Nope. It’s not your run-of-the-millstone To-Do list either. This is a list one writes with serious intentions, the dead-line not being the end of the week or when you run out of those nifty little squares in your monthly calendar.
This is a list you intend to complete before you buy a ticket to the farm, jump off the mortal coil, meet your maker or … before you kick the bucket.
Do you have a bucket list? Perhaps one you wrote when you were a child, on the occasion of your marriage or first child, upon reaching a certain age you perceived as a benchmark?
Some folks make lists of exotic destinations circling the globe, exciting things they intend to do, such as sky diving, accomplishments they need to see brought to fruition. I imagine that many of my writer-friends might list books they want to finish or start that story they always meant to write.
For the four posts remaining in 2014, I would like to experiment with my own lists, lists that speak to who I am, from whence I came.
Week One List …
I long to travel across the United States, to ride a paddle boat the length of the Mississippi, bounce down the Colorado River, travel along the West Coast from the Pacific Northwest into Baha. I wish to sail on each of the Great Lakes and island hop on the Atlantic Coast from Maryland to Georgia in a converted tug boat.
My dreams are to have breakfast in tiny villages and hamlets tucked away in little-known towns in Idaho or Nebraska, to drive cross-country along Route 66. Live in a RV for a couple of years with a lap top and a map, parking in each of the lower forty-eight
Of those places outside our borders, my favorite dream is to ride the rails the expanse of Canada from Montreal to Banff and see the high country of the Rocky Mountains, go inland on the railroad to Alaska and travel back to Seattle on a ship.
In far-away lands, I wish to take the Orient Express and visit the tiny village of my father’s birth.
And of the places I love and have lived, I wish to take periodic jaunts to the beaches and parks of New York.
From the docks in Sunset Park to the bike path along Shore Parkway, moving out to Far Rockaway and ending in Long Island, the water fronts and beaches of New York are among the most scenic in the United States.
On one of trips to New York I revisited the neighborhood of my youth, Sunset Park, rediscovered the haunts where I played from childhood through the birth of my own children, walked along the narrow streets of Bush Terminal Factory District, and gazed at the the third floor of a clapboard house, the house where I was born, at the window of my tiny bedroom, the window of my youth.
I drove down to Second Avenue and beyond to the old Brooklyn docks to the location of the trolley terminal, the factory where my dad worked as a candy cook, the luncheonette off Second Avenue where our cousins not only housed the neighborhood “booky,” but where several “stills” cooked up cheap escape for factory workers in small brown bottles.
I drove to each house where I lived with my family, with my husband, and later as a single mother, with my two children.
I haven’t a good picture of that old house, but this one comes very close.
Few of the communities I knew as a child or later as a young adult, still exist. Their homes, residents, landmark restaurants and many of the sights that made them my home are now gone, passed into history.
The words of Thomas Wolfe echo in my brain … you can never go home again. The places you knew change, people get older, houses are replaced, and restaurants change hands.
Yet, I plan to do it all again. Take the same tour, revisit the same locations and connect once more to that window.
I intend to take another ride on the Cyclone roller coaster, eat clams on the half-shell along the Coney Island boardwalk, and memory makes my mouth water for a fish dinner in Sheepshead Bay.
To replay those early years as a young adult and a new mother, I would not hesitate to drive over the Brooklyn Narrow’s Bridge and across Staten Island to the Outerbridge Crossing until I’m on Route 35 in New Jersey …
I love the Jersey Shore and love to drive its eastern coast from Asbury Park to Cape May.
Truth be told, I never get tired of beach communities.
Home again, home again, jiggity-jig …
On my new the home front, I never tire of the ride to Key West, driving through each key, along US 1 from Key Largo, over the Seven Mile Bridge and ending at Land’s End in Key West..
With a new grandchild on the scene, I imagine there might be a time I’ll return to Disney and the parks near Orlando and Tampa …
In Florida the places that intrigue me are St. Augustine, Sanibel Island, and the beach communities like Destin along the panhandle.
Each of us can fill up several life times revisiting those places we have loved or those we wish to see for the first time.
In a scientific sense the brain sends the message to the heart to continue beating until the clock runs down and the beating ceases.
In the ethereal sense, the heart longs and yearns. She beats faster at the possibility of falling in love once more, stops for an instant at the possibility of finding a dream.
Pitter-patter-what-can-matter …she beats out the words that may never find voice. She stops, missing a beat, when she hears your thoughts of far off places and unknown adventure.
How does she know what you never wrote … never spoke?
Because the heart remembers what the brain has long since forgotten.
Tell me if you will. Do you have a bucket list?
Is it more to travel or of things you want to do?
What dream has your heart kept for you?
fOIS In The City
A child might have once written this list. I trust she grew up and checked off all her locations.