Sunday, October 30, 2011

Long View

I talk about what's going on around me a lot, and who important this trip is. I yammer about the things that have happened and how brutal some of them have been. I was going to focus today on the nearly herculean effort of Sparta to set up fuel depots all over the landscape. I'll still give it some time, because it's worthy, but after I want to tell you something simple.

We carry enough fuel to go a VERY long distance without running dry. The bed of our truck is stuffed with homemade tanks that give us the mobility to go somewhere between seven and nine hundred miles without refueling. That's ignoring idle time and the like, but it's a lot of backup gas to have. We've topped off a few times, and the folks from Sparta have done their part to make sure the convoys of supplies have enough go juice to make trades happen. It isn't just the massive stockpile they're sitting on, either--the whole area of the country Sparta sits in is chock full of fuel supplies. Enough to probably keep trade in operation for years if the gas doesn't go flat and useless. Enough time to breed horses to take over when the gas runs out. Slow, very slow, but maybe the only option down the road.

That's just one small speck of the larger economy we're trying to build. Thinking about the challenges we face as a species to survive and thrive in the months and years ahead is enough to take the focus away from anyone. Do communities try to move from less than ideal locations and merge together? Maybe, but that comes with the risk of putting too many eggs in one basket, endangering more lives in a given area if there's a zombie attack. Also, the strain on local resources is always something to consider.

A million thoughts like this fill my head pretty much all the time. So, today, I'm taking a break from it. There's been so much going on during this trip that some very basic truths about it are overlooked. I write once a day, four out of five days, and maybe I give the impression that I'm always slammed with things to do. When we're at a community, that's usually true. On the road in between, there's a lot of down time to think about all the stuff I wrote above. It can become overwhelming to the point of insanity.

So I'm doing something simple and fun today. I'm reading books. My little solar charger still works despite the weakening sunlight from winter coming, and I've charged up my Kindle. Kind of a funny thing, really, me buying such an expensive piece of consumer electronics when I couldn't really afford it. I've used it on and off since The Fall, as it has copies of probably three hundred books I bought on it. I'm a bibliophile, and a nifty device that holds hundreds of books is like hard drugs to an addict. It's a good thing The Fall happened when it did, as I was spending WAY too much money on books before the world ended.

Kidding, kidding. But I'll admit, it's a little freeing to know I won't have to pay those credit cards back, you know?

So today I'm getting to read a series of books I've managed to avoid over the years. Not intentionally, it just seemed there was always something else to read that was more important. I'm going to sit back, relax, and dive into a world of fantasy for a day. A little escapism is just what I need to get my head back in the game.

I think everyone should find some time to do the same. In the long term, it's the only way to keep from losing perspective.

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