January 4, 1984
It seems a little strange, it being the long "predicted" 1984. George Orwell's classic tale of a land ruled by a socialistic leader who took Machiavelli to the extreme has served as a warning to Western democracies of what the world would be like if the ways of the Soviet Union prevailed. Orwell was writing in post-war England in 1948 as London was rebuilding from German attacks not so many years earlier. He knew that Russia was an ally in that war, but he also realized the danger of the socialism that nation represented.
Well, I guess he was right, in a way, Russia seems to have been much more evil that even president Reagan imagined. For all of his talk, I shouldn't be surprised that Russia's leader Yuri Andropov attacked us. The man was KGB, and from what I have read those guys are not nice! Well, we survived his attacks, for now anyway. The winter is about to set in, though, and without electricity we'd better hope that the wood holds out.
As scheduled, I was working Sunday night when the year began. The silence was broken in the minutes before midnight by fireworks in the neighborhood. I don't know if the firecrackers were left over from the Fourth or whether people actually spent money on them instead of more important things. There's no explaining some folks. At least the patients I take care of didn't particularly care. Many of them only have days to live anyway, since we now are a kind of clearing house for the morgue. I think it's called 'hospice' and we are trying to keep the people comfortable without much more than out of date narcotics. I still visit some of the elderly folks that we sent home to live with family as part of my job, though. They at least have the comfort of knowing their family is near.
The good news is that we now have running water! Mayor Workman's office has worked with the utility companies to bypass electric pumps with a low pressure system bringing water downhill from the lakes and reservoirs. Flushing toilets is forbidden, though, since the sewage treatment system cannot handle the waste. Our outhouse is going to have to last a bit longer, I guess. As it is, runoff from the drainage systems is going directly to the rivers downstream. I suppose this is not good news for folks living downstream!
Well, Debbie will be home soon (it's been dark for some time and the kids are in bed). So I think I'm going to put down the pencil and paper and pick up a book to use up a little more of this light. I finally got plans on how to hook the car's old alternator up to a bicycle to charge the battery. Now if I can only get it working before the battery goes dead!
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