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June 7, 2017

         This dying thing is getting out of hand for me. Half of the guys I played poker with on Wednesday nights three years ago have passed away with the loss Sunday of Ray Beals.

          Death is scary for most of us and unpredictable for all of us. Ray knew his time was near, but our friend Billy Martin hit practice balls on the golf course the day before he passed. He obviously wasn't planning to die.

          I had a death experience years ago when my doctor told me my cancer was serious. After some consideration I concluded I wasn't afraid to die because I believe there is an even better life after our earthly life.

          But, despite such a good promise from our Creator most of us fear death and take on amazing challenges to avoid it.

          I wonder if truth be known how big a motivator staying healthy and alive is for all these bike riders we have locally?

          Speaking of which with this year's Dirty Kanza came the showing twice of the incredible documentary called "Blood Road." It told the story of Rebecca Rusch riding her bike on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to find the spot where her father's airplane had crashed during the Viet Nam conflict.

          Most enlightening for me from the film were the messages her dad Steve sent home telling about his job, the danger and how he feared for his life on a daily basis. At one point he said, "I love flying these planes, but I hate my job."

          Death is a big part of life for all of us. We fear our own and we fear death for members of our family and friends. It's a part of life we strive hard to control.

          Sunday morning on TV several older actors discussed death. Their best line was about the possibility of dying in your sleep. They said the way to avoid dying in your sleep was always "to go to bed with something important you had to do in the morning." They were funny.

          I've noted a couple of things recently about getting older. First, they only renew your Driver's License for five years after age 65.

          And, recently I went to the Motor Vehicle Department to get a new Handicap placard. The lady gave me one with an expiration date in 2022! I said "Wow! I now have a new goal."

          "What do you mean?" she inquired.

          "My new goal," I said, "is to live long enough to renew my handicap placard in 2022!"

          I don't think she understood, but I do.

          So death is as they always say at funerals "a part of life." So prepare for it, but try not to fear it.

          Smell the roses! Don't put things off. Tell people you love them today! Get in shape. Cut out salt.......... yady, yady, yady.

          I'm rambling.

          From Face Book:

          Appreciate what you have while you have it.

          Don't dwell on the past, don't worry about the future, just live in the present and make the most of it.

          All Good advice!

          I'm Steve Sauder