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HomePreppingExpensive Diary, It’s Me, Jessica: Half 8

Expensive Diary, It’s Me, Jessica: Half 8

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Expensive Diary,

It’s me, Jessica.

Diary, you’ll not imagine who I bumped into immediately . . . Savannah.

You bear in mind her.  She was that bully in school who disliked me for no motive.

However maintain on a sec.  I need to write down the remainder of what occurred with Justin and Janet and the youngsters earlier than I overlook . . .

The subsequent morning, after the rain stopped, they have been again on the street. It was nonetheless cool and damp, however the clear sky and rising solar have been promising. Janet observed that even the youngsters appeared glad to be again within the saddle as Justin alternated the horses between a fast stroll and a straightforward trot.

It was round mid-morning once they got here throughout a farmhouse.  Canine enclosed in a sequence hyperlink fence within the yard barked at them as they approached.  White smoke was popping out of the chimney.  Somebody was dwelling.  As they got here as much as the drive, an outdated man got here out on the entrance coated porch with a rifle.  He didn’t level it at them, however he may use it rapidly if want be.  Justin held up his one hand however stored the opposite on his personal rifle and stated they didn’t imply any hurt, simply passing via.

Janet requested if there had been bother.  The outdated man appeared to loosen up a bit.  He stated there was some after the facility went out.  However after the winter, they have been the primary folks he had seen.  That’s when a rooster crowed.  Justin then requested if the outdated man if he had eggs or be keen to half with a hen.  The outdated man’s eyes narrowed and the muzzle of the rifle got here up a bit.  Justin then rapidly added he could be keen to commerce for it.  The outdated man requested what Justin had in thoughts.  Justin slowly reached into the saddle bag and pulled out one of many handguns he took off the useless who attacked their dwelling by the muzzle finish, like he was holding a useless rat to point out he was not going to make use of it.

The outdated man appeared to contemplate however stated wouldn’t do him any good with out ammo.  Justin provided two magazines, loaded.  Now the outdated man was way more agreeable, even smiled.  He appeared to contemplate after which provided two dozen eggs, laid immediately, a hen, two onions, 4 carrots and 4 parsnips.  Would make for an excellent dinner, he stated.  Justin pretended to contemplate, however actually, the handgun was in a caliber completely different than his personal handgun, and he nonetheless had three extra handguns and magazines within the saddle bag.  However he didn’t need to appear too keen.  Justin gave a glance over on the children after which stated, “Be good for the youngsters to have one thing not out of a can for tonight’s dinner.  Deal.”

That stated, the outdated man went again into the home.  Janet then noticed an older lady within the window.  She waved, and the lady waved again.

The sounds of distressed chickens got here from behind the home.  A number of extra minutes handed when the entrance door opened once more and this time the outdated man and the lady Janet noticed within the window got here out.  No rifle.  The outdated man had a dwell hen trussed the wrong way up by its ft with twine.  The older lady had a plastic bag.  Janet slipped down out of her saddle and handed the reins to Justin.  She requested David to take the hen and tie it to one of many packs.  As David took the hen, the outdated man stated it was an older chicken and could be greatest to prepare dinner it low and sluggish for Janet.  The older lady held the bag open and smiled to Janet.  Within the bag have been two cartons of eggs and veggies.  The older lady stated she added some potatoes too.  Janet smiled, thanked her, and took the bag.  She positioned the plastic bag in one in all her saddle luggage, arranging a few of her clothes round to guard the eggs.  She then stated to Justin,

“No working if they might assist it.”

Justin smiled and stated, “Sure mama!”

Justin handed the outdated man the handgun and the 2 magazines.  The outdated man regarded them over and nodded.  The older lady regarded them throughout and stated it was good to see younger children once more.  Janet was undecided if she was speaking about them or David and Charlotte however smiled again.  The outdated man requested the place they have been from.  Justin instructed them, and Janet stated they have been on their solution to get to her brother’s and his household’s place.  Janet swung again up into the saddle, the outdated man and older lady wished them luck and to be protected.  They want them nicely; the youngsters stated thanks as they introduced the horses about to get again on the street.  The outdated man slipped his arm across the older lady’s shoulder they usually each waved.  As they rode away, Janet couldn’t assist however really feel unhappy leaving the couple.

As a way to prepare dinner the hen ‘low and sluggish’ because the outdated man recommended, Janet had Justin and David construct a bigger hearth than their ordinary dimension.

Justin had taken dozens of untamed turkey, pheasants and quail through the years, a hen was nothing completely different to decorate out.  Even the youngsters knew how.  Solely the slaughter with a knife was a bit completely different, with the hen flapping about because it bled out, hanging the wrong way up from a tree.

As soon as the hearth had burned down, they unfold out the coal mattress to set the Dutch oven over and shoveled a number of the coals on high of the oven lid.  Whereas they waited, quite than taking part in playing cards, they talked about the way it had been since they left dwelling.  Charlotte stated she was nonetheless unhappy however felt higher about shedding their dwelling and now considered the journey as an journey.  Nonetheless, she could be glad to achieve their uncle’s place and sleep in a mattress.  All of them laughed.  David agreed but additionally stated he didn’t thoughts being within the saddle or tenting out.  He kinda preferred it.

They ate a lot of the hen, all of the veggies and some potatoes.  Janet stripped the remainder of the  hen meat off the bones and would use the meat to make a hen, scrambled egg and potato hash for breakfast within the morning.

The subsequent day was additionally good, even hotter. Justin guessed that they had one other day, perhaps two on the most, on the street if all went nicely.

After they rounded a bend within the street within the afternoon, they noticed one other rider coming towards them. He was on horseback, with two different horses tethered behind him, all carrying saddle luggage and packs like theirs. And there have been three canines with him.

He stopped and ordered the canines to take a seat whereas they rode as much as him and stopped.

“Howdy,” he stated with a smile and touched a gloved hand to the tip of his leather-based cowboy hat.

In his different hand, he held a rifle throughout his saddle, similar to Justin. He had a handgun on every hip, like one thing out of an outdated Western cowboy film crossed with a contemporary navy motion film. The canines sat however regarded intently.

Justin and Janet each tipped their very own hats and replied, “Howdy,” again in unison.

He launched himself as Garret, and his canines have been Sorr-Ra, Lee-Lavatory, and Naga.  At listening to their names talked about, the canines wagged their tails.  Janet checked out them questioningly.  Garret appeared to sense Janet’s unease and stated, “Simple, women.  It’s okay.”  Sorr-Ra abruptly discovered a spot that required intense itching.  Lee-Lavatory determined to take a nap and rolled over to 1 facet.  Naga laid down however continued to look at. Janet may see the intelligence behind these eyes.  That canine was to not be messed with.

Garret requested the place they have been heading.  When Justin instructed him, Garret shook his head and stated,

“Somebody used heavy equipment and dropped the one finish of the bridge over the river.  However there’s a spot shallow sufficient you’ll be able to cross on horse again.  I needed to wait out the rain after which one other day for the river degree to drop again to regular on the far facet earlier than I may cross to this facet.”

Justin pulled out the GPS from his coat pocket,

“Might you present me the place,” he requested Garret and handed him the GPS.

Garret took off his gloves to make use of the contact display screen.  After a number of seconds, he held it again out to Justin, pointing,

“The bridge is right here and a few mile or so to the South,” he slowly swiped the contact display screen.  “About right here is the place I crossed.  You will notice my tracks.  In the event you comply with them, you will discover the place I camped out on the far facet and the path I used to get again to the street.”

Justin thanked him and requested Garret the place he, and the canines, have been heading.  Garret’s journey was simply the place that they had come.  Justin and Janet instructed Garret of the older couple they traded with, the mass grave, the city previous it, until the place he would flip off from the place their dwelling was.  Janet requested him to inform the older couple of her thanks for the potatoes, and she or he wished they might have stayed to go to with them longer.

Garret stated he would make some extent of stopping to go the phrase, then stated he wanted to be off. He wished them luck with a tip of his hat and stated, “Women!  To me!”

He rode previous them, horses and canines on the path.

They discovered the river a number of miles later. A backhoe and an earth mover have been off to the facet the place the one finish of the bridge as soon as stood. Justin led them south to the place Garret stated was the place to cross the river. It was broad however shallow, solely coming as much as the horse’s decrease chest. The present was nonetheless robust, making crossing by a person on foot tough, however not for a horse.

As soon as throughout, they discovered Garrett’s camp. The solar was about three fingers above the horizon, and it could be darkish quickly. Janet stated they need to make camp. Trying on the GPS, Justin stated they might attain the Miller’s the subsequent day.

Entry two


Jack, Rae, Dad, and I went to the market once more.

Jack was seeking to hold ‘tabs’ on issues.

Rae was on the lookout for extra medicinal herbs or seeds for medicinal herbs.

Dad was on the lookout for extra veggie and herb seeds for Mother.

I used to be alongside for the journey, and Jack stated I wanted to have extra of a ‘situational consciousness and safety  mindset.’  He stated I wanted to take it significantly.  Whereas we have been making the ‘hump’ to the market, I requested Jack and Rae extra concerning the ‘situational consciousness and safety  mindset.’  As they talked, I made the psychological notes Jack instructed me to make.

As soon as we arrived, I used to be nonetheless amazed on the organized chaos of the market.  It was throngs of individuals milling about.  On the identical time, it was so alive.  Individuals speaking, chatting, laughing.  Others are deep in enterprise and haggling.  The scent of fires or the scent of issues cooking within the wind.  Whereas it appeared thrilling, I stored Jack and Rae’s remark in thoughts about my want for a ‘situational consciousness and safety mindset.’  The market nonetheless could possibly be a harmful place for the unaware.

I had simply handed a person who, in a loud voice, introduced to these out there,

“Seeking to commerce for shoe strings!”

After I noticed a younger lady observing me with broad eyes.  She appeared to acknowledge me.  She then turned and tried to stroll away from me.  I adopted rapidly, listening to Rae name out my title as she fell behind.

The market crowd slowed the younger lady down and allowed me to meet up with her simply.  I spun her round by her one shoulder and stated,“ me.  Who’re you?”

She observed my rifle slung over my one shoulder, checked out me with what solely I may describe as ‘damage’ eyes after which regarded down and quietly stated, “Savannah.”

Diary, that’s when an entire world of the previous crashed in on me.  A time that appeared so very distant however on the identical time like yesterday.


The bully and her associates had not preferred me for completely no motive.  If it weren’t for my buddy Chrissy, the aspiring MMA fighter who instructed Savannah and her associates to again off, it could have gotten worse.

Now, right here we have been.  Within the ‘market.’  Issues had modified.

Savannah was a lot thinner than she had been at school.

Diary, everybody had misplaced weight because the energy went out, however Savannah was practically unrecognizable.  I’d have by no means referred to as her fats, however she was large for her age on the time earlier than the facility went out.

I have no idea why, however I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her to 1 facet of the common market foot site visitors.  A second later, Rae caught as much as us.  I gave Rae a glance, she understood turned and gave us some area.

I requested Savannah what had occurred to her.

Savannah lived in a really upscale suburb simply outdoors of town.  Savannah by no means had an excellent relationship along with her mother and father.  Simply after the facility went out, she left her mother and father to hang around along with her college-aged boyfriend.  When he discovered he may ‘pimp’ her out for issues like alcohol, smokes, medicine, her life turned a nightmare for months.  One night time, when he was handed out, she went again to her mother and father solely to search out the home and several other others round all burnt down.

There was no signal of her mother and father.

Savannah discovered an empty home within the neighborhood and lived there.  She would scavenge for meals however was not having a lot luck.  She was wanting within the window of 1 home to see if there was a means in to search for meals when a person in soiled garments, unkept hair, and a beard rushed out of the home and attacked her.  They have been wrestling on the entrance garden, him on high of her, attempting to carry her down, Savannah screaming, when there was a loud, “PING!”

The person’s eyes rolled up into his head and fell over onto the garden.  Behind him stood a girl with a frying pan in a two-handed grip, seeking to whack him once more if she needed to.

The girl requested Savannah if she was okay.  Savannah sat up and started crying.  The girl sat down subsequent to her and hugged her.  As soon as Savannah stopped crying, the lady stated her title was Kim.  A number of different ladies then walked up.  Some had backpacks.  Others pushed procuring carts with clothes and different issues in them.  Kim and the ladies stayed collectively.  They took care of one another.  That they had been on the transfer for over per week, on the lookout for someplace that was considerably protected from the gangs.  Savannah instructed her till the run-in with the soiled man handed out on the garden, she had not seen anybody round.  Kim invited Savannah to affix their group.  Savannah desperately stated sure.  She confirmed Kim and the others the home she had been residing in.

Over the winter, issues have been very onerous for all of them.  They ended up consuming rats, tree squirrels that they trapped, and even boiled grass.

One of many ladies discovered a bow and arrows and shot a cat.  They ate it.

After the polar vortex, a gang confirmed up within the neighborhood.  Savannah knew the neighborhood very nicely, led the ladies out the again of the home, and went across the gang within the path that they had already been and wouldn’t be taking a look at once more.

It was night time, they usually have been hiding behind a fence.  They might hear the gang not far-off, scent their hearth, burning no matter furnishings they might discover within the homes.  Kim recommended they sneak away below the quilt of darkness.  The ladies took solely what they might carry and quietly received away from the gang.  They spent the remainder of the night time on the transfer.  Kim led them in a single path and stored them going until it started to lighten on the Jap horizon.  By then, that they had left town and the sub-burbs behind, surrounded by woods and fields.  Kim led them deep into the woods.  All of them received out blankets, coated themselves and one another for heat, and fell into an exhausted sleep.

The identical journey it took Jack and his workforce to journey in three days took them practically two weeks, however they have been a lot weaker from lack of meals.  They might cease for a day or two for the one lady with the bow to hunt.  She received a some birds, a number of squirrels.  If it weren’t for her taking down a deer, which may have been the tip of them.  They did their greatest to pores and skin and costume out the deer.  They probably made errors and wasted a number of the kill, however for 2 days, they ate nicely.  It was the primary time in months that they had full bellies.

A couple of days later, they crossed the bridge to the ‘market.’

Sean and the sheriff met them on the ‘market’ facet of the bridge.  They have been the primary folks that they had seen from ‘that’ facet in months.  Sean and the sheriff traded loads to feed all the ladies in alternate for details about town.  However that solely went to date.  Among the ladies like Kim and Savannah didn’t have any abilities to commerce . . . however one.  So, they did what they needed to do to maintain themselves fed.

They ‘pimped’ themselves out.

Diary, previously, I do know I’d of stated,

“Diary, I don’t understand how I really feel about that.”

Diary, whereas I don’t suppose I’d do it myself, I feel I can perceive what they needed to do to outlive.

Due to Mother, Dad, Jack, and Rae, I’ve by no means been put in that scenario.

They haven’t.

About 1stMarineJarHead

1stMarineJarHead isn’t solely a former Marine, but additionally a former EMT-B, Wilderness EMT (courtesy of NOLS), and volunteer firefighter.

He at present resides within the nice white (i.e. snowy) Northeast together with his spouse and canines. He raises chickens, rabbits, goats, often hogs, cows and typically geese. He grows varied veggies and has a bizarre fondness for rutabagas. He enjoys studying, writing, cooking from scratch, making charcuterie, goal taking pictures, and is at present increasing his woodworking abilities.


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