“I worked for corporate America, you know, for twenty years. And my friend, Bill, worked for the same company, and he had liver failure. A week before he was due to retire, HR called him in hospice and said, “Now, let’s talk about your retirement.” And he died ten days later, having never been ablet to take that sailboat that he bought out of his driveway. And he missed out on everything. And he told me before he died, “Just don’t waste any time, Merle. Don’t waste any time.” So I retired as soon as I could. I didn’t want my sailboat to be in the driveway when I died. So, yeah. And it’s not. My sailboat’s out here in the desert.”

Nomadland, Best Picture 2021

This weekend, I made some progress on one of my bucket list items, which is to watch all of the Best Picture movies. I’d set it aside for a while, but once I realized that I’ve seen four of this year’s ten nominees. Even in the years when there used to be only five, I’ve rarely seen that many before the ceremonies.

Around this time of year, the streaming services also show previous winners. So this weekend I caught a few of those.

Friday night I watched last year’s winner, Nomadland.

It’s an interesting movie, about a lifestyle that I’ve never considered. Living out of your van or RV, traveling around the country from job to job. It was fascinating.

At one point in the movie I actually thought “I wonder what it would be li….” and that’s as far as I got.

The Write Side Shop

I am far too dependent upon indoor plumbing. Just sayin’.

No spoilers, but the above quote comes from one of the campfire conversations.

Merle says, “I didn’t want my sailboat to be in the driveway when I died.”

That hit me because it’s a bucket list statement.

I mean, I have never in my life…well, not that I recall anyway…wanted to own a sailboat.

But there are things I want to do before I die.

I’ve revised the bucket list I wrote several years back. There’s no need to rehash that now.

I think the message here though is that life is about living.

The last two years with COVID, and my own personal Last Summer’s Great Unpleasantness(TM), have sort of derailed some of those plans.

It’s certainly pushed back the date of my retirement. Still, while it’s not Russia, I can see it from my house.

I think what I’m getting at here is don’t put off your dreams. Because you just never know.

I mean, I don’t have any plans to leave soon, but you just never know.

I was brought up with the mindset that I should find a good job and stick with it for the next fifty years. I’ve not done that, but I have been in the current employment situation for twenty-eight years.

I’m rambling, but there’s a book idea in here somewhere.

I am working on that bucket list.

This fall, my best friend from college and I are planning an old man road trip to the Grand Canyon. I was there just after college and never quite made it back.

I’ve gone from “I’m going to hike the canyon,” to “I’m going to raft the canyon,” to “Let’s drive our scooters up to the edge.”

We’re still working on plans, but as long as I don’t have to sell a kidney on Ebay to finance the gas, we’re going.

Unless I win the lottery or Publishers Clearinghouse finally shows up, I may not make everything on my bucket list. And that’s okay.

What I don’t want to do is to continue to toil away at a, mostly, thankless job. A job that I readily admit compensates me well. But it doesn’t speak to my soul, and that’s what I’m looking for.

I have plans. I hope to get to them.

To paraphrase Andy Dufresne, I plan to get busy retiring, or get busy working.

I have no intentions of leaving a sailboat in the driveway.

Donna Murphy, American actress and singer, Donna Murphy, was born on this day in 1959



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1875 – Maurice Ravel, French pianist, composer, and conductor (d. 1937)
1934 – Willard Scott, American television personality and actor (d. 2021)
1940 – Daniel J. Travanti, American actor
1942 – Michael Eisner, American businessman
1942 – Tammy Faye Messner, American evangelist, television personality, and talk show host (d. 2007)
1956 – Bryan Cranston, American actor, director, and producer




The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26


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