Bucket Lists

I recently got a DSLR camera for graduation (its a Canon EOS Rebel Xsi 450D and I love love love it, in case you were wondering) and because the photos are so large, I have recently been trying to make space on my hard drives and cleaning out old files.  (Sidenote: you would be amazed at the things you find on your computer…8 minute clips of the 2005 MTV VMAs, for example; entire volumes of Harry Potter in the form of mp3 files; a lovely six minute video of “Alabama Jones and the Busty Crusades” thanks to my wonderful friends Zach and Charlie, etc.). While sorting through what could be “recycled” and what I wanted to keep, I found an old folder labeled Random Stuff. In this folder, I found a document called THINGS I WANT (yes, in all caps). I opened it and this is what I found:


  • Subscription to “Sky & Telescope”
  • Jasmine plant for my room
  • To get into the nursing program at WSU


  • To work next summer at Yellowstone
  • To become a proficient, if not expert, purveyor of the night skies
  • To become a nurse
  • To own a pair of Manolo Blahniks
  • To plant a flower garden
  • A sprout ponytail
  • To get married and have three kids
  • To own a red Jeep Wrangler with a removable hard top
  • To own a chow puppy named Honey Bear, a Bernese Mountain dog named Bella and a Pomeranian named Lola.”

“Aww,” I thought, looking at my list with condescending yet patient pity, the way one looks at a young child with no idea what is in store.  “How precious.”  This list is obviously from at least three years ago (that would be during my nursing student stage – before I realized I hated chemistry and didn’t want to spend my life drenched in bodily fluids of varying sorts). This also must have been during my astromony stage too – I had recently taken an astronomy class and, since I had always loved constellations (mostly because I was a mythology buff) I wanted to be able to recognize the constellations I saw around my house and my apartment. A sprout ponytail – this was written when I had long hair, almost to my waist.  I wanted a cute little ponytail that “sprouted” out of the back of my head – ridiculous and silly, I know. But now I have one! Sweet…at least there is one thing I can check off the list!  The Manolos are pretty self-explanatory…somewhat of a pipe dream for a college student who spends $12 on a Miley Cyrus for Walmart ruffled top and gets buyer’s remose from that. Sigh.

Some of the things on the list I do still want – I have wanted a red Jeep Wrangler for as long as I can remember. No, I do not go off-roading or live in a climate conducive to a topless vehicle. I just love them. They are the free spirit of motor vehicles. Obviously I want to get married and have kids but that is not even on my radar right now. That leaves…the dogs. Duh duh duh…..

Growing up we had a Springer Spaniel named Obie. He was a couple years older than me and therefore by the time I was old enough to play with him, he was just too old. When he died, my dad said no more pets, because by then my sister and I were old enough to be over at friend’s houses most of the time and he said he would be the one left to take care of it, train it, and have to be responsible for it. Probably true. Either way, all through college I swore that as soon as I graduated and got a “real” job I was going to buy myself a dog. I even had the dog all picked out.  I wanted a chow named Honey Bear (an idea I got from a book…surprise surprise), and I found a breeder in San Bernadino that sold cream short-hair chows. They were…adorable. I can’t even explain it.



Don’t they make you just want to cuddle up with them and a fuzzy blanket? Too cute. Anyway……I got carried away because I still want a dog. But the whole list thing that I found made me think of what I would write as a to-do list before I die (a Bucket List…as in, before you kick the bucket) if I wrote it today.

I still want to get married, have kids and have the Jeep (sorry, some dreams die hard). But there are so many more things I want to experience in this life. I want to spend a summer at a ranch in Wyoming and have my own horse, and ride the trails all day singing folk songs and pretend that I am a cowgirl explorer for a time gone by. I want to live in New York City in a brownstone and date Mr. Big and wear Chloé and Dior and Valentino and Lanvin. I want to own read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and pull a Julie Powell and cook my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I want to publish a novel. I want to write an article and have it published in Vogue.  I want to visit the Castello di Duino, where Rilke wrote the Duino Elegies. I want to learn to sew and sew my children’s Halloween costumes. I want to finally perfect meringue…I think I don’t beat the egg whites enough. I want to go to Versaille and visit the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s private chateau. I want to trace my family history back as far as I can (which, right now, is only my great-grandparents on both sides).  Je voudrais parler le français facilement. I want to see Wicked on Broadway.

So I wonder, in a few years, will I look back at this tentative bucket list and laugh fondly at the dreams of a child? Or will I actually achieve some of these things? I believe I would have to become a cat to experience all of them – I would need as many lives as possible.  Starting today, I want to do everything I can to make some, if not all, of these dreams become reality.


~ by Bitterroot Buttercup on August 14, 2009.

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