Today I have an opportunity to watch my daughter-in-law’s face as she sees her first hot air balloons tethered to the ground, waiting to take off in the Steamboat Springs Hot Air Balloon Festival. My grandkids have never been up close and personal with those magnificent lighter-than-air flying machines either so it will be amazing to watch their reactions of awe and wonder. It’s been on her bucket list for years and yet she is young, not usually the age you associate with bucket lists.
I think we should all put that infamous list together while we are young and when we can actually do some of the things that our old and aging bodies might not be able to do someday. Fear of doing something new often holds us back from pursuing those dreams that hover in the back of our minds. Or is it money? Lack of time? Or did Life just get in the way?
My mom loves to travel and would love to keep going on trips to places exotic and far away, or close to home in not so exciting environs. She would have her clothes packed and ready to go at all times, even if it was her last trip to the funeral home. It doesn’t matter where she goes, just the idea of traveling somewhere, someday and packing up that suitcase with way too many clothes, keeps her young and excited. She has never been afraid to tackle that bucket list of hers; parasailing in Florida when she was in her early 70’s, riding down the Alpine Slide in Brekenridge when she was in her late 70’s to impress that soon to be #4 husband and going on cruises to exotic places when she was in her mid 80’s. She’s a champion of the Bucket List and is wearing the blue flowered jacket in the picture, next to me.
I have another opportunity this summer of going on a road trip with she and my husband and our two little pups. Her husband has reached the point in his life where he’s “been there, done that” and wants to stay home. We are going to visit extended family in central Illinois that we haven’t seen in 20 years. There are far more of them now than there were the last visit, expanding with many grandkids and great grandkids too. After we leave there, we will travel south three hours to Carbondale, Illinois, home of the SIU Salukis and a place where I went to high school and college and met my husband at the university. We’ll visit with more family and my high school buddies while we are there a few more days. Then it’s off to St. Louis where we’ll visit with the last group of family and friends before heading back home.
This is the ultimate bucket list for her, a way to reconnect with her long ago past and see the faces of folks she grew up around when she was young and about my daughter-in-law’s age. I like her attitude of never wanting to take the easy route of staying at home with her feet up in a recliner. I want to be that same type of forever gypsy, wandering around with a fever in my soul for more of whatever life throws at me. I never want to be that “been there, done that” kind of person that so many of us become as we get older.
Challenge yourself this weekend to tackle one thing you’ve always wanted to do. You might surprise yourself and decide to do something else next weekend!