May 2, 2015: Road Signs
There’s kind of a buzzing in the back of my head that just won’t let up. The humming seems to be slowly creeping forward toward the front of my brain immediately behind my eyes. It’s as if a hive of bees made their home inside my head.
They’re constantly working, those bees, building their hive larger and larger every hour. My eyes are burning and my vision is a little blurry.
Allergies? Maybe. The Cottonwood “snow” is flying.
This time of year has always been bad for me. Maybe we have some allergy medication in the medical supplies.
Much like the symptoms of my allergies, the telltale signs are stacking up. I’m reminded of the signs along the road leading to Wall Drug in South Dakota. The closer you get to the old drug store turned tourist trap, the more frequently the signs advertising its various attractions appear.
Something is going to happen. Even the weather is foreboding. In addition to the Cottonwood seed, the air is thick with humidity – charged as if a thunderstorm could break loose at any moment.
The heat has been absolutely sweltering the last two days. The sky has been blue and the sun bright, but I’ve seen storm clouds stacking up on the western horizon. They’re slowly heading our way.
On our way back from the Swensons’, Pete and I stopped at Terry’s. They’ve been doing reasonably well. Terry informed me that they turned away two families in the last week. We’ve heard similar chatter on the short-wave from others outside of Union Creek.
It’s difficult and sometimes ugly, but most of the reports we’ve heard suggest that the ingress of survivors has been channeled elsewhere.
Where? Toward Union Creek? Perhaps. Understandably, we don’t always get geographic information with the reports over the radio.
I don’t have much insight into the minds of those leaving the cities. They want out, that much is clear. Are they headed north for the summer? Are they simply following the path of least resistance? Some of them may have family or friends outside of the city. Those relationships may give them a sense of direction.
If I put myself in the shoes of those who’ve survived in the cities until now … if I had no farm …. What would I do? Like as not, I would look for a group like Tanner’s. I’m probably close to twenty years past the average age of the men on Tanner’s team, but I am not without skills to offer such a group. Miriam and D.J. have plenty of knowledge and skill to offer as well. We could certainly pull our weight if we could find a group willing to take in strangers.
But, if I had no information to lead me to a group like Tanner’s … then what? Survival as a family on the road? I fear the likelihood of that strategy’s success is quite low. A FEMA camp? While the basic elements of physical survival might be present we’ve seen and heard what happens in those camps. Would I be willing to trade the risks of a FEMA camp for a couple bowls of beans and rice each day? I doubt it.
What then? Wander randomly away from the city in hopes of finding a better life? The brave pioneers who settled our country did exactly that. Many of them died in the process. Harsh weather. Starvation. Dehydration. Hostile natives. Disease. The causes of death are almost too many to list. Only the very strong survived those times … unlike our country’s more recent days where the industrious and fruitful were taxed to support the growing population of indigent and unproductive. The days of “no work, no eat” were left far behind in what we were told was a kinder, gentler, more high-minded society.
It would seem that we have come full circle. We’ve returned to a society where only the strong survive. We seem to be looking at a second Westward Expansion while also facing a regional migration from the urban to the rural. Will history books some day look back at these individuals as the pioneers of the twenty-first century?
We are wholly unprepared for such an … invasion.
As long as the migrants arrive in relatively small groups, we may be able to physically repel them – although our ammunition will eventually run dry – but I’m not sure that I’m psychologically prepared to fire on innocent people to fend them off. It may well come to that.
Tanner and his men plan to complete their undisclosed mission and then stop by our farm on their way back to their home base. The Swensons loaned Tanner’s crew an old grain truck. When they return to our farm, we’ll let them use the short-wave to see if they can raise their central command through a repeater.
They would eat us out of house and home, but we could really use a few guys like that … along with a few million rounds of ammunition and some heavier weaponry.
Schmidt still hasn’t returned. I don’t think he would desert his family willingly. Things must not have gone well.
Yet another sign along the road.
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