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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Installment Eight in Rowan's Journey

As they pulled into the Sherman’s yard Rowan was impressed by the variety of old cars and motorcycles lining the drive. Parked all diagonally it looked more like a drive-in theater than a person’s house. It was a spectacular site to see the different paint colors. That certain color green that they stopped using years ago, clear coat long since flaked away. There were also a handful of bikes and to Joshua’s delight even a horse. Rowan could not believe that someone had actually ridden a horse to the “neighborhood watch” meeting. There it was though, tied to a post licking at a bucket of water and panting like it had just ran the Kentucky Derby. The horse was the brown and white that Pintos are known for. Rowan chuckled a little as she realized it was standing not twenty feet from an old Pinto car, blaze orange with rust colored flecks lining the wheel wells. She shook her head as she thought how different things can get in a day. Rowan drew in a deep breath and released it making a sigh noise that spoke volumes to her mental state and desire to find something good out of all of this.

There was a lot of commotion as they entered the large dining room. It was an older Victorian house that had sliding doors separating the dining room and formal living room area. The large Mahogany doors were pushed as far apart as they could be. They smelled of Old English and shined a bit too much for the circumstances. Rowan knew that Mrs. Sherman was most likely up all night working to make her home “presentable”. They were a lovely couple, married almost 40 years now. They were high School sweethearts that never fell out of love. They took great pride in their home and the fact that they raised four strong healthy boys to be good men. Rowan knew their first names but everyone just called them Mr. & Mrs. Sherman. The lovers even called each other that. As that thought crossed through her mind she heard Mrs. Sherman say, “Mr. Sherman get Rowan a chair to sit in she looks tired.” To which the man replied, “Yes Mrs. Sherman right away.” “Would you like a cup of tea dear? We have Earl Grey?” Mrs. Sherman was handing Rowan the cup before she could even answer the question. Rowan sank a little into the feeling of comfort that overcame her. These were real neighbors, coming together in a time of hardship, still being generous and kind. Everyone was shaking hands, hugging, and offering words of welcoming to each other. There must have been over twenty five people there all crowded into that double room. Chairs of all sizes, shapes, and colors all lined as neatly up as possible.

Rowan spotted Mac in the corner, reading from some handwritten list. They made eye contact and smiled. Mac silently mouthed the word, “Wade?” and raised an eyebrow. Rowan shrugged her shoulders shaking her head “no”. Mac gave a chirper wink and mouthed, “he’ll show.” Judging by the people who kept talking to him, Mac had obviously taken on a leadership roll. Him and Mr. Sherman conferred on something and seemed to agree. Mac stood up and in a voice Rowan had not heard in years said, “Folks let’s get this meeting started. We have a few things to discuss. As you know the Drieffer boys went in to City Hall Yesterday. They found out what they could and brought back a list of items the Mayor would like us all to report to them.” There was a lot of snorting and grumbling and a few comments made about fascism and martial law. Mac quickly took charge and said, “Now listen up. They have not issued martial law yet, but they will. The items they are asking to be reported are working radios, solar generators, vehicles that run, any deaths that occur, and any radiation detectors.” Gasped brought silence to the room as Mac continued, “As I said they have not declared martial law yet so they are just asking us to report these items. It is up to you to decide if you will or won’t. They are reporting that it indeed was nukes set off above the U.S. that caused the EMP, which knocked out the majority of electronics. They do not believe there is any danger from radiation but they would like the equipment to keep an eye on it just in case. They have two, but with a town this size that won’t help much. By the door there are booklets listing things you can do to help avoid radiation sickness in an event of a Nuke strike. Now this was not an actual Nuke strike, so you most likely won’t need them, but take one home and read it regardless. Be prepared. The Drieffer boys will go in again next week to check in again.” Miss Tarcon jumped up and cried a little as she asked, “Next week?” Mac smiled and shook his head. As calmly as he could he said, “I am sorry folks, it looks like this is gonna be a long haul for us. But we will get through this. There are fifteen farms and houses in this area of town. We are all good neighbors, if we work together we will get through and life will get back to normal eventually. Until then we must work together, support each other, and protect our homes. Mr. Sherman and I have been putting together some thoughts on how to run things within our neighborhood. We have a lot to discuss so let’s go through the list one at a time.” Mac seemed refreshed in his roll as Chief of the neighborhood watch group. Rowan was astonished at how so readily everyone let him and Mr. Sherman run the show. Mac had an air about him that had been missing since his wife died. It seemed as though he had a purpose and a job outside of his house and Molly. People needed him and Rowan could see in his eyes that he was up for it. Mac started out, “First off let’s talk about security....."

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1 comment:

sel said...

Thank you! I look forward to your additions.

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