He loaded the trunk first. Packages neatly wrapped – parcel post-ready boxes in dull brown paper with tidy strings tied squarely around – were gently placed next to the spare tire and a small toolbox.
A frayed Raggedy Ann doll was placed in the back seat, her worn yarn face facing forward. The painted head of an old rocking horse was laid beside her where at one time two young girls swung their legs impatiently, unconcerned about scuffing the seat in front of them.
When he settled in behind the wheel, he reached across the front seat, opened the door, and took hold of the woman’s cane, which he placed in the usual spot between them. When she settled in, he started the engine, but he then emerged from the sedan.
He walked to the garage window and pressed his face against the glass for a better look in the amber autumn light, his gray beard crinkling against the cold surface as he scanned the empty space. He jiggled the lock twice, just to be sure.