Last year I was reading The Daily Post blog and saw an interesting suggestion for those of us who need blogging ideas, and I’m latching on to one of those right now. What is your bucket list: the list of things you want to do before you die? Hopefully I’ll get a chance to blog about some of these sometime soon.
Here, in no particular order, are some items on my bucket list.
Ride the Empire Builder train from Chicago to Seattle. Just imagine riding a train going west, with a sleeper car, a dining car, and views of some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States! After the train stops in Seattle I plan to spend at least a week eating seafood, drinking coffee, and driving south down the coast!
Play with a live band in a bar for money. Rhythm guitar would be just fine. I have always been a frustrated musician (ie. never play enough, or with other people), but I would prefer to be a “semi-professional musician” (meaning I played for money, but couldn’t make a living doing it!). I’ve never been into the bar scene, but realized I missed out as a younger man getting to play in a band. It’s never too late!
Write, get published, and get paid for it. Even if it’s just the community newspaper. I enjoy the creative process, though I don’t get to indulge it often enough. In fact, it surprises some people to find out that I enjoy writing at all. Heck, I might even go the e-publishing route, but the most important part for me is to keep writing whether it gets read or not.
Watch the sun come up one more time over the desert west of Albuquerque. I spent a summer in college in Los Angeles, driving there from Little Rock via Interstate 40. I spent a couple of days in Albuquerque before driving to LA, leaving at 3 or 4 AM, as best I recall. As daylight came I first saw the glow in my rear view, and as it grew I finally had to pull over to see it it in all it’s glory. Pardon the cliche, but… after watching for 10 minutes I finally understood what “high and lonesome” really meant. What a soul-achingly beautiful stretch it was! I promise I will see this again before I die.
In that same vein, take the drive from Phoenix south to Tuscon. I will see this again, I promise. When I made this drive I first heard the song “The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” by Nancy Griffith and John Prine, and experienced a quick snowstorm and thunderstorm at the same time in late spring followed by the sunshine washing over the countryside. High and lonesome, indeed.
I want to surf at least once. Spending that summer in LA gave me a chance or two, but I didn’t take it, unless you count the boogie boards my buddy and I rented so we could body surf the moderate waves at Huntington Beach… and I don’t count that as real surfing.
Fly fish with my wife and sons in Montana or Colorado. I am strictly “catch and release”, but even if I don’t catch a thing it will be wonderful: nature’s beauty shared quietly with my family.
Create a document or booklet for my sons to be given to them either upon their graduation from high school, or upon my death. Morbid, maybe, but some things in life need to be said to the ones we love. For me and my sons, one way or another these things will be said.
By no means is this the final list: I reserve the right to hope and dream until the day I die! And… hopefully that will not happen for 50 or 60 years!