What’s on Your Bucket List?

Last week, on the first anniversary of my son’s death, I took a little trip.

I flew to Kansas City to visit friends. They showed me warm hospitality and took me on a tour of a place that I’ve wanted to visit for a long time, Unity Village.

I haven’t written out a formal bucket list, but if I had done it, “Visit Unity Village” would have been on it. Their gardens, labyrinth, and nature trails offer tranquility. Their five chapels offer peace. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be on that day.

The following day, I hopped into my rental car and headed for Des Moines, Iowa. I had never been to Iowa before, so I can cross “Visit Iowa” off the list, too. There, I visited with a friend and former coworker who now lives in the Midwest.

We had a fun girl’s weekend, trolling around thrift shops, visiting the art museum, and watching the Kentucky Derby. We even discovered chocolate-covered bacon at Chocolate Storybook in West Des Moines. My friend didn’t care for it, but how could I not like it when they’d combined two of my favorites?

On Saturday night, her younger (sweet, kind, generous) son and his new bride took us both out for a Mother’s Day dinner at Waterfront Seafood Market. Recommend!

My friend and I gabbed a lot. She’s like the (slightly) older sister I’ve never had. We reminisced, laughed…and cried.

When I told her about visiting Unity Village for the first time, she asked if I had a bucket list. She told me about watching that movie, The Bucket List, where Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman meet in the hospital, both dying of cancer. Instead of just waiting for the inevitable, Morgan Freeman starts writing a bucket list. Jack jumps in to add his wishes, and off they go on a great adventure.

Some of their desires were for tangible, specific things. “See the Taj Mahal; Jump out of an airplane,” etc., but others involved helping people or being connected to someone.

This made me think about actually writing a list. Lots of mine would include travel. I’ve always wanted to visit Cuba. And see the Northern Lights. I want to publish another book or two, and I think I’d like to visit all 50 states.

Visiting Iowa, I’m one state closer to that goal. On the way back from Des Moines to the Kansas City airport, I stopped off in Madison County, Iowa, where I saw three of the five remaining covered bridges, the Iowa Quilt Museum, and the John Wayne Birthplace Museum. The Madison County was an unexpected bonus.

My bucket list will be a work in progress. I’m going to use a long sheet of paper and write it in pencil, so that I can change it if I want to.

Have you written a bucket list?

~~Sally Rose
Author of Amazon Nº. 1 Best Seller Penny Possible
Author of A Million Sticky Kisses
Contributing author to Once Upon An Expat


  1. Reply
    Ronni May 11, 2017

    I don’t have a written bucket list but certainly know what I hope (plan) to do in the future. I’ve been to all but a handful of states since we traveled a lot as children. I’ve been to five countries in Europe. I am happiest on the Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast so my plan is to live there one day. I wouldn’t mind being one of those sun-browned, wrinkled, stooped over old ladies walking the beach and finding the perfect shell to bring back to my small home with a nice porch, backyard, and dog. I’ll share my home with my loved ones (family and friends) and live happily ever after with the sun shining on my face!

  2. Reply
    sallyrose May 11, 2017

    That sounds great for you, Ron. I’m glad you’re clear on what you want. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Reply
    Virginia May 11, 2017

    Your trip sounds wonderful, (and perhaps bittersweet), especially time spent with a friend! My bucket list has changed a bit. Travel was always top on my list. While still important, it is not paramount. Continued and deepening family and friend connections are number one. My hope to live well into my 90’s has been challenged with the recurrence of a serious and life shortening medical condition. But then, none of us know how long we have on earth, do we?!
    Continue to live fully, chasing whatever dreams you have. You are an inspiration. Abrazos, Sally.

    • Reply
      sallyrose May 11, 2017

      Thanks, Virginia, for your comments. I totally understand. Connection is important to me, too.

      I’m sorry to hear about your illness. Sending good thoughts your way.

      Wish I were going to see you in Santiago. Be well.

  4. Reply
    Sibylla Grottke May 11, 2017

    Sally, what a lovely account of your trip. If we lived closer to each other, I guess a trip together might be in the starts. As I told is, I follow your adventures online. I have not written out a formal bucket list. But I have seen the movie and loved it. I have. A lot of plans, and most of them involve traveling, foreign countries, writing, and art to some degree. I hesitate to out these plans down on paper, because, as we all know, if you want to hear God laugh, make a plan. I have few regrets about things I haven,t done (buy a motorcycle is the only thing I always wanted to do and wil now never do) , as I have fulfilled most of my dreams alread. So my bucket list might be short ;-))

    Maybe one day, we will share out bucket lists? Enjoy crossing off things to do and places to see off your list!

    • Reply
      sallyrose May 11, 2017

      My bucket list is getting shorter and shorter, too. Thanks for your comments, Sibylla.

  5. Reply
    Dan May 11, 2017

    Have you ever read the book No Opportunity Wasted? I think you would find it really interesting since it related to the idea of a bucket list. It can be hard to find so if you’re interested I can lend you my copy when we see each other.

    • Reply
      sallyrose May 11, 2017

      Thanks, Dan. That would be great.

  6. Reply
    Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor May 15, 2017

    I’m so sorry that you lost your son a year ago. Visiting Unity Village sounds like a perfect way to spend the anniversary of his passing.

    I don’t have a bucket list, maybe because I’ve been fortunate enough to have so many adventures already in my life. But I do think a bucket list can be a great idea to help one think through what’s really important to them and make the time/effort to tick those things off the list.

    Cheers – Ellen | thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      sallyrose May 15, 2017

      I’ve been fortunate to have many adventures, too. The bucket list is getting shorter and shorter. Thanks for your comments, Ellen.

  7. Reply
    Kit Wilford May 17, 2017

    What a lovely post! Felt like I was right there with you. “Bucket list” crops up frequently among my crowd (folks edging toward 60), but I hesitate to write one for some reason. I do have a mental list of things I look forward to doing. Good for you for seizing the day to connect with friends and see new places. I hope you’ll continue your travelogue.

    • Reply
      sallyrose May 17, 2017

      Thanks for your comments, Kit. At the moment, my bucket list is just “mental” too. Every time I think there’s not much on it, I suddenly think of more things that I’d like to see or accomplish.

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