Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bucket lists

I think everyone has a "Bucket List."

If not consciously, then unconsciously. Things you want to do, places you want to see, in your lifetime. You know, before time runs out. Before you "kick the bucket."

I used to have a mental list of things to do when I retired. On this list were practical and very attainable things like learning new crafts, taking some bus tours, particularly to New England in autumn, and so on.

The list has now been expanded, enhanced, and moved to what I am now calling my bucket list.

High on my list is a visit to England. But not just a visit. No, I want to spend at least a month, perhaps three months, living in a cottage in Cornwall. Maybe a quaint little place like this, for instance.

Can you picture me in a room here? Taking morning
strolls down the quiet country road?

Two things inspired me to put this on my list: The wonderful film, Ladies in Lavender (set in Cornwall), and another film, probably my all-time favorite (right up there with Out of Africa): Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.

Mrs. Palfrey, a gracious, elegant widow, moves from Scotland to London where she resides at the Claremont Hotel. I watch it over and over again. Pretending I'm Mrs. Palfrey. A book of William Blake poems on my nightstand.

A friend of mine, a beautiful and talented watercolor artist, toured Cornwall some years ago with a group of fellow artists. And as she showed me her photo album of the trip, I fell more and more in love with Cornwall as she turned the pages.

Of course, there are other things on my bucket list as well. Bucket lists are important.

Bucket lists are dreams. Dreams, not fairy-tales. Dreams that really can come true.

And without dreams of the future, of future endeavors and happenings, of goals to stretch beyond yourself, life would be a mundane series of days passing by, putting one foot in front of another.

So I'll keep my bucket list, and I'll keep dreaming of how I might achieve the things I put on it. And discovering new things to add to it.

And who knows?

Someday I may be sitting on a bench, gazing at the beautiful, salty, Celtic Sea, writing to you.

From Cornwall.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hot, hot, hot

We are getting a taste of what it's like to live in Arizona year-round with hot temps in the summertime.

But it's only mid-April! And already the temps have been in the 90s (mid- to high 90s) and this weekend and through early next week - 100 and 102 degrees.


We will return to Minnesota the end of April and might think about leaving early except they just had snow in Minnesota. Snow!  Schools were closed in Chisholm, north of where we live, due to blowing snow and ice.

It's a crazy weather year, for sure.

Our little tabletop cactus is blooming, proving nothing stops a cactus from forging ahead on schedule.

Most of the ground cacti have finished blossoming now. But the trees have flowered and are full of pink and red blooms. So beautiful lining the roads as you drive down the street.

Snowbirds have returned to their summer homes now, and it appears we are among the last holdouts to leave. It's awfully quiet on our street.

So another week or so and we'll pack the Jeep, load Catrina, the cat, into the back seat and start our 2,000-mile journey home, saying goodbye to Arizona and its heat, and eagerly await the sight of our children and grandchildren's smiling faces.

That's the thought that keeps us going mile after mile to our home destination.