Nova Scotia


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Granny got a motorcycle, a hot little Harley 750. In the months after grandpa died, we noticed the changes. First it was the house. Granny pretty much stopped cleaning. Potted plants covered the dining table and there was potting soil on the floor. Clothes were piling up on the sofa and Grandpa’s recliner. I asked why bras were hanging from the ceiling fan and she said, “Oh those? I washed them last week and I put them up there to dry. They can stay there. I’m not wearing them anymore!” Once when I stopped by, I heard music as soon as I drove up her driveway. She had dug out the old record player and had Jan and Dean blasting, “Little Old Lady from Pasadena.” So, when the Harley showed up, we weren’t that surprised but it did increase our concern for her mental state.

I said, “Granny, what’s with the little Harley?” I tried to use a casual tone.

Without looking up from her new iPhone, she said, Oh, I’m planning a trip.

“So where you goin’, Granny?”

“I’m looking at Nova Scotia.”

We live in Southern Virginia, near Danville. As far as I know, none of us have ever been north of Niagara Fall. “So Granny, You planning to ride that motorcycle all the way to Canada and back?”

“No,” she replied, “I wasn’t gonna say anything, so you gotta’ keep this under your hat. I’m riding up there, but I may not come back. I’m looking at a little property.”

I wondered what she was planning but didn’t ask any more questions. I didn’t say anything to Mom. Mom and Granny were barely speaking because Mom didn’t like the way things were going.

I didn’t want Granny to leave, but over the next few weeks I took her and the Harley out to the Walmart parking lot for practice. I worried less when I saw how well she was doing. I had her practice slow speeds and shifting gears. She was loving it and kept saying, “I can’t wait to get this baby out onto the open road!”

After she took a safety course at the DMV she passed her license test on the first try! On her way home from receiving her license she stopped by the house. Mom went out and looked at the Harley. I watched them from the window. They stood out there and talked a long time. Sometimes, Granny looked off into the distance while Mom was talking.

After a while Granny put her helmet on, got on the bike, and rode off. Mom watch her until she was out of sight.

A few weeks later, Granny sold the Harley and she never took that trip to Nova Scotia. She started wearing a red beret and a yellow scarf. Sometimes she wore a black leather jacket that she got at the Goodwill. She and Mom have started getting along much better.

05/21/2017 © Don Lehman

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don@holdingbook.com