Revisiting the bucket list

When I first started this blog back in November 2007 its purpose was to write down a list of things to do and places to go before I die in homage to the movie The Bucket List. And even though this blog has become much more than that I post photos and poems here, I write about my writing life, I report on special happenings always in the back of my mind is the question: how am I doing in checking off the things on my list?

So I went back to two of my earliest post and copied the lists below. And I’ve commented on each one so you and I will both know what I’ve accomplished. And then I’ve written down a few more things mainly about where in the world my husband and I want to travel before we’re unable to travel anymore.

That’s the thing. I feel very strongly lately that my time is very finite, so I need to make every moment that I have left count.

My Garden Buddha

The List

  • Climb down into the Grand Canyon not done yet, but still on the list.
  • Go to the parts of the United States I haven’t been to yet Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, the Carolinas we’ve made plans to visit these places this spring.
  • Get my memoir Leaving the Hall Light On published hooray, that has happened. It probably should have been first on the list.
  • Get a poetry book published no, but I haven’t worked hard on it. I have a lot of those poems in my memoir. Does that count?
  • Read all the books that are waiting for me on the shelves in my closet starting with:
  • The Golden Notebook yes, I read that, and I’m still working my way through the others. Of course, you know how that goes. Other new books always get in the way. Yet, I just found that I have a copy of Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on that shelf. It’s up next to be read.
  • Spend time outside in my garden no. I don’t do that, and now I wonder why I even put it down.
  • Get a Buddha for my garden yes. The Buddha is there. See photo above. It stood out wonderfully during Ben and Marissa’s wedding.
  • Spend more time in my office yes. In fact I’m in my office almost all day, everyday.
  • Write some new poems yes.
  • Take another cruise on the Cunard in the Princess suites to Scandinavia and Russia yes.
  • Visit my brother and his family in Denver yes. And I’m so glad we did. We went there every other month for the two years before he died.
  • Go to Virginia to see Anna and Ian and their mom and dad and while there see the Annie Leibowitz exhibit at the Corcoran yes. We’ve also gone there several times since and will go again in the spring as part of our northeast trip.
  • Contact some folks about my blog yes. I’m doing that constantly.

My brother, Ken

A Few More Things
Israel if all goes as planned we’ll do that in November
And my most important goal of all:
Live for a while in Italy. I just can’t get that one out of my head.

Please share your hopes and dreams with me. And also give me some feedback on what we should see and do in the places I’ve listed above.


  1. Doreen Cox says

    You know, Madeline, I’ve never written out a bucket list though I admire the idea! Your list is ambitious and is a delight to consider your accomplishment of those trips. I read your blog earlier today and then sat down to write out my own list. Such a list just did not emerge for me. My mother used to say, “There you go, Dody, flying by the seat of your pants again!” That’s me. So, I’ll do what I do and live vicariously through your bucket list adventures for now.

  2. Dody, I realize it’s a big ambitious list. And I’m willing not to complete everything on it. But unfortunately I’m a very obsessive goal-oriented person (Did you read my 2012 writing resolutions?). It definitely gets in my way sometimes. But, living this way keeps me going.
    Please don’t feel badly that you couldn’t make your own list. I need to try flying by the seat of my pants one of these days.
    Thanks for being here. You are a true friend. xoxo

  3. Madeline, what an ambitious list! I love how you include lots of family and garden time. I’ve never really written out a “bucket list” though I believe writing down our goals and dreams gives them legitimacy. Very inspiring. thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Madeline. Yes, we both published a memoir in our “later years” :o) Aren’t we in such good company?!

    What your list tells me is that you’re still dreaming, and still living your life with vigor. As care giver of my disabled daughter, I’ve had to greatly modify my dreams, one of them being to travel. But when I think about it, I HAVE traveled, with her many times from West to East in the USA. And like you, my dream of publishing a book also came true. And I have three other wonderful children, all married, and 7 wonderful grandchildren and another on the way. I’m happy!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  5. Hi Madeleine! Thank you for visiting my blog. You have a nice blog, I like it.

    I have a similar list but I call it Goals List. I think I have to update it. Thank you for sharing yours.

    I’ve heard about your memoir and I think it was recommended by a friend. I’ve marked it up on my Amazon UK account but it hasn’t been available for quite awhile…there’s only hardbound copies available. Are they going to be available on Kindle any time soon? I’d love to read it! 🙂

  6. Sorry for misspelling your name, Madeline. Didn’t check it before publishing. Bad habit.

  7. Thank you so much, Kathleen, Ann, and Len for coming by.
    I know my list is ambitious, but I think working toward those goals keeps me going. I was with a friend the other day and we both agreed to keep up the pace until we’re at least 90.
    Len, I’m glad you’re interested in reading my book. It will be released for Kindle and in paperback in May.
    All best to all,

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