Destruction Aftermath, Book 1
Chapter 10

Copyright© 2010 by radio_guy

The next few days went by in a whirlwind. Shirley and I worked on details of the house making it our home. Janice came over for a while every day to help out. We talked to the guys on the radio in the evening usually with Janice still there. She and Matt enjoyed talking before the regular net would start. Janice was driving herself using my old car.

After the radio talk, Shirley said, "I talked to your mother today. Day after tomorrow, the whole family is coming over to celebrate the newest Mathews home with a pot luck dinner."

"Okay, dear. Do I need to do anything special to get ready?"

"Just help me prepare."

"I can do that."

"Also, Janice wants to move in with us."

"Well, we had talked about that before and you had wanted some alone time. Of course, that was before we found this place and moved in."

"I am willing for her to move in. She is not happy at your Aunt Mary's because of what happened to her there. I don't think your aunt really wants to stay there either."

"We have three spare bedrooms and all are separated from our room by the rest of the house."

"I know," she said, "I believe that our suite was an add-on because of how the rest of the house is built."

"I agree. It probably is. When do they want to move in?"

"Tomorrow," she replied.

"Oh. Well, I guess that's okay with me."

"I thought you would be agreeable. If you weren't, I will bribe you with my body."

"Now, that sounds good." We chuckled together. "You can start tonight."

"What?"

"Bribing me."

"Oh." We both laughed a lot. We laughed often then and still do now.

The next day, we rode over to Mary's house and helped Janice and Mary load their personal items and bring them to our home. We spent most of the day getting them moved in and set. Shirley told them both that they would have to learn the radios and would be expected to handle our little net. She also said that we needed to work on searching for other hams on the airwaves. To do that, we would need to learn more and put up some additional antennas. That evening, we introduced Mary to our radio group. They were quite glad to hear another female voice. That was particularly true when they found out that, unlike Shirley, Mary was not married. We did not mention the unfortunate circumstances regarding the Ed's.

Charlie was getting ready to leave Columbia. He would to go to see Jack first but really planned to join us. Jack was trying to decide what to do. Robert, on the other hand, had left Mississippi heading for Montgomery that day. Ted was going to come over tomorrow for the get together.

As I look at this later, it feels like a news report which, in a way, is what a journal is. Shirley and I go over these journals as a way of reminding us of where we came from and where we want to go in the future. It's also part of our teaching to the children.

The next day came bright and clear. Georgia in the springtime is beautiful By eleven, people were already gathering for the dinner and party. We toured the grounds. The menfolk talked about what I should consider to make the property into a proper farm. I was taking notes in my mind as I thought I would have to do most all of those things myself. I tried to get the subject to power and fuel for the future. No one really wanted to go there as it had fearful prospects for all of us.

After everyone left, the four of us sat in the living room and talked. Mary and Janice were more willing to talk about future issues than others in the family. Shirley and I decided that we would start checking out utility companies' offices to find maps and other information. We didn't even know how the power we were using was being generated in reality.

After checking in on the radio, we went to bed. I noted that Robert didn't check in. I mentioned it to Shirley. She said that maybe conditions weren't right or he was busy. I let it go.

The next morning, we rose and looked up power offices to decide where to go. We plotted them out on an internet map and headed out on our way after a quick breakfast. The first place we found was simply a substation and provided us with no information. The second one was more helpful and provided mapping for power grids in our general area. Using those we determined the track on a paper map for our particular grid. We were also able to trace Dad's house and Ted's as well. We had a good idea regarding where to look for the rest of the families' grid information. Taking the information with us, we went to the next stop which was the track point for our particular grid. We went inside and found more information that told us where our power originated on the bigger grid. The more I looked at this, the more I felt we had to develop our own power source and get off the grid. In the long run, this was where I thought we should be. In the short run, it was going to mean a lot of work.

I put on the list that we should start searching our property and close by areas for a water source for water power to generate electricity. There was a nice creek coming down the hill behind the house but I didn't know if it was sufficient ... We would have to do some research on what exact kind of water source we would need. I made a note on that, also. We saw no one all day. We talked to Ted once and Janice twice both by two meter repeater.

I remarked to Shirley at how deserted the area seemed to be. She agreed and said that there should be more people around if there was a three percent survival rate. She agreed with me that it might be more like three tenths of a percent. We saw no new signs that anyone had been anywhere around. As we rode back, I suggested that we set up two meter rigs with some simple instructions on how to operate and see if anyone gives a call. That would keep us away from people if we didn't like what we heard or saw. As we entered our road, I suggested to Shirley that even more important would be making a natural block on the drive and make it look unused. She looked at me and I said that there had been looters and we didn't need someone taking our place over without our knowledge much less permission. Shirley nodded slowly and reluctantly in agreement.

We got home and prepared supper. After eating, we out to the radio room and called to every one on our net. Robert didn't check in again. Charlie was ready to leave Columbia for us via Pooler. While it was a bit out of the way, he was going to see Jack both to meet him and, I think, to see if Jack wanted to come over here. We talked about being careful since Robert had not checked in for two days. At that point, we heard, "Contact."

I had learned some of the procedure and said, "Go, Contact."

"This is K4TLQ, Mitch in Talladega, Alabama. I'm sure glad to here someone out there. Where are you folks?"

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