I am feeling better today. Not my old self yet, but after a good long sleep and some meditation, I feel like the fog that has been rolling through my brain is lifting some. Maybe my brain just needs time to adjust a little better to the fact that I can walk a mile in any direction and run into the walking dead, as well as the heartbreak of constant attacks and constant loss. Maybe we're all suffering from information overload, emotional overclocking, and I just got it worse than most others.
My sister and her family left yesterday. Two full buses have dropped off settlers from up north, bringing us about fifty people so far. Jack tells us that more are coming.
Jackie will be missed around here, and not only by me and mine. Everyone liked her, or her kids, or her husband. They were a popular group among people of all ages, and we had a bit of a going away party. But she and her husband have to make their choices for the good of the kids, and all of us understand.
Now that things are stabilizing around here a bit, my brother Dave and I are getting back into the swing of planning our stages of construction. Of course, a lot of rebuilding is going on still, but we are hard at work making sure that our defenses will be up to the challenge the next time trouble comes calling.
Patrick is working with a few of the migrants from up north, one of whom was a metallurgist, another a machinist with smithing experience. Pat is in heaven, as he has always wanted to learn the craft of blacksmithing. The council (excluding him, since he is on it) has decided that he needs some time to do some things that he wants to do, explore some ways of being useful that he enjoys. Pat deserves happiness more than anyone I can think of, both for who he is and for what he has done for everyone here.
He is a demon when it comes to zombie attacks, moving with a fierce and unlikely grace for a man of his size. He always seems to be where he is most needed at those times, and yet for all of his ability in a fight, he is also one of the first to comfort those who suffer. Pat comforts those ill of heart and goes out of his way to show others that there is still something loving and gentle to be found in the world, and all of us appreciate that.
But even his rugged heart gets frayed around the edges. No one with the sort of empathy he exudes could walk away from recent events without scars. There is a subtle drag to his step, a heaviness to his smile that says he needs time just for himself. He would never ask it, of course, which is exactly why we are basically making him do it.
Ok, I need to get out and catalog some supplies. Need to get my cup of coffee (a habit that I never, ever thought I would take up. It's all swill, but damn, it wakes me up.) and head out to one of our holding areas. Funny that life in the zombie apocalypse still comes with paperwork. Who would have guessed?
Oh, and happy Fourth of July, to anyone that still sees the world in terms of countries. I'd like to think that we have moved beyond that, but to satisfy the masses, we're going to slaughter one of the cows in the field next door and have ourselves a bit of a cookout tonight.