NOT on the BUCKET List


Originally uploaded by ein feisty Berg

Forget the negative things for a moment and consider with me: A lot of great things happen in life that are NOT on one’s Bucket List. When you made that goal list (for instance, in high school) did you ever dream all the GOOD experiences you would have between that time and this? Sure you were told, “You can be anything you want to be!” But, did you really know all the things you would be between then and now? Did you even know the possibilities existed for some of the fabulous things you have experienced? A valid, thoughtful list of “ten things I want to do before I die,” or “list of things I want to do before I kick the bucket,” is made only after one tastes a bit of life, makes a few detours, and refocuses priorities. Take this picture of my dad with ALL my children and ALL my grandchildren. They are one of life’s greatest joys; yet, as a very young adult, I would never have dreamed of putting them on the list beyond a casual, “get married and have kids.”

But What Does It Mean?

Some time ago my daughter-in -law (Sermon on the Mount of Laundry located at a post about “Flip Flop” ( in which she asked “But what does it all mean?” She got a tremendous response in answers.

A day or two later I came home from a weekend trip to higher elevation with my Son, D-I-L and grandbabies and noticed that my best jeans were sporting grass-stain on the rear pockets. Grass Stain! I have not had to deal with grass stain for, oh, 35 years or so.  What does it mean? Grass stain on a 53 year old? I tend to think it has a lot to do with my bucket list; my 10 things I want to do before I die.

Prince Caspian and Things Don’t Happen The Same Way Twice

“Things don’t happen the same way twice,” so said Aslan to Lucy in the movie Prince Caspian. “The wardrobe? Oh, you’ll not get back in again that way,” said the professor to the four children in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. And while we are talking of repetition; DID Moses put a spigot on the rock that gushed out water so the masses could always return to that same rock to draw water? No, they did not return. They kept moving forward. Did Jesus always heal blind men by spitting in the dust and putting mud on the eyes?

Things don’t happen the same way twice. While it is good to have trusted, tried and true resources or counselors; one can hardly keep going back to the same friend or the same resource indefinitely; you would milk them dry. The Higher Power, the Creator, is the only limitless resource and (S)He is not limited in creativity. So it is that as I struggle on through life and relationships; I do not limit myself to one friend, one counselor, one confidant, one book, one doctor. I get a second opinion. I turn over lots of rocks, rather than returning to the same handout all the time. I wait in anticipation to see from whence the next word of wisdom or critical sustenance will come. “There is safety in a multitude of counselors.”

Do I accept counsel without question? No. Discernment is also a gift of the creator. If I pray to my Higher Power for knowledge of his will for me and for the power to carry it out; the result is wisdom and discernment and resources and guidance.

Raising Great Kids; or, Did I Say That?

We had to arrange some creative transportation last Tuesday night; what with 3 adults (two young and one old) and one car. I wanted to go to Sweet Adelines and Philip; as video editor, had a summer meeting for the school newspaper. We ladies dropped him off at the college library and then proceeded across town where Andrea dropped me off at rehearsal. The plan was that she would be on call to pick up Philip and, in any case, would pick me up at 9:15 P.M.

My rehearsal ended about 9:00. Not wanting to wait outside in the dark, I hung back for society, cookies and ice cream; a time of bidding a moving member good-bye. Sweet Adelines make music and friendship par excellence, so a number of women engaged me in conversation. One member passed by and said, “I gave your children some cookies. I hope you don’t mind. They were sitting so quietly, waiting.” “My children? Are you sure?” I had not seen them come in, and frankly, at 17 ½ and nearly 20, I am no longer used to being asked if it is OK to give them a cookie:) I found two teenagers sitting in a dark foyer engaged in quiet sibling conversation. “Have you been waiting long?” I asked. “Oh, about 10 minutes,” said Andrea, “But we thought it was important to give you time to socialize, after all, that’s what you always say to us, ‘You can have a few more minutes to socialize.’” “I say that?” I asked, incredulously. Andrea nodded, “All the time.” I guess it seemed like such a natural thing to do, that I didn’t remember saying it. I do it because friendships are important and my kids are important. And, you know what? Now I feel important too!