As we age, I’m sure we all can recall specific individuals who have had a significant influence on our lives. In my case, one of those people is a man by the name of John Goddard. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. I first encountered Mr. Goddard in junior high school when he was a guest speaker. Briefly, he was born in 1925, and when he was 15 years old he sat down and made a “life list” of 127 goals. Still living, when he made it into the 21st Century, he checked off accomplishment 109 on his list. Among his other notable accomplishments: living with most of the world’s primitive tribes, climbing many of the highest mountains, rafting the great rivers, flying many different aircraft while setting speed and altitude records, and . . . well you get the idea. Hearing this kind of thing as a young man, I couldn’t wait to get home and write out my list. You know what? I did pretty good. Like most people, the military, marriage, family, and career came into play and put much of my list on hold. I did, however, learn to fly, learn to play a guitar, form and play in my own rock band, sail a schooner, appear on a television show, meet several of my idols, appear in a movie, and guys (I’m a bit embarrassed this was on my list), I actually dated a Playboy Playmate. O.K., so my list swerved a bit off course. The point is, I was inspired to do things I might not have done if I had not heard Mr. Goddard’s inspirational message.  

Now retired, married for over forty years with three sons and five grand kids, I’m more inspired than ever to continue working on my “life list,” or at this point in life, what is now referred to as a “bucket list.” As an example, one of the items on my original list was to see a rocket launched from Cape Canaveral. I used to get up at 3:00 a.m. as a teenager to watch the launches on television. It took me a long time, but a couple of years back, with my wife Trisha, I finally got to experience a launch of the space shuttle. It was better than I could have imagined. So much so, we returned for the next three launches. 

As Trisha and I continue to add to our list, we have evolved into an interesting life style. Not every item on our list has to be something dramatic or expensive. Beyond the list, every day we try to do something new and interesting. Taking a new walking path or exploring a small town we’ve never been before is fun and very rewarding. Some might think we are crazy for our mini-adventures and activities. A couple of years ago, we were watching our favorite television show, The Amazing Race. It’s a show where two-person teams get clues to the next location and race around the world in hopes of winning a million dollars. Like goofy teenagers, we stayed up almost all night trying to replicate the props used on the show such as the clue box, the clue envelope, the destination mat, etc. We even created a life-sized mock-up of the host. The next day we went out, set up our video camera in various locations, and ran our own amazing race. Why did we do this? Well, first of all, we laughed all night and had a blast creating the props we needed from home-made materials. Secondly, when we set up our clue box and then raced to it ripping open the clue envelope, we actually heard passers-by exclaim, “They’re filming The Amazing Race!” It was pure fun. Crazy? Probably. The fact is, in life we all have so many difficult and challenging times. Growing older brings on its own set of obstacles. Experiencing new and interesting things and just getting a bit crazy at times is good for us. It gives our lives some much needed balance. Besides, it sure beats the heck out of watching cable news or soap operas.

Now the question. What’s on your bucket list?

Great Link

Be sure to visit Trisha’s web site for great recipes and cooking tips.


                              Trisha’s Dishes “Leftover Magic”




Photo of the day

After her bath, granddaughter Juliette joined mommy at the dinner table. Oops.