Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Ride
What a year this 2014 has been, and It has been, for the most part, a great ride.
Losing Lois to Alzheimer's Disease was certainly the low point for me, but I believe, the high point for her. She is indeed, in a better place.
This insidious illness seemed to go on forever.
It was so good to have so many there that last week, singing gospel and folk songs, reading poetry and most important, holding her hand.
Thanks to Linda and Janice for the hours they spent with her each week and Joni for the weeks and weeks she spent living down stairs while working on her book project and spending hours each day playing, singing and reading with her.
Thanks to Janis and Diana for the great job in organizing things before the family reunion, Roger for the many visits at the Donut Hole and Allen for his every Saturday calls.
The Memorial Service Gospel sing was fantastic and thrilled me and members of the congregation who came to honor Lois with their presence.
Ilidio, Gary, Mike and Pam, thanks for the support you gave us all.
Pastor Miller was right when he said, "Del, you are so fortunate to have such a great family, they have really taken care of you through this trying time."
And ever since.
The two weeks at Diana and Ilidio's in April was a great time to sit in the sun and unwind.
The 3,400 mile ride through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming and South Dakota was a great tune up for THE RIDE!
The Iron Butt Association Saddle Sore 1000 miles in 24 hours ride was a fantastic endurance test.
Thanks to Bill Ryder who did a great set up getting the old sidecar on the Yamaha V Star 1100cc Classic.
Thanks to Barry Reddick for meeting me at 3:30 AM on a rainy Saturday morning to be my start witness on the great ride and to Roger for the pictures and support.
What does it mean?
There are 8 million five hundred thousand motorcycles registered in the USA.
Fewer than one half of one percent of these riders have ridden 1,000 miles in less than 24 hours in a sanctioned ride.
Hey, we Iron Butt Riders are not large in numbers, but we are known as:
"The Toughest Motorcycle Riders In The World"
To do the ride as part of my extended 80th Birthday party made it even more fun.
Maybe it was important for me to complete this ride to let kids, grand kids and great grand kids know that there is life after Alzheimer's.
We didn't want to have a life without Lois, but we will do as she wanted us to do, we will live each minute, each hour, each day to it's fullest.
So this has been a year of change, a year filled with sadness and joy and love.
And now, comes another year. A year filled with some sadness I suppose, but mostly filled with Joy and Love.
I will be sharing Christmas and New Years with Diana, Ilidio, Jenny and Jared.
On January 13th, while waiting for the North to warm up so I can return home to Montana, I will begin a 6,000 mile ride which will take me to Panama City, Pensacola, Houston, San Jose and back to Lake Mary.
It should be a fun filled and exciting ride.
Spring looks like a good time to make the trek North.
If all goes as planned, the Yamaha will have carried me over 15,000 miles of every kind of road we find in this great country.
What a ride to remember!
Most of all, I will be remembering all of the wonderful Christmas Eve programs and the Christmas morning family radio broadcasts on Time For Listening.
This is indeed, a great family.
Lois and I were the most blessed parents of all.
I am so thankful and so proud.
Thank you family for all that you do and all you have done
Merry Christmas with Love
Dad, Grandpa, Great Grandpa