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I didn’t get that shower after all. Sometime after 10:00 p.m. last night, I heard a key in the main
door, followed by the rustle of feet. Since the owner required us to remove our shoes, my new
roomies saw that someone was already in one of the rooms. When they also saw their room
had been slept in and not cleaned, it didn’t matter whether it had been Goldilocks or not. They
knocked politely on my door, and inquired whether I had the right room. I told them I had no
idea, but that it seemed to be first come, first served. A quiet ensued, and I decided it would be the friendly, youth hostel thing to do to go out and introduce myself to my bunkmates.
It’s been almost six months since riding the French rails for two weeks, and about a week until the adventure resumes, this time for a much longer and broader trek. When I leave again it will have been almost a year of living alone. During this time, I delivered much of Carolyn’s personal effects to her family and one of the Jeeps to her high school friend. Her closet is empty, and so is the garage, as the local PBS affiliate picked up the second Jeep, which Carolyn had owned for twenty years. I am now Wheeless in Seattle by choice. Yet, with all those material possessions gone, my experience so far is that our home is more filled with Carolyn’s spirit than before I left. France brought Carolyn so close to me again that I can practically feel the warmth of her breath on my shoulder. I can talk to her now as if she is standing right next to me, instead of pretending she’s channeling through that fish wind sock out on the deck. (I still talk to the fish, though.)