I entered the second half of life with a sturdy bucket load of dreams, brimming with possibilities. In addition, that bucket held the resources I’d need in order to make them happen–things I thought I would do, who I thought I would become, places to which I would travel.
Besides the writing classes and conferences I would attend, and the writing coach who’d work with me to bring my words to print, my bucket was also stocked with dreams of travel. I imagined a trip to Switzerland with our grown sons and their wives to visit the Longenecker homestead in Langnau. This Swiss property had remained in the family since the 1500’s. I dreamed of seeing the Alps I’d first imagined when I was a little girl, eagerly reading about Heidi, an orphan sent to live with her curmudgeonly Grandfather in the those majestic mountains. The words and pictures in the book created for me an enchantment for everything Switzerland. As an older child, living in the fear of the Cold War of the early 1950’s, I learned Switzerland had never been in a war. That sealed it for me.
My bucket list expanded to include a side trip to Venice when my son married, bringing a wife with Italian descent into our family. Shortly after their marriage, while admiring a puzzle she had completed of the Grand Canal in Venice, my son asked her, “So…who’s going to take you to Italy?”
“My Mother-in-law,” she replied with a grin. It became our shared dream.
Austria got added to the itinerary when another daughter-in-law, who loved all things “Sound of Music” shared her dream of visiting Vienna. It was obvious to me that this bucket list item had room on it for additional European travel.
It also had room on it for travel in this continent. I imagined my husband and I traveling to Maine, then crossing into Halifax. I could have taken this trip with my parents as a 6th grader, but I chose at the time instead to spend the week with a cousin I only saw once a year. I still remember my parents telling me I might someday wish I’d chosen the Maine trip instead. Now that I am of age to have a bucket list, I recognize they were right. I’m anxious to see Maine and Halifax. I’d also love to drive cross-country with my husband, through Kansas sandstorms, over the majestic Rockies, and west to the Oregon coast.
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