November 8, 1983
Well, I got the onions and garlic planted just in time to find out that we'll be leaving the crop to the next tenant in this place. I guess I have to be thankful that Debbie works for the county hospital system because they told her last Friday that we'll be moving before Christmas into a house close to the hospital. With fuel at a premium - even the cops are beginning to ride motor scooters - that's right motor scooters, NOT motorcycles. I don't know where they got the things, but they get great gas mileage! Well anyway, as I started to say, I guess with public transportation now running on rations, its harder and harder to get people to the workplace.
We'll be moving to the Dunean area two blocks from the hospital. Although the textile plant still runs a few days a week, their backup generators can't keep up with what they used to produce. And the market is gone anyway. Finished fabric is now being sold locally and then - who knows. We'll have a K Mart AND a Bi-Lo in our back yard! And business is booming in the health industry - I can't believe I used that term in time of war!
Meanwhile, I took time out this afternoon to take a bus over to Bob Jones to visit Chuck Creager, my wife's half-brother. He's studying to be a physicist - a science guy where I'm a math guy. We get along okay, but I worry about him because he is so close to his parents who we have no idea whether they're dead or alive. Debbie's full sister, her step-sister and other half-brother all live up north. Chuck's brother Jimmy is only 10. The sisters live with their husbands. IF they survived, that is. Life at BJ is surprisingly stable six weeks after the attacks. Chuck told me that Doctor Bob and his dad set up a tiny city there on campus. I guess other schools are doing the same thing with dorm students trapped at school with no idea if they'll ever get home. Like mine, the 'yard' at the school has become a farm. The school also has its own power plant! So it has a huge advantage as long as their kerosene holds out anyway.
Speaking of kerosene, I've heard talk that people are starting to figure out ways to make vegetable oil work in place of some of the heavier fuels. I don't know if any of this will help in time for this winter, though. I talked to a guy on Saturday who is converting space heaters like ours into wood burners. That's good news -- we're down to about five gallons in the tank. I hope the house we're moving to has a fireplace! That's the real way to go.
I've found that with Debbie working opposite shifts the only time I can write in this journal is at night before she gets home and after the kids are asleep. And so, after I parked the car, I had a great idea! For as long as the battery lasts I have light in a jury-rigged lamp using the headlight hardwired on the kitchen cabinet. A friend of mine has told me that I might be able to hook the cars alternator up to a bicycle to charge the battery, but I haven't tried that yet. I have taken it out of the car and put it in the bedroom, though, cause I've seen cars stripped for their parts right in people's yards -- a lot of the time while they slept!
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