It is still dark and cold in the early morning as the car backs cautiously down the driveway, pauses, and then backs out onto the quiet road.
The headlights swing away from the house and point northward. The car holds for a minute while gears are being switched and then crawls forward into the dark.
And Linda is gone, back to work for the first time in eight months.
She is only working a couple of days this week before the winter break but it is a preview of January when she will be working again full time.
Her time full and mine needing filling.
I had a plan for my retirement. I had carefully thought it through and had taken steps to put plans in place that would fill my days with activities that interested me. I had helped create a Community Association and was its first President. I created and maintained its website, was its Community Police liaison, chaired its monthly meetings, discussed our community needs with our local politicians, helped write its Newsletter.
I enjoyed it and looked forward to all I could accomplish with the extra time that would come my way when I retired.
But cancer ended that as it ended my involvement with work, years earlier than I intended.
Life, someone said, is what happens when you're busy planning other things.
For almost a year now my focus has been on regaining my health and it has been an interesting journey. Not fully won, but to a degree, certainly improved.
And to the degree I have my health back, I now need to think of ways to make use of it and re-involve myself in things that are less self centred.
Having good health, or even relatively good health, is like having a well tuned car sitting in the driveway, its tank full of gas. Only, cars were never made to sit in driveways. They are built for going places. For exploring.
I need to accept I have a future and an interesting life ahead of me. A life beyond, or certainly around, the next chemo treatment, the next doctor's appointment the next test.
Once I decide what to make of it.
1 hour ago