On the Other Hand, Sometimes an Adventure Is Just the Thing

Notes from the Hinterland

In yesterday’s post, I extolled the virtues of being a homebody, but today I’m going to take the other point of view, that the experience and challenge of travel can bring zest and fulfillment to life. I was reminded of this the other day when I brought my cats, Sherlock and Ms. Watson, to Winthrop Veterinary Hospital for their yearly check-up. David Corwin, one of my favorite veterinarians, examined the cats and gave them their shots.

With his white hair and ruddy complexion, David Corwin is one cool veterinarian. He’s retired and fills in for the full-time veterinarians when they are on vacation or need time off, and when the weather is good, he comes to work on his motorcycle. I’m not sure exactly how old Dr. Corwin is, but I would guess he’s at least in his mid-sixties.

When I had come in, I had spotted the motorcycle in the parking lot. As Dr. Corwin looked into Ms. Watson’s ears, I said, “I see you came to work on your motorcycle today.”

“Yes,” he answered. “And I have a big trip planned. I’m going to ride the motorcycle to California to join my wife, who’s visiting our children.”

“All by yourself?”

“All by myself.” Then he grinned at me. “And I’m a diabetic who needs insulin shots.”

“That’s very adventurous, ” I said.

“Well,” Dr. Corwin said, “I know plenty of people along the way, and I know how to take care of the diabetes.”

I thought of my own bicycle challenges, and although they are much more modest than going cross country solo on a motorcycle, those challenges add zip and energy to my life. I said as much to Dr. Corwin, who readily agreed.

I also said, “You know, if something happens to me on my bike, at least I’ll go doing something I like.”

“Darn right,” he said. “It would beat dying in a nursing home.”

When he was finished with the cats, and they were back in their boxes, I said to Dr. Corwin, “Bon Voyage!”

“Merci!” he replied, sounding as delighted as a school boy going on holiday.

I’ll be thinking of Dr. Corwin on his motorcycle as he heads west to California, which, despite its hard times, still exerts a pull that is almost magical. Bon voyage, indeed.


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