Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Leah’s Already Bucketed List

Leah Kleylein at Random Notes came up with a really neat idea in today’s post, and it’s good enough to steal: in trying to come up with her own “Bucket List,” it occurred to her that she has already done some bucket-worthy things, which inspires her with a sense of gratitude. Today in particular this struck a sympathetic chord with me.

Sometimes I can be a bit of a whiner/griper/see-the-dark-cloud-around-the-silver-lining type of person. Today I was shaken out of this attitude by two things. First, at dinner my daughter was looking out the back window when something made her sit up and say: “Mom, Dad, look at the bird at the feeder.” When I first looked I thought it was one of our usual visitors, a downy woodpecker. But when he turned around, we saw that he had a brilliant red triangle on his breast – it was a rose-breasted grosbeak. Now this is not a rare bird, but we had never seen one in our yard before. He came back to the feeder several times, and I believe Mrs. Grosbeak visited it, too. This made my day.

Then, when I checked my e-mail, there were a couple of e-mails from cousins with old family pictures attached. That is always a day-brightener!

Then I saw Leah’s list. “Yeah, she’s absolutely right!”

So, in response to Leah’s list, here’s a stab at mine, with experiences that closely parallel Leah’s listed first (do check hers out first, however!):

- Took an overnight train ride in a sleeping compartment on a Russian train. The birch trees in Karelia were beautiful.

- Visited the tomb of Robert the Bruce with my husband on our honeymoon. Visited the tombs of Russian tsars, composers, and writers at Novodevichi and Aleksandr Nevskiy Lavra (the Graveyard Rabbit thing had already started...).

- Visited Disneyland as a child. (But I’ve never been to Disneyworld. Oops, I said I wasn’t going to whine.)

- Smelled the divine fragrance of the white rose of York at Shelby Abbey in north England.

- Saw Silbury Hill.

- Saw Westminster Abbey and Yorkminster.

- Saw a baby being born.

- Visited Mount Auburn Cemetery; saw birds, flowers, people, graves. Thought I was in heaven.

- Went to a real drive-in theater. Also to an inside theater in small-town Texas that could have been the model for The Last Picture Show.

- Saw Carlsbad Caverns, Luray Caverns, and a couple of others.

- Had close calls with altitude sickness on Big Bear Mountain in Southern California and the Rampart Range in Colorado.

- Saw Saint Petersburg at midnight during the White Nights of summer while taking a boat ride on the canals. My friends and I spent a summer gorging ourselves on Russian art, opera, and ballet at the Hermitage and Kirov Theater.

- Grew vegetables from seed.

- Helped my Uncle Leroy feed the cows and my Grandma Brinlee churn butter.

- Drank mead in a tower in Novogorod. OK, the mead was awful, but the singing Aussies at the next table over were really funny!

- Ate cabbage on Dingle Peninsula and haggis on the Isle of Skye.

- Had a guinea pig tell my fortune in Sofia, Bulgaria.

- Saw New York City from the top of one of the World Trade Center towers.

- Saw Tom Baker (my favorite Dr. Who) in a play in London.

- Saw Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan in Private Lives in New York.

- Met the real Santa.

Absolutely time to stop whining….

Thank you, Leah!


  1. Wow, Greta! You've really done quite a lot. What can possibly be left on your bucket list?!

  2. Greta, we must be related somehow! :-) You have some wonderful experiences - the time in Russia must have been just so cool! and churning butter made me think of my mom - she remembers doing that at her grandma's farm! (oh, and thanks for all the shout-outs!)

  3. Nancy - I used to think I hadn't done much, but when you start to reminisce and put it into a list - it looks much better! What I'd like to do would be to visit a lot of the ancestral home places. What I ought to do is something physically daring, like riding a motorcycle or something. Hah!

    Leah - Can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading your list, and it really brightened my day. I really hope we are able to meet at a conference or something some day.

  4. Greta, what a great list!! Your bucket is definitely half-FULL!!