Published in the Rains County Leader on June 13, 2017:
Everything around the Brendle house has a lot of miles on the odometer. Our 2002 Pontiac recently rolled over 133,000 miles, and David’s 2000 Harley has been driven 102,000 miles. David and I have covered a few miles ourselves, but thankfully we don’t have odometers. Still, all of us are showing our age.
David has always taken extremely good care of his vehicles, and people are often surprised at how old our car is. However, time is beginning to take its toll. The lower exterior door panels have begun to crack, and the pins that attach them to the door have weakened. Several months ago when I was on the way to the grocery store, the wind caught the front edge of the panel on the passenger door and peeled it back. I heard a crack and looked in the rear-view mirror in time to see it flying down the shoulder behind me. I did a quick U-turn and was able to locate the panel before it fell victim to an eighteen-wheeler. It had suffered some minor road rash, but David was able to reattach it. (more…)
If you’ve read the first chapter of my book, you know that in our pre-caregiving days, David and I spent a lot of our time riding our motorcycles with our neighbors, James and Peggy. In the optimism of youth–in this case, youth being defined as any age younger than we are now–we planned for our riding days to last, if not forever, at least until declining health required that we move into some sort of residential care facility. Even then, we planned to adorn our wheelchairs with orange and black flames and form a four-wheelchair caravan, racing through the halls and terrifying those unfortunate residents who were confined to less exciting forms of transportation. If we had known then that anything this cool existed, we might have begun looking into assisted living long ago!
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos
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I mentioned in an earlier post that I rode a motorcycle for a while. I started out on a Yamaha Virago 1100 that I called El Vira; but after fighting the crosswinds of South Dakota on a trip to the BIG rally, I decided I needed something heavier than 450 pounds, so I got a Harley. She was a 2002 Heritage Softail Classic, and I christened her The Blue Angel. She was big and powerful and shiny, and she had chrome in places I didn’t know bikes had places. (more…)