Was it just five days ago that I was warm and well fed? Wondered Carrie as she sat under a large pine tree with one of her rain ponchos on her and one wrapping up her backpack as the rain fell and the wind blew.
She was miles from a town and cold and hungry and wishing she had taken a bus after all!
Ok Carrie, get ahold of yourself! You have food in your bag, you even have some tea bags that Miss Rhonda had stuck in that bag when you left her house…… yeah, and no way to have a fire that I can see, no dry wood, no dry area, the rain will just put it out… OK, so no fire, big whoopee, let’s just snack on a granola bar and eat some raisins, drink some water and we’ll be fine….that’s easy for you to say, you’re just a voice in my head!
Carrie couldn’t help it, she began to giggle. Here she was off of the side of the highway so no one would hit her due to not being able to see her because of the rain and actually arguing with herself. It wasn’t like staying at home had really been a better option. No, she would much rather be here, right now; then back home!
Her “pity party” over, she decided that if she was gonna be wet, she may as well be moving and wet. So she slung her backpack on her pack under her poncho, slid the other poncho over her as well, so now she had two layers of rain protection and two hoods. Her pack was still dry, so she was grateful for that but she was glad that she had thought to keep her computer with its case in gallon Ziploc bag and that it was small enough to fit in one.
For late afternoon, it was getting dark and Carrie knew she really needed to find somewhere to camp for the night that was hopefully a tad dryer than it was walking down the side of the road at the edge of the wooded area. She knew she wasn’t too far from civilization but didn’t want to get her map out because of the rain.
Note to self: Self, when traveling, remember to get maps that have some sort of plastic on them so that they can be viewed in the rain.
Carrie kept walking along the edge of the woods for another hour and thankfully the wind and rain let up. It had been a cold spring shower but she had figured that she was going to run into foul weather anyways. It would be too much to ask for sunny days and warm nights every day.
After another hour of walking, she came to a dirt road that looked like it hadn’t had anything drive on it for months, it was almost grown over. Carrie decided to follow it a ways to see if she could find a place to make camp.
The old road curved around so the highway was soon out of her line of sight when she looked back. She didn’t have to go too far and she came to an old gate that looked like it hadn’t been open since the 50’s. Carrie looked around and saw a small shed, which looked more like a small barn with only two walls.
Perfect. IF it didn’t fall on her. She quickly hopped the gate and walked over to the shed. It was old but she could tell it was well made. It looked like horses may have once used it for a wind break and a place to eat but there was no sign of horses now. There was no hay or grain in the feeding box that was about half way up the side of one of the walls.
The decision made, Carrie went about trying to make herself comfortable. She first wound up her small radio and found a station that was all news. As she listened, she went about clearing a small area for a fire. The grass hadn’t grown up into the small shed but it was quite high all around. Carrie didn’t want any fire to get out of control, although with all the rain that day, she didn’t really think there was a chance of that. Leaving her things under the shelter, she hopped over the gate again and began gathering what sticks she could. She was surprised at how many fairly dry ones she found. She just tossed them over the barbed wire that seemed to encircle the whole small field. She also found a few good sized rocks that she figured would make a fairly decent fire ring. She then hopped back over and gathered them all up, stacking them inside the shelter. She made her fire ring and using some inner bark off of one of the sticks she had got, she shredded the bark real fine and then added one of her alcohol soaked cotton balls to it, making sure to fluff it out well. She then decided to try to make a fire with her fire-stick, as she called it. Carefully, she scrapped some of the soft magnesium off the small rod onto the cotton ball. Striking firmly and hard, she smacked the scrapper across the flint part and sparks flew. It only took a couple strikes and she had a very small fire burst into life.
She grinned. Very gently she blew on it. Then as the fire took hold, she added small sticks and then finally a couple bigger ones. She had put one rather flat rock inside of the fire ring so she could heat up some water. Something hot to drink really sounded great.
The radio caught her attention.
“…harder to come by. It seems that with the signing of the Global Poverty bill into new law by the President, the U.N. is now in charge of all enforcement of the United States gun laws. A spokesman for the United Nations has made a statement that beginning tomorrow a committee will be formed that will handle just how to disarm America. They are expected to have a plan of action no later than two months from now. Until then, they have declared that all firearms must be turned in to local authorities and that there will be no questions asked for the first four weeks. However, they also said that they have begun reviewing all Federal and State lists of firearm ownership. They have also suspended all concealed weapons carrying permits. They envision a country that soon won’t even need its police force to have to have firearms.
In unrelated news, another shipment of supplies that was headed to the Super Walmart in San Antonio Texas was high-jacked and its whereabouts is still unknown. It is believed to be the work of domestic terrorists. This makes the 15th shipment to a Walmart store in less than two months. The Texas Rangers are refusing to get involved with the case.
Our local weather: tonight the rain should let up and southern winds will bring some warmth tomorrow. We’ll have a high of 55 tomorrow but it will still be chilly tonight with a low of 38. No more rain in the forecast until later next week".
Carrie changed the station and found some soft rock station. During Journey’s “Faithful” she made herself some hot cocoa and warmed up a small can of beanie weanies. After eating and cleaning up her small mess, making sure to rinse the empty can out thoroughly and drying it before she put it back in her bag. She opened another of her Gramma’s letters.
These old bones are aching with the cold this year so I won’t be writing too much today. I just wanted to let you know that your beautiful gift came in the mail yesterday. I will be drinking my morning coffee in that cup every morning.
I’m sorry to hear that your daddy is sick, you take good care of him and he’ll be better in no time.
I hear the mailman coming; it will be a race to see if I can get this in the mail today.
Don’t forget to say your prayers and no matter what happens, remember that God knows best for us.
Carrie thoughtfully folded the letter back up and placed it back with the others and zipped the plastic bag closed. Her Gramma had always encouraged her to have a relationship with God. But she didn’t have that encouragement anymore after her dad died.
Well something must have stuck from Gramma, thought Carrie, because even after all the crap my mother put me through, I still believe there is a God and I will continue to pray to Him. Which reminds me…
And Carrie sent up another prayer asking for protection for her and a safe trip, twins for Sam and Rhonda, and extra blessings for Lady Jane.
Just before she bedded down for the night, Carrie tucked her bag up into the feed box to keep it off the ground. She let the fire burn down, wound up the radio once more but turned the volume down until she barely heard it, then rolled up in her bed roll and fell asleep to Chicago’s “You’re the Inspiration.”