Report from the OP, August 16, 2021

It’s amazing how 2 days can change so much.

We went on a long-scheduled group RVing trip (you can’t call it camping when it has AC and a microwave) with a group of friends this weekend. The campground was in the mountains of Virginia, near the small town of Fancy Gap. The weather was a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of home. A couple of thousand feet of elevation does amazing things.

The sheer normalcy of the place was almost a shock. Everyone was friendly, waving and talking, even to complete strangers. At an ice cream social/fundraiser for a local kids’ camp we met a very nice couple from West Virginia who are relocating to North Carolina in order to be near their adult kids and the grandkids. The campground raised over $400 in 30 minutes.

At other times, while there was talk of politics and our current situation, it was mostly short and said with a sigh. I think people are mentally preparing themselves for what is coming, but it seems that, for the weekend at least, they just really didn’t have the energy to be angry.

Mrs. Freeholder and I decided to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway. She had never seen Mabry Mill, and it’s probably been 25+ years since I have. It was one among several stops to view the beauty that is the Appalachian Mountains. We also ate lunch at Jane’s Country Cafe in Meadows of Dan, VA along the way. Try the lemon raspberry cake.

(I just got an alert from the AlertsUSA service that *President Biden will be addressing the nation at 3:45 this afternoon. What the *President has to say is unimportant and we do not hear his words. )

Gas prices in Virginia are now on par with North Carolina after the clowns that infest Richmond raised gas taxes. There used to be a thriving cross-border trade as North Carolina citizens who lived near the state line went to Virginia to buy gas. That doesn’t happen now, and I noticed one closed gas station that I know used to do big business. Elections have consequences.

Tourism seemed to be rather off in terms of volume. On a weekend like this, I would have expected to see a lot more non-Virginia plates than I did. Traffic on the parkway was more like mid-week rather than weekend. People also didn’t seem to be buying the t-shirts and other touristy sorts of things at the places where we stopped. Food, snacks and gas were what sold.

Unfortunately, the world didn’t stop turning just because we weren’t paying attention to it. By the time we were ready for bed Sunday evening, Saigon Kabul had fallen. There were the inevitable pictures of choppers on the embassy roof. US forces had set up a perimeter around the airport and everyone was trying to flee the coming of the Taliban. I woke up this morning to find that people have died trying to hang onto departing airplanes. One Afghan warplane was shot down trying to enter a neighboring country.

I’ve told people that I really didn’t expect to ever live through the 70s again, but I was speaking about economics. I really didn’t expect a replay of the fall of Vietnam.

Here at home, it’s rained a bit and as a result, the grass needs my attention. We’re looking forward to this evening’s arrival of more rain, followed by Tropical Storm Fred Tuesday/Wednesday. I hope to use that enforced indoor time to get most of the new ham antenna assembled and ready to go up as soon as things dry out.

Again, I’ll urge you to see to the things that will make your life resilient and enable you and yours to ride out the coming days.

1 thought on “Report from the OP, August 16, 2021

  1. I like to get reports like yours from other parts of the country. Here is mostly the same as usual. We go to church, it’s a full house, lots of families. Prices seem to be a bit higher at the grocery store. Some shelves are near empty, others are stocked normally. Cat food is low on inventory, for some reason, every store I go to.
    Gas prices are steady, 2.79 locally, and 3 elsewhere.
    It rains, the garden grows. The few people I see are like-minded conservatives. Everyone is concerned, aware, but not panicked or worried.

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