Mollie has finally settled. She's older now, approaching 50 at alarming speed, 50 being something of a barrier. Her mother died at 50, no warning, nothing to be done. Her heart gave out, simple as that.
After several successful years on the racing circuit, where her height and those thighs finally payed off, and several more coaching, speaking and giving 2- and 4-day clinics all over the country, after almost 30 years of living out of a Winnebago, Mollie has bought a house. This is it, she thinks. This is the place I will die.
She bought a little house on the river six months ago. The old couple who had lived there for 65 years finally succumbed. They couldn't keep the place up, moved across town to a nursing home. Mollie visits from time to time, talks about the house. The man can sometimes follow what she's saying, give advice. The woman is too far gone. She thinks Mollie is her daughter's friend and always looks happy to see her. Mollie doesn't think they get many visitors. Which strikes her as odd. Isn't that why people stay in one place so long? So lots of people will visit them in the nursing homes, fill the church for their funerals? It doesn't pay to outlive your friends.
Mollie's mother's funeral was packed to the gills. The family alone filled a quarter of St. Anne's, then all of her friends, her five children's friends. Her husband's patients and workmates. The crowd had spilled out to the street.
Mollie has done a lot to the house. Besides riding her bike every day for long hours, force of habit she guesses, most of her time and energy go into the house. She's starting from scratch, but she's not afraid to learn. She learned that Winnebago engine inside and out. The guys at the hardware store know her name. They don't talk down to her mainly because she's so tall. Clearly she's capable.
The first thing she did was take down the high picket fence fronting the road. That alone brought in more light than she knew what to do with. She whitewashed walls and cleaned the windows, added a little porch out back to sit and look at the river. It's a tiny house, all she's going to need.