All this time alone, Trina had become lax again, but she was NOT stupid! She very carefully cased the town and slowly made her way to a great spot to view the bell. She counted 5 people, three younger women, most likely in their late 20’s or maybe even 30’s and an older couple who could be their parents. But Trina was not going to take any chances since there didn’t seem to be any way that the people got there nor did she see any supplies at all.
Trina backed away and began to circle the town through the woods. Since she had been tramping all over the woods this past year or so looking for wild edibles, she knew her way around very well.
She heard the bell ring four more times before she found the rest of the group. She found ten more people about a half mile from town and eight of them were children. There was another couple in their ‘mid’ life that was watching the kids. That probably meant that there were at least three men somewhere either guarding or preparing an ambush.
Trina thought hard. This could simply be them watching out for their families. She hadn’t seen any guns with any of the people that she had seen. She made a decision and walked up to the couple that was guarding the kids.
“Hi” she said and then waited.
The couple was taken aback and very surprised since they all had thought that whoever was going to meet them would go to the bell.
The older lady said in a shaky voice “buffalo boots?”
Trina grinned and replied “are made for kickin’ butt!” and she stretched her hand out to shake the lady’s. The two women looked into each others eyes and the man could have sworn that somehow they were talking to each other.
“My name is Trina and I welcome you to your new home. Shall we go and let your friends know they can stop ringing the bell now?”
“Thank you for opening up your home for us and that sounds wonderful!” she then turned to the man and said “Brad get over here let’s get the introductions done…..this is my husband Brad and all these,” as she motioned to the eight kids that had by now surrounded them, “ are our grand-kids and my name is Brenda.” Then going on gut instinct, Brenda hugged a very surprised Trina.
It was five very surprised adults that the small group came up on. Introductions were made and Trina found she liked them all. “You know, it’s ok to call your men-folk in now.” Trina said.
More surprised looks and then they busted out laughing. Brad hollered out “Ok guys, the jig is up! Come on and meet our new neighbor!”
Trina never thought she would remember the names of her new neighbors! But she was able to help them find homes close together and helped find enough supplies to get set up. She kept the keys to all the shops because it just made sense to her.
Two of the women at the bell belonged to Brenda and Brad; one was their daughter and one their daughter in law. Their daughter was Lucy and she was married to Rob and they had three kids; Megan (11), Brianna (7), and Alexander (Alex for short) (6). Their son was
Bryce and he was married to Melanie and they had two kids, a boy and a girl; Riley (12) and Hannah (11). The other woman at the bell was the daughter of the couple that was also there and her name was Stephanie and she was married to Brock and they had the other three kids, all boys; Mark (14) and the twins – Jake and Ryker (13). The older couple, that was there at the bell and Stephanie’s parents. were Maude and Robert.
Trina stayed in town for two weeks and got to know the large extended family pretty well.
They all shared in setting each home up and gathering supplies. Each day Trina would work with one of the women and their ‘little’ family. She finally told them where she lived and they told her how Timothy had found them barely surviving about one hundred miles south west of the small town. They had been hit hard by a gang and they had only barely escaped with their lives and what was in an old VW van they had managed to get away in. They had met Timothy at a rest area where they were camping trying to figure out just what they would do and where they would go. He was considered literally a God send!
And he had talked with them for four days before he had made the offer for them to come to Trina’s small town. During those four days, they had hunted and gathered wild edibles.
But they could not gather enough for all of them to last much longer than five to seven days.
The group didn’t take long to decide to try for Trina’s.
It was really too late in the season to put in gardens but Trina took them around to many of her small guerrilla gardens and the men set up green houses in each back yard. They were all able to find enough of the wood burning stoves to replace the regular stoves in the homes and Trina asked if they could help her install one in her home.
Trina also milked all the women for news of Timothy –how he was, did he look good, was he eating enough, where was he going next, etc…..? The answers of “he was fine, eating well and not sure where he was headed, but did send his regards” just didn’t satisfy Trina and yet she couldn’t figure out why.
The bell rang twice more before the first snow of the year. The first time was a couple on bicycles with a very little baby girl named Serena with the mom and dad’s name being Sally and Art. The second ringing of the bell was by two siblings and their grandfather. Their names were Michael (16) and Michelle (14) and their granddad Mike and they rode up on three horses with six more on tethers and loaded with supplies.
Everyone pitched in each time and made the newcomers welcome and helped them find a home and get it ready for winter. A small farm with a nice size barn between town and Trina’s house was found for Mike and his grand-kids. Everyone pitched in and used Trina’s truck and another truck that they were able to get running, to find hay and feed and haul it to the barn.
Snowmobiles were also found once Trina told them how much snow she had last winter and warm coats, boots, and other clothing were gathered for each family. All the homes that were picked were the best insulated and chosen for long lasting. The group worked hard making sure that supplies were gathered and stored in good places since some of the shops didn’t look like they were going to make it through the winter. They also decided to go ahead and pick the houses that were the best to live in for anyone else that made their way to their town.
And they held a meeting and decided to rename the town. It was now called Nysa, which means “A new beginning” because that is what they were trying to do- start a new beginning.