I suppose I’m just not up on the latest. I’ve just figured out what a bucket list is. It’s stuff you want to do before you “kick the bucket”. I started "kicking the bucket" 74 years ago. Didn't have a list at all. Social media is great, ain't it.
I suppose the closer one gets to the obvious, the more one begins realizes ones choices are more limited that they were a twenty. One begins to narrow down the “have to’s” and “want to’s“.
I think the "Want to’s” is what a Bucket list all about.
I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew my brain had it’s own plans, maybe. It just kept leading me on down the primrose path, letting life, biology and rambling just happen.
When I was in my early teens, my brain decided to “learn” me music. I learned guitar, not from Elvis, but from the older folks in the family and neighborhood. They taught me more than guitar. They said, " go to school, don't be like us".
That was not on my bucket list, but I did, with difficulty.
My Uncle Red told me when I failed out of Sewanee “You didn’t let your schooling interfere with your education.”
Hell, I didn’t want to go to Sewanee in the first place.
I graduated from college. My brain went to sleep for the next ten years. I taught school, was a Park manager, shot line and grade for a concrete company, landscaped, worked cattle ranches, carpentered, and few other misguided endeavors.
One day, my not so silent partner, the brain, said, “ Move to West Virginia.” I did. I was certainly taken aback when I crossed the line into Appalachia. Fascinating and scary at the same time.
I gave the straight and narrow one more chance. I applied for a job with the Appalachian Regional Commission, and after a few interviews…I REALLY saw the light. It was not for me.
I went back to West Virginia and began my real education. I was free at last to do whatever the hell I wanted without interference.
I learned independence. It's not easy reinventing one's self. I began to realize there were things I wanted to do that I needed to do now, while I had the physicality to do them.
I know what a bucket list is now.
I wanted to walk the Grand Canyon, all the way down and back. I did it a couple times, once with my nephews.
I wanted to go to Australia. I went twice.
I wanted to go to Ireland. I went three times.
That’s all the international traveling I wanted to do.
I suppose you think I’m writing this post humorously. No, my traveling itches have been scratched. I’m happy on the farm.
Things I would have liked to do include walking on the Great Wall of China, seeing a caribou migration and owning a 1940 Ford coupe, and spending more time with the older musicians who gave me the "gift". Who knows what the future will bring.
I’ve learned the stuff of life: One first crawls, then walks and runs. When then ramble around for a while. Finally, we begin to run less, have more aches and pains. We begin to find contentment on the porch swing, sharing it with a partner, the cat, and an instrument of choice.
Bucket list complete? Not by a long shot. My brain will drag me somewhere, “whar I like it, or whar I don’t, as they say in the mountains.
Tell you the truth, life is a bucket list...planned or not.