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I never got around to making a Bucket List.  I guess I was just too busy living to take the time.  What I do have are those things, events, accomplishments, etc. that I actually did that might have appeared on my Bucket List, had I taken the time earlier to do that.  What I am left with is a kind of Blessings List, markers that we were there, we left our footprints, and we are left with great memories.

The key here is “Blessings”.   When I look over all those pieces that entered my life at various times, I find it very hard to not to feel privileged by all those experiences.  By all the characters that filled each day, family and friends, up close and from a distance.

I have heard it said that “what is past is past”, but that is simply not true. The memories linger, just staying in the background, until you are wise enough to call them up, look at the pictures, play the videos, and marvel at how young we looked!

Oh, I could put together a “Blessings List”, it would be a long list.  Just a sample would include such events and experiences as:

  • Seeing this country first hand with my wife motoring all the way to Malibu and back, checking out National Parks  on the way.
  • Disney World in the rain, with kids, including the time when our camper filled with rain water and playing cards and game pieces washed right out!
  • Family camping trips to Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, etc.
  • Pigging out on fresh boiled shrimp on the beach at Pensacola.
  • Surfing on the northeast coast of Oahu as an 18 year old fresh from Korea.
  • Spending a month traveling by car in Great Britain and Scotland with friends (keep to the left!)…Shepherd’s Pie is not that good, neither is haggis or blood pudding, for that matter!  But, oh the times we had, the pubs we visited, the fell walking around Lake Derwent water and, of course, it rained!
  • The month driving in Italy from Rome, to Assisi, to Tuscany, to Siena, to Florence, to Pisa, to Venus, to Milan, all in three weeks…not enough time!
  • Building a log cabin with my soldier buddy on an island in Lac Seul Reservoir, Ontario, on a hot Memorial Day week!
  • Watching our children graduate, and graduate again and seeing them all get married.
  • Holding my first grandchild, then the second, then the third, etc. all the way to seven!
  • Holding my first great-grandchild, then the second, then the third!
  • Gathering all my family in reunions on the beach at Oxnard, Heifer Ranch in Arkansas, Crystal Mountain, South Haven, and that tiny cabin at Little Point Sable.
  • Celebrating our 16-year-old grandson’s 5-year remission from Leukemia at Disney World and Lake Orange.

I could go on, but isn’t that a great list?  Blessings in all shapes and sizes, vivid colors of life, made all the more precious by how they were all shared with those we love.  Gifts from God that too often we tuck away in the back of our minds, in the attic, in the albums, on those old tapes, etc., rarely to be reviewed.  But you know what?  Each is worth a review and a recall of how each represents part of a complete mosaic of how good life is.

The Blessings List is NOT complete.  Life  goes on and the blessings pile up. Plans will be made and carried out, another reunion is just around the corner, pictures to be taken, kids grow, and our horizon stretches out with more promise than we can imagine.

As I close this essay, a song comes to mind, a timeless truth — Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

For What It’s Worth.

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