To Willing Conflators Of Helen Hoover And Jeremy Todd (first letter)

Dear Friends,
Before our move to the woods, Natasha and I worked for companies that made many decisions for us, and when we enjoyed vacations, they were a type of “escape” in that we put aside all but the most minor decision-making for the time.  When we moved, we accepted the responsibility of making all the decisions on which our futures and indeed our lives would depend.
Perhaps this is why I always felt a stir of annoyance when someone wrote, “How wonderful for you to have got away from it all!” as though our lives had become merely a long vacation.  We had something more rewarding than that:  the kind of freedom men dream of, based on the right to work out our destiny in our own way against whatever odds might be.
The radio began to admit rattles and howls.  It was the most exciting static I ever heard.  When the aurora had ceased to cast its greenish glow on windows and snow, we began to pick up stations.  We switched all over the dial, and were astonished that we could get Portland and San Diego but not Vancouver.
News reports were not much different from those we had left behind years before.  Commercials, which once had been annoying, were now funny as we considered the utter unimportance of some of the things being touted.
We finally had to cut out our night heat in order to save some oil for our lamp, but nothing froze except the potatoes, and we did not think this too important because we still had plenty of flour and spaghetti.  The freight would start running in May and we could order potatoes then.
It sounds simple now, but we were constantly plagued by uncertainty.  New snow fell.  The temperature seemed fixed below freezing.  We were delighted to get rid of the trash and make good use of it, but always there was an underlying quivery feeling because we wondered if we might have to start burning furniture, as has been done by people without fuel in an isolated place.  The days, though, were brightened by signs of warmth to come.
I’ll write again soon,

jeremy