Day One -
Since the cells phones and land lines aren't working, I figured I better write some of this down. Think of it as a "good-bye" letter to my kids and wife, since I don't think it likely they will see me alive again. And I can only hope they are safe, but I have no idea if that is likely or even possible. Last I knew, they were in Vermont, visiting my wife's parents. They live in a very remote corner of a pretty remote state, so I can hope, right?
Where to start? First, the power is on, but it is intermittent. In suburban Boston, the power never goes out more than an hour or two, and that is during hurricanes and blizzards. There was no juice yesterday for six hours, and none at all on Tuesday. That makes today Thursday. Like that makes a difference. I digress, but I had to start somewhere.
Okay, the house. All of the ground floor windows are barricaded. I secured sheets of plywood on most of the downstairs windows, using 3" sheetrock screws to drill into the plaster and lathe from the inside, mostly. I was not going outside to secure the windows, even though screwing into the clapboards would have made more sense. The inside plaster is all busted up, and if this passes, I'm going to be plastering and painting every Saturday until Hell freezes over. But my gut tells me not to worry about the plaster, and that Hell has indeed already frozen over. Fuck the walls, I got most of the windows covered.
I'm kicking myself, because I went and panic bought 15 sheets of 3/4'"plywood two weeks ago, when CNN first broadcast news of strange riots outside Baltimore. I have read a fair amount of Steven King, Max Brooks, and J. L. Bourne to be moderately paranoid, even if I used to think they wrote speculative fiction. Who knew they were writing prospective histories. Fuck, Tom Clancy wrote about a 9-11 style attack years before that shit came down. So I bought all this plywood -- and bottled water and restocked the kitchen with soups and canned veggies, which my wife wouldn't notice if this blew over, and a zillion AA and D batteries. But I didn't buy any more sheetrock screws, so I have six extra sheets of plywood and no fucking screws. I ended up nailing the French doors to the t.v. room closed, and dragged the couch and our antique hutch in front of the doors for added security. Fuck if I know whether it will work, but it seems pretty robust. I grabbed all of the ladders from the the garage and slid them through second floor windows, so I can get out easy enough. I would like more screws (get your head out of the gutter...), and a gun, and two-way radio, and lots of gasoline, too. But screws, I should have thought that one out. I'm moving bedding and emergency supplies to the second and third floors. The ground floor doesn't feel safe anymore.
I wonder where the kids are? I hope my wife is okay, and staying ahead of the curve on this. I hope my father-in-law has squirreled away some ammo and pulled close the shutters. I can't do anything about their situation today, other than to hope and pray. I haven't prayed in ten years, but I did this morning. I hope God hears. Okay, I've got to work more before I bed down. Going to post this and print a copy. Maybe the kids will read this someday, if they ever come back.
Wish me luck.