Authors: R Kralik
Not Dead in the Heart of Dixie
R M Kralik
Copyright March 2014
All rights reserved
You know who you are…
It's Tuesday, December 17
It’s Tuesday, December 17
Marisa called last night to tell me she’d taken Amber to the Urgent Care Center for her persistent cough and stuffiness. Marisa’s my oldest daughter and Amber is my only grandchild.
Results from Amber’s strep test came back positive, and Marisa was surprised. There hasn’t been any fever and, other that the cough, Amber has been playing as usual.
The doctor prescribed antibiotics and a couple of steroid doses for the inflammation. Of course, she’ll have to stay home from school today, so as not to “spread the wealth.”
Marisa said the Urgent Care Center was packed to the hilt. It took a total of five hours for them to be seen, and then exit the premises.
Marisa was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis last year, but she hasn’t let it hinder her in the least. Now, she blames any silliness on her “brain lesions.”
The kids have only three days left, and then they’re out for Christmas break. Hopefully, that’ll allow all the germs to die off on school desks, door knobs, and every computer keyboard at the school.
Carisa’s my youngest daughter. She’s fifteen, and at that stage where shared illnesses are not as prevalent as they were in elementary school. I hope she can stay away from sickness for the next three days. Still, it’s a worry.
Wednesday, December 18
Amber feels better today even though they had to wait to get her prescriptions filled until last night. Because of the vast number of sick folks, the pharmacies are running out of medications quickly. Marisa had to wait on their daily shipment to arrive.
She sent Amber to bed last night with a horehound cough drop, and put out the cool mist humidifier to keep her moisture level up. It seems to have helped, and although she says sleep was sporadic for her, Amber slept well.
The news is reporting that widespread flu, strep throat, and various other kindred illness is running rampant this year. It makes me wonder... I always have a suspicious mind.
I sent Mick to Super Walmart for groceries last night. He's a night owl and he’s always up for a midnight shopping run. The only problem is that, when you send Mick to the store alone, he always comes back with twice the amount of things he went in for.
The bread and milk aisles were almost wiped out. We're expecting big thunderstorms this weekend, and possibly severe weather.
Marisa has a single wide house trailer at the bottom of our property. She never goes for milk and bread, so I have to make sure I have enough for Marisa and Amber, as well as Marisa's boyfriend, Jason.
We live in a nice cozy little house at the top of the hill. Currently there is myself, Robin, my husband, Mick, and our youngest daughter, Carisa. We are the Kappers. Marisa and Amber's last name is Phelps, from Marisa's ex-hubby.
We have nearly five acres fenced in behind our house. We have a little barn and a small herd of goats back there.
Our property is surrounded on three sides by a total of about thirty acres of wooded property.
On the right side is eight acres of woods we tried to buy once.
Past those eight acres are several country houses and a couple of house trailers.
On the left side
, there's a lot of wooded property.
The only buildings close to us is a new house built by on
e of the relatives of Mr. Stang and his mother's old home which sits empty right at the bottom of his property, parallel to Marisa's house trailer and near the road.
The new house is up the hill and back in the woods past the old Stang house. You can't see it from the road. You'd only know there was something back there because
the driveway spills out onto the main road.
Past that there are tons and tons of wooded property. I have no clue how many acres of woods there are between us and the next house.
Across the main road from our property is a huge empty field with Mr. Peterson's log cabin style home on the left border. There's a little creek that runs parallel to the field
. Behind that creek, the landscape goes up the side of a mountain. If you’re from the Rockies or the Smokies, you'd probably call it an anthill. It's actually a foothill of the Appalachian Mountain Range.
Behind the right border is a big ol' house with a big' ol pond. They have a dirt and gravel driveway
, and you can only see the house in winter when the trees are bare of leaves. We don't know who lives there. We never see them out and about and we’ve never met them.
Behind us is wood
s, and woods, and more woods.
So, anyway, I need milk and bread for six. No problem.
Thursday, December 19
Something's going on. There were two newborns
who died in the hospital last night. No one knows why, or they aren't telling.
Rumor mill says that both babies had been suffering
from something akin to a cold or flu for the past few days, but there were no expectations of serious illness. Both babies were sleeping when last reports were made. They were just, dead, when the evening shift came on duty.
I'm somewhat of a "prepper." Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not the "tinfoil saving, margarine bowl hoarder" that I've seen in others. I'm just very mindful of waste, want, and need. I tend to think ahead these days. It must be age and the realization that I won't live forever.
Last year, the 2012 predictions crawled into my daily thinking. I wanna say that I'm too smart to believe in that type of baloney, but what if the terrorists or some other loose cannon does believe in it and goes around making life hard for the rest of us? I'm just sayin', you know, nothing wrong with being a little extra prepared.
I need to get out of here and watch the news to find out if there’s anything new.
Bye for now.
Friday, December 20
! School's out 'til January 6th. I'm looking forward to Christmas, and family, and all that good stuff. I really like it when my kids are home. I'm one of those parents who actually
their kids, but I’m not disciplined enough to homeschool them. I wouldn't be a good school teacher. My mom and sister both have that talent. Mom is retired and in a few years my sister will retire as well. I'm a bit of a free spirit and I’ve held several different jobs and a double handful of hobbies in my 50 years of life. I like the simpler things like homemaking, pottery, gardening, quilting, knitting, and stuff like that. Mick's a computer programmer for a large company, and he's forty-four. Yep, I robbed the cradle.
is both doing much better. We're in "prepare for Christmas" mode, trying to get last minute gifts wrapped and decorations done.
We're also getting ready for our parts of the big family get-together.
I've gotta run to Super Walmart later today. I hope there's not too many "family reunions" blocking the aisles and I can get in and out fast(ish).
Saturday, December 21
Super Walmart was miserable. There was no place to park and we had to drive around the lot three times before we got a spot. I should've gone earlier in the week, or had Mick pick up the extras with his prior grocery run.
It took a good two hours to get what little supplies I needed. There we
re "family reunions" everywhere and the line to pick up lay-a-ways reached into the grocery section.
Stock boys and girls were rolling out pallets of food to try and refill the shelves faster than the items could be taken for purchase. It wasn't working
, and we ended up standing and waiting for brown sugar and pecans of all things! Of course, on the way home I realized that I knew how to make my own brown sugar and I was just as mad at myself as I was at all the crazy shoppers. I have pecans hidden away, but I wanted to rotate those with new ones. I hope I got everything because there is no way I'm going back there until after New Year's Day is in the books. I might plop out a buffet of PB & J for the day after Christmas. Nah... We'll still have plenty of leftovers.
Jason called today and asked if I'd mind feeding the goats so he could go deer hunting.
No problem. Half of them are mine. I need to get out to see them more often. They’re sweet little goats and just as cute as buttons. Before all my back problems, I spent a lot of time with 'em.
Jason wanted his own little herd
, so we allowed him to house them here if he promised to do the daily feeding and maintenance. It was a good deal, and it's working great. We sell the babies in the spring and usually make enough money to cover feed and other needs for the herd until the next kidding season. I haven't thought of getting rid of them. They're a part of the place, and we enjoy kidding season with little baby goats jumping all over the place.
I hope tomorrow's a good day.
Bye for now.
Sunday, December 22
The Sunday paper came with strange news today. There’s overwhelming numbers of sick folks, but that's not the strange part.
Our small hospital lost four patients yesterday to an unknown illness. One of the patients bit one of the nurses, and now she's sick and in the hospital for care. Oh man! This sounds too much like those fiction novels I've read. I hope they get this figured out soon. Our little hospital doesn't usually lose four patients in an entire
time. They say that this illness isn't what killed the babies.
I'm nervous about all the illness going around. I hope Christmas visits can be limited to just the two family suppers.
I intend to spend some serious time today, down in the basement with a clipboard and my prep supplies. I need to know exactly what we have for my own peace of mind. I also need something to keep my mind off these strange deaths.
Amber is almost over her own sickness. We're all feeling fine and peppy except for me, of course. I have that little devil on my shoulder telling me to make sure all my "goods" are still good.
Sometimes I can be over zealous in my preps, especially when somethin
g bad is happening in the world or there’s an unbelievable sale. It'll all get eaten one way or another. I might be eating 20 year-old-oatmeal with Red Feather butter when Mick retires and the pay goes down, but that's okay, at least it'll be "paid for" oatmeal and butter.
We never got those severe thunderstorms
, but we're getting a nice soaking rain right now. The weather man says it should rain until mid-morning tomorrow and then be clear and cooler than last week.
The phone's ringing... G
Monday, December 23
The nurse didn't make it. She went out in a blaze of glory after going crazy and running around the second floor for thirty minutes before security was able catch her and get her restrained.
They sedated her heavily and put her back in her room with a guard at the door. Two hours later, according to all wires and cords she had hooked up, she was dead but continued to convulse, snap her teeth, try to bite, and be violent. I'm thinking the rumor mill got that part of the story wrong. "Life after death" isn't supposed to mean getting back up and eating someone else for supper.
No one is reporting what happened to her after that. There's a private funeral scheduled on the 26th at the Methodist Church in town. Nana says it'll be a "closed coffin" funeral. My suspicious mind wonders if the nurse' body will actually be in that coffin.
Nana called to tell me the news. It seems this unknown illness is not restricted to
our neck of the woods. Several of my relatives are hearing news of it in Georgia and Oklahoma.
The hospital has six more patients with the unknown illness.
It was discovered that the nurse visited several rooms on her half-hour crazy tour. The hospital contacted the CDC in Atlanta and they're sending a team to investigate. No one can get in or out of the hospital until the team arrives, determines the origin and threat, and releases the hospital from quarantine.