Saturday, March 19, 2016

                                Bucket List?

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.

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