Thirty-five years ago (ish), I met my great aunt Frieda’s cousin, Edie. Who ended up being the oldest person I’ve ever met as she lived to be 104 (ish.) She lived through a great swath of humanity, or human evolution, or human progress. Came across the plains in a covered wagon a bit after the Civil War, never learned to read or write, saw the motor car take over the world and airplanes become commonplace. She saw a few world and regional wars start and end and endured the nuclear bomb scare years, She saw newspapers give way to radio which made room for television—which covered the moon landing. She had a lot of life in her time.
I never asked her much when we talked ‘cause everything she said was fascinating, living history, and that was enough for my 18 year old self. I was probably as quiet around her as I’ve ever been in life. I wondered what it was like to see all that history, live through it, and her attitude was “I just happened to be here as things were happening…” She just took it all in stride, yet had a sense of amazement that this was her part of the world and her observations.
One hundred and four years seems a long time, and by her 90’s she thought it might be too long. Still time on a human scale is just the blink of an eye in the big scheme of things. No matter how long you’re here, it’s really not long and why not be amazed (like Edie) while you’re living.
With that in mind, this celebration of the United States’ Independence, this birthday of this nation, I’m starting my personal Bucket List, that cliché built around things you should do before you “kick the bucket.” I’ve never felt the need to have a Bucket List because I’ve been paid to go to so many places that people pay to visit. As a working comic performing a week (plus) a month on cruises, I luckily make a living tagging along on their vacations. Comedy’s been a good life and a great living.
So, one year from Independence Day 2017, I will have drafted my Bucket List (with help from by my fab Muse/ Wife) of things to do, see, and visit. I’m looking for a little more structure in life, and a list is a good way to inspire planning. And action.
There will be no set order, just a list of possibilities. I’ve already started:
- South Dakota: The Mount Rushmore State is the the only state I haven’t visited.
- Great Wall of China: I’ve been to China, but the visa was delayed, so I missed the wall—and lots more.
- Machu Picchu: A place highly recommended by several friends and family members. I’m game.
That’s three places in three countries in 50-ish years before I catch up with Edie. Who know what I’ll add to the list in the next 12 months?
I read a riddle once: How do you make God laugh? Announce your plans.
I like making folks laugh, so I don’t mind making the Great Whomever chuckle a bit. If my Bucket List does that, hope he’s not the only one laughing.