A bucket list full of dreams

Late in life, my mom created a bucket list. It wasn’t in response to her cancer diagnosis, but once she passed away, the list became serendipitous. 

One item on her list said, “Take a trip to Africa.” 

This must be the place: Ain’t it funny how you feel when you’re findin’ out it’s real?

After a long week and weekend grinding away, I had to bust out and disappear into the woods. And yet, I looked out my apartment window on Sunday afternoon and it was pouring rain. 

This must be the place: Where are you from, what do you do?

This past Saturday, I went on a first date. It had been a very long time since I’d actually gone on a date, let alone a “first date.”

But, there I was, trimming my beard in the bathroom mirror and making sure I brushed my teeth one more time before I headed out the door and into the unknown night. 

A time of waiting and yearning

I’m sick of looking at a pair of stylish winter boots sitting beside my bedroom door. I have other cold-weather shoes, but these gray boots seem to go with almost every outfit and also stay dry in the wetness that has become the meteorological norm as of late. Each time I pull these boots over socked feet, I’m reminded that spring has still not quite sprung. 

This must be the place: Time don’t wait on nobody, it just keeps movin’ on

So, there I was last Saturday afternoon, sitting on a couch in the depths of country music legend Marty Stuart’s tour bus. Right across from me, positioned on the other side of the table — the other side of my tape recorder — was Stuart himself, his trademark silver mane fluttering whenever he’d move his head while in thought and within conversation. 

Learning to live with intention

Ever had a life-changing book fall into your literal hands? This happened to me recently. 

I order my favorite rare, organic products through an online company called Thrive Market. I’m offered a free gift with each order. About five months ago, I received powdered collagen, which has since become all the rage with folks trying to preserve their skin, hair, bones and joints. Now, I’m hooked on it. 

This must be the place: Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there

It was 60 years ago this past weekend (March 2, 1959) when Miles Davis’ seminal “Kind of Blue” album was recorded. This is an immortal masterpiece, a cornerstone of not only American music, but the music of the world, too. 

This must be the place: Some people never go crazy, what truly horrible lives they must lead

In a recent New York Times article, “What Charles Bukowski’s Glamorous Displays of Alcoholism Left Out,” the piece analyzed and deconstructed the legendary (albeit infamous) poet/writer, ultimately putting a spotlight on someone greatly idolized, but also just as greatly detested for his behavior and antics. 

This must be the place: If I ever loved once, you know I never loved right by you

Ah, Valentine’s Day.

Upstate New York in the late 1990s. Middle school and Valentine’s Day dances in that a-typical gymnasium. Crappy late 90s hip-hop and pop music. Tongue-tied couples slow dancing. I was the 13-year-old kid running around the gym, kind of poking fun at the couples, but also secretly wishing that girl in my ninth period math class would save one for me on her dance card. 

This must be the place: Call it living the dream, call it kicking the ladder

Why does it seem we’re all so unhappy these days? 

Is it that we’re just more aware of our emotions and live in an age where — whether it’s socially acceptable or not — we lay everything out on the table? Is it the technology in our hands and our pockets we constantly post and scroll for subconscious self-value? Is it all the yelling, bickering and division constantly thrown in our face from TV, radio and the internet?

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