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 Post subject: Disaster Preparedness
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:03 pm 
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Location: Small drinking village with a severe fishing problem
It seems whenever a disaster of some kind is imminent or in progress somewhere in the world, that's the only time the rest of us tend to think of what to do if we're the ones in trouble. It's everywhere for a while, then disappears again when all is calm.
Even my workplace sent out a newsletter for how to be prepared on job sites, in the office, or at home.

What about disasters that are less wide-spread? We had three houses condemned in our area last year when the bank suddenly eroded, and those houses that had been 30' or so from the cliff were suddenly falling in! At least one has already collapsed completely.

Who here has some level of preparation for those disasters that don't give any warning, like earthquakes? What are your favorite tips or tricks, what do you have where, and how ready do you think you' be if something happened?

I actually think about the fact my house was built in 1932 and has zero earthquake-centric structural reinforcement. No shear wall panels, no anchor bolts, nothing. If a major earthquake hit our area my house would likely fall off its foundations. Would I even be able to get inside to get my stuff?

Yeah, I'm not paranoid or constantly worrying, but it does make me wonder.

We do have some stuff - I have a wind-up emergency radio with USB ports so we can even charge phones off it. We have an emergency food pack which is something like 2 people, 3 meals a day for 3 days. No water, though. I keep thinking I need to find a convenient way to store water or a safe place to stash it. Sure, there's water in the hot water heater, but if it cracks or leaks all over, there goes the water!

Need to find my first aid kit and get expired stuff swapped out. Probably should have all my critical documents in a water proof bin. And definitely need some emergency pet supplies.

Of course, fire is still a problem, but in our area at least, fire isn't going to be so widespread as to prevent emergency response to a crisis.

But if the dam goes? Hoh-boy.

So... yeah. How bout y'all? Do you have anything together? What are the worst disasters likely to hit your area? Have you thought about what you'd do if the worst happened?

_________________
Window seat for one,
Passage out of town
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Train ticket, out bound.
Midnight departure,
Red-eye double-track.
Star filled horizons,
Beacons in the black.
Last call for boarding,
Destination: nowhere.
Two carry-on bags
Ought to get me there.
Don’t know how far
‘Til my journey’s done;
Train ticket, out bound,
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:40 pm 
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Hobbit
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Location: Missouri
Define worst. :suspicious:

I thought we were pretty well prepared for disasters of the most common sort. We built a tornado shelter in our house. We keep months worth of food around. We have multiple freezers of food and a generator to keep them running. We have just about every tool you need to run a small farm. We have a wood stove and candle sconces all over the house for power outages.

We have livestock on the hoof we can eat, too, and facilities for slaughtering at home.
We have lots of medical supplies. The last time my husband cut his hand, I had it cleaned and done up with butterfly "stitches" so well that when we went to the doctor's office, they asked me if I had medical training. :roll:

We have barrels we can fill with water in our pickup and bring home if necessary.

We have sheep and I have learned to make yarn and thread from their wool and can crochet just about anything I want to.

With all that and lots more I'm forgetting to mention, our disaster this year was something we hadn't planned on and took us rather by surprise: A severe drought that made buying hay for our cows and sheep locally impossible. The price of local hay tripled and quantities were so scarce that we had to make a deal to bring 2 semi loads of hay from Kentucky to feed our animals with. We wouldn't normally need so much, but with the drought our pastures were mostly killed. We have to feed hay three seasons this year instead of one and a half. We also had to re-seed our pastures and keep the cows off them while the baby grass grows.

We bit the bullet and took out the loan to do all this, but if this is climate change and we are moving to a wet season/ dry season sort of climate in the central US, then we cannot continue with the livestock- which will hurt our emergency preparedness level. Having food on the hoof is part of how we stay prepared. We can't do that if we lose large chunks of money on them each year.

That said... having your home burned up by lava is a much worse disaster. No hope of getting over that one. At least we have rain now. The grass is green again and the huge cracks have closed up in the ground. Our cows are happily munching their hay and next year they'll be worth more than ever because so many local people had to slaughter theirs because they couldn't afford hay for them. Sell them for slaughter, I mean.

Being on a small farm is the best sort of preparedness, until a really bad drought comes along.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:39 pm 
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bioalchemist
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In my state in general, the disasters are wildfires, floods, tornadoes, blizzards, and hail storms. Where I live within that state, hailstorms are the biggest problem and we did in fact experience one this year. There's not much to be done to prepare for that other than get hail-resistant shingles, though we learned the hard way this year that hail resistant shingles don't stand up to hailstones the size of tennis balls. The tornado risk is tiny for us as we live close to the mountains. So tiny people around here don't even both with storm shelters. Denver and eastward is where they need to start worrying. Fires are a problem in the mountains. Where I live, it's not a pressing concern.

Floods, now...five years ago this area was devastated by a flood. Stores remained open. Some areas went on boil orders for water. We have camping gear and a propane grill so we can hook ourselves up with purified water even without power. We live on high ground so we will not have to evacuate if that happens again so I prepare for that the same way I prepare for a blizzard: be ready to be without power for a few days. Once again, camping gear and the grill. We also keep a few bottles of water handy. And cans of beans. We also have a wood-burning fireplace and a cord and a half of firewood. It doesn't sound like much but the reality is, in the 15 years I've been living in this area, I've never seen a power outage that lasted more than a few hours. I'm more likely to get too snowbound to go shopping than I am to face days without power.

I also have a coffee cone and pre-ground coffee standing by because if we get a disaster that takes out the power for more than a few hours I'm going to need coffee.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:26 am 
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Meanwhile...
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I used to keep those 1lb bars of dark chocolate for emergencies. Dense calories, practically not perishable, and in a disaster I don't want food that'll make me more depressed. Unfortunately, they, um, were a bit too accessible...

Our disaster of choice is an earthquake. Our house is up to code, mostly. It's bolted to the foundation, with sheer walls in the crawlspace, and we put in a wall in what used to be a garage which took the entire floor when we added a bathroom. On the other hand, it's 70 years old.

I need a lot more supplies than I have, actually. If we survive the quake, the biggest risk will be having to last through the ensuing lack of water, food, etc. We do have a creek nearby, but it barely has any water in the summer.

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“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:42 am 
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I bought several bars of 99% cocoa a few years ago, and they were kind of good in a creamy yet harsh sort of way. I tried one this year and the creaminess was gone and they smelled slightly off, like the oils were about to go rancid. I had to throw them away. :(


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:48 am 
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Meanwhile...
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Slate says pure chocolate starts changing in taste and texture after a year but is safe to eat for at least two.

https://amp.slate.com/articles/health_a ... essed.html

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“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:54 am 
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I live in a tiny apt on the 25th floor. I have no
reserves other than some water bottles (as maintenance often switches off water for the whole building) and 2 candles and a torch.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:55 am 
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I guess I am reasonably well prepared. I have a wood stove and supply of wood for heating, a gas generator that could handle the fridge, and some lighting, Coleman pressure lamps, candles and kero lanterns.

I have a water cooler in the kitchen with a 10 gallon tank on top of it. I don't need electricity to get water out of it.

Being single, I don't keep a lot of food on hand, but could certainly manage for a few days. The top of the woodstove does get hot enough to cook food and boil water, and I also have a gas barbecue as a backup.

My basement does flood sometimes in the spring, but last summer, when there was widespread flooding a few miles away from me, my basement stayed dry!

The main disasters that strike Canada are usually snow or ice storms. Life-threatening storms and floods are rare, but do happen. The last one in my area was Hurricane Hazel in 1954. The Metro Region Conservation Authority came into being as a result of Hazel, and they stopped people from building houses in vulnerable areas, and instituted better flood control measures involving dams and buffer zones around flood prone waterways.

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And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


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 Post subject: Disaster Preparedness
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:05 am 
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Living in hope
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On the other hand, Inanna, you’re likely to get help quickly.

Living near the Northwest coast, we are vulnerable to a long-overdue earthquake of at least magnitude 9 that will basically destroy every structure from Interstate 5 to the Pacific. If the worst-case scenario happens and all the dams above the southern Willamette Valley break, the top of our two-story house will be under 40 to 80 feet of water, depending on how full the reservoirs are. Maybe only for a day or two, but if we’re in town when it happens and can’t get out by car....

So we’re trying to prepare for anything short of that. Not systematically enough, but we’re working on it. Losing power for four or five days because of an ice storm two years ago was educational. We’re keeping more propane on hand and plan to install a wood stove fireplace insert that would keep some of the downstairs habitable in winter. We have a large tent we could live in in the back yard if an earthquake made the house unsafe, and we have a well and ways of purifying water. (Most of the suburban houses on quarter-acre lots in our part of town have wells.) We have been told to be ready to be on our own for weeks or months.

We need more water, more food, and bugout bags if we hear the dams might break (and a clear plan for leaving town by back roads, and a rendezvous for us and our adult kids who also live here).

I love the Pacific Northwest, but earthquakes and volcanoes and tsunamis are not a plus.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:25 am 
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And the thing about earthquakes is, you don't get a warning with enough time to do a grocery run or get a safe distance away. In a really catastrophic event, it's not clear what the safe distance would be.

It's interesting that people always think about California and earthquakes and forgets about all the other places that are at risk. When we were in Italy, everyone was asking about that, yet we passed through Assisi not long before an earthquake killed ten people there and shattered the priceless frescos.

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“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:35 am 
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I co-wrote my city's Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, and I'm actively involved in disaster planning at work and with the Red Cross. Situated on an island in the San Francisco Bay, our hazards are earthquakes (shaking, liquefaction, settlement, cracked pipes, loss of access across bridges to the mainland) and coastal flooding (100 year tides plus storms, sea level rise, tsunamis). We're safe from wildfires, but anyone can be suddenly homeless and possession free due to a house fire. As others have mentioned, having camping gear makes it easier to rough it in a disaster or power outage. I have scanned most of my photos and stored them with other family members, so I don't have to grab the family photo albums on the way out the door. :)

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In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

~ Albert Camus


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:57 pm 
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Hobbit
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Frelga wrote:
Slate says pure chocolate starts changing in taste and texture after a year but is safe to eat for at least two.

https://amp.slate.com/articles/health_a ... essed.html


Well, according to this post: viewtopic.php?p=309642#p309642
I bought those about 3 years ago. Definitely past the "best by" date.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Location: Small drinking village with a severe fishing problem
Also in the Pacific NW and worried that a dam break would leave us with nowhere to evacuate to! Most of the logging roads in this area have been slowly closed off over the years, if we had to reach high ground in a hurry we'd have to hike it and likely wouldn't make it before the water hit us!

Otherwise, yes, mostly the earthquake that we're due. We're more sheltered from tsunami because the peninsula would get the brunt of that, but we'd still have all the damage and would be on our own for a while. We have just under an acre at our place, and my honey is just finishing my new greenhouse ( :love: ) but if disaster hits in winter or dead of summer drought the garden wouldn't be able to supplement anything. We don't have any meat animals, but the chickens at least give us eggs!

I'll probably get another 3-day long term food supply. The one we have now we got on Amazon last year, and they're good for 20. You can get a pretty wide variety these days but they're pricey (you can get some arguably good ones now, backpackers use them a lot so there was some impetus to make the products better) and we do have camp gear to a degree.

If it isn't a worst-case scenario earthquake and it's just a power out or road closure or something we're pretty set. We have a propane range so as long as we can light the burner we can cook and heat water. We're looking at getting some off-grid power sources like solar or wind, but that's going to be a long-term investment plan.

We are getting more into food preservation also, our dehydrator, and starting to do home canning. Would love to get a wood fireplace but we don't have much wood on our property to burn (though if just in emergencies we have enough cured to get by) but I am a little hesitant due to the increase in homeowner's insurance if we did get one. We do have alternatives, but there are always things you didn't think of until you're in the middle of the problem!


narya - great idea about scanning photos - now I'm thinking that may be a good way to preserve important documents. Scan them, put them on a flash drive, tucked into a purse - easy to grab and on hand when needed. Assuming a computer can be found.

_________________
Window seat for one,
Passage out of town
The old fashioned way:
Train ticket, out bound.
Midnight departure,
Red-eye double-track.
Star filled horizons,
Beacons in the black.
Last call for boarding,
Destination: nowhere.
Two carry-on bags
Ought to get me there.
Don’t know how far
‘Til my journey’s done;
Train ticket, out bound,
Window seat for one.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:18 pm 
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Hobbit
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We had a big garden last year and I did lots of canning. I loved the results. For a while there, I was also making big vats of soup and canning quarts of that, too. Very handy to have around. :)

I don't have much incentive to do that without a garden, though.

Maybe an inflatable boat for those of you worried about dam breakage? Or would the water just wash everything away? :(


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:18 pm 
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Living in hope
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Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
We’d bug out with our laptops and chargers. We already have everything in the cloud in two places, including vital documents, but we’re way behind on family photos (we inherited all the photos from both sets of parents and have plenty of our own). I need to research a quick, effective photo scanner to turn it into a month-long rather than a year-long chore.

Also a bit worried if we were at our beach place when it happened—it’s 150 feet above the water but might slide downhill in The Big One, and even if we survived that, it might take weeks or months to get through the Coast Range and home, if home was still there. Those roads are very vulnerable.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Hobbit
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Also, in storing full canning jars, I made cardboard dividers for the shelves so no jar could touch another and twine across the fronts of the shelves to keep the jars from jumping off if we ever have a quake here.

edit: I tried crocheting tubes of yarn to fit around each jar to serve as cushioning and while it worked well, it was far too time consuming and I quit after 4. They look kinda cool, though.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Location: Small drinking village with a severe fishing problem
Yeah, in a major earthquake, any canned food is likely to be broken. Even if they didn't fall off the shelves, the shelves would likely collapse on them if the house goes off its foundation. I've been thinking it might be better to have the disaster storage in the shed. Even if the shed falls over, it's a lot easier to sift through a bit of tiny rubble than the whole houseful of rubble and furniture and broken glass and everything.

If I can get some rodent-proof storage containers and put them in the shed that might be the best place for them to be when the disaster hits. Of course, I also need to get a short-term kit in the trunk of the car, no guarantee that it'll hit when I'm home and prepared, I could be at work or on the road, so some meals, camping gear, and water in the car would be a good stop-gap.

_________________
Window seat for one,
Passage out of town
The old fashioned way:
Train ticket, out bound.
Midnight departure,
Red-eye double-track.
Star filled horizons,
Beacons in the black.
Last call for boarding,
Destination: nowhere.
Two carry-on bags
Ought to get me there.
Don’t know how far
‘Til my journey’s done;
Train ticket, out bound,
Window seat for one.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:05 pm 
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bioalchemist
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I grew up in a Seattle suburb and my immediate family is still in the area. We had a kit for the immediate aftermath of an earthquake and there are discreetly placed shipping containers full of supplies positioned throughout the area. Apparently the state and the feds also have a very detailed plan for the first 48 hours. Not much for the weeks and months that would follow, though. I think my parents are intending to evacuate to my guest room as quickly as possible. Not sure about my siblings. A tsunami wouldn't be such a worry for anyone as the peninsula's in the way and even if one could build in the Sound they all live on high ground.

Volcanic activity is another issue in the PacNW. Seattle's out of the danger zone for a mudflow, though. If Baker or Rainier blows there could be an ash problem, though.

Over at the archery range I occasionally hear people talking, with dead seriousness, about the zombie apocalypse. I bite my tongue. I'm not there to teach and a quick lesson in virology would probably be lost on the true believers anyway. While an epidemic of anything is worth worrying about, it's the flu and not the zombies we need to be concerned about. Keep washing those hands, people. It's a wussy virus outside your respiratory tract but once it gets in and sets up shop you're in for misery.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:44 pm 
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Hobbit
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Location: Missouri
The government has shipping containers all over? Or your family?

I've been wanting to buy a shipping container for some time now, ever since I watched a video of someone burying one and making an underground home out of one. I don't want to do that, but a large climate controlled underground structure of some sort would be so very useful. When I grew a jillon ;) potatoes last year, I stored them in our walk in cooler in the summer and forgot about them until our first serious cold spell. We lost them all. Underground would have been so much better.

What I really want is a large root cellar that I can make look like a hobbit hole from the outside. :D A buried shipping container is definitely second choice.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Location: Small drinking village with a severe fishing problem
For those of us in the PNW, here is one of my favorite geologists (what, you don't have a favorite!? :D ) talking about the next big quake due and what we know about the ones that have already hit this area. He also addresses some misconceptions about what to expect.



It's a good watch!

_________________
Window seat for one,
Passage out of town
The old fashioned way:
Train ticket, out bound.
Midnight departure,
Red-eye double-track.
Star filled horizons,
Beacons in the black.
Last call for boarding,
Destination: nowhere.
Two carry-on bags
Ought to get me there.
Don’t know how far
‘Til my journey’s done;
Train ticket, out bound,
Window seat for one.


Top
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