My friend Vin and his wife Jean are staying with their daughter while Jean convalesces having broken her ankle. Today I drive south to Massachusetts to renew a “reading aloud to Vin” tradition that began eight years. While Hannah was learning the hairdressing trade at the Portsmouth Beauty School, she had a favorite client. You might have guessed that it was Vin.
Vin fills a room with his personality. It turns out Vin lived just literally down the hill from us in York and so I began reading to Vin. After years as an educator in the West at Intermountain Indian School, he moved East when he lost his sight in his early 60s. Now in his 90s, he is the kind of friend you would all love to have. Appreciative, interested, just plain fun, and willing to pause and discuss life as well as the book that we are reading.
I take I-95 south and eventually the country roads lead me to his daughter’s home. He is acclimating to his new surroundings and now uses a cane. When at his home, I would offer him my elbow from time to time to navigate through his house; today he wants no such guidance as he wants/needs to learn where the couches, tables, and passageways are in his new “home.” We settle in with The Racketeer by John Grisham and begin reading as I have for years to my friend Vin. I feel at home even 65 miles away from York.