A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 56: Situation Normal

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

Matilda was back.

The ignore the world and take care of business woman who was basically the ying for my yang in our camp spirit was if anything more focused than before. She still sang a song about some guy named “Ralph” every morning but that didn’t seem to slow her down.

And she still didn’t talk.

It was a normal Saturday and all about weekly chores and maintenance. That maintenance now included the root cellar. We reinforced any weaknesses we could find and shored it up a where necessary. It had stayed blessedly dry inside and the temperature seemed stable. We added some vertical posts down the center using large flat rocks from the creek for footers and wooden shims to make them nice and tight. I repurposed one of the tent thermometers so we could track the temp and humidity on a daily basis, temperature tracking was one of Sonya’s daily chores. She was tracking it on one of the tablets, I hadn’t been following how she did it just that she was doing it.

I realized then and there that I had to take firm control of the handheld technology, it was yet another finite resource that we had to ration out in hopes of extending the shelf life. After dinner that afternoon I collected up all of the phones and tablets. We actually had a pretty good inventory once piled all together on the table. I went into the electronics bay and retrieved my backup devices which were still in the box. If your plan is to go on several multi-week hunting/fishing trips out in the hinter lands of America it’s a good idea to carry a backup phone.

Before the lottery I would have just the cheapest burner phone I could buy, after the lottery I just bought two of whatever I liked and I liked outdoorsman phones. I wasn’t a dainty frail person and I didn’t need a dainty pretty phone so everything I bought was military or construction grade. Toughness and battery life were my greatest concerns.

I got the grief as I expected when I took their phones, laptops and tablets away, you would have thought I had a bunch of teenagers sitting around the table. I held strong and when the outrage died down I explained that we needed to back all that data up and then use these devices over the next decade or so, maybe longer if we got lucky. We’d keep one phone, one tablet and one laptop out for use; the rest would be packed away and brought out as needed. I hoped the batteries wouldn’t degrade too much over time, but that was just a hope; I didn’t have any data about that which I could easily find in our archives. I reminded myself to carefully read about my wallpack batteries hoping I could glean an understanding from there.

Sonya was charged with sitting down and creating a series of logs and inventories for us, we needed to keep a more exacting log of what we had. There wasn’t a 24-hour grocery just around the corner and we couldn’t allow anything to run short or food to go over so everything had to be monitored. Life had been so much easier in the modern world.

After weekly chores were finished we moved on to practical lessons we had a lot of people who had a lot to learn. We started off with equestrian lessons and by the end of the day everyone knew how Michelle wanted us to handle and saddle the horses. Sonya and the kids even got a short bit of saddle time before we were done; Holder and I got corrected a lot, it seems we had a lot of bad habits when it came to saddling and riding.

The air was cooling and rain was on the horizon, we shored up the temporary livestock shelter again and started our end of day chores. After chores were done and all the tack was stored we had a hearty rabbit and potato soup for dinner leaving drowsy people everywhere. The movie that night was Alladin which brought gasps of wonder and laughter from even the most technology jaded of us.

All in all it was a nice way to wind down for our day of rest.

Back in the modern world Sunday morning was usually a sleep-in morning, out here on the homestead you were only allowed to sleep in if you were ill. Sunday was still a day of rest though and our only plans for the day were a few classes in shooting and Matilda wanted to show everyone how to shear a llama, so shooting and a demonstration.

I had decided that Sundays would be the day that the guys cooked, which in turn meant the girls did the morning chores. Everybody got to do something different and everything still got done. So the fellas and I got busy making breakfast and we did a good job, pancakes were one of the few things you can make with powdered eggs and powdered eggs were one thing I always kept in my camping supplies. Dry eggs and dry milk; cheap, compact, lightweight, and utterly disgusting. But they were essential if you wanted good pancakes when horse packing on a hunting trip.

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