Day 281: Brooding

It’s Day 281 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve and Day 41 of Ohio’s 21-day WuFlu Curfew.

Deb and I are fine today.

Since parking Ernie in our driveway for the winter six weeks ago, I’ve been inspired to look at maps. I’ve pored over geography and points of interest, of course, as well as routes and seasonal weather patterns. Then last weekend a USFS map gave me something else to consider.


The spring of 2021 will see the emergence of the largest brood of 17-year cicadas, the infestation with the greatest range and concentration. Designated “Brood X” (bright yellow on the map), it’ll show up in parts of 15 states. Second Chance Ranch is on the far eastern edge of the bugs’ reach in Ohio.

I wasn’t here for the 1987 emergence of Brood X, but I sure as hell remember 2004. I recall one particular trip I made from central Ohio to northern Kentucky, driving a Corvette I owned at the time. I had the windows down, the roof off and the stereo cranked as I blasted through suburban Cincinnati — and the cicadas were so damned loud that I couldn’t even hear the wind, never mind the music.

If you were around for that, you know what I mean. We’re not talkin’ crickets here. Brood X is The Cicadapocalypse. Just you wait.

Looking beyond our region, the map (see today’s header image) shows that this brood also will inundate the southern tier of Pennsylvania, as well as places like the Smokies and the north-Georgia mountains. Noted.

It occurs to me that a massive vertical slab of glass just might be The World’s Most Effective Cicada Catcher, so I probably should get Ernie’s windshield-washer circuit fixed before a warm mid-May rain awakens Brood X. I think I’ll pack an extra set of wiper blades, too, along with a jug of Simple Green, a smallish bucket and a stout sponge-and-squeegee setup. With a long handle, naturally.

Fortunately, this bus is a pusher. The radiator’s in back.

When I worked at the gun store and conversation turned to panic buying, long-timers always held up the winter of 2012-2013 as the worst. The weeks following Sandy Hook brought real concern that Congress would take up new “gun control” legislation, including a ban on “assault weapons,” and right-thinking Americans weren’t about to risk being caught short.

Setting out from Second Chance Ranch for West (By God) Virginia the morning of December 29, 2012.

Here in our household we figured we were pretty well set at the time, with one exception. To fill that gap, we gassed up my TrailBlazer and made a whirlwind day-trip to Deb’s family’s gun shop in West Virginia.

It turned into quite the adventure — 450 miles in ice and heavy snow, and not entirely without incident — but we had a great visit, made good memories and got what we came for.

That was eight years ago today.

Our American Life looks a bit different now. Our situation has changed and our personal priorities have shifted with age, wisdom and circumstance. Our values, however, are the same today as they were then — and we’ll always do what we have to do to take care of ourselves.

You take care of yourselves, too, Patriots. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

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