We arrived in Indiana on a Monday afternoon. After a wonderful dinner at Piper’s on the southside, we drove to beautiful Brown County, where we settled in for a good night’s rest. The next morning a brisk walk seemed in order. In less than a minute, Harold single-handedly assembled the “motorcycle” from its pieces, which were casually scattered about the living room floor.
My description of this mechanical miracle may be a bit deceiving, so let me explain lest you consider me less than truthful. First of all, Harold isn’t a feisty young mechanic as you might expect, but rather, a hearty nearly 92 year-old adventurer. Secondly, it is a motorcycle of sorts, since it does in fact have a motor (although electric), and 4 small wheels rather than two monster tires with racing treads as you may have imagined. Furthermore, instead of straddling a big seat wearing leather boots, the “easy rider” sits upright in what looks more like a fake leather office chair, ready for a meeting to begin.
So the four of us readied ourselves for the winter walk, which included Cheryl, me, Harold and my sweet little motorcycle mamma, Rose Louise. The glitch in this story is that Mom isn’t the swiftest walker these days, so we decided to test drive her new scooter (aka motorcycle) on the hills before the snow started to fall once again. The woods were already covered with a thin blanket of snow, with more on the way. Timing was important. So within minutes, we were all ready and geared up for our big adventure. Majeak, Harold’s beloved Blue Healer was leaping with excitement anxious to join in the fun.
This amazing little transport vehicle is Rose and Harold’s most recent acquisition. Though Mom is almost 89 and Harold’s approaching 92, they continue to live life in the fast lane. Harold researched the latest improvements and features. Of course, motorized scooters are fairly easy to come by, but Harold wanted one that he could disassemble and efficiently drop into his mighty new red Chrysler trunk. With “wheels” in tow, there would be no stopping them as they went about their daily schedule of road trips and socializing. The pieces of the scooter were all put together and the battery fully charged . . . so why not rev this thing up and peel out over the Hills o’ Brown roads?
We bulked up with coats, gloves, scarves and hats. Then I placed the new aluminum ramp on the porch step, creating the most gentle slope down to the sidewalk. It felt like NASA should have been broadcasting a countdown, as I opened the front door and out raced Rosie, without hesitation—her crowd of 3 watched intently as she charged ahead with the courage and daring of a fearless pioneer. Down the ramp, around the driveway, and out into the road she went without a care in the world—frequently showing off by blasting past us, and then circling back with an air of false humility.
We finished the complete morning walk, hills and all, without incident. The morning chill was invigorating for all of us. While pretending to be testing the equipment, we were really forging another one of those unforgettable memories. Maybe it was the flurry and spontaneity of the moment that was so engaging, when we all decided to give it a whirl. Had we been more reserved and cautious, that magic moment could have escaped us. But instead, we threw caution to the cold winter winds and ventured out with a childish naievité that always precedes a surprise.
It was a day to remember as Mom signaled victory on her maiden voyage. We were reminded that new adventures await us at every turn, no matter who we are or how old we imagine ourselves to be. Should we be so fortunate to live to 89 or 92, I hope we still have the courage to take some crazy new ideas out for a spin.
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