After two more weeks, Trina again came out of her home. She had heard no one on the small radio and she thought it might be a good idea to find more food before she ran out. It took only a day each to clean out the other two houses on the street, thankfully, there were no bodies there. Trina couldn’t figure out where they had gone since they were there the night before the bombing. And she felt guilty for breaking into the homes and taking the things but she really felt that she had no choice and vowed to herself that if the residents came back, she would make it up to them somehow.
It took another month for her to dredge up the courage to venture into town. When she realized that her car was not going to start, she dug her old bicycle out of the storage shed and rigged the garden cart to it. Her back pack was on and had two bottles of water in it and some jerky that she had found in one of the houses.
The town was very quiet and there were bodies here and there. None on the street but some in vehicles and in the buildings and while there was an odor; it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. It looked like the people just didn’t even try to take shelter, not that there was any kind of community shelter or anything. Trina figured that the rest of the people must be in basements. Most of the shops were unlocked and she wasn’t just sure what she needed to take.
At the garden center, she realized that she would need to grow a garden, something she had not done since she was a little girl and growing green pepper plants just for fun. “I will definitely need a bigger garden then that little tire garden I grew the pepper plants and snapdragons in” she thought. “And I’ll have to do it all by hand!” She wandered through the center and decided that she was NOT going to be able to till up a garden and came up with the idea of several raised beds. There was a display of a few raised beds with dead flowers in them and a fountain that had long ago dried up that gave her the idea. If one can plant flowers –why not food plants? Now she had to figure out how to get all the bricks she wanted to her house for the beds!
Today she just loaded up on all the seeds she could find. The bags of seed potatoes and berry bushes all looked dead. She thought about cutting open one of the potatoes to see if it was rotten or if there was any hope at all and realized that she didn’t have a knife. It didn’t take long to fix that, she just went over to a display of knives by the hand tools. “Hand tools! Of course!” she exclaimed out loud. “I’m going to need so much stuff!” The ax in the hand tools and thoughts of making a garden in the spring, reminded her that she had to get through winter first and that meant she would need wood for the fireplace and she had none right now. Suddenly overwhelmed she sat down and had a good cry!
After about ten minutes of heart wrenching tears, Trina finally pulled herself together with a big sigh. “Time to get on with living! It’s do or die time!” She stopped and thought for a moment “I guess that will be my motto: Do or die! And I really do not want to die.” She thought hard about maybe trying to get a truck started and wondered if all the vehicles were like her car.
“No time like the present to try one or two.” She thought. There were a few cars in the parking lot and being a small town where some people leave keys in their vehicle when they are only going to be a moment or two inside a business; the one truck had its keys hanging in the ignition. It was a clutch type truck and Trina was very thankful that her dad made her learn how to drive on an old clutch truck that bit the dust shortly after she got her first drivers license. The truck didn’t start; it just gave a little clicking noise. “Hmmmm, maybe the battery is simply dead.” Trina thought. Across the street was an Auto Zone and it didn’t take long for her to go over and get another battery and switch them out. The truck started sluggishly but it started! And the tank read full! “Finally! Some good news!
Trina almost shouted. But she managed to control herself.
It took her 10 trips back and forth with the truck to gather all that she thought she would need for raised beds and to start plants in a small greenhouse kit that she had found. She also took all the dura-logs that the center had. She took her time loading and unloading since some of the bags of dirt and manure were heavy. She had to totally open the kit and put it in the truck piece by piece. Which is also how she unloaded it in her back yard which was much easier than actually putting the thing together which took her almost a week of frustration and she almost gave up numerous times until she finally got it together the right way!
She was so glad that the water was still coming out of the faucet, even if it was slow, her nightly bath was so refreshing. One day she happened to catch a glimpse of herself in the full length mirror behind the bedroom door and was startled. It was a stranger who was looking back out at her. All the hard work and exercise from hauling wood from the woods and chopping it up was really beginning to show. She knew that she had taken to wearing sweats since they tied tight around her waist but she hadn’t really thought about what was happening to her body. She then did something she had not done in almost 10 years; she dug the scale out of the bathroom closet and weighed herself. 134 pounds. She stepped off and on five times before she began to believe what the scale was saying. She had lost over 60 pounds! And now that she thought about it, she really felt good physically. She wasn’t as tired as she usually was either. No harsh breathing anymore and she didn't need to take as many breaks as she use to! Wow! It snuck up on her!
She pushed her glasses back up her nose and grinned widely. “I think I like it! And I think it’s time to go shopping for some new clothes!”