Tag Archives: bucket list

I’m Glad I Danced

The bills have arrived. I have piles of receipts I am matching up to my credit card statements. Every time I check one off, a memory is triggered that makes me say, “Worth it!” The gas to get us out of Florida? Worth it. Camping fees at our first stop in Mississippi? Worth it. The gas to get us out of Mississippi? Worth it. Admission to the Very Large Array? Worth it. Postcards for the grandchildren? Worth it.

More gas, more admissions, more postcards? All worth it. It’s time to pay the piper and I am grateful that I got to dance. There is now scientific evidence that spending money on experiences will make us happier than spending it on stuff. I don’t have a lot to show for the money we spent on our trip out West – a few refrigerator magnets and a lot of photographs – but I have memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I had reached an age (sixty-one, if you’re counting) when I was starting to think I might not have any more adventures. I thought I might just sit in my comfy chair and play iPad games or have virtual adventures on the Xbox 360 for the rest of my life, but I was wrong. Amazingly, delightfully wrong. I went out into America, and I saw beautiful things. I saw things I had dreamed of seeing all my life and I saw things I had never even imagined. I hiked legendary trails and I hiked trails so obscure we only knew about them because there’s an internet and a search engine to help find them. I climbed a scary ladder and felt stronger and braver than I’ve felt since my last child was born.

I used to say, “I want to see the Grand Canyon before I die.” Well, I’ve seen it now, but I’m not done yet. I have a list. I want to see Yosemite. I want to see Yellowstone. I want to see giant sequoias and I want to see the Aurora Borealis. The world is full of beautiful things and I want to see as many of them as I can.

We saved for this trip, so I can pay these bills once I get them in order. We will do that, and then we will start saving for the next trip. Sometimes, I look at credit card statements and wonder what in the world I was thinking when I charged all that stuff. This time, I know exactly what I was thinking.
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Worth it.

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I’m back!

This was not unexpected. I knew there wasn’t much likelihood of a blog entry getting done in April or May. Our biggest tie-dye event is on Memorial Day weekend and we spend all of April and May getting ready for it. After a twelve-hour dyeing day, I just don’t seem to have much enthusiasm for blogging. Okay, so what’s my excuse for June?

Well, first there was the recuperation time. That came after the putting-together-the-deposit time and included the getting-over-the-cold-I-caught-at-the-festival time. Then came the vacation time. My husband and I always take a vacation in June, usually around our anniversary on June 15th. This time, we left on the 14th and stayed until the 21st. We camped out on our North Carolina land and we spent a couple of nights in Asheville. My sister and her husband also spent time in North Carolina that week, so we were able to get together and share some bucket-list busting fun.

I have always wanted to walk a labyrinth and my sister had told me about a beautiful one made of lavender at Mountain Farm in North Carolina. We got there just in time for the Lavender Festival this year, so I was able to walk the Lavender Labyrinth and enjoy all kinds of special activities. Rumor has it that the folks in charge of the farm and the festival will be closing the place to the public before next summer, so we caught the very last Lavender Festival. Mountain Farm is still open to the public, at least for now, and I highly recommend this beautiful spot for the lavender, the llamas, the adorable baby goats and a gift shop full of lavender-infused products.

We decided to try the smokey salt, which includes lapsang souchong tea and lavender. We put it on just about everything we cooked over a fire back at our campsite and it improved everything it touched.
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The labyrinth at Mountain Farm let me cross one thing off my bucket list. Later the same day, we went to the Rhododendron Festival in Bakersville and I was able to check off one more item. When we were first looking at land in North Carolina, Bakersville was one of the places where we met our realtor before heading off to look at properties. I remember noticing a pretty walkway along the river there and I wanted to take a closer look. We didn’t have time on that trip, but once we actually bought land in the area, that walk went on my bucket list. It’s called the Bakersville Greenway and it offers a beautiful stroll along the river – made even more delightful this day by the presence of festival vendors, including soft-serve ice cream. That was a nice treat on a hot day.
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That was the second item I got to cross off my bucket list on my June vacation. The third one was the best of all, because it had been more of a fantasy than a goal, since I didn’t know if it was a real possibility. My sister bought her land before we bought our land, which is just over a ridge from hers, in Green Mountain Township near Burnsville. In the thrill of that purchase, I imagined that one day, we might be able to sing at an open mic together in Burnsville. This June, it happened, on a Friday night in a restaurant called “Mary Jane’s Bakery Cafe”.

It was a spur-of-the-moment suggestion from my sister and I’m not usually that spontaneous, but I am so glad I said “yes”! It was a casual open mic and a very friendly gathering. We had a great time singing and yodeling, and we got to see some amazing picking from the host and his bandmates. There was also a poet who shared her work and it was quite good, moving and honest and delivered with style.
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The food was outstanding and we will definitely go back, even if it’s not open mic night. It was a wonderful last evening of a fabulous vacation and I am still feeling relaxed and inspired from my trip to the mountains. I hope that means I will be finishing some of the creative projects I have started since my return, so my bucket list won’t be the only list getting attention. My “fifty things” list here is feeling neglected. Soon, fifty things list, soon!