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A day in the life of Mr. Frugal – Short Story - Chapter 3
By Josiah531
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This is the last of the chapters. Thanks for reading. I have been wanting to do this story for quite sometime. Someone that was just extremely frugal and used renewable sources of energy. Ultimately you can tell that Rodney just wants to be a good steward of the resources that God has given us. Once again thanks for the read and hope you like the odd ending. :)



Chapter 3

The ride home was uneventful except for the extra stop he made near a neighborhood down the road. It looked like someone had pulled up a bunch of azalea bushes from their front yard and was replacing them with other bushes. The old overgrown plants were out at the road waiting for the sanitation people to pick them up. No one was around to ask. So, Rodney simply stopped, threw the bushes in the back of the truck and drove away. Technically it was not stealing since they were throwing them away anyways. So he felt no remorse about it. Still he would have rather asked for someone’s permission than just taking them. Later, Rodney would chop up the bushes and add them to the compost pile.

As Rodney pulled up to his gated driveway, he noticed a car sitting near the driveway. Rodney placed his camera from earlier in his outer coat pocket and pressed record. He knew that in his state that he did not need the consent to record as long as he was participating in the conversation being recorded.

He got out of his truck and started to unlock the gate while he kept an eye on the car. Sure enough a deputy stepped out of the driver’s side and another plain clothes man dressed in a dress shirt and tie and carrying a clip board stepped out of the other side. Rodney immediately locked the gate back. The men walked toward him as he turned to face them. “Hello there,” he said.

“Hello. Rodney is it?” asked the man in the plain clothes.

“Yes. My name is Rodney. How can I help you?”

The plain clothes man smiled and continued, “Well, Rodney my name is George Looper. I am with the Human Welfare Department here with the county. Do you mind if we come in?”

“Well, actually I do. What is this about?”

“I am sorry. What is your last name Rodney?”

“McKaleb. Once again, what is this about?” asked Rodney with a little sterner voice.

“Rodney. We have had a concern called in that was asking us to check on you to make sure that you had food and clothing and such. The deputy is just here to help. Truth is we can see that you do not have a power or phone line run to your house and the caller said that you did not have a job. So we were wondering if you and anyone you are living with are doing ok. We would like to take a look around your farm. If you let us, I brought a big bag of groceries with us that you can keep. How does that sound?”

Rodney’s head tilted to one side and answered, “Mr. Looper is it?” He nodded. “Mr. Looper, I can see that you are concerned and let me assure you that I am fine. I don’t live with anyone. No wife or children. Hopefully that will change one day, but I guess I just haven’t found the right lady yet.” Rodney faked a giggle.

“I purchased this farm a few years ago and have been using it as a sort of test. You see I am doing an independent research of organic gardening of the 1800’s. I use very little machinery but do have a generator for emergencies. I have a cell phone if needed.” Rodney pulled his cell phone out of his jacket then continued, ”and of course my truck here.”

Rodney walked to his truck and pointed to the bushes and bucket of cans as he continued, “I am a practicing conservation, recycling and renewable farming techniques. At this time I have finished my college studies and am independently wealthy so I do not need a job but choose to take a few odd and end jobs in order to try to be more self sufficient. The money and items that is produced from those little jobs contributes straight into the research.”

“I see.” Mr. Looper thought for a moment. “Well, if you will just let us look around we can get this all cleared up.”

“I am sorry Mr. Looper. I really do not wish to do that.”

With one hand propped on the hilt of his gun and the other on his waste, the deputy finally spoke up, “You really do not have a choice. Let us look around and we will be on our way. If not, we can go get a court order.”

Rodney turned to the officer and his eye brow lifted, “Of course I have a choice, or you would not need a court order. I have explained to you that I do not need any help and that this is an independent research facility studying farming techniques of the 1800’s. I am clearly not malnourished or in poor health. I have nothing else to say. I am now going to unlock the gate and drive through. You do NOT have my permission to enter. Good day gentlemen.”

Rodney unlocked the gate, drove the truck through, got out and locked the gate back. The whole time Mr. Looper and the officer tried to talk him into letting them onto the property. Rodney just ignored them, finally smiling and waved goodbye.

When he arrived at the barn he unloaded the bushes into the already medium sized pile of limbs next to the gas powered chipper. He sat the gas can from the truck down next to the chipper. He mentally added a diesel powered chipper to the list of things to one day purchase. Tomorrow he would chip up the rest of the limbs and add their resources to the compost pile.

He took the diesel can and topped off the fuel in the generator and the 5 gallon can setting beside the generator. The way Rodney used it this small amount would probably last him all week. Once again, Rodney set the handle, rotated it around till he got up some speed, flipped the switch and the engine sputtered to life. The rest of the diesel was poured into the tank of the truck.

He would run the generator for a few hours tonight. He wanted to research on the web concerning the actions Mr. Looper could take and (being reminded of the new batteries) wanted to charge up some batteries tonight. Rodney’s first course of action would be to just not leave the farm for the next week. Except for a few jobs that could be rescheduled or could be skipped, there was nothing he needed that was not already on the farm.

Rodney thought for a bit as he walked inside and cleaned out the stove again scooping the ashes into the 5 gallon bucket. He used another pinch of lint and the out of fuel lighter to spark a flame, and then the paper towels from the store were used to increase the fire. He didn’t like to stretch the truth like that, but it was none of their business as long as he wasn’t hurting anyone. He added a piece of fat lighter to the flames and the wood caught almost instantly.

Rodney walked to the kitchen and took out the last of the fried chicken and beans from the night before. He would warm these back up on the stove and tomorrow he would see about cooking up half of the large ham he had in the freezer. That would keep Rodney in meat for days. “Maybe that would convince Mr. Looper he had enough food if he did manage to come back with that court order,” Rodney said aloud. He added a little more wood chips to the fire to finally get the oven going and then walked to the truck outside.

He picked up the awl, punch, mill, leather and new set of batteries from the truck, but did not return to the house. Instead he walked to the barn. The generator puttered along as he walked past the utility shed and into the barn. Rodney walked to the corner of the barn and opened a cleverly disguised door in the floor revealing a stairwell to the basement.

He walked down the concrete steps and opened the large steel door. He turned the corner and continued down a hall way to another steel door. Rodney then flipped a switch and the darkness snapped to light. He flipped the batteries in his hand as he walked through shelves and shelves of all types of food in five gallon buckets, canned goods and other equipment.

He reached the shelf storing an assortment of battery types and added the newly acquired batteries to the back of the line of packs of tripe A’s. He then took the oldest pack being the one at the front of the line and placed these batteries in his pocket. This left ten packs of triple A batteries still on the shelf.

He then went to another shelf and dropped off the grain mill next to the other two mills, the manual corn sheller, manual meat grinder and the manual sausage maker. Rodney then eyed the leather and leather tools. He could try to sell some leather items at the store over the winter. Of course, he would have to learn how to make those things, but that was what it was about. Rodney would carry these back to the house to practice with over the next week.

The door at the end of the basement stood before Rodney. It was a door that was different than the others. It was only thirty-nine inches by seventy-two inches. Rodney had not been through it in a week and decided to open it. Beyond the door was a crawlway slightly larger than the door’s width. He crawled through the opening and the tunnel continued on slightly downward then turned another corner into the room beyond.

The room was constructed by Utah Shelter Systems and was a place of sanctuary even more secure than anything else on the farm. The room was a full 12 feet below the surface of the ground. Rodney walked in and sat on the bunk bed and remembered that before the fields were cleared of the trees that this was the first addition to the farm. It had cost as much as a house in one of these neighborhoods Rodney had went through today, but it was the most important building on the farm. It was here that everything centered around and it was here that was the true purpose of the farm.

They took from each other by force and by secret. Their leaders created a business out of leading the people they swore to serve. The people ignored what they took and when someone said “We ought to do something,” they are thought of as extremist. The extremist, who incorrectly care more for the life of a plant or animal than the life of a human that was created in the image of God himself.

When the takers up there had finally taken too much, it was here that he would come and stay. He would stay here until a time when the takers could be taught to return to the way of life that worked well for their fathers that had lived before. Where people took care of themselves, their family and their land; and everyone used every resource for the good of humanity without destroying that resource or themselves in the process.
 

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really nice story.. reminds me to be frugal and steadfast. Thanks for writing.
 

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Pinch a penny save a buck! In a disposable society where 'he who consumes and destroys the most' is regarded as wealthy or "king" a frugal man is seen as a bum. And your message is spot on! We all need to be better caretakers and our wealth would be beyond compare...

Excellent story!
 

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Good read,

I say frugal, my wife says cheap. What ever the phrase used, I am it. Thanks for the story, it was good.

Keep your senses sharp and your weapons cleaned, loaded, and ready.
 

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Good story. I'm kinda concerned about the battery storage though since I buy the large packs of batteries and I want to get long life out of them but don't know if they will store a long time.
 
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