This blog is dedicated to the stories I've written over the years. Sometimes I get some time and add a story. Grab a hot cup of something and enjoy!

Please note that for some reason, blogger is NOT allowing me to post on any comments. So thank you for reading and know I do read all the comments but cannot reply.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Small Town Survival -Ten


Sammie started to say something; but, Gracie shushed her real quick. Whispering, Gracie said "Stay with me, Sammie".

Very quietly Gracie got off the bike and she and Sammie slipped into the woods on the left side of the road. It was fairly easy to find one of the many trails the kids had made. Quickly, they followed the one that lead around to the back of the barn. They could hear the cow inside the barn softly mooing because she needed to be milked. They couldn't hear anything else in the barn.

So slipping in through the back door, Gracie carefully looked around. Seeing no one else in the barn, she brought Sammie in. To keep Sammie occupied, she let her milk the cow while she dug in the tack room for the shotgun that is always kept there. Making sure it was loaded, she moved to the front of the barn to look out and see if anyone was around.

Thinking she heard some kind of noise, like whimpering coming from the chicken coop, she motioned for Sammie to come with her. Together they went to investigate.

Walking slowly and keeping an eye for anyone anywhere, and keeping to the shadows, they made their way to the chicken coop. The noises were getting louder and had gone from whimpering to a down right sobbing.

Slowly easing her head and the front of the shotgun around the corner, with Sammie tucked in behind her, Gracie took in the sight.

If the man hadn't sounded so pitiful, Gracie would have laughed. There on the ground surrounded by three angry German Shepards and one annoying fox that was doing a dance in his hair, was a man crying uncontrollably.

"Who are you" asked Gracie since she couldn't quite make out his features with "Spice" the fox running around his head.

"Gracie? Gracie? Is that you? Call off these varmints!! It's me Mike. PLEASEEEE!"

"Spice, get off his head. Kids stand guard. What are you doing here Mike?" asked Gracie.

"Aw, come on Gracie, can't we go inside, have a good meal and talk?" asked the very messy Mike as he rose to his feet and wiped his face off. He didn't want any evidence of his tears.

"You are going to stand there and tell me why you're here" demanded Gracie.

"Ok, ok. I just need a little bit of help. You can see that things are going bad, and it's not just here, it's everywhere. I'm hungry and tired. Can't we just go in?" wheedled Mike. He was the type of man who thought that every woman should just bow down and basically worship him.

"I said NO and I mean it. You are not welcome here. Why in the world would you think you would be, after what you did last time? That $5000 was all we had. We almost lost this place because of you. And if it wasn't for some good friends, we would have. And NOW you have the gall to come here and ask for help? I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll give you something alright....I'll give you to the count of ten to be off my property before I let the dogs have you. And I don't want to see you or hear from you ever again!"

"Gracie, please be reasonable. I have nothing and no one to help me" pleaded Mike.

Even though it looked like he was going to start crying again, Gracie calmly began to count "one....two...."

Small Town Survival -Nine


Their wait wasn't too long. All the guys were back within two hours. A couple had some bruises and one was shot in the arm. But nothing serious. When asked, they told what happened.

"There were about fifteen guys coming down from Jonesboro. It seems the prisons were emptied from lack of supervision. These men thought they could just take what they wanted. We met them at the Gibbs farm, were they were being soundly thumped by Granny Gibbs and her brood. Seems she didn't like them thinkin' they could just come in there and take what they wanted. By the time we got there, there was only seven left standing and a couple of those were hightailing it back north. The others put up a bit of a fight as you could tell by the injuries; but, they'll be pushing up daisies this summer. The kids were painting signs for the graves when we left. We helped them bury the bodies in plain sight of the road. I think other trouble makers will think twice before bothering us. One of the signs said: 'I thought I was a man before I met Granny' and another sign said: 'I lay here because Granny was the fastest draw' and there were others."

"You know, it might be a good idea to put some "graves" on all the roads that lead to town. Maybe the "graves" will make others think twice too. We could even put some signs on them. Really make them think thugs were buried there. Might be some good preventive medicine" said Maggie.

"Not a bad idea" said the Mayor "now I'm heading home, thanks for the sandwiches and coffee ladies, it really hit the spot. See ya'all in two days." With those words the Mayor hit the door.

"It is late and I've got to get the kids fed. Tomorrow we are going over to Momma Sue's in the afternoon and in the morning we need to get some chores done." said Gracie.

"Why don't you two come over for supper around 6 and we'll try to get a hold of your sisters again. Maybe one of the Baxter boys will drive you over." asked Maggie.

"No promises; but, we'll try. Night everyone" And Gracie and Sammie headed for home.

Things were more quiet than usual as Gracie and Sammie pedaled up the driveway. The kids were not there to greet them.

Something was very wrong.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Small Town Survival -Eight


Gracie, Maggie and Tucker all crowded around Sammie and the box.

"What did you find, Sammie?" asked Gracie.

"Big ole walkie talkies!!!" answered Sammie as she held up an old crank radio walkie talkie bigger than her head with both hands.

Tucker took the walkie talkie and said "These look like those they had on that old show MASH. We sure can use these. I think there has to be some kind of wire though. Let's look in the rest of the boxes."

Gracie sighed "Ya'all go ahead and look and I'll see if I can go find someone from the VFW to come and take a look; plus some strong young backs to haul this stuff up into the light of day."

After all the boxes were hauled up and opened, the group could not believe what they had been blessed with.

There were indeed thirty walkie talkie crank radios, better known as TA-1 field phones. Along with all the WD-1 commo wire they would need and all other parts to set the whole town up with relay/report stations in a ten mile radius at least.

There were survival knives that had fishin' line, hooks, wet/dry matches (that still lighted) and even a saw line in the handles.

There were old flashlights that burned forever on batteries, with the changeable lenses. There were books and manuals on survival that obviously had been part of someone’s private library, stuck in the boxes also.

There was rain gear for ten men and a pair of moccasins that fit Tucker as if they were made for him. And in one big box there was a solar oven/dryer. Handmade with a lot of care.

There was one box with five Russian Makarov's with the rest of the box filled with ammo to go in them. Another box was nothing but 45's and there were two boxes filled with ammo to go in them.

There were a couple of boxes with old maps of Russia, France, Germany, Europe, Korea and even military bases around America. Very detailed maps. A couple of hand made maps also. Those were going to take some figuring out to see where they showed and what.

There were two boxes filled with camouflage netting. Packed in tightly.

There were girly calendars from the 40's, 50's and early 60's. Some two dozen National Geographic’s and five coffee cans filled with coins.

About a dozen or so golf balls thrown in with everything.

"whose stuff is this?" asked Maggie.

"I think it must have belonged to Lucille's husband. He was president of the VFW about 15 years ago and she was in charge of the library then and Walter fought in WW1 and Korea I believe" replied Gracie.

"Tucker, I think you should take charge of most of this stuff, especially the guns, ammo and radios" said Gracie.

Maggie piped in "don't give him the golf balls; we won't see him for days if you do." They all grinned.

All together, they had made quite a find and word was spreading about everything. A crowd was starting to fill the library. They quickly locked up the guns and ammo in the library office and that's when the mayor walked in to see what was up.

By the time they showed him everything, a couple of the young men had rounded up the leaders of the newly formed militia. They quickly agreed to get started on setting up the radios and also agreed that outlying homes should have one, especially those closest to the roads.

They also agreed that everyone that could hold a gun, would get trained on one and get one. Man, woman and child! Now that they had plenty to go around.

They were just about done when there was a big ruckus at the door.

"There's a gang of thugs headed our way from Jonesboro!" Cried a young man who was out of breath from running to warn everyone.

"They'll be here within 30 minutes or less..."

Immediately the militia leaders took control.

"Let's get going folks, and meet those thugs on our terms!"

The men all rushed out of the library leaving Gracie, Maggie and Sammie to lock up.

"Well, let's get over to the clinic and get prepared in case some one needs some medical attention tonight" said Gracie.

Most folks had all drifted home by now, although there were enough men to go meet the trouble. Gracie saw that most of them had the guns that Momma Sue had brought. She also saw that the Mayor and Tucker were in the lead. Maggie looked kind of worried; but, gave a smile and said "I know he will be ok".

"Of course he will, silly." quipped Sammie, "he's Mr. Tucker!"

"Let's get some sandwiches and coffee ready too, those guys will be hungry when they get back" said Gracie.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Small Town Survival -Seven


Maggie and Tucker took Sammie with them into the library to get the lists up and start looking in the basement, while Gracie walked with Billy Ray over to Momma Sue.

"How ya doing this fine day, Momma Sue?" asked Gracie.

"I’m a doin' fine, even if I do have creeky old bones. Listen up girl. I know you got yore head on straight and now tell me: are ya stocked up on cures?" asked Momma Sue in return.

"Well now, everything me and my sisters know, you taught us, so what do you think?" replied Gracie.

"Don't you get all sassy on me girl!" said Momma Sue, "I knew you when you were toddling around in napers"

"Yes ma'am. You know I can't resist funning you Momma Sue" said Gracie as she gently kissed her cheek. "You sure gave them the book today and I wanted to thank you for what you gave to the town. I know that the town hasn't always been there for you. You're a good woman Momma Sue."

"I did what any other good Christian would do, weren't no big deal. Gotta show Christian love, or where would we be? But, I wanted to tell you to come over one day soon. I've got sometin for ya. Can ya do that? Can ya come visit your poor Momma Sue?" crooned Momma Sue.

"You know I would be over there anyways, I visit most every week, so yes, how about Sammie and I ride over there tomorrow afternoon? We'll bring dinner." asked Gracie.

"I'll be lookin for ya. And don't forget to bring any meat that you need dried." And with those words The Baxter Boys and their Momma Sue roared out of town.

Gracie went back into the library grinning. Momma Sue was gruff outside; but, she was all soft and mushy inside.

When Gracie's parents were killed in a car accident, which is most of the reason she doesn’t like cars; she and her sisters practically lived at Momma Sue's. Momma Sue taught them all about herbs and growing plants. From her they all not only got their green thumbs; but, a head full of common sense. The sisters had been split up into different foster homes; but, they were always able to get together at Momma Sue's. One thing they could never figure out was why everyone BUT her natural boys learned common sense from her. Privately, Gracie thought they had it; but, just liked being contrary.

The whole town did have respect for Momma Sue and nowadays would come running if needed; but, everyone knew the story of how the town let her down when she really needed them.

See Momma Sue really had three boys. Billy Ray was the oldest, Bobby Joe the middle boy by just about three minutes and 10 years later came little Ben. Now little Ben was born about 2 weeks late and since Mr. Baxter had suffered a heart attack and died shortly after (some say while) little Ben was conceived, folks in town didn't take to little Ben like they should of. Some thought maybe he wasn't Mr. Baxter's (not true) and some think the stress of conceiving him killed Mr. Baxter. Some people are just weird that way.

Now little Ben liked to play jokes on people. It was his way of getting attention from them since he could sense they treated him differently. A lot of people didn't like being fooled. So when little Ben was only about 8 years old and he was hit by a car; no one stopped to help him. Everyone thought he was fooling around. See, no one had seen him be hit. No one knows who did it even till this day.

Sadly he died. It was very hard on the Baxter family especially Momma Sue because little Ben was her strongest link to her dear husband.

Gracie carefully walked down the steps to the basement to see what her friends had found.

Maggie and Tucker had lit some oil lamps that Gracie had and were way in the back corner of the basement. Gracie called to them as she walked through some piles of boxes.

"Find anything yet?" she asked.

"Sure did" replied Maggie. "An old mimeograph machine with about a dozen boxes of that ink it takes. Remember the old days when we would volunteer to make copies, just so we could inhale that scent, Gracie?"

"We were SO bad back then" laughed Gracie. "What else did you find?"

"We found those books you were talking about and we found about 50 boxes labeled VHF, we haven't opened any of those yet"

Tucker added "we even found a couple of bull horns. And I wanted to let you know I'd be trying to reach your sisters again tonight. I won't stop until we get a hold of them."

"I appreciate it Tucker. It will be nice to know for sure that they are ok."

"Come look what I found" exclaimed Sammie and she started giggling and dancing around a huge box with VFW in big letters on it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Small Town Survival -Six


"FEMA" Rick continued, "is an organization that was created by Presidential Executive Orders. Basically, it was given certain powers by different Presidents. Now, here's what it can do: It can seize all your land, money, guns and goods, and relocate you to different places; even a concentration camp. Anything that it deems "best" for you. It can, and probably already has, declared martial law and can force you to "fight" for it. It totally sets aside the Constitution of the United States. It has all and absolute power."

There were many groans and angry murmuring in the crowd as Rick continued.

"Now that's the worst news. It can also be there to help, if you do it "their" way. It has helped some out in many situations and didn't stomp on their rights. But again, remember the hurricanes in the gulf in the not too distant past and FEMA’s actions there.

"Personally, after what I've seen since all this started, we don't need help."

Cheers rang out of the crowd and a lot "damn right we don't!"'s.

"So what we need to decide is how to handle FEMA when they come, and yes they WILL come. Think this over friends. We are going to have another town meeting in two days. We have a lot to do. Many ideas will be put into place today and tomorrow, and I'm sure we'll hit a few snags here and there. Personalities will clash just as they always have; but, we will need to set that aside and go on with what needs to be done.

"Now, I want to state for the record: I AM with this community. Whatever you decide, I will back you up 100%.

"This is what I suggest. ONE: we find some damn good hiding spots that few know about and store most of what we have there....more than one spot, mind you. We don't want all ours eggs in one basket.

"TWO: People, I 'believe' we've had a couple of 'bad, bad' years, and we's a 'poor community'" said Rick has he exaggerated the 'poor' part. "If FEMA can't find any evidence of what we have or even WHO we have, they lose some of their power to take what we will be needing. So maybe some 'alterations' of records may be in order?"

Again there was quite a bit of muttering and retorts from the crowd.

"Lastly, we all need to be able to trust each other and work together as a community. And hopefully there will be more people around this country that will do the same and that's when FEMA will lose its power and no longer exists.

"My hope is this: For all of us to come out of this mess stronger. Stronger in unity. Stronger in honor. Stronger in integrity. Stronger as a community. Stronger as a nation." And with those words the crowd roared with applause and Rick stepped down.

Fuzzy stepped back up and told the crowd not to forget about the town meeting in two days, "That's not tomorrow; but, the next day people!" The crowd laughed with Fuzzy. "I do have some good news for those on the city water system. Since we use natural springs we will be putting up a couple windmills to help pump the water, so ya'all should have running water by next week." More hoorays from the crowd. "But, I won't guarantee the water pressure."

"The lists are going up now, so take a moment and read over them. See ya'all in two days and take care of yourselves."

The crowd milled around talking things over between themselves for quite awhile afterwards.

Gracie, Sammie, Maggie and Tucker got back together. Gracie gave Maggie all the lists she had brought from home and the four of them walked over to the library to tape up the lists given to Gracie. There was a list about hygiene, a list stating who to go to for needs, and there was a page explaining that there were homes needed for the few elderly who were left in the nursing home, those who did not have family in this area. Families that had someone in the nursing home had already taken them home.

"You know, I will need to go down into the basement of the library and see what's stored down there. I think last time I was down there I saw a box of books on water energy from the 50's." said Gracie.

As they approached the library, they noticed that Billy Ray Baxter was sitting on the steps.

"Miss Gracie, Momma Sue wants to talk with you" he said.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Small Town Survival -Five


Now the Baxter Brothers weren't really that bad. They were just good ole boys who liked to drink and then shoot off their shotguns once or twice a week.

Billy Ray and Bobby Joe were 35 year old twins who lived together with their ma about five miles south of town.

Yes, they got into some trouble, like knocking down poles more often than not; but, the town usually looked the other way since these boys were always willing and able to work or help around; and they worked hard....when their Momma told them to. They didn't listen to too many other people. Thankfully, they had brought her along with them and Momma was in splendid form today.

Now somehow those boys got their beat up old dodge truck from like 1950 something, up and running. Momma Sue (everyone called her Momma Sue) must have started a fire under their butts. In the back of the truck was an assortment of firearms wrapped up in a bunch of Momma Sue's famous quilts. Boxes of ammo were also there.

"You boys help me up to those steps, I's got sometin to say" croaked out Momma Sue.

No sooner did she get standing on the top of the steps, did the whole crowd quiet down.

"Now all you whipper snappers listen to me, 'cause I ain't gonna say it again. I'd not be the Momma if I let that *&%^$ govemment mess with my town! Let alone sum other kinds of riff-raff. So, if'nn they come around, I want yous men to use my Dear Agnus's guns. No arguments! They will be here any day to take what we have to survive on! Besides, I would love some fresh venison stew."

"Anything else you need and we got, you got it! That's all for now" said Momma Sue as she grinned a toothy grin at everyone and had her boys help her down.

Now the mayor decided he better give out the directions and although everyone didn't get as quiet for him as they did for Momma Sue, it was quiet enough for all to hear.

Mayor Fuzzy spoke up "Ok folks, just a couple more quick things. First, we are going to tape instructions and directions and all other important information that you need to know on the inside glass of the court house doors, facing outside so everyone can read them and they are safe from the weather; both here and at the library. If you can think of anything else, please speak up. Second, most of ya'all know Rick from the extension office. He has a few words to say also. Rick..."

Rick is from the agri extension office. He looked very reluctant to speak. "Hi everyone. With everyone cooperating and things going so smoothly, I really hate to bring you any bad news." The crowd groaned. "But, I would rather you know so you can be prepared however ya'all decide would be the best way. Momma Sue is right about someone coming to take our things; I'm talking about FEMA..."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Small Town Survival -Four


Tucker sighed and said "I really didn't know anything for sure. Just a couple of rumors from that Vet I talk to in Florida. He heard that someone was working on a weapon that no one would like and it would put us years behind where we are now. This man is very rarely wrong. He's the one that said Y2K was going to be nothing much. But, he actually sounded scared about these rumors. So I took it to heart and had ya'all get those extra supplies. Thankfully, you women's listened!"

"So how are the other groups coming along? We are just about ready to start putting our thoughts into action and getting things in order." asked Gracie.

"Well, us manly men are just about ready too," replied Tucker. "We have groups organized for patrols around town and the surrounding areas. We have about 15 trucks that with a bit of repair, we can get working again. Seems the older the truck the easier it will to be to get it running. Old man Floyd figured that one out. The gas stations, thankfully, had their tanks filled before this all happened and have donated all the gas to the town. We also are setting up an early warning system, just in case some no goods end up around here."

Maggie added: "over in the other group, we have divided up into groups and each group is going to check out one or two things. Like I'm helping with checking how the older ones here are doing and seeing if we can make sure that they will be ok and if they remember how to do things. We figure that we will have to learn a lot of things all over. How about you Gracie?"

"Sounds like you and I can work together. I'm keeping the library open so anyone can come and look up how to do things. No books will be allowed to be checked out; but, anyone can come and copy down what they need. That way information is there for anyone to use. Why don't we get together tomorrow and get started setting things up? Maybe we can get some of the older ones in and have them tell us what to do and we can write it all down" said Gracie.

"Sounds like a plan. Although you know how some of our older folks are. Maybe we can go around to them in the mornings and open the library in the afternoon?" asked Maggie.

"That would be great. We'll have Sammie with us and you know how she can charm those older ones" replied Gracie.

Tucker said it was time to get back into the groups to finish up and that the mayor wanted to talk once more with everyone. So they all split up and went back to their groups.

Things definitely were going very smoothly, almost too smoothly and sure enough about one hour into the afternoon session, there was a ruckus.

The Baxter Boys had decided to come to town.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Small Town Survival -Three


The morning sun rose bright and early and found Gracie and Sammie already up and eating breakfast.

They noticed that phones and electric were still not on yet and the police radio was out also. Quickly they looked over the panty and cellar. They didn't open the chest freezer; but, went ahead and took the list that was taped to the top of what the contents were.

They went outside to milk the cow and put the fresh milk in the spring house. It would stay cold there for a couple of days in the cold clear water. The spring house was small rock shed-like building that was built over a strong natural spring. It had a rock basin inside that collected the water then "piped" it out to the house or barn areas. There was a cover built over the rock basin to keep it clean. The cover had a section with hinges that opened so that one could put things directly into the water to keep cool. All the run off was sent to the animals troughs and then on to the gardens. It's a really nice set up with water always circulating.

After taking note of what was in the barns and garage, Gracie said it was time to get ready to head back to town.

"Will my parents be there today?" asked Sammie.

"I don't know. We will just have to go and see" answered Gracie.

They packed themselves a good lunch and headed back to town to find out what was going to happen.

Town was in an uproar! There were bikes, horses and even a couple of older motorcycles and tractors all over the town square.

People were hollering to each other and talking in small groups. Seemed like most everyone who lived with 10 or so miles was there.

"Ok, everyone quiet down. We need to get things going. First of all everyone needs to come over to this side of the steps who has any kind of medical training. Sadly, Dr. Houchinson was killed last night when some thugs broke into the clinic trying to get some of the medicine kept there," said Mayor "Fuzzy" Feregrins.

The crowd erupted in anger. Dr. Hutchinson was a good doctor, for a girl.

"Now listen, the perps didn't get anything, the good doctor managed to protect the clinic. The perps didn't make it either. We have all the medical supplies locked up tight and we also have the grocery store guarded. Here's where else we stand: First off, we are on our own. From what Tucker says, and he's managed to talk to a couple of people across the country and even one in Canada, this is a worldwide event. Someone let loose a hell of a bomb or I guess I should say bombs. All to together they set off what we call an "electromagnetic pulse". So, it's gonna be back to the basics for awhile. A long while.

"Second: although we are kinda off the beaten path so to speak, there will be bad people coming through. A lot of people will be heading out of the cities and I wouldn't be surprised if we get visitors from Memphis or even Little Rock. As far as we know, the prisons and jails could be being emptied. So, we need to have everyone with any kind of gun experience or military experience or any kind of fighting abilities over on the south side of the court house. We are going to organize us a town militia.

"Third: Everyone left over; your job is to inventory everything we have as a town. Food, supplies, everything. Make sure everyone is accounted for and make sure everyone has decent food and shelter. We need to especially check on those who are older, alone, or usually need help. We did have some loss of life at the nursing home. It seems that the EMP stopping all of the heart pacers also. Many of the residents there had them. We need help putting them to rest and we would like to do this today.

"Finally folks, We WILL get through this -together. We WILL defend our homes and We WILL do so in a way that benefits us all! No one will be left out, unless that is their wish."

"Does that include the Baxter Boys too mayor?" Hollered someone out of the crowd. There were giggles all around.

"Yes, even the Baxter Boys are going to pull their weight. If anyone doesn't want to cooperate, they will have to be on their own. We have good people in this community! We have always pulled together; this won't be too hard if we work together. We CAN do this! We have to; we have no choice if we want to survive. Ok, now let's get into our groups and each group needs to pick 5 leaders to get things organized. Let's do this folks and God bless us all!"

Gracie took Sammie with her over to the medical group since she had extensive training in Natural Health. They quickly got organized and picked their five leaders. They decided on some mandatory rules that everyone needed to follow about keeping clean and making sure that all water was boiled before drinking or washing if it ended up coming from a source that is not usual. Gracie ran over to the library and picked up pens and paper to write the instructions on. Too bad the copier wasn't working, she thought.

Gracie suggested that she keep the library open so people could look up how to do things and write down any directions they felt they needed. Plus, she could have short classes on how people could forage and get their gardens going, since there was still time to get a garden in.

The groups organized until lunch time and they all broke out their lunches and the whole town had a big picnic in the town square.

Gracie and Sammie still hadn't seen or heard anything about her parents. So it was decided she would just stay with Gracie until they found out where they were.

Maggie and Tucker came over to where Gracie and Sammie were eating to join them.

"Ok Tucker, you knew something was going to happen didn't you? After all, you had us stock up on a lot of things this past month or so. Tell us what you know" said Gracie.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Small Town Survival -Two


Since it was already way past time to close the library, Gracie put a note on the door for Sammie's parents and after locking up; she put some books and a nice thick blanket in the back basket of her bike and decided she would take Sammie with her.

This bike was very unique. It was a three wheel "tri"cyle with a deep basket between the back two wheels and another basket off the handle bars. The seat was more like a go cart seat with a comfy sheepskin cover that Gracie made herself. She even had a canopy over it so she wouldn't get wet if it rained. Her husband had rigged it for her a couple of months after they got married when he realized that she would never drive a car. She just plain ole didn't like the things!

Gracie and her bike were watched out for whenever she was on the road. The townsfolk loved having an "eccentric" people in their town, and they had their fair share of them.

"Sammie, how about we stop and see if your parents are at the bank?" asked Gracie.

"Ok, I'm real worried about them, it doesn't feel right. Things feel icky and wrong. I think I don't like it" replied Sammie.

"Sweetie, it's ok if things feel weird right now, I can feel it to. And if things are kinda scary; well, I'm kinda scared too. Together we will be brave, OK?"

"OK, I'll be brave with you, Miss Gracie" replied Sammie.

When Gracie and Sammie got to the bank, they found a line of people who were trying to get in. The bank manager was outside telling the people that they should not panic and they couldn't make any transactions because there was no power. "Come back tomorrow for the town meeting and we will get things worked out. Go home, check your houses and see what ya'all have. Remember if this is as big as we think, we will need everyone to cooperate and help each other to get through this. Now go HOME!"

Just before he slipped back in, Gracie hollered "Mr. Banks, are Sammie's parents here?"

"They went to Memphis this morning to finalize a deal for us, we haven't heard from them" replied Mr. Banks

"If you talk to them, please let them know that I'm taking Sammie home with me until they can get back. Would ya please do that?" asked Gracie

"No problem Gracie. You will be here tomorrow, won't you?"

"I wouldn't miss it for the world, see ya tomorrow!" called Gracie as she and Sammie peddled off.

Sammie chatted all the way to Gracie's home. The road they followed was paved most of the way and when they turned off onto the dirt side road, Gracie went a bit faster so she could hit all the little ridges and they could make the washboard sounds: "yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh" as they bumped over each small ridge.

Finally, they pulled onto the driveway. Quickly, they pulled up to the mailbox and Sammie stood up to check the box. "Here you go, here you go, here you go" said Sammie as she pulled the mail out piece by piece. Gracie said "thank you, thank you, thank you" after being given each piece and putting it in the front basket with her purse.

Half way up the driveway, they were met by the "kids". Three healthy and beautiful German Sheppard’s and one fluffy red fox who thought she was a German Shepard.

Sammie was no stranger to the "kids". Many times she would convince her parents that Miss Gracie really "needed" her help. Especially since Mr. Mad (Gracie’s husband, Timothy Madison) went away and left Miss Gracie lonely. So she knew her way all over the old farm and knew how to help take care of the gardens and the animals.

"Can I feed the kids tonight, Miss Gracie?" asked Sammie.

"They would be hurt if you didn't. Can you find the key to the house?" asked Gracie as they got off the bike and gave the kids lot's of love.

"I think you hid it on the second porch in the pillow on the hammock" said Sammie.

Gracie laughed as she pointed to the flower pot full of oregano right next to the porch steps. "Try there first, sweetie."

Sammie poked her fingers into the rich soil in the pot and pulled out the key. "Yeah!!! I found it!" hollered Sammie.

"Good job! Now let's get these kids fed"

So for the next couple of hours they kept busy feeding and brushing the kids, feeding and watering the chickens, cow, and the two sheep. After a good supper of homemade canned soup that they heated on the wood burning stove and a special treat of popcorn popped right in the stove, they went to bed with no word from Sammie's parents.