The Last People XXXV – Anhah

Mountains and Rivers 159

At the end of the Sabbath meal, Anhah leaned over, and spoke to Anuniaq in her Inuit dialect. The dialect was slightly different than his own, so he needed to listen carefully. She said, “She is here, she is the one, and I know it now for sure.” She was looking at Cathy at the time. Anuniaq wasn’t surprised, but he wanted to make sure he understood, so he asked in Inuit, “You mean Cathy?” The word Cathy did not translate, so at this, everyone looked up, especially Cathy, who wondered what they were saying.

Embarrassed, Anuniaq looked down at his plate, and stabbed a piece of potato, with his fork. But Anhah continued in Inuit, “Yes…..she will bring strength and light to our people.” She smiled gently at both Cathy and Cory now.

Jeremiah headed for the refrigerator, and started placing small bowls of fruit on the table, when suddenly Anhah grabbed her chest, in obvious pain. “Ohhh!” she yelled. Anuniaq began speaking very loud (because of fear) in Inuit, “She needs more medicine! I brought her here so you could help her!!” Everyone looked at him with blank faces, but as Jeremiah came over, Anuniaq repeated the same thing to Miriam in French.

Within seconds Miriam spread the word about Anhah needing heart medication, and Jennifer and Cathy sprang into action, breaking out their laptops. Jennifer searched for different medications, while Cathy looked for medical centers close by, that had cardiac departments. Miriam and Jeremiah helped Anhah to Jennifer’s room which was closest, and into bed. Miriam was busy translating to Jeremiah, all about Anhah’s heart condition, and what she had been taking. Anuniaq produced an empty pill bottle, which was in French. Miriam tossed it to Jennifer to look up, after telling her what it was in English.

Jeremiah was talking to Anhah, through Miriam interpreting, when he heard Cathy yell in the next room, “Memorial Hospital has a cardiac department!” “They are only 21 miles away – I’m printing directions now!”

As Jeremiah began taking Anhah’s blood pressure, Anhah motioned for Anuniaq to come closer. He did, and she pulled on his shirt so that his ear was next to her. In Inuit she said, “Listen, you must hear this, in case I die tonight!” “You must be very, very gentle with Cathy……take time and teach her our ways……you must be very gentle, because she has been wounded.” Anuniaq did not ask how she knew this, he just listened. She was after all, a seer. “And consider moving the people to southern Quebec, perhaps near Ottawa…..it would be better for all of us.”

Jeremiah did not like the looks of Anhah’s blood pressure, it was sky high. He heard Jennifer yell, “I have the list of medications you need, and they will not conflict with each other!” “I’m printing it out now!” In less than ten minutes, from Anhah’s first sign of pain, Jeremiah and Anuniaq were headed out the door to Memorial Hospital. They would be picking up any medical equipment they could find, including, an EKG machine, that would help monitor her heart, as well as the lifesaving drugs, Anhah so badly needed.

Miriam gave Jeremiah a kiss on the way out the door, and called him, “My Prince”, this time in English, which put a smile, on everyone’s face.

To be continued.

       

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People XXXIV – Traditions

Canada and More 224

As they pulled into the lane of their farm, Jeremiah got out to open the two sets of gates, when Miriam’s phone buzzed with a message. Since everyone that she knew well was in the van, it had to be Roger in France, or…..it was…..and it was from Anuniaq, in Northern Quebec! She began reading Anuniaq’s message in French, while Jeremiah was finishing the second gate. She became so excited, she yelled out the window, “Jeremiah come quick!”

When he leaned in to the open window of the van, Miriam explained, “Anuniaq is coming to the farm, and he is bringing someone with him!” “You mean they’re coming here??”, Jeremiah was astonished. Miriam said yes and Jeremiah asked, “Won’t they get stuck in the snow?” “If they don’t get stuck in the snow coming down here – what about on the way back?” Miriam had already dismissed his question, and said, “He won’t get stuck Jeremiah, because he is driving a commercial snow plow!”

It was three days later when they heard the roar of a large diesel coming down Stevenson Lane. They had a habit of keeping a few windows open, to take in the crisp fall air, but only during the day. The diesel was sounding like the 18 wheelers they used to hear so often.

It was a Friday and they were all preparing for the Sabbath meal. Jennifer loved these times, and was hoping Miriam would teach her the prayers someday soon. She loved the language and the tradition, and was dreaming of doing the same, whenever she had her own place again. She was beginning to think of having a family, maybe even more than baby Jacob, and herself. She believed now that her boyfriend Jacob would have wanted that for her. She admired the candle holders, as she placed them on the table, and placed the candles in each one.

Miriam was hoping that Jeremiah would pull out of the slump he was in. He had been sulking ever since he heard the news about some of the Inuit coming, but he wouldn’t tell her what it was about. Privately, he was worried about being behind schedule for getting ready for winter. The Kentucky trip had taken up several days, even though it was needed, and now he was certain the visitors from Quebec would take up even more of their time. And besides all that, the house was too crowded!

His mood changed dramatically when he saw Anuniaq get out of the huge snow plow, and then help the passenger down from the cab of the truck. They all rushed out of the house to meet them. Anuniaq spoke French mostly to Miriam, after his initial shock at how tall she was. He was about 30 years old, with a strong, quiet looking face. He introduced his passenger as Anhah. She was a short, older woman with long, flowing, silver-gray hair. Her face showed the wrinkles of having survived many rough years, and yet the all joys, and cultural strength of the Inuit. Her eyes sparkled with life. Jeremiah noticed immediately that these two were filled with peace, and they were gentle spirits.

As they all sat around the Sabbath dinner table, Miriam covered her head and began chanting the prayers so familiar to the Pennsylvania survivors. She was singing as she lit the candles, and the words in Amharic were welcoming the Sabbath. Jeremiah joined in for some it and Jennifer too, when she remembered the words. Cathy and Cory were smiling ear to ear, loving the sounds of the languages.

Miriam also sang the same prayers in French, for their guests that night. Their eyes teared up with the sheer beauty of the moment. Unexpectedly Anhah began singing in her Inuit dialect. Everyone was stunned, especially when they heard the translation:

Oh Great One, Oh Great One

We thank You for this food, for this food,

Give us the strength, to hunt and fish again,

And in this place, to gather in the food,

Oh Great One, Oh Great One

No one said a word after they heard this. They just soaked in the beauty. One thing was for certain though…….. life on planet earth was becoming more beautiful all the time.

      

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People XXXIII – The Journey Home

Oceans 2032

It wasn’t until they reached the interstate that the silence was broken. Cathy said, “It’s good, that you buried him Jeremiah.” “It was the right thing to do.” They shook their heads yes, but it was the change in Cathy that they were most happy about. She looked….well….she looked so free now. Jeremiah thought for a minute, as he watched Miriam driving the van, then he said, “He was someone’s son….” It was all he could think of to say. They didn’t know it at the time, but it would be the last time anyone would mention Lance. Cathy put her hand on Jeremiah’s shoulder, and said, “Thank you.”, and she meant it.

By the time they reached the West Virginia border, the mood changed even more. Jeremiah was driving, when Miriam spoke to him in perfect Amharic, “My Prince, you were wonderful today, I look forward to seeing you later…..” She gave him a little wink. He chuckled, and even though his Amharic was a little rough, he managed to say in her language, “My Queen, it was the Creator, (he had trouble with the word Creator) that did the work today.” He continued with, “You will always have my heart”.

Suddenly Jennifer took her seatbelt off, leaned forward from the seat behind them, and stuck her head between Miriam and Jeremiah, while saying, “Hey Miriam can you teach me some Amharic?!!” “That way, I’ll know some of this love language, the two of you are always talking!” Miriam and Jeremiah were both embarrassed, but it was funny, so they chuckled too, with everyone else.

Cathy added her two cents, when she said, “You do talk in “code” a lot you guys.” Miriam and Jeremiah were blushing but they did smile sheepishly, at each other. They were both thinking that they would more careful with the love talk.

It was 8 year old Cory that brought up the topic of food. “Mommy I’m hungry!” “I sure wish I had some of your fried chicken!” Jennifer followed that with a question, by asking if the chickens in the surrounding farms were safe. Up to this point Jeremiah had only been using frozen chicken when he cooked, and it was the only meat they had been using.

Miriam asked “Should we be vegetarian?” “What should the village of the new earth look like?” This sparked a long discussion as they turned onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and headed east. They all discussed meat, and whether or not they should eat it. Was it cruel? Miriam did point out that the Old Testament gave a lot of instructions about food. And she added, “We have run every test possible on the chickens nearby, and we can find nothing wrong with them.”

Jennifer added, “You have not tasted chicken, until you have tasted my mother’s recipe for orange chicken!” With that they all voted again, only for the second time, as a group (the first time had been about guns). If someone wanted to be vegetarian, or even vegan, that was fine, but they would raise chickens on the farm. It was unanimous.

There was only one problem, Cory said, “Mommy I’m still hungry…..and more hungry than ever!” Her mouth was watering at the thought of orange chicken. Cathy reached into the cooler they were carrying, and pulled out a tomato and lettuce sandwich, with mayonnaise. Cory took one look at it and said, “Mom!”

To be continued.

     

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People XXXII – Forever Friends

Mountains and Rivers 274

“He’s dead??” Cathy asked with an astonished look on her face. Jeremiah shook his head yes, and said, “Very much so.” Her eyes grew wide, but she did not have the reaction that Jeremiah though she would, at least not at first. She sat on the grass, next to him, drew her legs up, and planted her head firmly in her knees, and wrapped her arms, around her legs. She said nothing. It was as if, she was pulling into herself.

After a long silence, Cathy said, “Miriam?” Miriam moved towards her instinctively, and said softly, “Yes…Cathy…” “Miriam do you remember when you told me about crossing oceans…..?” Miriam managed to maneuver her long frame down, to sit next to Cathy, and said, “Yes sweetheart….” Miriam felt herself being very tender now. Without looking up, Cathy continued, “Well I need to do some of that now…….crossing oceans…….and well….…you’re the closest thing I have to a mother………so……….would you hold me?” Cathy lifted her head, just as Miriam silently extended her long arms towards her. Cathy fell into them, and landed on Miriam’s shoulder.

It was then that the floodgates opened. “Ooooohhhhhh God!” All of the emotion came to the surface, with huge sobs, weeping, and crying. Tears were streaming down Cathy’s face, and onto Miriam. “I was so, so scared!!!……..” Miriam responded by holding her closer, with both hands on Cathy’s back. “I know.”, was all that Miriam could say. Cathy continued with, “I know it’s not right, but I’m glad…….I’m glad he’s dead!!” There was more weeping. No one realized Cory was weeping too, and she came up behind her mother, wrapped her arms around her mother’s neck, and yelled, “Mommy!” Miriam let go and Cathy embraced her daughter, and an even greater flood of tears began. They cried for at least five minutes, the two of them together.

Jennifer was crying too. She had never seen such raw emotion, and such beauty before. She found herself looking away, overcome with feelings, as she held baby Jacob to her own shoulder. One thing was for certain. It was at this moment she realized, that she loved these people. She wanted to be with them, or close to them, always. They were her family now.

As she looked up into the beautiful fall sky, she thought of her boyfriend Jacob. Oh how she wished he was here, holding her, right now! She thought…..looking into the clouds…..well it sort of looked like…. his face. Jacob was always so handsome…..she closed her eyes, and it was if she could feel his arms around her. And then……it was if she could hear his voice. He said, “You are headed in the right direction – keep going this way…..” And then he was gone. Jennifer whispered quietly, as if he was still there, “I will…. my love…..I will……”

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People XXXI – Burying Fear

Mountains and Rivers 020

“Oh no you don’t!” “You’re not leaving my here all alone!” It was Jennifer yelling, even though she had just put Jacob back to bed, after a feeding. She continued with, “Think about it…..you want me to stay out here, in the middle of nowhere, with a baby, and there’s a bear in the neighborhood!” Jeremiah had not thought of it that way. She was right for sure, and he knew it. Jacob began crying, wondering why is Mom was yelling. Jeremiah looked at the clock in the kitchen, and saw it was 3:32 am. He paused, then said, “How soon can you be ready?”

As they began loading the van they had, Jeremiah slipped into the darkness, to call Roger Preston. He and Monique were still in France. When Roger picked up, Jeremiah said “Roger?”. “Jeremiah my good man!” Roger was always glad to hear another person’s voice. Jeremiah explained where they were going and why. Roger knew all about Kentucky, from Cathy telling him, just last week. Roger said, “And it could be dangerous, if the man is as crazy, as he sounds.” “Yes…” Jeremiah continued with, “I’m also calling to ask for prayer.” “Meaning, Monique prays, so can you ask her?” Jeremiah was not all that religious, but he knew a good resource when he saw one. Roger said he would ask her, and that he would send up some positive thoughts as well.

They left at exactly 4:10 am, which was good considering all they needed to load. In addition to some overnight bags, there was a diaper bag, a stroller, and a playpen. Jeremiah thought, “Why do women need to carry so much?” He didn’t tell anyone, but he also put a wooden case in the back, which contained a beautiful 12 gauge shotgun, with a carved stock. And he packed a pair of binoculars and a telescope, so they could look the place over from a distance.

They drove west towards Pittsburg, then southwest, down into West Virginia, and did not stop (except for short breaks) until they reached the Kentucky border. It had been 9 hours of straight driving, and they were exhausted already. Two hours later they were in the hills, and close to the cabin that Cathy and Cory had stayed in.

Cathy and Cory were in the middle seat holding each other, and absolutely terrified. Cathy was holding Cory with one arm, and her purse in the other, which still carried the huge handgun. Once in a while Cory would whisper, “Mommy, I’m scared.” Cathy held her closer.

About a mile, from the cabin driveway, Jeremiah pulled over the van and told everyone to wait there. “If he comes after you…..you know what to do.” Taking several cases with him out of the back, he headed for a deer trail, and some hills that would give him a good view of the cabin, without being too close. They waited. It was the longest 20 minutes of Cathy’s life.

Suddenly, Miriam’s phone rang. They all jumped, Miriam answered and said, “Yes?” Then, “Ok, yes we will.” She continued with, “Jeremiah says there is no danger, but we all need to come to where he is, on top of the hill.”

Once they got to the top, they found Jeremiah sitting on the ground with the telescope, pointed at the cabin. He motioned for Cathy to come close. “Look through here.”, he said. It took a minute for Cathy to focus her eyes through the lens.

She gasped. She saw Lance’s badly decomposed body, on the front porch, covered in blankets, in the rocking chair.

To be continued.

       

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People XXX (30) – We Stick Together

Mountains and Rivers 155

They talked late into evening. It was the first time really, that they had made a big decision, together as a group. Miriam was the one that was most afraid of guns, and Cathy was the one most afraid, to not have one. After a lot of talking, and after sending Cory to bed, they voted. Each person said yes, but they needed restrictions.

Any guns they had, were not to be used against people, unless for some reason, they were attacked, and even then they should talk about it, if possible. It had to be a life threatening situation. The same was true of any bears, or other animals in the area, that would be harmful. Jeremiah gave the example of a dog having rabies, trying to bite them. They would simply have no choice. A bear being in the vicinity, was not a sufficient reason to shoot the animal. No one wanted that.

They all noticed though how Cathy could not wait to get her hands on the .357 magnum. It was strange really, and her face even changed, once she had it in her hands. Miriam asked her though, to please keep it in the kitchen, on top of the refrigerator.

Over the next week, Miriam, Jennifer, and Jeremiah all noticed a continued change in Cathy’s behavior. She was more jumpy, and actually carried the pistol in a holster, on her belt. Any sudden noise outside made her jump. Late one night, Miriam and Jeremiah were talking in bed, when the topic came up. They both agreed, that Cathy was still very much afraid, and that they would talk to her about it the morning.

After breakfast Jeremiah asked to speak to Cathy outside. Suddenly Jacob vomited all over the kitchen floor, and Miriam and Jennifer were busy cleaning it up, so Jeremiah had no choice but to tackle the issue by himself.

Outside Jeremiah said, “Cathy you’ve changed over the past week, you seem very afraid.” She said nothing but sighed, and looked down at the ground. “The gun has made your fear worse, much worse……instead of you being more confident.” Gathering courage he continued, “We should go down to Kentucky, together Cathy, and face Lance – Miriam and I……well…… we can go with you.” Cathy panicked and stuttered, “No! I….. I…… cannot do that…..there’s no way!”

“Cathy do you always want to live with the fear, that Lance is after you, waiting behind every bush, ready to jump out at you?” There was a long pause, and Cathy continued to look down. She said, “No, I don’t.” He knew he was being too pushy, and was about to apologize, when she burst into tears, and ran into the house.

It was almost midnight when Cathy knocked lightly on the Miriam and Jeremiah’s bedroom door. Miriam was asleep, but Jeremiah was up with a light on, reading The Prophet, by Gibran. He put on his robe, and saw Cathy, when he opened the door.

She said, “Can we leave in the morning?” “I’m tired of being a victim!” Jeremiah shook his head yes, and said, “And we will be right there with you…….you’ll see……we stick together.” “Is 4:00 too early?”, he asked. “No, the sooner the better.” And she went back to bed.

Just before falling asleep, Cathy thought of Jeremiah’s words, “We stick together.” Her mother used to say that…….especially during the tough times…….. Cathy slept soundly for a few hours, until the alarm went off.

To be continued.

       

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People XXIX – The Bear

Growing Up and More 013

Cathy’s purse, with the .357 magnum revolver, was kept in the kitchen, on top of the refrigerator. Miriam hated having it in her house, but didn’t say anything, except to Jeremiah. She knew Cathy still needed healing from her time with Lance, and she was scared he might follow them to the farm. She also knew Cathy wanted the pistol close by, just in order to feel safe.

Miriam was mainly concerned about Cory though. She was a good kid, but what if she got curious one day, and climbed up there? She shuddered at the thought.

Now that it was early fall, Jeremiah spent most of his days in the fields, getting the soil ready for next spring’s planting. He was getting used to driving the large tractors, including a John Deere 3460. He was using something called a rake, pulled behind the tractor, and he even did some plowing, in preparation for next year. It didn’t matter if the rows weren’t straight, it was all just practice.

The rest of the Pennsylvania survivors weren’t interested in using the large equipment, but they did want to start bringing in the harvest from nearby farms. They would all need food for the winter. Cathy and Cory spent two whole days harvesting green beans and brought back a pickup full, along with some late blooming watermelon. Miriam concentrated on bringing in corn and potatoes, and some of them were sweet potatoes, which she loved. She had to take it easy though, and only picked what she could.

Jennifer mostly stayed at home, but once in a while she was able to pick some tomatoes, and peas. She discovered a patch of blackberries once, and ate herself sick, along with putting some in the buckets. Jacob did very well, strapped onto her back.

One morning Cathy, Cory, and Miriam were in a potato field at a nearby farm, when they heard a rustling sound in the woods close by. They stopped picking, straightened their backs, and listened. They became perfectly still, when they saw something large, and black, break through the brush. Two eyes peered at them. They were so terrified they could not breathe. Remaining perfectly still (even Cory) they realized there was no place to run. It was a bear, and they had no way to protect themselves.

The bear sniffed the air, looked away from them, and began walking along the edge line of the woods. Cathy was trembling, but fortunately the bear kept walking until it was gone. Once it was out of site, they all ran for the blue Mazda SUV, and drove back to the farm as fast as they could.

So the question around the dinner table that night, was what do they do about guns? Didn’t they need to protect themselves? Even Miriam was beginning to think so. They needed to bring in the harvest for at least another 3 weeks, and nobody wanted to be in the presence of a bear without one.

To be continued.

     

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”