Bucket List Category: Reconnecting

As readers of this blog know, I believe people of retirement age should spend their time doing exactly what they want to do. That means continuing to work if they so desire (or must for financial reasons), traveling, taking care of grandkids, lying around by the pool, golfing, fishing, volunteering, or pursuing any of the items on their bucket list.

While my wife Trisha and I have been taking a break from many of our normal activities over the last several weeks, we have been able to pursue a few of our bucket list goals. While we did spend a lot of time taking long walks and relaxing in the Florida sun and traveling to historic places in the southeast, it was our bucket list pursuit of reconnecting with old friends that really made our time away special. 

During the Viet Nam era, I served in the United States Air Force. After my technical school training I was assigned to Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas. After that, I was assigned to a NATO base in a remote area of southern Italy. My friends and co-workers were all young and it was a crazy time in our lives. A few of us got married and we all supported one another. With little money in a small Italian village, it was a no frills life to be sure.

Of course, that was a lifetime ago, but during our recent travels we were able to reconnect with some of those wonderful people from our past. First, we met Duane and his wife Barb at a Daytona Beach restaurant in the shadow of the raceway. It was for lunch, but we spent over four hours catching up and telling war stories. He and Barb had married since we last saw Duane so many years ago and he is now retired. She was terrific and we had a great time getting to know her and hearing about their family and life together.  

After a brief time in Savannah, we traveled on to South Carolina where we met our friends Dan and Marian. These folks were newly weds when we first met in Texas, and we later lived in the same little apartments over an electronics shop in the Italian village of Mesagne. That was over 40 years ago, but we were able to pick up where we left off as though it was yesterday. There wasn’t enough time to catch up completely, so after another week of travel, Trisha and I invited them to Florida where we spent four days having fun and simply spending time together. It could not have been better.

Of all the categories on our bucket list, catching up with friends and family is certainly one of the most rewarding. Is there someone in your past with whom you would like to reconnect? Get to it. Let me know how it worked out.

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