November Wrap!

I will start with the lighter side of wrapping up November.

Bike riding in the second warmest November in history here in Iowa.

The month of November looked much like October and September did in terms of how many miles and how many hours I got to enjoy on the bike with my work and travel schedule. The weather was wonderful - being a record month for warm temperatures and all - allowing me to ride outside whenever I wanted to go for a ride in Iowa. Of course, with the time change, I had to charge up the lights so I could get some after work rides in now that the sun sets before 5 pm. Most of these were "for fun" Fall rides, and to help keep most of the blubber at bay that I tend to gain this time of year.

One of my local tracks, Banner Pits, has remained in good shape this Fall, and I took full advantage of it.

Banner Fall riding...

We will soon have frozen tread to ride as temperatures dip below the freezing mark next week.

November 3rd 18.2 Miles -- Duration 1:14:24
November 4th 12.7 Miles -- Duration 00:59:08
November 5th 14.59 Miles -- Duration 1:30:35 (MTB Race)
November 6th 37.7 Miles -- Duration 2:43:43
November 8th 9.01 Miles -- Duration 00:29:58
November 10th 9.54 Miles -- Duration 1:03:10 (MTB)
November 12th 18.7 Miles -- Duration 2:06:02 (MTB)
November 13th 20.6 Miles -- Duration 2:04:03 (MTB)
November 16th 12.9 Miles -- Duration 00:55:25
November 17th 11.5 Miles -- Duration 1:16:58 (MTB)
November 19th 9.0 Miles -- Duration 1:03:45 (MTB)
November 21st 10.2 Miles -- Duration 00:43:38
November 22nd 18.6 Miles -- Duration 1:18:27
November 24th 13.1 Miles -- Duration 00:50:00
November 26th 10.3 Miles -- Duration 00:35:00 (HIIT)
November 27th 20.3 Miles -- Duration 1:00:00
November 28th 33.8 Miles -- Duration 2:28:00
November 30th 19.6 Miles -- Duration 1:04:58

November Total Miles: 300.34
November Total Duration: 23:27:14

That's it for the bike wrap up.

Now on to the emotional part of the month...

We flew out as a family and spent Thanksgiving in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Starr family celebrated Thanksgiving dinner on Gary and Nancy Starr's houseboat in Sausalito.

Outside on the dock to take the grand tour of the neighborhood - Bruce & Tara with her cousin Penny, and her husband Dave Audick.

Bruce&Dave with Cousins Tara&Penny

Sitting down to eat...


As Gary stated so well at Thanksgiving dinner, this was his 61st family dinner and the first one that his Uncle Joe was not there carving the turkey as Joe felt it was so important to be a part of the family gathering. That choked us all up.

Tara's cousin, Sharon, shared this picture of Joe carving the turkey in the past...

 (Thanks for the photo, Sharon!)

As of this year, now Gary and his son are the official turkey carvers...


Bunny chimed in and said that this was the 67th annual family gathering, and in spite of Joe not being with us, there were 4 generations of the family present between the 29 of us in attendance. She hoped that everyone would continue the tradition once she was gone.

Bunny as the oldest generation and April as the youngest generation on her Great Grandmother's lap...


We had not been to this gathering since 2010, so it was nice to be back and catch up with all of the relatives.

Alexa with her Aunt Holly and Uncle Michael...


Fun was had by all as we visited, ate, and drank our fill of the 67th annual Starr family Thanksgiving. We dropped one off in Berkeley on our way back to our motel in Pleasant Hill.

The next day, Black Friday as it has come to be known, was the day we had chosen to say our good-byes to Joe. The cremation could not be done while we were there in October due to a backlog, so it was decided we would hold off for a few weeks and do it all during the Thanksgiving weekend which was the first chance we had to travel out as a family.

Speaking of Joe...

Here's a picture of Joe along with Zack from a few years ago...


We had the interment and memorial service for my father-in-law, Joe Starr, the day after Thanksgiving. The interment was at Gan Shalom just north of Orinda, California near Briones Park. It's really a beautiful setting with a field of sheep nearby, and cattle grazing on the hills. My father-in-law loved nature and the outdoors, so this is really a perfect resting place for him. My mother-in-law's brother, Morris, is buried in the same cemetery. Eventually, other family members will be laid to rest there as well.

Here is our group assembling for the interment.


It included a military burial since Joe had served in the Army during WWII. It was actually quite nice with the playing of taps, then the opening and folding of the flag which was presented to the family.


Zack adding some dirt to his grandfather's grave...


The tradition of all of us shoveling the dirt in with the blade turned over to represent our reluctance to say good-bye was very moving. After the interment, I think we all felt some sense of relief that he was in his final resting spot.


The memorial was held at 3 pm on the same day in the Fireside Room at Rossmoor with Zack officiating.


Grandson Jared Cvetich and his friend Matt played music for half an hour as everyone gathered, and included some nice big band music that Grandpa used to enjoy dancing to in his dance clubs.


Both daughters, Holly and Tara, lovingly eulogized their father, and many stood up to share memories of Joe. Both granddaughters, Rachel and Alexa, shared poetry and readings. Following the service, everyone visited and shared memories...


It's not easy saying good-bye to parents, but a lot of positive memories were shared as we said good-bye to signify closure. The celebration of his 91 years of life was joyous and we will all miss Joe dearly.

No comments: