The Bucket List
It’s never to late to start your bucket list. I was married at 23 and a mother by 25. I graduated high school and immediately went to work. They say hindsight is 20/20, I would have made different choices if I had the chance to do it all again, but those days have come and gone.
In the ’70’s it was “in” to be married by the age of 20 (I never figured that one out). Out of a class of 700 graduates, almost half of my friends were engaged, married, and/or pregnant. They had pretty diamond rings on their fingers (maybe that was the reason) and were picking out dresses and asking friends to be bridesmaids.
We didn’t have bars we went to back then, we used a main thoroughfare and cruised along with the hundreds of other graduates (or high schoolers), racing cars and meeting at drive-through’s. It was a fun time. I couldn’t wait to turn 21, but by that time I was planning a big wedding. I soon realized that I married someone just for the sake of being married, and by that time I was pregnant with our first child. We stayed together 12 years and had two more children, we tried to make it work until I realized at the age of 30 I had missed so much. I never had the opportunity to live on my own, travel, go to college (I loved to learn). I took the role of wife and mother, putting my husband through college instead.
I woke up one day and asked myself “is that all there is”? The year before I was married my grandmother wanted to take me to Italy to visit our relatives. We were going to stay a year (I really wanted to learn to speak Italian). It would have been a wonderful opportunity to learn the language and learn about my heritage. As it turned out, I have many relatives who still reside in Italy. It wasn’t until I was in my 50’s I finally went with my cousin to Balestrate, a Sicilian coastal town located on the Golfo di Castellammare. It is as beautiful as it looks! I fell in love, so that is number one on my bucket list. This time I want to go for a couple of months and visit more of the island.
My grandmother’s house looked out over the ocean, the streets were hilly. The smells from the different markets would open for the day and make your mouth water. No one stop shopping here, there was a store for meat, fish, sweets, vegetables. The pace was slow, and every afternoon was spent with friends and family sitting a large table filled with laughter, everybody speaking a mix of English and Italian.
I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska. My father was in the Air Force. The only memory I have was my father and I dressed in heavy winter coats on a dog sled. That is next on my bucket list. I am still debating whether to take a cruise or fly. (Probably the cruise). Those are the two places on my bucket list.
I plan on working part-time for a while yet, so in the meantime I jot down a couple of hobbies I would like to pursue on my bucket list.
I wanted to learn how to shoot. My brother took me for target practice, showed me how to hold the gun, a bit about gun safety and how to (hopefully) hit my target. I was hooked (next on my bucket list). Who knew focusing on that bulls eye nothing else mattered, not work, not my personal issues, just hitting that target. So I took a Concealed Weapons Class, purchased my own gun(s) and I am going to make it a point to get into competition shooting. I was surprised how many people in America are concealed license gun owners, 450,000 million approximately.
Next on my bucket list is artistic in nature. I haven’t quite figured that out yet, but I’m going to try several different projects. I love to draw, I may take a drawing or painting class. It’s fun to create. My daughter-in-law is my inspiration, she quilts, wood burning, and so many other creative projects!
My children are all grown with families of their own and I have one grandchild. My plan is to visit more often (they live in New Jersey). I have breakfast with my oldest son every Saturday. We talk about everything! I want them to remember the times we spend together (good times) so when I’m gone they can look back and smile.
I’m still building my bucket list. I keep a journal near me so when I have a thought that pops into my head I jot it down so I won’t forget. I plan to make the most of my 60’s, it’s time for a new chapter.