Today I am going to talk about Bucket Lists. No, not the movie. (Although the movie is excellent!) No, I’m going to talk about the list itself. You know…that list of things you want to do before you die? Specifically, I am going to talk about my Bucket List, and how many of the things I have crossed off in recent years. That number is a whopping…
Yep. 3. But at least they are a good three. Actually, these three were at the very top of my Bucket List for many years. I’m going to have to think of a new #1, #2, and #3 now. But that’s a good problem to have, isn’t it? Okay, so here we go. The former number one item on my Bucket List was:
Publish a novel.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to be a published author. Now, if I’m being honest, I wanted to be a mega-bestselling published author who sleeps on a pile of money and is constantly surrounded by fiction groupies. Well, the money and fame haven’t happened (yet…heh heh), but I do have several books out there for people to read and enjoy. And for the most part, they seem to hold up pretty well. At least very few people tell me I suck. So that’s something, right?
Anyway, I crossed this item off my list in 2010 when I released 33 A.D. to hordes of lucky… oh, okay… to two or three readers. 😉 So this particular Bucket List item was replaced at the top spot by the former #2 item:
Fly an airplane.
I love airplanes. Love them. I love flying. Even in the big, massive jumbo jets where you might as well be sitting on the ground rolling on smooth, fat tires. Ask my wife, I’ll spend the entire flight just staring out the window at the ground below if she and the kids let me. There’s something about the view from up there that just captivates me. I soak up the curved horizon and let it seep into my brain like… like… well… like something that seeps into something else. But in a good way. I’ve always wanted to sit behind the controls of a plane and take her for a spin.
Thanks to a friend of mine who is a certified flight instructor, I crossed that item off my Bucket List in 2014. Now to be clear, I did not receive my pilot’s license (though that is a future endeavor when and if the clock permits), but for 45 minutes I was in complete control of a Cessna 172 at an altitude of roughly 3,000 feet.
The one I flew was white and red, not white and blue, but pretty much the same everywhere else. I flew it in a big loop around the Knoxville sky, even over my house! That was extremely cool, and an experience I will have again someday. But for the sake of continuing this post, I will summarize: I crossed this off my list, and it was replaced by the former #2 (which was once #3) item:
Own a Ferrari.
Yes, this one came true for me, as well. Last December, the family and I drove to Greensboro, NC, where we picked up this pretty little gem:
This is a 1990 Ferrari 348 TS in the color known as Grigio (which, as you’ve probably guessed, is Italian for gray). That’s Heather and Ember in the background. Cole is actually sitting in the car in this picture. He loved it from the moment he saw it, and we pretty much had to pry him out of it before I could drive it off the lot. Now, before anyone makes any weird assumptions, this car is 26 years old and the 348 is often considered the ugly duckling in the Ferrari lineup, with plenty of people thinking it is one of the worst Ferraris ever made.
Personally, I don’t see it. I think the car is beautiful, but there are plenty of Ferrari fans out there who would sooner drive a Volvo. I ain’t one of them, but that’s beside the point. The point is this car was surprisingly inexpensive…you know…for a Ferrari. In fact, it cost less than a new Honda minivan. (Well, certain models, at any rate.)
Now that’s not to say it’s cheap or a bad car, just largely unloved by the folks whose opinions would make it more expensive. Fine by me. Do I look unhappy, here? Nope. Didn’t think so. 😉
Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to be able to afford something like a Ferrari 488 GTB, but let’s be real, here. I don’t sell that many books. (Again…yet.) And anyway, I love the 348, and it fulfills a lifelong dream. So I think I’ll hang on to it for a while. Those other Ferrari fans can…well…you know…
So anyway, those three things were at the top of my list, and now they are done. I am going to have to think of a new Top 3. I’m currently taking suggestions. Anyone here want to share some items from their own Bucket List? Come on, no one’s gonna judge you if your #1 item is dress up like a steampunk version of Judy Garland and gorge yourself on broiled turkey gizzards with Bill the Cat.
I know I won’t. 🙂