The inky blue skies begin to pale as we shiver our way out to the car and I tie the wheelchair down with icy fingers.
We head for the Galway road. But only one of us is going away for the weekend. Angel has to get there, but is not ready to tackle motorway driving on her own. So she organised a lift, as you do.
But the lift was coming from Navan, which is in the wrong direction.
A meeting point was arranged at a motorway service station. A new one to me. So we follow Google Maps and the signs that lead us off the motorway and down a windy country lane until we find ourselves looking across the fields at a motorway service station. Accessed from the motorway. Would my daughter have to pick her way through the wet grass? I thought it would come to that until I spotted a half open metal gate. The van squeezes through as I ignore the 'staff only' sign. We made it. The rendezvous is successful and the good byes are said.
The clouds are washed with pink as the sun lazily rises bathing the green fields of Kildare in a golden light as we head back to the waking city.
We arrive just as the sun tops the trees in the park. In time for all the usual Saturday activities. Beginning with more coffee...
It should've been a pain, but life has become so routine that it felt more like an adventure and a challenge. Another thing I miss from my old life. Even if it was just a drive in the dark to a service station with a car full of sleepy offspring. And I realised that the everyday sameness of the life I live now is one of its biggest challenges for me.
I thought I was doing a favour for my daughter. But maybe I was really doing it for myself.