A Bucket List at 32…

Can I kick it? Yes you can...

Lately I have been making a list in my mind of all of the things I would like to do before I die.  While  a “bucket list” sounds morbid to some, I think it signifies just the opposite.  A bucket list can bring energy, spontaneity, exploration and learning into a life that may otherwise be viewed as sand slipping through the proverbial hourglass.  The wonderful thing about a bucket list is its fluidity.  It is never complete, and there is always room for additional adventures!  So, without further ado, here is my bucket list it its early and ever shifting form:

1.  Work on a farm for at least a week:  When I say work, I mean work.  I want to wake up with the roosters, smell things that evoke nausea as well as joy, labor so hard that my body aches, have dirt under  my fingernails for weeks after…you know, the good stuff we were made to do.  Bring on the crops, cow, chickens, and the cock-a-doodle-dos!  I want ’em all.

2. Harvest grapes for wine: This item not only stems from my love of drinking wine, but also my envy of the life my friend Pete began when he left his  “day job” and moved back home to learn the art of wine making.  I’ve done my fair share of wine tastings and tours, but I never really felt like I “understood” the process as a whole.  I have always learned by doing…hands-on learner…so being involved in the entire process from harvest to corking would be a dream come true!  Pete, if you are reading this…I will work for free 🙂

3. Plant and maintain a vegetable/herb garden: For those of you who know me, my thumb is nowhere near the color green.  I’ve even gone as far as neglecting and killing a cactus for goodness sake!  BUT, there is a silver lining here somewhere.  I think the issue here is that I have attempted to grow various plants without the proper tools and knowledge.  Now that the bitter cold of Winter has forced me indoors, I will use that time to read my “Gardening for Dummies” book (or equivalent), call on my “green” friends for advice, and finally learn how to becoming one with the earth.  That way I will be primed and ready once the ground thaws and warmer weather returns to eastern NC.  At that point, I WILL clean out a patch of our yard that I have been eyeing and begin to tackle this item on my list.  You never know, you may see me selling produce at the Lil’ Washington Farmer’s Market before too long!

4. Run a race in every state: This was an idea that I got from my friend Charlotte.  The original idea came over a carb-loading dinner the night before the Shamrock 1/2 marathon.  Since then, it has been adjusted for my list.  While Charlotte is much more of an overachiever when it comes to distance running, and wants to run either a 1/2 marathon or marathon in each state (God bless her), I have decided that realistically that is too  much for me.  SO…my goal is to do some type of race in each state (5k, 8k, 10k, 10 miler, 1/2 marathon).  So far I have checked off Maryland, Arizona, Virginia, Oregon, Connecticut and North Carolina.  Hmm…so, only 44 to go!  It’s doable, but means that I have to start looking for races every time I go on vacation (guess that means more reasons to go on vacation!).

5. Thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail: While I have technically hiked a small segment of the AT at the ripe young age of 14 while at Camp Jewel, this item is taking it to a higher peak.  This item may get checked off as early at May 2011 if the original plans to do a 70 mile thru-hike in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park over the course of 7 days pan out.  Ten mile days don’t sound too bad, but definitely require some preparation.  This item not only will be a physical challenge but also a challenge of planning and packing accordingly.  I can’t wait to tackle those mountains!

6. Find the perfect tamale: I suppose this is an open-ended item, because while there will always be a tamale at the top of the list, there may also be a better one out there just waiting to be devoured.  As of today, the best tamales I have ever eaten were the homemade tamales my grandmother used to get from her friend over the holidays.  They would literally become a “side dish” in every meal while we were visiting her over Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  I have ordered a la carte tamales at every Mexican restaurant I have visited and even tried to painstakingly make my own, but so far Grandma Sweetie’s tamales take the blue ribbon.

7. Help to build a house: This is something I think everyone should do.  Give me a hammer, some nails, and directions and I will go to town.  While some think that it is necessary to go to other countries to do this, I think there are plenty of opportunities to help those less fortunate right here on US soil.  Habitat for Humanity here I come!

8.  Re-learn how to read/play music: Somewhere between 5th grade and puberty I lost my desire to practice reading and playing music.   I still enjoyed singing, but the tedium of sitting down at the piano or with the violin to practice became overwhelming and was quickly replaced by soccer practice and boys.  While I can still play a pretty mean version of “Heart and Soul” and “Chopsticks” on the piano, I believe I have completely lost all of my violin skills that Mrs Delert so lovingly taught me back at Hebron Ave. Elementary.  So, while I don’t see myself running out to buy a piano, I may have to rummage through the attic and dust off my old fiddle…not sure it will be a perfect fit, but perhaps I can make it work.

9. Learn how to sail: While at Camp Jewel I had the opportunity to take “sailing” as an activity elective, but for some reason I never did.   Soccer, archery, dance, and leather shop all seemed to trump getting out on Triangle Lake in a little Sunfish sailboat.  The only real experience I have had on a sailboat was in Fiji when my best friend and I were invited to “go for a sail” around the islands on a 50 ft sailing yacht with a very friendly family from New Zealand.  Other than that, I have watched from afar and marveled at the dance that takes place between the wind and sails.  Now that I live down the street from a sailing school, I think it may be time to fulfill this item.

10. Write a good song (lyrics): I have always admired a well written song.  While I can’t always connect to the music and understand its intricacies, I can latch on and relate to the lyrics almost instantaneously.  Since high school I have written a number of poems/songs that are primarily centered on love or loss of love…typical teenage girl angst.  Growing up, I can honestly say that I wasn’t faced with major adversity that would allow me to write a poem/song about struggle…I guess one of the only downfalls of having a normal childhood.  Don’t get me wrong, I have had my fair share of gut wrenching, painful, “my world is over” experiences, but they were so short-lived that I didn’t capitalize on my acute reaction fast enough to turn out a lyrical masterpiece.  While I would like to avoid any future heartache, perhaps I can take a different approach and write about something uplifting…love, perhaps?  My mission would then be to avoid being cheesy…this may be a challenge since I am always trying to rhyme everything.  Just like this list, the song is a work in progress!

So, I think starting with a list of 10 is a good place to start.  I will add more as they come to me.  If any of you reading this have means by which I can check these items off my list, feel free to contact me.  You never know, maybe I can help you with one of your bucket list items in return.


December 8, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Life.


  1. Dad replied:

    Nice list…Dr. Rice might give you an opportunity to tackle a couple of your items on his farm. He is an organic farmer and has a vineyard as well. If you want I will reach out and ask. You couldn’t find a better person to learn anything from.

    I guess that tamale thing is on both our lists…although my favorite/yardstick was always the green corn tamale at Los Olivos in Scottsdale. I sure tried dozens of others in many locations across the US, but they never matched up. Maybe that’s why I’m back in AZ…lol.

    • phdubs3 replied:

      Ooohhh good to know Dad…thanks! Maybe next time we come out there we can hit up Los Olivos 🙂 I can’t recall how those green corn tamales taste! Thanks for being the only person who ever comments on my posts 🙂 LOVE YOU!

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