Sunday, August 3, 2014

Part 26

"First we need to go through your back pack."

"Why?" I asked suspiciously.  Only time anyone ever wanted to go through my stuff was so that they could "share" or "borrow" it.

"I need to make sure you have all the gear you might need.  Plus it looks way too heavy for someone your size."

I told him, "I'm stronger than I look.  I can carry my stuff."

"Maybe you can, but there might be some better equipment you can exchange your old stuff for.  Uncle Simon carried some really good gear and down the street is a shop that catered to campers and backcountry hikers.  At least let's look to see about cold weather gear.  Let's start with socks ... and you need better shoes.  Those canvas things won't do anything but let your feet get wet, cold, and from there it only gets worse."

I finally gave in.  It just made more sense.  Jace had something to teach me and it was stuff I needed to learn.  I learned last winter to make it in the city when it was cold.  Insulation and layering was the big thing I learned about.  And fighting for my share of the food.  But I'm thinking that surviving winter in the woods is going to be a lot different if I'm thinking of it right.  Dad would have said don't look a gift horse in the mouth.  Jace wasn't a horse but he was a guard dog.  If I was going to have a guard dog I might as well let him do his job.

Within a couple of hours I had several changes of warm clothes - from the skin out - three pairs of new shoes plus two pair of hiking boots, a couple of hats, and a lot of personal camping gear.  Jace had also picked out sleeping gear, a tent, ground cloth, and I don't know what all else.  He said we are going back tomorrow with some empty crates and grab a bunch more stuff.  When I asked why he said that even if we don't use it on the road we have no idea how well set up the cabins at Singing Waters will be ... assuming we get there and they aren't already occupied.

He was also making a list of tools like bolt cutters to remember and pack.  "Dee Dee, why do you keep asking why?"

"Because I want to know why.  If I don't ask then how do I know that I'm understanding the reasons for stuff?"

He sighed.  "OK, but how's this?  How about you save your questions until later in the day?  The more you make me stop and explain things as we go the longer it is going to take."

Trying to decide whether to be insulted or not I asked, "Are you saying I talk too much?"

I'll credit him with at least thinking about it for two seconds before answering.  "Let's just say you could slim back the number of words you use a little and it wouldn't hurt anything."

That night, after I had thrown together a vegetable stew, he told me, "I didn't say you had to shut up completely."

"I didn't," I told him.

"Might as well have."

Sighing in irritation I told him, "I ... look ... I'm either on or off.  I don't know how to be both at the same time.  I like to ask questions because I like to get answers so I understand stuff.  I don't like feeling stupid.  I really don't like being stupid."

He shook his head.  "It isn't stupid or not stupid that I'm talking about.  And it's not being on or off, whatever that means."

"Then what?"

"We don't have much time to try and go through everything around here to see what all you might need ... not just on this trip but in your new camp.  You don't know what might or might not be available to you there."

"OK, I'll admit that Singing Waters isn't exactly in the middle of a shopping district but ..."

"No buts.  Whatever was there last time might not be there this time.  You might even have to pick a new spot if it has been taken over by people that don't want to take you in."

Stung I told him, "I don't need anyone to take me in.  I don't want to be at the bottom of the pile anymore.  You get stepped on too much down there."

He nodded.  "Fine.  But you still need to go prepared for there to be either nothing, next to nothing, or for a potential change in plans to a place that there might as well be nothing.  And there is a limited amount of space to haul stuff with, and even then the truck could break down and you'll only have what is on your back."

"Can I ask you something?"  He shrugged after rolling his eyes.  "You said you would teach me stuff.  I'm asking because you aren't explaining.  You said you would but you aren't, you're doing everything for me.  You said you would teach me how to do things and yet ... yet it sounds like you either don't want to or you aren't even going to stick around.  So which is it?  I kinda need to know."

He looked uncomfortable but nodded.  "I know I said I would teach you things and I will; but, I also want to get out of here.  Winter is going to come down hard sooner rather than later.  No one knows what is coming in the next hour much less tomorrow so I'm trying to hurry and get set for what might be coming down the road..  The sooner you really understand what it is going to mean to be self-sufficient the better off you will be.  And it will be easier to teach you that stuff from a secure place so I can see what you have to work with ... and you say the place you want to secure is Singing Waters."



  1. Thanks for the new chapter Kathy

  2. There's know moar,all caught up. This is great. Pour it on!