Carla has surprised me with her knowledge of growing crops. We brought a bulldozer up to the observatory. We dug up the grounds, and with her direction, we spread out fertilizer to ready the ground for planting. The rainy season helped, and when the sun goes down over the neatly planted rows, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Like we are starting something important... something good. Not exactly the Garden of Eden, to be sure, but we are making it up as we go along, what we all want it to be.

Along with the game hunting Mike and Jared have taken on, this will sustain us as a group, I do believe.

And would you believe that Julie is Mike’s girl now? They bicker like an old married couple, and then hold hands. In late afternoons they often take long walks with a blanket, a picnic basket, along with guns and ammo.

At the moment, I’m watching Jared pitch a baseball for Anna to hit, in a park near the observatory. She strikes out a lot, but never gives up swinging at every ball. She’s a fighter and so is he. They are close, and perfect for each other.

Not far from here lies the grave of my brother. I can see the fresh flowers from where I’m sitting, that Carla, Anna, Jared and I brought out here yesterday. Sometimes, I forget he’s not here, and find myself talking to him. I like to believe he hears me, and the gratitude I will always hold in my heart toward him. I will never forget that he gave his life for Anna’s. Never.

Well, Carla is calling me from the cop radio she still insists on using. Dinner is almost ready. It’s her turn to cook tonight; roasted wild pig and a salad of wild greens. My birthday dinner. I better gather the kids and let them know it’s time to go.

Besides, it looks like fog is beginning to creep up the hill.

The End