October 25, 1983
Whew, what a month this has been. One month ago today we lost all power and water at our house. The emergency systems at the hospital and the nursing home have barely kept up with the demand. I've heard that 'nuclear winter' may set in soon and we are low in fuel oil. This is definitely a time to turn to God because we surely can't pull ourselves out of this mess.
Mayor Workman has been going around to community meeting places, like the auditorium at Berea Elementary, telling us that there appears to be no communication so far from any federal agencies. The many of the local federal employees have quit by now, though those that have remained are working tirelessly with his office to provide the manpower to orderly provide essential goods like food and water. He told us as well that available sources of fuel in Anderson County are being utilized to keep relief crews busy throughout the upstate.
Personal vehicles, though, began to be abandoned two weeks ago. Praise God we always fill up on Fridays or our car would not have lasted as long as it has. I parked it for good on Sunday as the guage was below "E" after traveling over 300 miles back and forth to work. The major said that buses and taxis are taking priority for fuel, and that they are running regular routes during the day. For night and evening shifts, though, arrangements have to be made with law enforcement to get to work. A taxi picked me up for work on Sunday, but I walked the almost four miles home the next morning. The driver of the cab did not charge me - I guess the county or my boss is paying him - but he gladly accepted the dollar bill I gave him as a tip. I won't be doing that much more though because our cash is almost gone.
Already services at Second Pres are being cut back to just Sunday morning and early evening on Wednesday. The gymnasium, where we normally eat a meal before prayer meeting, is being changed into a kind of 'refugee center' for members and neighborhood folk alike. The kitchen at the church has so far been supplied with natural gas enough that it is able to cook a meal a day for the refugees that are staying in the gym. We talked to Casey Johnson Sunday and found out that their family had already started taking the church van. He said they would make sure it came by to pick us up tomorrow for prayer meeting. Though the children and I have been attending prayer meetings at John Calvin and Freedom churches, I like the idea of praying with my church family - especially now. Besides, even if it is just gravy and biscuits and hot Pepsi, the meal prepared on Wednesdays is one meal we don't have to cook on the pit in the back yard.
With a mention of our back yard, I guess it is good to point out that on my days off last week I got most of it dug up and prepped. I took the ashes of the grass I was able to burn as fuel in the pit and poured them back on top of the soil. I hope this helps it grow the crops I put in the spring. In the meantime, I am planting onions and garlic to harvest after the snow disappears! These things are not our favorite, but the planting season for everything else is past! Hopefully, though, Nanny's garden will be producing well in the next few weeks. Well, I had better go see if I can help with lunch - make that "dinner" since it will be our main meal today.
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