Over a long enough period of time, you can get used to anything. Looking back over the last month, I realize that I have slowly acclimated to the threat of constant attacks, by man or zombie. I also sort of got used to the idea that it seemed like there were no large groups like ours left that weren't out to rape and pillage.
But man, was I wrong.
One of the "small groups" I contacted the other day has turned out to be a lot bigger than ours. More than a hundred. They are the reason this part of the country still has power and thus, internet. They have made a power station their home (about half of them worked there before the fall) and keep it running. They tell me that this won't last for much longer, perhaps two months if they can continue hauling coal from the local storehouses. Once those caches are gone, no more electricity unless we make it ourselves or go mine more coal. When that happens, they might come here, they might not.
A few of the other groups are bigger than expected. The crew from Cynthiana is waiting on Little David to get there (he's from there originally) and then they head toward us. Forty people, all packing supplies, weapons, and a strong willingness to work. I couldn't be happier.
Some of them managed to check out this blog on their phones, and I guess they shared with the others. It took a few hours to convince them that we aren't interested in ruling anyone's life, nor especially wanting to punish folks. There was a lot of worry among the various groups about some of my posts, what it might mean. Some of these people haven't had to fight a living person since all this began, and maybe think that we are just crazy for fights. I hope that our talks with them have alleviated at least some of this, but I do understand why, based on what I have written, people would be afraid. I scare me too, at times.
So far, no new conflicts have popped up. Ellen seems to be dealing with her anger...perhaps chopping wood when she would normally be off duty is teaching her something. Maybe swinging an axe is just a great way to blow off aggression. Or, less likely but admittedly possible, she's just enjoying the practice for a bloody spree of axe murders.
She's doing fine. I have talked to her quite a bit, she still feels as strongly as she once did, but realizes the error in taking out her frustration the way she did.
Darlene is going with Little David. It'll be good for them to get away for a while.
Patrick is being followed around by several women now, and he's just as oblivious as ever. Which is funny, since he reads this blog. One of them will trip him eventually. Hell, maybe all of them. Hope they give him breaks in between.
My brother Dave is working on some designs for new buildings he wants to start work on sometime down the road, after we get the manpower. He wants to tear down some houses and build new structures in place of them, sort of like apartment buildings but designed around our current needs. We'll need them if we keep getting more people rolling in. He's also working on the logistics and final design of the wall we're going to put up around the entire compound. That is priority one.
Mom and Gabby are working like crazy in our makeshift clinic. Everyday someone gets a cut, hits their head, or does some other thing to get hurt that requires a nurse to check out. We take our health very seriously around here, and to that end both of them are trying to locate a doctor, anywhere, that is still alive and is willing to relocate.
Haven't seen much of Al, Elizabeth, or many of the others lately. I have been taking it easy, as my damn kidney is still tender (but healing well), and have been busy with almost daily committee meetings, trying to decide on all manner of things, and then trying to figure out how to get supplies to act on those decisions, and then how to budget our limited man-hours...you get the idea. This administration stuff has been going on since day one, but since we went and got ourselves an elected "government", seems like everyone has ideas. Problem is, we're a group made up of smart, realistic, and tough people--so the ideas are usually so good, we have to try and figure out a way to implement them.
Which leaves me less time to work on other stuff. I still put in time building, chopping wood, and all the rest, but writing this is getting harder and harder. I want to--the urge to keep whoever is left to read this informed and hopeful that others are out there is too strong not to. I am getting so busy, in fact, that I may have to start getting others to cover this for times when I just can't, and may have to slow down how much I am doing, labor-wise. I'm getting about five hours of sleep right now, and more work to come.
So, I'm off. Spent too much time here already. More tomorrow.