The Bucket List


I’ve sort of always carried this list around in the back of my mind. But I turn 55 this year. It’s time to record it somewhere and start ticking things off the list. The first thing I can mark off is making the list.

Here in no particularly order, and subject to change at a whim, is my Bucket List.

Go Hike the Canyon: The summer I graduated from college, I spent six weeks working on the Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico and at the American Indian School in Phoenix. We took a weekend trip to the Grand Canyon but only had time to walk down a few yards. I vowed then that I would come back and hike the canyon one day. I even bought the t-shirt. But years passed and I never made it back. So I decided I would raft the canyon, and then I decided I would take a helicopter in and raft out. For a while I pretty much gave up on this dream. But I have a plan now. It’s not a full hike, but it’s a hike into Havasu Falls. It’s doable. And it’s on the list.

See the Tournament of Roses Parade live: I love a parade. And all my life, I’ve loved watching the Tournament of Roses Parade. I’m not too keen on sleeping on the street to get a good seat. But I want to see the parade in person.

See the Chincoteague Pony Swim: For years in elementary school, we would watch a film about the wild ponies of Chincoteague. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized this was even in Virginia. The annual swim is the last Wednesday of July. I want to be there.

Have my own art show: Not many people know that I was accepted to Virginia Tech as an art major. I chose instead, which by the way was the right decision, to go to Asbury College (now University). My major evolved from music to communications. But art has always been there and continues to be. I need to find the right medium. I’m thinking it’s canvas. But, some day.

Publish my novel(s): I’m also a writer. I have several books in various stages of completion. Last year at the beach I set the goal to have something submitted for publication by the end of August this year. I have 240 days.

See the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live: Like I said, I love a parade. I actually had the opportunity to do this way back in 1977 when I spent Christmas break working in the Bronx for the Salvation Army. But several of us chose instead to opt for a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal at a friend’s house. It was the right choice.

Visit Africa: Go on a safari? Maybe. I almost had the opportunity to go to South Africa in the 1980s. That’s another story and a chapter or two in one of the books above. The current thought is to travel to Ethiopia with a WEAG mission’s team. Maybe not in 2013. But one day, I’ll go.

Visit Rome and Tuscany and Venice: Is there any real need to ask why?

Visit Spain: I took Spanish in high school and hoped to go with the class on the trip to Spain during my junior year. I wanted to bring back a sword from Toledo. But my family just didn’t have the funds to let me go. I may not still want the sword (I may). But I’ve never been to Spain. I do, however, kind of like the music.

Take a Caribbean Cruise: I love the beach. I love the ocean. Again, does this really need explanation?

Visit all 50 States. So far I’m up to 36. I made a good dent in this one when I was working for an association of state legislators in DC. For the most part, I need to see the middle of the country and New England.

Visit Moscow and St. Petersburg: I’m fascinated with pre-Soviet Russia, in particular the Romanov family. I’d love to see the Kremlin in the Church of the Resurrection in Moscow.

Read the Complete Works of Shakespeare: Just because.

Be conversant in Spanish: Three years in high school. Two in college. I should have stayed with it. I’ve got the CDs and I need to use them.

This list will grow. Hopefully I will along the way.

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