A couple of years ago BW and I went to a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman titled "The Bucket List." Nicholson and Freeman met while patients in a hospital diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Nicholson was a billionaire in fact he owned the hospital. He had few people in his life. Freeman was a family man and a mechanic with a wealth of knowledge about many things.
As events evolved they generated a bucket list of things they wanted to do before they kicked the bucket. To do so they had to "bust out" of the hospital. Nicholson financed a world tour for them with no expense spared as they pursued the list that included playing poker in Monte Carlo with the glitterati of the jet set. They also consumed copious quantities of caviar any time of day and experienced the thrill of speed as they blasted around a track in the fastest cars.
Then they went sky diving and saw the pyramids of Egypt. Their list was a whirlwind of lavish and spine tingling adventures. Many items were checked off but Freeman's failing health and his desire to see his family again precluded the completion of their appointed rounds. Nicholson eventually was cured but Freeman expired.
There are moments of reflection and cud chewing when I ponder my life and, as humans do, I compare myself with others and often conclude that on the balance sheet of life my accomplishments are embarrassingly small compared to my failures or lack of accomplishments. Others seem to have done more and have more.
BW and I have moved too many times and often when everything we owned was stuffed inside a U-Haul truck I felt vulnerable, small and insignificant.
I have read about people who years before made a list of things they wanted to accomplish and as they did so, the item was crossed off. Should I, do I need to make such a list? List-makers usually include such things as an African Safari, swimming the English channel, climbing Mount Everest, run a marathon, run with the bulls in Pamplona, bungee jump off that bridge in West Virginia, hobnob with the haute monde while sipping Champaign in a bistro on the West Bank in Paris and wrestle an alligator.
I can hardly swim across the pool let alone the channel. I get winded climbing the stairs. I don't know how many dead brain cells those people have who bungee jump; not me, I don't even jump to conclusions any more. Run a marathon! I can't even run amuck. I hate the taste of Champaign and I don't need alcohol to get high on life. Wrestle with an alligator? Not hardly. I have enough trouble wrestling with my conscience.
I remember chasing and running from cows in my salad days and I don't need any more of that. The thought of a bull horn doing what a proctologist does with a finger does not excite me.
Besides I have my hands full being a husband, father and grandfather. Life is good. Now I have to go do some mechanical work -- put a rear end in a recliner.
Larry grew up North of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656. Write him at 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168. He has written five books.