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Starting Over at 55 (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 17


DW is 55 Plus & married for 30 years. He once nearly lost his wife in a horseback riding accident. He wondered if he could start over if...


Picking Out The Furniture

Jack walked back to his house after Georgia went into The Beach Cone. He didn’t go inside. He just got into his Mustang and headed over the drawbridge to the mainland.

Back in the furniture store where he bought the bedroom set, Jack picked out a living room furniture suite. With the help of Marquisa, the sales associate who helped him on his first visit to the store, he picked out a sage love seat and a queen-sized sleeper sofa. To those, he added a light brown rocker recliner.

“I need the oversize recliner because of my height,” Jack explained. “Regular recliners stop short, and I can’t lean my head back.”

A three-piece table set and a four-piece pecan finish wall unit entertainment center completed the suite.

Marquisa tried to guide him toward pieces that might match better than what Jack picked, but he went with what he liked.

“We do have a thirty-day money-back guarantee,” Marquisa told Jack. “If you don’t like the way it all looks together in your living room, you can return some or all of it for credit or exchange.”

Jack pursed his lips and shook his head. “I’m sure it will look just fine,” he said. He paid for his purchases and arranged to have them delivered later that afternoon.

Next Comes the Video and Audio


From the furniture store, Jack drove down South College Road to the Ale House for lunch. After lunch, he made his way across New Centre Drive to Best Buy. There he purchased a fifty-inch HDTV with a Home Theater Speaker System and a Blu-ray player with built-in Wi-Fi.

Jack looked at the video game systems thinking Brayden might like to play some games when he came to visit but decided against it. All the games were in storage up in Goldsboro. Jack wasn’t about to go dig them out for the rare occasions Brayden would be home.

The television wouldn’t fit in the Mustang so arranged for its delivery the next day. Jack loaded the blue-ray player and sound system in the trunk and headed back to Buzby Beach. He had one last stop to make before heading across the bridge - the cable television office.

At the cable company office, Jack signed up for a package that included only HDTV and internet. Jack didn’t want a land line phone. Since Aunt Caroline had never had cable service run to the house, it would take several days before someone could come out, run the lines, and get everything hooked up. In the meantime, Jack could still get online via his cell phone Hot Spot.

The Furniture Arrives

His errands for the day done, Jack finally went home and settled in to wait for the furniture delivery. He swung by The Beach Emporium beside Dylan’s Dive Shop to buy a couple of nice big beach towels before going to the house. Since the earliest delivery time wouldn’t be for over an hour, Jack figured he’d take a swim and had discovered earlier that the towels he brought from Goldsboro weren’t quite fit for the task.

The furniture store delivery truck pulled up in front of the house just as Jack was climbing out of the pool. He dried quickly and pulled his shorts and t-shirt on before going to the front door to let the workers into the house. It didn’t take the two guys long to move Jack’s new stuff from the truck to the living room and set it up. Jack signed for the delivery and gave them an envelope stuffed with two ten-dollar bills when they finished.

Ordering Dinner from Mama’s

Calzone, It's what's for dinner.

Calzone, It's what's for dinner.

By the time the workers got everything set up and left Jack to admire his new living room, minus the television, Jack realized he needed to hurry if he was going to be on time for his picnic date with Georgia. He called Mama Leone’s and ordered the calzones.

“Pickup or delivery?” the young man who’d answered the phone asked.

“I’ll be picking them up,” Jack told him. “By the way, do you guys have plastic knives and forks and napkins and stuff?”

“Yes, sir,” the young man said. “I’ll put some in the bag for you.”

“How about cups?” Jack asked. “Can you throw a couple of plastic cups in, too?”

“We usually only give out cups if you order drinks,” the young man said. “Do you want to order any drinks?”

“No, thanks,” Jack said. “She’s bringing the drinks.”

“Oh, okay,” the young man said. “So just the calzones, then. They should be ready in about thirty minutes.”

“Thirty minutes,” Jack replied. “That’ll work out just about right.”

Jack decided to change into a fresh golf shirt and a pair of shorts more suited for strolling in the warm evening air. Again, with the walk in mind, Jack put on his walking shoes in place of his Rainbows. Suitably attired, he grabbed a towel out of the bathroom - to wipe the sweat from his brow - and headed out the door.

A buzzer sounded when Jack pushed through the door of Mama's Pizza. Jack grimaced in annoyance.

Every business on Buzby Island has some kind of bell or buzzer on their door. I prefer the bells. The buzzers are just annoying.

Jack took his place in the short line of folks waiting to pick up their orders. When it was his turn, he gave Shelly - according to the name tag on her Mama’s Pizza t-shirt - his name, and she handed him a bag containing two calzones, several plastic-wrapped sets of forks, spoons, knives, and napkins, and about half-a-dozen cups. Jack smiled when he saw the cups.

Shared Admiration Before Dinner

Georgia wasn’t at the picnic shelter when Jack pulled up. He went ahead and claimed a table in the shade for them. He’d just gotten things set out on the table when Georgia pulled her white Mercedes in next to his Mustang.

Jack walked over to Georgia’s door and barely got out of the way in time when she swung it open.

“Oh, goodness!” Georgia exclaimed. “I didn’t see you there. I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”

“I got out of the way just in time,” Jack said. “No harm was done except to my dignity.”

Georgia mopped her brow in a show of relief. “Maybe your dignity can be restored by helping a lady tote this cooler over to the picnic table?”

“Yes,” Jack said, laughing, “I think that’d do it.”

He took the handle of the small cooler in one hand and held out the other to help Georgia from the car. She took Jack’s hand and rose gracefully from the car, only to turn right back around, bend over, and reach inside to retrieve her purse. Jack found his attention focusing on the way Georgia’s white tennis shorts stretched against her firm buttocks.

Her purse in hand, Georgia stood and faced Jack, bending forward to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. Jack took her free hand, raised it to his lips, brushed it with a light kiss, and announced, “Dinner is served, m’lady.”

Georgia made a very un-ladylike snort as she tried not to laugh at Jack’s stab at formality.

Jack straightened up, his eyes taking in what Georgia was wearing, from the Nike walking shoes, past the tennis shorts, to the high-necked athletic cap-sleeved t-shirt, and the sweatband holding back her hair. Georgia looks good in a suit, but she looks great in this outfit. How does she do it?

Georgia tilted her head and said, “Can I assume that smile means you approve of my attire, Jack?”

“Your attire has my whole-hearted approval,” Jack said. “You look great.”

Georgia blushed, shifted her shoulders, and leaned forward to give Jack’s cheek another kiss.

“Thank you, Jack,” she whispered into his ear. Georgia stepped back and let her eyes wander over Jack. “You look pretty good, yourself.”

Rather than feeling uneasy at her scrutiny, Jack found himself flattered and wasn’t sure how to react to the feeling. He deflected Georgia’s attention by saying, “We should probably eat those calzones while they’re still warm.”

“Um, hm,” Georgia murmured, pleased by the way she’d flustered Jack.

Is Jack Really Feeling This Feeling

Starting Over at 55 continues in Chapter 18.

© 2015 DW Davis


DW Davis (author) from Eastern NC on January 31, 2019:

Linda, I think you will enjoy the interplay, and that's all I'm going to say. 8-)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 30, 2019:

I looking forward to seeing how Jack deals with his relationships with both Georgia and Wanda.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on December 23, 2015:

Another great installment.

DW Davis (author) from Eastern NC on December 23, 2015:

Back in he days of FM and vinyl or cassette, it could be hard to make out some of the lyrics. Do you remember Credence Clearwater Revival and their song "Bathroom on the Right?"

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on December 22, 2015:

Video killed the radio star - that used to be played as part of the music in an exercise class I used to go to. But for a long time, I thought it was called "video kid, the radio star". Didn't make sense of course but pop titles often don't! Nice gentle story and keeping my interest.

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