Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bucket Lists

Here at the Rockville 8 we had a recent conversation about bucket lists. Here are some of the items we came up with. What's on yours?

                                  Misha Crews

1) Hike the Appalachian Trail: I'm putting this one at the top because it's by far the least likely thing I'll accomplish. Although I love Nature, I mostly appreciate her from a bug-free, climate-controlled environment. But I've been fascinated by the A.T. ever since I was a child, and despite the unlikelihood, I still have the hiking of it on my bucket list. I take comfort from the fact that Emma Gatewood first hiked the Trail when she was 67, and Lee Barry completed a through-hike at the age of 81. So I have a few years to build up my strength (and my nerve) and make a go of it.

2) Spend a year doing volunteer work: I'm privileged to know some amazing people who give most/all of their time to humanitarian efforts. Although I've occasionally been invited to participate (all great projects need warm bodies to fill the ranks), I've never been able to do more than help in a very peripheral way. I'd love to be able to take a solid year, or more, and do whatever needs doing: disaster relief, literacy programs, homeless shelters, whatever. To paraphrase George Harrison, it would sure do me good to do some good.

3) Write all the stories in my head: Okay, maybe this is the least likely thing I'll accomplish. Like most writers, I have hundreds, if not thousands, of stories rattling around in my imagination. I would dearly love to write all of them. Even half of them would be pretty darn okay with me.

Keely Thrall

1) Like Misha Crews, I have hiking on my mind. When I was in grad school I had to do a little research on el Camino de Santiago for an internship project. I fell in love with the idea of wending my way through northern Spain. I lived on the Costa del Sol for a year when I was a kid, but never explored the rest of the country. The idea of walking in the steps of countless travelers before me fills me with curiosity and a sense of the connections between past-present-future.

2) Go back to school to earn a Ph.D. In what? Who knows. I think the subject matter is less important to me than the journey and the accomplishment of tackling a rigorous challenge. I’m not an academic by nature (I like to make s*** up and that clashes with things like insuring you get your facts straight), but I love academia and the environment of learning.

3) Channel Bob Hope. I’m serious! That man had a massage every day. He even traveled with a masseuse. What is not to love about that? The man lived to be 100. You can’t tell me a daily massage had nothing to do with it! (Also, is it just me or did Bob Hope steal his nose from Lorenzo de Medici.   

                                 Lisa McQuay

1) Visit all 50 states. I don’t want to just visit but spend quality time finding out what makes that state unique. I would like to take a camper with my husband and spend a few months seeing this country. Visit the Grand Canyon, see the Northern Lights, and go where the road takes us.

2) Go back to school to get a degree in something just for the love of learning. It would be something like English, Journalism, History, or a foreign language. Possibly doing this with an eye to teaching that thing that I love learning.

3) Start a non-profit program to help people, especially those suffering from illness. There are so many people who are having difficulty. Even small gestures mean a lot to those who are not well. There are so many opportunities to do good things.