Special to the Tribune-Star
I don’t really have a “bucket list.” I’m not sure what that is. I do, however, have a wish list of places I’d like to go, and things I’d like to do and stuff I’d like to see.
I have been able to tick off quite a few of my wishes over the years. Early on, the trouble was that I lacked the money to travel or pay big money for much of anything. Then, when I got older, somehow I found that money was no longer the major problem. Now it’s that my “get-up-and-go” seems to have “got-up-and-went.”
Believe this or not, but I always rather wanted to climb a mountain. I am, of course, a child of the Midwest, born and raised on the plains. “Johnson’s Mound” just out of St. Charles seemed like a bit of a climb to me. The view from the top was awesome.
I would stand and wonder what the view must be like from Mount McKinley or Pike’s Peak. I even longed a bit for Mount Everest until I read Sir Edmund Hillary’s book and got a firsthand view of the discomforts of trying to live and breathe in the cold and such a distance above a breathable atmosphere.
Eventually I made it to the top of Pike’s Peak and, yes, the view is awesome. I didn’t actually climb the mountain. Our sons and I went up on a bus tour. The boys had a snowball fight there on the summit on Aug. 11. Then we went inside the tourist trap and drank hot chocolate until time to catch the cog rail back to Manitou Springs.
I also got to Ireland, finally. My Irish ancestors were starved out of there too long ago for any record of their existence to be found, but I do wonder how they could have left such a beautifully green country. The answer was hunger, of course.
I did not kiss the Blarney Stone. My Best Friend suggested that would be redundant since I was full of Blarney anyway. That is, I THINK that’s what he said I am full of.
I’ve been to London — but not to visit the queen. I wanted to pay homage to the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum and stand in awe of the monolithic remnants of Egyptian statues. We sailed east along the Thames to Greenwich and saw the Cutty Sark.
I’ve been back to England several times, to Shakespeare country and beautiful Wales, but no matter how many times I have gone and however much I have seen, there remain museums unexplored, cathedrals not yet visited and history to be imagined.
I have not yet taken a boat trip down the Rhine River. That was a trip on Mom’s wish list and I am sorry I have not done it for her. But, maybe, if it turns out that there really is something to reincarnation …?
Liz Ciancone is a former
Tribune-Star education and general assignment reporter. Her
personal columns have appeared on this page for more than 20 years. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.