Idling (but not idle)

It’s Day 399 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. Deb and I are fine.

Tick-tock.

First thing this morning I walked out to the bus and shut down the furnace, water heater and wet-bay heater, all of which we ran to fend-off temps that flirted with freezing last night. Looking at the extended forecast, it might be the last time we’ll need to take such measures.

Unless we drive into chilly territory, that’ll be it. For all practical purposes, Ernie finally is out of the winter woods this season.

By midday we were off to keep an appointment and complete a bunch of errands. First stop was a local Toyota dealer, where a friend runs the service department, to have regular maintenance performed on my Tacoma while it’s still free. The truck will be sitting still for months, so fresh oil and a full tank of stabilized fuel only makes sense.

Afterward we crossed over the highway to a big-box home-improvement store to pick up a couple of shop chemicals — contact cleaner and dielectric grease — to take care of a few of Ernie’s more troublesome connections before we hit the road. I haven’t yet decided if we’ll take one or both of those compounds along with us.

Then we retrieved two curbside-pickup orders we’d placed over the weekend, most of them groceries to back-fill what we’d consumed during the shakedown. Last, we made a quick stop at a drug store for personal-care this’n’that.

To stock our mobile pantry, by the way, we’ve settled on a combination of fixins for conventional meals, convenience food and, for lack of a better term, nutrition-free junk. Just like home, actually.

As far as I know, one more small Kroger run will do it and we’ll be ready to roll.

We’ve officially entered The Window of Excitement. The final days before a significant trip, and the preparations filling those days, generate a certain electricity in us.

We felt that unmistakable tingle prior to the maiden voyage with the Bumper Bunker last June, and again before Ernie’s shakedown. We’re feeling it right now — in a big way.

This will be a trip like none either of us has ever undertaken. Beyond a very general itinerary which charts our course for the first few weeks, it’s unknown and unplanned, a huge blank page waiting for us to write our story.

We truly do hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots — and take care of each other. These are dangerous times for true Americans who love Liberty.

Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath