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Starting Over at 55 (A Buzby Beach Novel) Chapter 03


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...


The Keurig is a Must

Back at the house, Jack first went into the kitchen and unplugged the Keurig. It was the one appliance he was taking with him to his aunt’s house at Buzby Beach. His Aunt Caroline had left behind a heavily used Mr. Coffee, but Jack preferred to make his coffee one-cup-at-a-time. Cheryl hadn’t been a coffee drinker. Nor had Meagan ever developed a taste for it. Branden had, but since he’d been away, there was rarely any reason to make more than one cup a day.

Jack took out the K-Cup and tossed it in the trash. Then he took a long hard look at the trash can.

“I’ll suppose I’ll have to empty that before I leave,” he mumbled to himself. “What else haven’t I thought of?”

Turning from the trash can, Jack removed the reservoir from the Keurig and dumped what little water remained in the sink. Leaving it to dry, he opened the door to what the floor plan for the house called the dining room but which, for years, had been Cheryl’s home office. Meagan had taken Cheryl’s personal computer and all Cheryl’s other gadgets with her to Durham, except Cheryl’s i-Pad. Branden had claimed that. Before taking it, Meagan backed up all the financial and legal stuff Cheryl had kept track of onto an external hard-drive and given it to her dad. She’d then scrubbed the computer’s hard-drive.

Aunt Caroline's old coffee maker.

Aunt Caroline's old coffee maker.

X-Box and Bed Sheets

All that was left in the office now were a couple of bookcases filled with the travel books Cheryl had collected over the years, the roll-top desk Cheryl inherited from her father, and the Saunders computer workstation her Dell used to occupy. Meagan had taken the ergonomic office chair when she took the computer. Jack made one last look around the room before the movers got to the house to see if there was anything he wanted to take with him when he left. There wasn’t.

Closing the door behind him, Jack walked through the living room, pausing for a moment to consider taking the X-Box 360 with him. Deciding that Brayden might like to play it when he came home from VMI, Jack unplugged it from the TV and set it on the couch. Shrugging his shoulders, Jack went back to the kitchen, determined the reservoir was dry enough, attached it to the Keurig, and carried the coffee maker out to the living room, leaving it on the couch next to the X-Box.

Jack trudged up the stairs to the master bedroom. He pulled the covers off the queen-sized bed and tossed them in the corner. He knew they needed washing but decided he’d pack them up like they were and clean them once he got to Buzby Beach.

Jack's Baggage

Jack's Baggage

Packing His Bags

With the bed stripped it was time to pull out the luggage and pack up his clothes. Jack planned to use the big Coleman duffel bag he’d often used when going with Brayden to Boy Scout Summer Camp. His job as a high school business teacher had meant Jack could go with the boys and stay at camp the whole week while the other dads - and occasional moms - would take turns providing the second adult needed to fulfill the two-deep leadership requirement.

The duffel bag was in the storage room over the garage. The door to the storage room was in the master bedroom. Jack opened the door and turned on the light. The single overhead compact fluorescent bulb dimly lit the storage space. Though it was still early morning hot air rolled out of the room.

Jack stood back and let the first burst of hot air wash past him. Then, with a sigh, he crouched and entered the cluttered space. The duffel bag Jack was after was in the pile of backpacks, overnight bags, suit bags, and other assorted luggage on the right just inside the door. After considering the collection for a moment, Jack decided he would take out the duffel bag and one of the larger overnight bags. The second bag he would use for towels and toiletries.

It was a relief to close the door. The storage room was full of reminders Jack could do without. He’d let the moving company pack them up and put them in storage until he was ready to deal with them.

Filling the bags with the items he planned to take to Buzby Beach didn’t take long. The movers arrived while Jack was dragging them down the stairs. Jack spent a few minutes showing them around the house, and then they got started bringing in packing material and boxing up the remnants of Jack’s old life; the life he had before the phone call.

Jack's Mustang

Jack's Mustang

It All Goes in the Mustang

Jack carried his bags out to his Mustang and loaded them into the trunk. After he added the X-Box and Keurig, there wasn’t much room left for anything else. Not that Jack had much else; just his laptop, printer, a few books and a milk crate worth of paperwork. Those would fit in the narrow back seat of his car.

On top of those things, Jack also laid his fishing poles in the back seat. He found space for his tackle box on the floor. Jack planned to spend a lot of time on the beach in fishing. Past that, he had no real plans.

The final thing Jack packed was a cooler with what few items remained in the fridge that he wanted to take with him. He included the last few K-Cups and a half-pound of coffee beans that had been in the refrigerator for he wasn’t sure how long. In the days before the phone call, Jack preferred grinding the beans and brewing them in the little insert Cheryl had found for him at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Jack wasn’t sure what to do with himself once he’d packed everything he was taking with him into the Mustang. The last thing he wanted to do was sit around and watch the movers packing up his life.

Continue Jack's Story

  • Starting Over at 55 Part 4
    Not needed to oversee the moving crew, Jack visits Debbie's Grill and Sprinkles Ice Cream & Coffee Shop one last time while waiting for his life to be packed up for storage.

© 2018 DW Davis


DW Davis (author) from Eastern NC on December 29, 2018:

Thank you for continuing to read Jack's story.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 29, 2018:

This story has made me think about how my life would change if I was left alone in my home. It's not a pleasant thought. Your serialization continues to be interesting.

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