I lost two friends. One a good one. The other I never even knew.

I don’t do the things I should do, especially when I make a point of doing them.

Did that make any sense…?

What I mean is when I decide I’m going to eat healthy and exercise, it’s more likely than ever that you’re going to find me slouched in front of the TV watching some useless rerun and eating pizza out of a giant cardboard box. Even though I hardly ever watch TV and… Ok, so I do like pizza from time to time.

Just after New Years, I had six weeks of vacation. A time to read and write, I told myself. Do you recall hearing the crack of a book spine? Have you seen any blog posts recently? (Ok, Ok, a few lame posts on my travel blog. *sigh*

And while I occasionally think about figuring out my life I’ve not yet come to any conclusions or decisions.

Maybe I should hurry up.

I’ve heard that after high school and in the years that follow, your social gossip progresses: who’s going to what school or university, who’s embarking on what career, who’s getting married (hooray, a party), who’s having kids, who made a million dollars, who’s getting divorced,… who’s ill and dying.

Our RV friend Larry (you make some really great friendships on the road) passed away about three weeks ago. It was no surprise. He had been debilitated by cancer for several years, brought on from exposure to Agent Orange during his military years in the Vietnam War. That was forty years ago. It caught up to him only now.

Have I been exposed to anything? Nothing that I know of. Should I worry anyway? How long is that thread that the Fates have spun, measured, and snipped off for me?

Am I worried? No, but once you have to blow out more than sixty candles on your birthday cake, you know you have to give some thought to lung capacity.

***

There are almost 3000 drivers in the transit system in Greater Vancouver. We work out of half a dozen depots. I don’t know most of them. Heck, I hardly know any of them. The drivers I do recognize, it’s by face and not by name.

I know a lot of faces but I can’t match more than a few names to them. But we kibbitz in the depot. We wave at each other when we’re driving. It’s a very strange, but a very real community. I like it.

OnTheWallThe company usually posts a brief notice when a driver, or a retired driver passes away. Quite often I’ll recognize the face.

The notices are brief and don’t tell the story – not any story. I find that annoying because I want to know the story. Was the person ill for a long time? Was it an accident? Was it a result of extreme skydiving or surfing in waves so huge no sane person would attempt to ride them? (What a way to go!)

There’s always a story. Sometimes spectacular. Usually not.

I particularly recall a notice that went up last year, on the 20th of August. For a driver who had retired on the 31st of July. Maybe there’s a story but I think, what a poor guy – he had only three weeks of retirement to enjoy.

***

Margaret has been wanting me to retire for some time now. We have so many ideas and plans to take some time to explore together, from the little part of the world that we can drive to in our RV to all the rest of the world that’s out there calling to us. Places that take a little more time to reach than is available during the few weeks of allotted vacation time snatched from the duties and obligations of work.

rainynightI commute to work and think of green grocers in small rustic Italian villages. Maybe I should be pinching pomodoros, smiling wryly and thinking of shivering commuters at bus stops in Surrey, half a world away.

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