My Bucket List

This is a blast from my past. It was originally written in June 2014 but I think it is still as pertinent today as it was almost 10 years ago.

‘The Bucket List’ was a movie that came out in 2007 with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  It tells the story of two terminally ill men who take a road trip to fulfill their final wishes:  their Bucket List.

It has become quite popular for people to create their own bucket list.  It is a list of things they want to accomplish before they kicked the bucket.  My list, my bucket, is a little different.

In my bucket I’m holding tight to the memories, the emotions, the ideas that made my life as rich as it has been.  When I approach St. Peter at the gates of eternity (hopefully many years from now) I want my bucket to be overflowing with love, with smiles, with humour and yes with remembered tears of sadness that I have journeyed with throughout my life.

I don’t want to complete things and then strike them off the list to move on.  I want the pictures in my mind to be retained until my last breath.  I want to be able to recall my first kiss.  Okay maybe not the first kiss as we were young and stupid.  But I definitely got much better.  I want to remember what it felt like when my father picked me up as a sleeping child to take me to my room.  I want to remember what it felt like when I got my first praise for a short story I had written.  To know that my words could touch another was intoxicating.

I want to remember puppy dog kisses and a kitten’s purr.  I once watched a cow giving birth and many years later I watched the same process with our family dog.  Five incredibly beautiful puppies took their first breath while I watched!  It was exhilarating.  I have watched whales playing a few feet from my boat.  I have caught fish and seen bears in the wild.  I have been to other countries and have experienced a warm welcome.  I have driven through mind numbing storms and joked about it afterwards.  I have been deep in caves hoping that my guide knew the way out.  I have done so much in my life and all of those experiences are in my bucket.  I’m not done yet so I think I’d better get a bigger bucket!

 

 

 

 

Poo Soup   

I am sure I misheard,

The words that you said.

You asked if I’d rather,

Consider you dead?

 

I know that’s not right,

But it’s now in my head.

Such silly old me,

You asked about bread!

 

There’s soup on the menu,

I like that, I do.

What’s on today?

You say that it’s poo?

 

Creamed, you continue,

It’s special you see.

I know this is wrong,

But, with a chaser of pee?

 

This restaurant is new,

With a speciality palate.

I’m trying to grasp,

So, the onion’s a shallot?

 

I long for the day,

When food was a breeze.

A coffee was simple,

And sweets were a tease.

 

Now latte’s are half-fat,

And waste’s on the menu.

I don’t understand,

That food’s now a venue!

 

I’ll just drink my tea,

And snack on a chip.

Maybe I’m asleep,

And this is a trip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extinction?

Many, many years ago I had the opportunity to take a vacation whale watching off the east coast of Canada. I didn’t know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised and amazed at what I was able to experience. I saw several different kinds of whales and dolphins but my most poignant one was the several times I saw the Northern Right Whale. They had been considered extinct but were discovered by a Professor from my old university.

Every day we would go out on the boat and hope to see . . . something. One day we were approached by two whales, a mother and a juvenile. By law we have to stop our engines when whales are near and so we did and what happened over the next several hours was incredible. I don’t know the dimensions of the wooden boat we were on but Mama was bigger. Junior was almost the same size. And he (I don’t know what sex it was) was fascinated. He particularly liked the zodiac that we had attached to the stern. He kept coming up underneath it and forcing it into the air. Our captain was not well pleased. He would run out onto the deck of the boat yelling at the whale. Like it made any difference at all. Ha ha ha ha.

The next thing Junior would do was circle the boat waving his fins. Think of his arms. If mine had been slightly longer I could have touched his fin. He was that close. And Mama? She kept her distance but she kept going around and around and around the boat. Not the least bit intimidating!

A few nights ago, I saw a documentary on these Northern Right Whales and I realized how exceptional it was for me to have that experience. They are so endangered right now that they may not survive as a species. There are less than 350 individuals left and of those, less than 100 are breeding females. In my lifetime I could witness their extinction. Because of us.

The majority of the deaths, actually the only deaths on record lately are due to the fishing lines they get entangled in and propeller cuts. Their backs are sliced by the propellers of boats. Shipping lanes are too close to the Whales. And we do a lot of shipping. This saddens me. How many species have been lost in the last hundred years? I don’t want to look it up. I’m afraid it will be too many. Not just animals but plants as well. As a species we take what we want, use it up and then discard what we don’t want. We are selfish. I know people are trying to change this, trying to save what is left but is it too little, too late?

 

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species; the latest preliminary estimate suggests there are fewer than 350 remaining. Right whales are baleen whales, feeding on copepods (tiny crustaceans) by straining huge volumes of ocean water through their baleen plates, which act like a sieve.

By the early 1890s, commercial whalers had hunted North Atlantic right whales to the brink of extinction. (They got their name from being the “right” whales to hunt because they floated when they were killed.) Whaling is no longer a threat, but they have never recovered to pre-whaling numbers, and human interactions still present the greatest danger to this species.

 

 

This information and picture are from the NOAA fisheries website. Their mission is the protection of our oceans.