Bucket List

The Bucket List, with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman was entertaining and moving. As we approach our “golden years” we may regret what we have not accomplished. We wonder why we didn’t do these things earlier, perhaps when we were stronger or sharper or more able. We may feel led to attempt them now.

A friend of mine has become a painter after age 50 and her work is beautiful and selling well. Along with online tutorials and purchased lesson subscriptions, others have exercised their hidden talents, surprising and delighting themselves! I am in awe of my sister-in-law’s ink and watercolor cityscapes. My brother, in his 60s, is building furniture. A few of my friends have visited the Holy Lands and others completed the Camino de Santiago, each saying that their lives have been changed profoundly.

For others, it could be the decision to retire. To relax. The “Bucket List” does not have to involve a lot of money. In the case of retirement or reducing work hours to focus on what feels more important, it may mean quite the opposite.

I do know this feeling, growing in the last ten years, of a change in my once “live forever” outlook. I certainly would never ride horses the way I did then. I once almost bungie-jumped on a date, but would not consider it now. I’d break. Greater is the sense that I have fewer remaining years. At first it seemed sad, but it is reality. My choice is to either become overwhelmingly sad about it, or to rejoice that I have made it this far! I have friends who tragically died younger than I am now. Each day is a gift.

Morning walk with my two oldest sons

My Bucket List included many of the things we did on the farm. I’d always wanted dairy cows. I had them for a few years until I realized I’d developed an allergy. I was so disheartened as the allergy grew worse and they had to be sold. But I had those years with them. I bought a bagpipe chanter, the recorder-like instrument one learns to play on. That process is a slow one, as the family laments my dying-duck attempts. I wrote a screenplay and entered it into a competition. I didn’t win, but took solace that neither did a few thousand other folks. I did it! I am having a children’s book published at the moment, working through marketing details. It was a self-publishing venture with Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan. Self-published but — I’m doing it! I’ll include details later as it is launched, and insert a link.

An illustration from “Wendel the Windmill” by my daughter Marie Wiedefeld

Develop your list. Perhaps “Bucket” is not a hopeful-sounding a term, with the image of eventually kicking a rusty tin pail. Consider your dreams, your aspirations, your calling. Acknowledge that we are all creative beings in some way or another. We are all here to make a difference, small as that might seem. I would posit that it will not only fulfill your dreams, but change the lives of others.

Juniper berries by the river, fruit of an aging cedar tree


Yes, Mom of ten, plus. Ten of our own, host-Mom of foreign exchange students and au pairs, and other wonderful young men and women. The latter were the direct influence of our special needs daughter, Mary Pat, and they have blessed us in innumerable ways. Past prime is okay; so many life experiences cause one to reflect on things learned and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

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