Story Market Day


Contributing Member
Doug wasn’t sure what was going on. Last he remembered was sitting beside a small pool eddying at one side of a creek. His head was hurting and he figured to rest a few and maybe try some aspirin.

Now he was lying in the shade, half naked and his whole left side felt like it was on fire. Someone was trying to get him to sip some water, while someone else was running a belt sander up and down the left side of his ribcage. He was down to underwear and socks, laying on a sleeping bag. His hair was wet and felt a bit funny. He could feel the wind against his scalp. He tried to speak.

“Wwwhatttt….” His mouth was stuck together, dry. His vision was still blurry and painful. He could sense more than see the cup at his lips. He tried to swallow some water. It didn’t work so well. When he gasped at the belt sander scrubbing at his ribs again, some of the water went into his lungs. This set off a coughing fit which caused the pain in his head to spike. He tried to grab his head and hold it together. It felt like it was going to explode.

“Pain….” Was about all he could get out before the ground came back up at him and the blackness swallowed him.

It was after sundown when he next awoke. The only light seemed to come from some moonlight He felt a bit better. There was something in his mouth. He was still lying on a sleeping bag, he was still mostly undressed, but he had a blanket over him. There was something warm against his back. He wasn’t sure what it was though. He tried to assess his situation. He lay there listening and trying to feel his surroundings better. He realized the warm thing he was leaning against was moving slightly. It was breathing. He also smelled something. It took a moment or two to place it. It was lavender. He tried to speak softly. All that came out was a croak, but it was enough to attract the attention of someone else. An apparition appeared in his vision.

What appeared to be a small framed female was instantly near him, their faces only two or three hand spans apart. She was speaking softly to him.

“Sir, lay still. We found you passed out down by the water. You were severely dehydrated. We got some fluid into you and cleaned up the burns you have down the side of your body. The burns were drawing the fluid out of you faster than you were putting it in. You also have a pretty big goose egg on the back of your head and had been throwing up. You were also complaining of a lot of pain. I rummaged through your medical gear and found what you were asking for and gave you a lollypop.” She pulled the stick from the corner of his mouth.

Doug could make out the color band on the stick. 800mcg of transmucal Fentanyl would definitely take away the pain.

She gave him some more water to sip. His vision was better, clearer than it had been for a day or two at least. Her face fascinated him in the moonlight. Her loose blond hair was framing her face and the moonlight was bright enough for him to get a decent look at her eyes. Her eyes were enchanting, easily the most interesting ones he had seen in ….well he didn’t know how long. Each eye was two colors; a ring of robin’s egg blue surrounding an inner ring of green. He had seen something about people with each eye a different color before, but not two in each eye. Heterochromia iridum was the term that came to mind. She started talking again, snapping him out of staring. He was embarrassed.

“Sip some water. You’re still dry and I don’t think you want us to resort to what we did before. Sip some water, rest, and in the morning, we can get some food in you and see what else we can do for each other. Don’t move around much, your wounds are wrapped right now and I don’t want you to wake my daughter sleeping behind you keeping you and her both warm. You should stay on your right side to not put pressure on your burns. It will also prevent inadvertent touching of my 14 year old daughter.” At that, he heard her voice change from soft and quiet, to iron, like the almost sub-audible rumble of a growling dog. A big dog. She handed him the water and another ‘lollypop’ and sat back down nearby. Moments later he was asleep again.
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Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....
Doug found by Emilia and mommy bear Heidi and being nursed back to health.

Thanks CCG for the story.



Retired, practising Curmudgeon
So, I thinking when Garen & Company get merged w/ these two new groups, it sounds like a couple of tons of various skill sets & experience plus some serious revenge and rage are going to be delivered to someone -- hope the bad guys have their affairs in order -- well, not really but every now & then I try to be PC.

Haven't had a lot of success w/ that......

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Contributing Member
They were traveling down one of the creeks when they saw him. Heidi stopped them as soon as she saw him lying there. She had Emilia dig out her binoculars and she scanned the area. The question in her mind was ’is this bait or real’?

The man had some hiking gear on, but was collapsed and curled up at the edge of a wide place in the creek. A rifle was next to him. He had mud or something on the side of his face and didn’t appear to be moving. Heidi didn’t hear anyone or anything else around. She went back to checking out the guy. The binoculars only let her see so much. Finally she was able to make out something on the pack on his chest. A cloth badge. Shit!

“OK, Emma, I think it’s a Park Ranger. He looks to be hurt. I’m going to go down there first and check it out. If anything goes wrong, run!”

“Wait, why can’t I come with you?”

“Because he might be bait”

Heidi worked her way along the creek. As she got to the guy, she could make out more elements. He had been burned, but his gear wasn’t. Strange. She moved the lever gun out of his arms reach and began checking him for wounds. Air Force first aid and Combat Lifesaver classes were over a decade ago, but she still knew you couldn’t fix it if you didn’t find it.

His skin was red, even where it wasn’t blistered. She could see where he had been throwing up. She remembered the way the medics checked them and pinched the skin up on the back of his unburned hand. Instead of snapping right back, the skin stayed tented up for some time as it slowly flattened out. She felt his wrist for a pulse. She couldn’t find one. She then moved to his neck. The pulse was there, fast and weak. Whatever else was going on with him, he was dried out like a raisin. Dehydration can kill. She looked at his belt, hoping for a radio to get help with. No radio there. Shit.

“Emma, come on down. I need your help.”

Emilia came down and helped pull him up into a spot in the brush. Heidi began stripping off his gear to get a better look. His belt had a bunch of pouches on it, the tops of which had labels like TQ, Meds, and so forth. The outside of one pouch had star of life patch on it. The chest rig had a cloth name tag on it, just like the ones on flight suits. It identified him as a Backcountry Ranger and a WEMT-P. As she was rolling him around and getting the gear off him, he was moaning and groaning weakly.

Emilia was working at cleaning him up some, wiping his face and hair while Heidi was rummaging through the pack and belt. This guy was a Paramedic, he should have IV fluid so we can re-hydrate him. She knew how to do that from Combat Lifesaver Class. Granted, it was almost fifteen years ago, but……

“Shit!” Heidi exclaimed in frustration.

“What is it?”

“He’s really dehydrated. He’s a paramedic but he doesn’t have any IV stuff! I don’t know how to get him re-hydrated. He’s been throwing up and he’s burned so he’s blowing all his fluid out.” She moved up to his head and tried to wake him up enough to get him to sip some water. The water seemed to stimulate him some. He drank some, spit some out, and was a little more awake for a few moments. Heidi tried to get him to drink more but wasn’t able to get much in.

“Emma, keep trying to get some water into him. I need to keep looking for more wounds. We can clean and dress his burns as well. We need to keep him warm. With the burns, he will get cold fast, which can kill him.”

Emilia took over trying to get fluid into the Ranger while her mom was stripping off most of his clothes. The process of getting the clothes off of his burns must have hurt. The wounds had seeped fluid and crusted to the clothes. After the wounds were exposed, Heidi began trying to scrub the pus and grime off of the burns. After one round of tugging and scrubbing, Emilia thought she heard the man say something. She leaned lower and listened.

“Mom, he’s saying something about ‘lollypop’”

Of course! She remembered the medics had a pain drug they gave for some wounds. It was a pain drug on a stick! She went back to the belt kit and found the one marked ‘Meds’ and rummaged in it. She found a baggie marked pain. She pulled one out and handed it to Emilia.

“Put this in his cheek. It will help his pain and may make him more able to drink.”

Emilia did as he mother instructed. Not long after, he stopped wincing and moaning as Heidi worked at the wounds. They got him onto one of their sleeping bags so they could insulate him from the ground and keep him warm. After they got him on the bag, Emilia tried to give him more water.

“Mom, I don’t think he’s breathing!” Her voice had panic in it.

“Shit! Shit Shit!’ Heidi moved up to his head. She pulled the lollypop out of his mouth and leaned down to listen to his chest. He wasn’t breathing, or was breathing so shallow it wouldn’t matter.

“Emma! On the belt over there, look in the pouches for a pocket mask. A plastic box with clear mask in it!” Heidi rolled the Ranger on his back. Feeling his neck for the pulse, she was somewhat relieved to feel the weak beat of the heart. At least he’s still got a pulse. Heidi looked over at Emilia, who was frantically ravaging through all the gear in an unsuccessful attempt to find what she wanted. No time. Heidi tilted the head back, opening his airway. He still didn’t take a breath. She leaned down and began to administer mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the chest rise with each of her exhalations. One breath, count to five, one breath, count to five, one breath, count to five, one breath, count to five. She got into a rhythm. She tried to force her mind to focus on the here and now. One breath, count to five. She was here, not there. Her nose could smell the burned flesh. She was here, not there, Damnit! It didn’t work.

She could feel the HMMWV moving under her as they raced down the road. She was doing CPR, for how long she didn’t know, for how much longer she didn’t know.

In the early days of the war in Iraq, manpower was so stretched, the Air Force and Navy were tasked to provide bodies to augment the supply convoys. What this meant was taking cooks, admin, HVAC repair and a bunch of various non-combat trained military members, putting them through a three week course, then sending them downrange to drive five ton supply trucks with makeshift, or ‘hillbilly’ armor if they were lucky, through areas prone to ambush and IEDs. They were short of everything. Heidi was augmenting one of the convoys. The convoy was smaller and was short of everything, including real ambulances. They had two unarmored HWMMVs set up to act as medical platforms. Each had an Air Force Medic in it, an augmentee driver and one of the more trained Security Forces guys as their gunner. She was the gunner on one of them.

Their convoy got hit. They had two casualties in each HWMMV and were racing for the closest operating base to get them to the surgeons they needed. They had just rolled away from the ambush site when the medic screamed that he needed her help inside. She came down from the turret. One of the casualties had a bad airway and he was ventilating them. He grabbed her and told her to help the other one. She moved over to the other casualty. They were just taking a breath every 20 to 30 seconds. The pulse was almost non-existent. Then it stopped. Heidi started CPR. She didn’t know how long she did CPR. It felt like forever. She found out later by reading the medal write-up that she did over three hours of non-stop CPR in the back of that HWMMV. When they got to the Combat Hospital and the medics got the patient she had been working on out of the HWMMV, Heidi collapsed. The driver, a big ass corn fed HVAC technician scooped her up like a rag doll and carried her into the hospital as well. The damn vultures got a picture of her being carried in, covered in the other girl’s blood. It still showed up on some websites even today. The girl she did CPR on was long dead before they even got there, but she didn’t know. Her name was number four on the list on her calf. She still couldn’t stand the taste or smell of bubblegum lip gloss to this day.

Emilia watched her mom. She was like a machine or a metronome. One breath every five seconds. She didn’t know how long she had continued looking for the pocket mask she wanted, but she never found it. After what seemed like forever, her mom stopped and looked up at her.

“He’s breathing on his own now. Do you remember those news stories about those drug overdoses back east? Well, that’s what we just did to him. When we give this back to him, we need to keep an eye on his breathing. If it slows down, we take it out.”

Emilia just nodded.

“We have to get more fluid into him than he can drink.”

“But mom, you said there was no IV stuff. How are we going to do it?”

“Grab the extra water bladder from the top of my pack. I want to get this done before the drugs wear off too much.” She had been thinking and remembering something the last few minutes and knew one way to get the fluid in.

Heidi took the extra water bladder and filled it from the stream. She dug out two packets of rehydration mix (Orange flavored) and a couple of sugar packets. She added all of this to the water bag and shook it up. She then took a sharpie and wrote ‘DO NOT DRINK!’ on the bladder. She removed the mouthpiece from the drinking tube and kinked the hose.

“OK, Emma, let’s get him on his right side.”

“Is that going where I think it’s going?”

“Yup. Once it’s in, it will gravity feed. We don’t squeeze the water in, otherwise it turns it into another procedure.”

With the Ranger on his side, Heidi inserted the tube into his backside and unkinked the hose. The water bladder was placed on top of him to keep it warm and to provide the necessary gravity. Heidi tried to think of what to do next. This would be touch and go for a bit. They needed someone awake at all times to keep an eye on him.

“Alright, Emma. We are going to sleep and take care of him in shifts for the next little bit. Let’s cover him up with the other sleeping bag. Each of us will get in and rest next to him to keep him warm, while the other is awake and watching over him. Let’s go with about two hours at a time. Longer than that is hard to keep your focus.”

Emilia was trying to make sense of what her mother was telling her. It seemed right.

“Ok, mom, why don’t I take the first shift. You just did a lot of work.”

“Sounds good. Wake me if he moves, changes anything, or you hear anything else.” Heidi curled up back to back under the sleeping bag. Her body pushed up against the back of the Ranger. A brief thought crossed her mind. She didn’t know how long it had been since she had curled up with another person. A long time, she knew.
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Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....

You spin a great tale.

Thank you for the time you give to bring us your story.



Contributing Member
They had swapped the duty of watching him back and forth through the night. Emilia was the one awake around dawn. She was normally the first one up back at the apartment. She normally had the coffee and such ready when her mother got up. The smell of the coffee was what normally woke Heidi up. She would have had her four or five hours of sleep during the night, rarely in a row. She would work out late in the evening to exhaust herself enough to sleep. When she didn’t, she would wake up in the middle of the night, spend a few hours working out, and then sleep for a couple more hours. It had been this way for at least the last eight years. To Emilia, this was just mom.

The Ranger was awake. He and Emilia were talking. They were exchanging stories of the last several days’ events. Each was horrified at the happenings. Doug realized his events were a part of a bigger picture and a greater problem.

Emilia reminded Doug, in some ways, of his own daughter. She was smart, articulate and, unless he missed his guess, fiercely independent. They kept their conversation low to avoid waking Heidi too early. While they were talking, Emilia was drawing in her sketch pad. After talking quite a few minutes, Doug just had to ask to see what she was drawing.

Emilia sheepishly turned the pad around for him to look at. Her work was stunning. It was a superhero figure. A woman figure in the classic ‘superhero landing pose,’ i.e. bent down on one knee, her fierce gaze looking up at the viewers position. A cascade of curly hair framed the face. The skin tight outfit was showing muscles to make superman proud. She reminded Doug of an old She-Hulk poster he saw years ago. All of this was enhanced and framed by an enormous set of eagle’s wings jutting forth from her back, mantling down and around like a raptor over a kill. The detail was amazing. He thought he would be able to feel every single feather.

“Your artwork is amazing. Do you do a lot of Superhero type work? This one is better than many I have seen in museums.”

Emilia blushed. “Actually, it’s not quite superhero, more spiritual. I like the creatures from mythology and historical stuff. In another pad, I have a great Valkyrie you would probably like, if you like this one.” She beamed.

Something wasn’t right. She heard voices and she was cold. Something didn’t match with what her brain was expecting. It was Emilia’s voice. Heidi held still for a few, listening. Emilia was talking with the Ranger. He seemed to be doing better. He had sat up. That’s why she was cold. He was no longer under the sleeping bag. They were talking about art. How did they get over to art? Ah, her sketch pad, she must be drawing something. Hopefully something tasteful. She remembered the embarrassment when Emilia was working on some drawings from one of her classes while they were waiting for her turn getting a haircut. She was working on human anatomy and nude forms. The adults were a little scandalized by a 12-year-old drawing naked people. At least the homework was female forms that week and not the male.

“Emma, if you guys are going to talk, at least tell me you started the coffee.” Heidi’s sleepy voice She figured by speaking, it would let them know she was awake and help steer the conversation some. She had questions for the Ranger.

“Of course, Mom, I got the water on for coffee. Just waiting for you to dig it out, it’s in your pack.”

“I take it, sir, you are feeling better?”

“A lot better. Emilia was filling me in on your situation. It’s almost unheard of such a thing happening in the park. I don’t know what is going on or why. It all seems to be tied into the earthquake and the tidal wave that had decimated the entire west coast.”

“Wait, what? Tidal wave?”

Doug explained what he knew of the back to back catastrophes, and the events leading up to his predicament. While he explained, Heidi dug out the coffee. When he was finished, Heidi was even more concerned. He had related the events in the store. ‘Finishing the job’ and trying to kill him boded ill for the rest of the park staff. She wasn’t sure what she should do now. They were hoping to find help from them. So, now what?

The sun had come up as they talked. Emilia scrounged among their supplies and began making some breakfast for the three of them. While she was cooking, Heidi got a glance at the sketch book. Heidi would have been less embarrassed if Emilia was drawing porn. Doug saw her turn bright red when she saw the superhero on the page. He didn’t understand and picked up the book before Heidi could.

Now, in full daylight, her work was even more impressive. He still didn’t quite see what had Heidi so embarrassed at first. He looked closer. It was Heidi’s face on the superhero. Emilia broke the tension.

“Hey, mom, you'll never guess. Ranger Chenkof here already knew of you!” Emilia was beaming, a smile plastered on her face. Heidi was still embarrassed from the picture, and now she was mortified. The only way he should know of her was if she was supposed to be stationed here after FLETC. That meant he has seen her resume and CV. Oh, great! This is just the way you want to meet your coworker or boss. Heidi dropped her head, her hair falling forward, hiding her face.

“Oh, great!” Her voice was barely a whisper. Emilia wasn’t sure why her mom was embarrassed, but she was. This wasn’t something she saw very often. The Ranger was the next to speak.

“I remember your resume; it was quite impressive. The boss was looking forward to your arrival. I was looking to pitch you an idea when you got to us after FLETC. The front country cops need some more bodies which is the slot you were hired in under but, with your background…I have another possibility. One of our Backcountry Rangers is having knee surgery and will probably not be up to getting back to the rigors of that position. The boss is figuring to offer her a promotion to supervise the front country Law Enforcement Officers. This leaves a Backcountry Ranger position open. It would require more training after FLETC, but it also pays better. You could live in one of the on-site houses down in main camp. Then, as you got trained up in the area, you would end up with your own sector to manage and patrol. You would also get a raise compared to the front country LE positions. You are evidently somewhat trained and comfortable with medical treatment. There is a great school for backcountry medicine nearby we would send you to. You would have to be at least an Advanced EMT, but I think you could go Paramedic. What do you think?”

“Sounds interesting, but I haven’t even passed FLETC yet.”

“I’ve seen your resume. Unless you’re dumber than a paper bag full of wet hammers, you shouldn’t have any academic issues. Most people run into issues trying to keep up academically and meeting all the physical conditioning and testing at the same time. If you kept in decent shape from the military, that shouldn’t be an issue either.”

Emilia started laughing and shaking her head side to side. Doug didn’t understand.

Heidi’s ego jumped to the forefront in spite of her attempt at control. She stood up and performed a trick she learned as a kid, and had used ever since for things like wining bar tabs. She did a slow handstand, and while upside down, she performed three pushups. She lowered herself back to her feet.

Doug was suitably impressed.

“I guess the physical demands of FLETC shouldn’t be a big stress.”
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Contributing Member
“So, what do we do now, boss?”

Heidi’s question caught Doug a little off guard. After a moment or two of thought, he realized two things. One, it seemed she was accepting the offer for the Backcountry position and two, if the shit the guys at the store were saying what he thought it meant, he was the senior law enforcement, hell, probably senior park official altogether! He didn’t know how to run the park! He stayed in the backcountry to stay away from such things. He needed a plan. He had some sort of group of hostiles killing people in the park and trying to kill the rangers. If they were after him to finish the job, that meant the rest were either not in the park or already dead. That was a huge, sobering thought.

He had himself, and a newbie untrained Park Ranger, who at least had military law enforcement experience, albeit ten plus years ago. He also had her daughter, his daughter, a half a dozen campers and Zed and Mr Barnhart in the park that he knew of. Oh, and don’t forget, he wasn’t quite up to par himself. He was burned, battered and concussed. He had one rifle, one pistol and very little ammo for either. It was quite overwhelming when he looked at it from the larger viewpoint. He had to break it down into steps. It was like his father always said, ‘eating an elephant is easy, as long as you do it one bite at a time.’

“OK, We need to pull the problem apart and see what we can fix, what we can put off and what we can ignore. Since you called me boss, I take it you are willing to step up to the Backcountry position?”

“I’m willing as long as you know what you’re asking for. I’ll work hard, I’m horrible at office politics. I tend to piss people off when they try to make me be political. I sugar coat nothing. My loyalty must be earned, but if you do, it’s bulletproof. Conversely, if you sell me out or screw me over, I will appropriately reciprocate. There was a supervisor who spent two years in Leavenworth for thinking he could get some, I think the phrase he used was ‘slap and tickle’ in exchange for giving me a good performance report. Evidently I wasn’t the first he did this to, but I was the first to stand up to him. There were nine of us at his trial. I’ve literally taken bullets out of loyalty, and I have fired them, metaphorically, at those that have violated trust and loyalty. Knowing all of this and having seen and read my resume, if you still want me, I’ll step up to the job.”

Doug liked what he was hearing. She sounded like she was of the same general mindset as he was about things. More importantly, she might have a better skillset and background for what he needed right now. He could find lost hikers, rescue people out of ravines, keep people from speeding, report on wildlife elements in an area. What he was short on was knowledge and experience dealing with people wielding AKs wanting to kill him. Hopefully her resume was accurate and not all fluff.

“Well, first, I would like to go to the rally point I sent MY daughter to. Then we can get them to somewhere safe and plan the next step. Sound good?”

“Sounds like a plan. How far away is it?”

“We could probably get there by nightfall, if I can keep a decent pace. Since you’re working for me now, call me Doug. In the backcountry, it’s a bit more informal and a lot less formal than the military. I will answer to that the best in a hurry.”

“OK, Doug. It’s a long time since I answered to ‘Sargent.’ That wouldn’t work now anyway. Let’s go with Heidi.”

“OK, Heidi, Emilia, let’s get everything packed up, but first, drink as much water as you can hold from your bottles and canteens. Then after we pack stuff up, we down more from them, then fill all the containers from the stream here. The best place for water is in the body.” Emilia surprised Doug with her next reply.

“I know, I know, ‘if you’re not peeing clear, you aren’t drinking enough.” At this Heidi began to laugh.

“That’s a lesson she has heard from me a time or two…”

“Thousand!” Emilia chimed in. Heidi continued.

“It’s a leftover from schools and deployments. We learned the beer scale, but she ‘shouldn’t’ know that one yet.”

“Beer scale?” Doug was intrigued.

“Yeah. It’s simple. You should be peeing clear. If you do, you’re hydrated. White wine color, you’re still ok. If it looks like light beer, you’re at least a bottle low. Coming out like normal American beer, you’re at least one to two bottles low. If it comes out looking like Stout, there’s a serious problem.” Doug was laughing by the end of her descriptions.

Twenty minutes later, Doug, Heidi and Emilia were headed up the creek bed, in search of their next destination.
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Contributing Member
Zed and Jesse were spending the afternoon in the pole barn working on Jesse’s little runabout. The past two days were spent frantically making some ‘in case’ preparations. Jesse was running new remote antennas above the rim of the canyon so they could gather more information. Zed had dug out and did a better inventory of all the stuff they had here at the cabin, as well as found some room for the stuff Jesse had brought.

Zed didn’t remember the root cellar being as big as it was now. He also didn’t remember the other one under the kitchen floor being the size it now was either. Truthfully, he hadn’t been in either in at least five years. That was all Marta’s domain. There were rows of mason jars with all kinds of contents. Each had their lids dipped in wax, a piece of candle wick across each. He remembered when Marta had showed him that trick. She told him the metal lids could rust, so when they were coated with the wax, the air couldn’t get to them and cause it to happen. She had added the candle wick to give a way to peel back the wax. She had done hundreds of jars. He couldn’t tell what everything was, mostly because he was tearing up something fierce. The other root cellar had buckets of rice, beans and big plastic jugs of things like mustard, catsup and so forth. In some of the buckets was the long term food they had gotten years ago He was always the dreamer and she was the practical one.

Zed had gotten Jesse set up in the spare bedroom he normally used out here. The main difference now was they brought a small bench in for Jesse to set up some of his pistol stuff and a place to work on radios. He also got Jesse to help him shuffle through the boxes and cases piled up from his move following the sale of the house. Throughout all this, they mainly waited for Doug to show back up. Finally, Jesse had had enough.

“If he doesn’t show up by the morning, I’ll run down to his cabin to see what the deal is.” Jesse sounded like an annoyed parent with a kid out after curfew.

“Before you go, we need to drop the trees by the entrance.” Zed sounded pretty sure of this decision, Jesse realized.

“Now, what’s got you spooked?” Jesse’s reply was full of caution.

“Jesse, Doug is late, you saw armed people at the cabin in the clearing and,“ Zed hesitated for a few seconds as if gauging his words. “And I had coffee last night with Marta. We sat and talked, out there on the pad. She told me to be careful, other people still needed me here.”

“Well, Zed, I guess we had better be careful. I don’t want Marta to be mad at both of us.”

The tone of the conversation under the hood was subdued for the rest of the afternoon.

Grouchy Granny

Senior Member
Got to remember the trick with with the wax and string! Worth lots to me! Thanks Marta!

Hope everyone hooks up and does well - sounds like a veritable army of skills that can be put to use.


Contributing Member
I wonder how much home canned food could have been saved using that little trick with the wax and string on the lid? Simple, cheap and now so obvious. Thanks.
I have been told to soak the string in wax first, before you use it. Then you can lay it across the lid glass to glass and it wont act like a conduit for moisture. I haven't canned, just was told this was an old trick from a high humidity local. If you do it right, there is no air movement or infiltration of the lid, but you can pull the string to split the wax and gain entry. They used the same type of wax for cheese. I have been told Beeswax can be used in a pinch, a favorite if you also have hives.

Grouchy Granny

Senior Member
I have been told to soak the string in wax first, before you use it. Then you can lay it across the lid glass to glass and it wont act like a conduit for moisture. I haven't canned, just was told this was an old trick from a high humidity local. If you do it right, there is no air movement or infiltration of the lid, but you can pull the string to split the wax and gain entry. They used the same type of wax for cheese. I have been told Beeswax can be used in a pinch, a favorite if you also have hives.
Got tons of string and wax - remainders from Y2k when we were making our own fire starters. Our humidity is usually pretty low, but ya can never tell in Colorado.


Contributing Member
Got tons of string and wax - remainders from Y2k when we were making our own fire starters. Our humidity is usually pretty low, but ya can never tell in Colorado.

Well, shoot. Somebody try it and let me know so I'm slinging good info. The one I got the tip from is long dead and some of their other things were a might 'optomistic', but this one sounded right when she told me. Maybe somebos=dy can up something harmless, treat the top and set it out in a downpour or water it daily for a spell and check it? I try to keep the stuff fairly accurate.

Old Gray Mare

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I'm thinking beeswax may work better than paraffin? I suspect the string might tare thru the paraffin.

There are other hazards to canning lids this might help provide some protection from. One winter at our then new to us homestead, we had an infestation of rats. I think mice do it to. Nasty things. As they move they pee. Their pee can eat thru canning lids if not washed off. They have to washed off not just a quick wipe with a wet cloth. Found that out the hard way.

Another hint: put chickens feed away at night. Chickens roost at night and don't feed till morning. Rats eat all night long and you end up with lots and lots of fat rats and wasted feed.