Faithwriters.com challenge entry – 9th February 2017 – Intermediate: 2nd Place– Topic: Busy (fiction)
I soon got tired of hearing “I don’t know how I found time to work; I’m always so busy”. Retirement hadn’t worked out quite how I expected. We’d done all the usual things: meeting up with old friends, cruising the Caribbean, visiting our daughter in America to see the grandchildren, and finally fixing the door that didn’t shut properly.
But after a lifetime of travelling for my work, I had no hobbies, no social life and no family nearby. When I’d been hanging around the house for six weeks, my wife said (rather rudely, I thought), “Why don’t you get yourself out of here and find something to do?” So I put on my coat and hat and set off for the High Street.
There was nothing I wanted to buy, and drinking coffee alone didn’t appeal, so I went into the library to read the newspaper in a quiet corner. On the Community Notice board by the door a small flyer caught my eye. “Volunteer drivers needed. Flexible hours, expenses paid. Please phone if interested.”
Three months and twenty passengers later I’m loving my new “job”. My shyness isn’t an issue because the elderly passengers often just chatter away, appreciative of rare company. I get all the details of their aches and pains as I take them to hospital, and a verbatim report of the diagnosis on the way home. For the younger ones with cancer, singing along to the radio sometimes helps. I had to walk one lady into the day care centre and ended up staying one day a week. Some of the people have amazing stories to tell, but you have to watch them or they cheat at the board games.
I haven’t quite started reciting the awful phrase; my wife does like me to be home for tea and we’ve joined the local bowls club together. So I’m happy to say that in my retirement I’m neither bored nor exhausted; just busy enough!