I did get to go to the property during Christmas break. Unfortunately for me I ended up with an eye infection. I wasn't sure if I had pink-eye, as I was near someone the previous day who had pink-eye, or if it was an irritation because I got a piece of sawdust in my eye. Either way, my eyes were all gunked up and I was well blinded for a day. My vision was like I was looking though waxed paper. Is this what glaucoma is like? Future Spouse has NO medications at home believing things can be healed naturally or you need a trip to the emergency room - there's no middle ground. (This will change once I move in!) There was no Neosporin, no Benadryl, nothing, and it was Christmas and we were in the middle of nowhere, meaning no stores were open. The next day we were back in the city. I went to the local CVS and bought Benadryl, Claritin, and Neosporin. Yes, you can put Neosporin into your eyes if you don't have the kind for eyes. In two days my eyes cleared up. Now if this was pink-eye and I didn't have any medication to put into my eyes, it would still clear up on it's on after a few weeks. But having antihistamines and Neosporin made me much less miserable!
The property is in a beautiful location. It's on the slope rather than in the valley. It's higher elevation so we will have more snow that will stay on the ground longer than down in the valley. The property overlooks the entire valley as well as the mountain range on the far side of the valley. It has a great view, but that means that others have a great view of us. In fact, coming over the pass to reach our valley provides a direct view of our slope. Not private at all, but it can be fortified.
I stopped at the local grocery store and was impressed with their selection of fruits and vegetables. I will shop there to help the local economy but absolutely never rely on that store to keep us supplied. I could imagine the place running out of everything within a couple hours if everyone in town came in on the same day to buy a weeks worth of food. I expect to do monthly shopping in the city an hour or so away. I will immediately build up the food supply once we get there - number one priority even before all the boxes are unpacked. (I'm figuring I'll be bringing 6 months worth with me.)
I have been reading the local weekly paper for our new community. In a county of under 5,000 people, the local paper is a good way to learn about people before you actually meet them. Reading the letters to the editor one can figure out who is for self protection and who is for waiting for the authorities. You can also figure out who wants to be self supporting and who wants the government to provide all their services. They also have a section on police activity for the week: how many people were arrested, including their names and offenses, who got tickets and for what, where domestic disturbances are, burglaries, fights, everything gets listed. I am keeping the papers and will start mapping the locations soon.
Fortunately for me Max in Colorado is vetting a lot of people to see if they would fit into his group. I hope our family fits in with his, although if we don't, it will still be good to know that there is another group close by. But he will know who not to include. To me, that's as important as knowing who to include.
I met one of our next door neighbors. They are a nice younger retired couple but they certainly don't seem to be preppers. They never spoke about putting in a garden come spring. They gave me a tour of their home and they showed me the pantry. It held a dozen cans of soup and about two dozen bottles of wine. Not quite enough to sustain them. This is their first winter on the property and it will be interesting to hear after winter is over about how often they had to leave during stormy weather to go get groceries.