved me from another kamikaze can and said, “Besides, your homemade chips taste way better.”
His comment was punctuated by a rather large stomach growl that drove my irritation away leaving me laughing at the embarrassed look on his face. I asked, “Is that a hint that you’re getting hungry and want what is in that picnic basket in the truck?”
He gave me a goofy, hopeful look and I laughed again as he’d meant me to. So my first foray into scavenging was briefly interrupted by feeding Jax and Kelly chicken salad on homemade wheat bread, home canned pickle spears, and homemade potato chips.
“You know,” Jax said. “I bet some of the kids in town would give a body part to be able to eat like this.”
I snorted, “They’re gonna lose a body part if they keep eating like they are. I hope somebody realizes that they are in need of a better plan than living off of the contents of what was left in the local wallyworld.”
“Wasn’t anything left in that store after the government got through with it. Most of what they are eating has been scavenged from people’s houses and the school cafeteria.” He sighed regretfully. “Back to work.”
I poked him and said, “Slave driver.”
Jax looked like he didn’t know whether to laugh or not. “Uh …”
I rolled my eyes. “Honestly. What do you take me for? Some hyper sensitive drama queen? I was joking for Pete’s sake.”
Jax gave a forced laugh but looked like he was trying to just go with the flow. To prove to him I had just been kidding I told him, “I’m gonna go start on the next trailer while you finish up here if that’s OK.”
“Sure! “ he said, seeming pretty interested in getting back on an even keel. It made me wonder just what kind of females he had dealt with in the past not that I wanted to think about that too hard.
Bump key was employed yet again but when it went in this time I immediately noticed a much mustier, nastier smell than had been in the previous two trailers. The smell was kind of familiar yet not; reminded me a bit of the inside of an old barn or a compost pile that had gone sour. I covered my nose with my hand and stepped into the front room of the trailer. Looking down the hall I could tell the baseboards were totally disgusting … back then I would have said majorly gross. I was almost certain that this particular domicile was a bust but decided to take a good look just to make sure.
Now I am not squeamish at all which has its good points and its bad. I firmly believe that God builds personal radars into each human, just too few of us actually take the time to cultivate and use them. In other words the smell didn’t deter me and it should have.
Down the hall I went casually glancing in the utility room then the bathroom then I got to the bedroom. At first glance what I was seeing didn’t compute. The input was so beyond what I had expected to see that it was just part of the tapestry and didn’t make sense. Then my brain started accepting the data input.
Queen sized bed. The bed is messy. The sheets on the bed are strangely stiff and discolored. Wait … the bed is occupied, but by what? The bed is not occupied by a stuffed animal. No, definitely not a stuffed animal. Ew. There are dead flies all over what occupies the bed. Then my brain completed the circuit.
Slowly the scream tried to build but I kept tamping it down. The more I tamped it down though the more out of control the emotions that had created that jailed scream became as there was no outlet for the surge of adrenaline that was dumped into my system. When the spider crawled out of what remained of the corpse’s nose I finally lost it. I turned to run and tripped and hit the door frame and fell to the floor and that is when I well and truly freaked out.
I lifted my hand and there was a dried spider body crunched and sticking to my sweaty palm. I shook it off in disgust but as I looked down onto the floor I saw that while there were more curled up dead spiders, there were more than plenty of live ones; the floor literally crawled with the number that were in there … and there were several already using me as a jungle gym.
I flew out of that trailer so fast that I fell down the front stairs. Even before I was standing up I was yanking off my shirt and doing some mad dance trying to see everywhere on my body at once.
Jax spotted me and came running but all I could do was blubber in hysteria, “Get them off of me!!”
The words had no sooner left my mouth than I felt a small, painful pinch on my hand. I screamed and started shaking the spider off. It was easily recognizable as one of my worst enemies … a parson spider. Then I felt another pinch and then another.
I was screaming and crying at that point and jumping around so much that Jax didn’t know what was going on. “Get them off me! Get them off me!!!”
I started stripping and in no time I was down to my bra and panties.
“Lydie! Stop!! What are you doing?!” He didn’t know whether to laugh at my antics or take me seriously. In hindsight I really don’t blame him. I must have made quite a sight and as soon as he realized I was really scared he grabbed my arms to hold me still long enough to make sense out of what I wasn’t saying.
“Spiders!” I finally blubbered. “Hundreds of them … thousands … maybe more. Oh God …”
He gave a small hesitant chuff of disbelief and said, “I know you hate spiders but …”
“Not hate! I’m allergic. They bit me … and there’s a dead body in there and one came out of the nose and …” I was so upset the lunch I had just eaten decided to come right back up and I ran to the bushes for a little projectile vomiting.
When I was through he picked up my shirt to put it back on me but I squealed and backed away. “Check it! They were in there!!”
It took another moment of him talking me down off of my hysteria but finally he managed to get me sitting on a blanket by the truck. Looking me over he said, “Yeah, it looks like they got you in a couple of places. I remember you said that mostly they just swell up and try to get infected. Are you sure that’s all?”
I snuffled miserably. “I’ve … I’ve never been bitten this many times at once. God, look at my hand and wrist already. I’m going to be useless.”
He sighed and asked, “Can you sit here by yourself a minute. I’m just going to go look in the trailer.”
“Why?! Don’t you believe me?!” I whined.
“Of course I do!” he told me, obviously amazed that I would think anything else. “But I’m not just going to walk away when you’ve been so traumatized. And I need to make sure what kind of spider it was.”
“Spiders. As in plural. As in more than one. As in there is a whole flaming necropolis of the things in there!” Nearly as pitiful as Kelly I said, “Don’t go.”
Of course he did. And he came out almost as quick as I had. “Stay put. There were some bug bombs in that first trailer and I’m going to set them off. No way am I going to let those suckers get away with scaring the crap out of you like that.”
I wanted to tell him just burn it down but as I was calming down my normal commonsense was reasserting itself. He came back out of the trailer hacking a little from setting the bombs off but he closed the door firmly and then looked at it a moment in satisfaction. I couldn’t help but smile. When he came over to check on me again I said, “My hero.”
Seeing that I was finally completely calm he said, “You sure you’re OK?”
I sniffed. “I feel stupid. I’m just glad Kelly was asleep and didn’t witness my nervous breakdown.” Then a struck thought me and I squeaked, “Oh no, oh no … they could get her! We have to …”
I never finished because he was wrapping me in one of the clean sheets and said, “Not gonna happen. I sprayed the ground around the playpen with insect repellent even before I put her in it.”
“Oh. Good,” I said in relief.
He sighed. “The ones on your back are starting to look puffy too.”
I sniffed again even more dejectedly. “I know, I can feel them.”
He pulled out some antibiotic ointment from the first aid kit I had tossed in the truck cab and starting with the bite on my hand and wrist and working up the arm until he got to the ones on my back he rubbed in the ointment to try and head off infection. I startled him when I shuddered and asked, “Where is my head at?”
“Huh? Lydie … uh …”
Feeling a little nauseous I told him, “Not literally I mean I’m not thinking. That’s stupid. In that plastic container there is a little jar of turmeric and then there was also a bottle of olive oil. I need them.” When he looked at me carefully I nearly snapped but managed to hold it back just in time. Instead I calmly explained, “I’m not going nuts … just get them for me. Please. I’ll show you what my mother did when I would get bit as a kid.”
After he found and brought the items to me I scooped some of the golden yellow powder into a piece of plastic wrap that I had used to wrap the sandwiches in and then added just enough olive oil to it to make a paste. I looked at Jax who was watching with interest and told him, “Don’t you dare laugh.”
He shook his head. “After what I saw in that trailer the last thing I’m in the mood for is laughing.”
I nodded and then proceed to paint my spider bites with the resulting mustardy paste and then tape a square of gauze in place to hold it there. Being a good sport Jax did the ones on my back but I noticed that he was touching a whole lot of me a little unnecessarily. When he was finished neither one of us was breathing very well. “You feeling any better?” he asked huskily.
I fanned my overwarm face and told him, “I don’t know if better is the word for it but … but I’m starting …” But it was too late, the bites were winning again. “I just need to stay put for a few minutes Jax.”
He realized I wasn’t really talking about what he’d been doing and that I really wasn’t feeling too well. “OK. I think we are just about done here. I’m going to go check that last trailer to see if it is worth coming back some other time and then we are out of here.”
I grabbed his arm and told him, “If there’s anything in there, let’s just finish it up.”
Going all protective he said, “Not the way you’re looking.”
I shook my head. “I’m just shook up and feeling like an idiot, but I’ll be fine as soon as I get my feet back in under me.”
He made some noncommittal noise and then went over to the trailer and broke in with as little trouble as I had; Dad had taught him the same trick. I kind of zoned and came around when I realized he was carry some boxes out of the trailer.
He smiled when I smiled at him and said, “Avon Lady.”
That made no sense. “Huh?”
Using his head to nod back towards the trailer as he sat the boxes in the back of the truck he said, “Person who lived there either sold Avon or she was a shopaholic. Maybe both. You should see all the stuff in there.”
I had a little trouble standing up but it was more the sheet getting in my way than anything else. I sighed. “I need my clothes. Did you check them over?”
“Yeah … but some of the enemy are squished on the inside. You don’t want to wear them until they’ve been washed.”
I shuddered, “Maybe never.”
He grinned and handed me what looked like a frilly muumuu. “It still has the tags on it … most of the clothes in there do … and I thought it looked about the right size.”
Grumbling a bit, “How could you tell? There’s enough fabric here for three dresses.”
“At least it gets you all covered up.” He gave me a lecherous look and said, “On second thought …”
I would have shaken my head except I felt all stiff and sore. “Oh give me the thing so we can get this finished up before Kelly wakes up.”
When I got a look at the inside of that trailer I realized that was wishful thinking. It was unreal … like the owner must have had a hoarding dysfunction as well as an addiction to shopping. I looked at Jax and said, “Just tell me there isn’t a person buried under all this stuff.”
He sighed and kissed the top of my head. “I’m sorry you had to see that back there. We saw … uh … the fresher versions when those people from DHS made us help clean the town of bodies. It wasn’t pleasant.”
I shuddered, “Let’s not talk about it.” Looking around I said, “I don’t even know where to start.”
From experience he said, “From the back and move forward.”
It could have been worse but we finally developed a pretty good system. All non-breakables that we wanted to bring back went into garbage bags. It went faster after we had emptied the first room of everything we wanted. In the next room we were able to move stuff that we didn’t take to the room we had just finished. Food – of which there was a surprising amount, some of it gourmet or unusual but most of it simply in the forms of bulk packaging – went into plastic storage tubs we took out of the “box room.”
We called it that although in reality it was supposed to have been the utility area; however, instead of a washer and dryer it had stacks upon stacks of those plastic storage tubs with the snap lids all nested together by size and color. The hallway bathroom was full of plastic milk crates and soda crates. We were running out of room and I thought we were going to have to come back when Jax asked, “Take one more look to see if there is anything you want. If not I’m willing to declare this salvage job officially over.”
Dutifully I walked around but wasn’t much feeling any kind of triumph or accomplishment. I don’t know if it was the spider bites or what but I had started to feel depressed. Or maybe it was just the atmosphere of lonely desperation that the trailer owner must have felt … looking for fulfillment and meaning but finding only more loneliness as her addiction and dysfunction cut her off even more from society. “I’m done.”
Sensing my mood he said, “You’re done and done in. I’ll drive back. Let’s just get Kelly and go home.”
It seemed to take more time that necessary to load Kelly and her accoutrements into the truck. I was dragging, not at all looking forward to unloading everything. I was also in pain and trying not to let Jax know just how bad I was feeling but we had no sooner turned onto the road back to the house when I had to tell him, “Stop the truck. I’m gonna be sick.”
Find my free fiction stories here.
Thank you for the chapter -- it gave me a few minutes reprieve from having to pay attention to the wind rocking the RV and the pounding rain and crashing thunder.
Didn't hurt that this is a really, really good story. Except for the spiders! Hate them, too.
The problem is that people keep screaming:"The wolf is coming, the wolf is coming!" so often that we never notice the coyote that is running off with the chickens.
"I could be wrong, it could be worse." Infomajic
Ahhhh! This must be how a junkie feels when they get their fix. Thanks Kathy.
worth the wait, good chapter
Awesome chapter. Hate to think what that would be like, but it's something that has to be done.
I think I hear a mountain lion, I better go
"How big a boy are ye?"
So say we all. . . .
Ewww spiders! Why did it have to be spiders! When I was 7 we came back to the farm in Oklahoma after being out of state for 2 weeks. I went to my tiny upstairs room and flew down again, hollering, and stripping just like Lydie - the walls and floor of my room were literally covered...they actually PULSED with spiders (it was a very old farmhouse out in the woods). Shudder - not an experience to be repeated!!
Thanks for an outstanding story Kathy!
All that is gold does not glitter....
after that, it felt like the spiders were on me! wow! excellent! thanks!!!
Gads spiders is right. Oh gads Alaskasue ack. We had a problem with black widows when we lived in CO. They kept invading the house from the grave yard a block or so away. Even the grade school was invested. Our oldest brought one home in a jar from school he had caught. Needless to say I made him take it back out and het rid of it. Our 18 month old boy was biten and was sick for 3 months. EEWwwwwwww
Thank you so much for the new chapter and good luck getting the work done ata home.
Thanks for the great chapter. We get the nasty, gray, fat bodied, barn spiders here. They do make pretty good pellet gun targets though.
Thank You for another great chapter. It gave me the heebie Jeebies. Spiders get to me.
I am a junkie. I already said thanks and I'm back again this soon looking for more.
OK, I'm an epipen person for wasps, bees, spiders and other things that bite, sting, etc. They all do a number on me. I am interested in the tumeric and olive oil. Can you tell us a little more about it?
Unfortunately I could put myself in the place of Lydie and of the other posters who have had experience with these critters. You do such a good job of telling this story it feels like it has happened to you. (chuckle) Thanks so much for sharing.
Oh poor Lydie.
Kua, you're right about Kathy putting us right there with what is happening in the story.
I am not allergic to anything, however I have been known to have reactions if I get bit or stung too much ... spiders, bees/wasps, fire ants, mosquitos, chiggers, fleas, etc.. Here are some home remedies that I've tried over the years but remember folks, what I can use on myself I would not necessarily recommend for someone else. If you want my suggestion, we should get Summerthyme to maybe do a thread on those kinds of remedies.
■Ice/Cold Compress: Applying ice or a cold compress to the wound site provides instant relief to the swelling that accompanies the spider bite. It is important to keep in mind that prolonged exposure to ice may lead to skin irritation or tissue damage. Ice should be kept on the wound no more than 10 minutes at the time.
■Basil: The basil leaf works as a natural pain reliever. One may apply a paste of crushed leaves to the spider bite to reduce inflammation or may eat several fresh basil leaves to reduce pain.
■Turmeric Powder and Olive Oil: Turmeric is member of the ginger family which has long been touted for it’s ability to act as an anti-inflammatory. Mix a paste of turmeric powder and olive oil together and apply to the spider bite. The turmeric should work to reduce the swelling and the olive oil will soothe the itchiness. It can be used throughout the day as needed.
■Lavender Oil and Vegetable/Olive Oil: Lavender is know for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Combine equal parts lavender oil with vegetable or olive oil. The lavender will work on reducing the swelling and pain while the vegetable/olive oil works to keep the skin supple and less prone to itching.
■Charcoal: Charcoal has long been used as an absorbing agent. Still used in hospitals, charcoal can be pumped in the stomach to absorb an overdose of medication. Charcoal can be found at the local market. Make sure that you are not purchasing instant lighting charcoal, for those briquettes have been soaked in a flammable additive. Pound the charcoal to dust and mix with water to form a thick paste. The paste should neutralize the sting and draw out the venom from the spider bite.
■Potato: Potatoes assists in drawing the venom out of the wound. Slices of raw potato may be laid across the spider bite or the potato can be grated and soaked in milk. Binding the grated, milk soaked potatoes with a loose wrapped bandage relives the pain and burning as milk and potatoes have enzymes that neutralize the venom.
■ Garlic: Garlic has both antiseptic and antibiotic properties. The garlic may be mashed and mixed with olive oil to form a paste which can then be spread on the spider bite. Another option is to thinly slice the garlic and bind it to the spider bite with a loose bandage. The garlic may cause some stinging but it will help to draw the venom out.
■Bleach and Baking Soda: Mixing 1 tablespoon of baking soda, with 1 teaspoon of standard chlorine bleach, and 1 teaspoon of water, dip a cotton ball into the solution and apply it to the bite, but not to the surrounding areas. This solution will burn so it is advisable to apply ice to the site beforehand. Allow the solution to sit on the spider bite for at least 30 minutes. The theory behind this DIY cure is that the bleach will cauterize the wound while the baking soda neutralizes the venom injected by the spider. This is one of the more painful remedies, but it does appear to halt the expansion of the wound area.
When I was little and got badly stung by a number of yellow jackets my grandfather grabbed some tobacco out of the drying/smoking barn and crumbled it up and then wet it (he used spit ... ew) and slapped it on the stings. Took the pain away but I don't know if it just humbed it or if it drew the venom out.
Find my free fiction stories here.
Nice to see you back Kathy. Thanks for the new chapter and for the remedies.
Thank you Kathy. This is a great place to start since I expect we will have more stings, bites, etc, than usual given how early spring started this year. We in NE Iowa have broken several records for warm weather already before spring even began and we have noticed the insects are out early as well.
Oh Kaijafon, I'm glad that little bugger is looking sideways and not down!
Last edited by kua; 03-20-2012 at 09:23 PM. Reason: add another line
Let's see if whinning will help. (Imagine the whinnest voice you've ever heard) KaaaaaTheeee, More Plezzzzzzzzzzzzzzze!
Well sara, it didn't work and that was my best whinny voice too.
maybe time to bring out the smileys???
hmmmm what shall I post???
shall I offer a rose?
maybe a hug?
do a little cheer telling her how much she is loved?
we could pass the time with a little pillow fight....
or go swimming in a hot cup of tea...
pretend we are sorting socks
or count sheep as we lay awake in bed
but we surely would NEVER do this to her no matter how much MOAR we demand
Please don't make us bring out the purple hippo
lol! thanks so much for the great story, we are ready when you are
my cheer leader is beginning to look a little rough
there really is nothing on TV
we need MOAR
guess I'll go chase some butterflies