I’ve managed to get in touch with the whole extended family — my side and Paul’s. They are fine, living a little leanly, but okay. My brother’s got a broken arm from a scuffle at the local grocery store. Apparently, even though they all live in the verdant hills of Connecticut, there’s just not as much food to go around.
I suspect that it’s a matter of distribution rather than amounts. Even Cambridge has enough food … for right now. It’s July and the farmers are rolling the stuff in by the truckload. There’s still some fighting — MIT, again, is a flashpoint, I wouldn’t go near the salt-n-pepper bridge for love or money. Not even for lemons.
It’s the little things — like lemons — that are really disconcerting. There’s more food available in markets and whatnot than there’s been in a while. Apparently the pro tem government is helping farmers fill up their tanks and they’ve got somebody organizing caravans to save on gas. (I said it before and I’ll say it again — the Children of Liberty have one ass-kicking Quartermaster.) But there are no imports from outside of the region.
Radio Free Boston — the announcers using their real names now — says it’s not a blockade, just a matter of logistics. The ports and the trains will but up and running soon.
For now, New England is doing pretty good — our farms produce got meat, veggies, fruit, milk, potatoes. But no one is growing wheat or rice in New England. There are no citrus or olive trees in New England. There are no spices in New England. Herbs a plenty but no cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. It’s going to be hard to make apple pie this year.
I seem to be the only one thinking ahead to apple pie season, though. Everyone else is having a party. The soup kitchens have become community kitchens and I spent my day making enormous batches of black bean soup. Vats of it. With fennel and carrot slaw on the side. For the first time in my memory, there are more volunteers than we need. And it’s the most happy I’ve seen anyone in almost a year. There’s singing and dancing in the back, and there are lots of pretty college students waiting the tables. People kiss me on the cheek and tell me to lighten up when I grumble.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m a dour sourpuss. But my people originally came from Russia and there’s one thing any babushka knows, deep in her bones, even in the laughing heart of summer:
Winter is coming.