Monday, May 26, 2014

Bucket list for 10 simple pleasures

“The Bucket List” is a to-do list for activities in life before death (kicking-the-bucket). The phrase was made popular by the movie which included activities such as flying over the north pole, climbing a pyramid and sky diving. A bucket list should be as unique as the individual dreaming it.

“First we work, then we play, then we have a happy day!” is a rhyme that reminds me that life requires balance. To God be the glory for opportunities to work hard and imagination to set goals for enjoying activities. The Spirit’s guidance to live life to the fullest involves seeking inspiration from the Word.

ice cream pail bucket scoop
Ice cream for desert was casually served as we passed out empty dishes followed by the pail so each could help ourselves and serve our neighbor. My aunt and uncle were visiting us from a city in California. They had one child, so it’s not surprising she wasn’t accustomed to our lifestyle on the farm with a family of eight. Aunt Marian says, “Are you going to pass the whole bucket around?” Funny, that comment has not yet been forgotten.

This 10 simple pleasures bucket list represents blessings in my life. 

God-willing, I may change or add more wonderful things to my list when the inspiration comes. Instead of crossing these off when I’ve achieved them, they remain with hope to repeat and renew the joy, perhaps in new places or under new circumstances.
  1. Hang out with loved ones
  2. Create art
  3. Days on beaches and riverbanks
  4. Swim in pools
  5. Wander in woods
  6. Visit festivals, experience performances
  7. Browse art galleries and museums
  8. Read/discuss books with friends
  9. Sunday mornings in Church
  10. Have peace in Christ

Hang out with loved ones

Our Heavenly Father pours out His love through my friends and family—grandparents, parents, siblings, husband, children, cousins, aunts, uncles and all the special people in my life. He works through me and each of us to nurture, train, educate, protect, share sorrows, encourage, work, play and bring joy.

Create art 

Inspiring, interesting and beautiful things have been accumulating over the years. I want to use them to create mixed media and assemblage art. I want to take my sketch book along more often for the few minutes here and there—while waiting for the next available clerk at the post office, for a train to pass or during long road trips. Sketching art project ideas, words — lettering, creative quick still life drawings of whatever is in front of me and random doodles that take what my heart speaks to my brain which tells my hand what to do.

Days on beaches and riverbanks

Lake Oliver, also known as Long Lake is a beautiful Minnesota place I hiked or rode my bike to regularly as a child. I’ve watched nephews perform a spectacular Little Crow water ski show, spent time with a friend on a yacht tour past the Statue of Liberty and had opportunities to enjoy the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. My walking route takes me to where The Solomon River joins the Smoky Hill River in the beautiful Kansas agricultural valley where I live now.
  • The quiet reflection of the moon, sun, wildflowers and trees
  • Skip rocks
  • Float in a tube
  • Rhythmic waves lapping on the shore
  • Watch fishermen—boats in the summer, fish shacks in the winter
  • Sled down the hill out onto the ice
  • Ice skate
  • Sit on the dock with time to think and pray
  • Discover aquatic life
  • Water ski, ride in a boat
  • Cross country ski off the beaten path

Swim in pools

Behind my backyard is a lengthy spot where neighbors plant a vegetable garden. I once dreamt that in this space was a lap pool. I highly respect all farmers and gardeners and enjoy their produce, but I prefer swimming over gardening. Kansas record highs reach 111° to 113° four months in a row. I’m thankful for the nearby City pool where I can enjoy my favorite form of exercise during the hot months. My parents provided swimming lessons, a protective act of love because our farm was next to one of the 10,000 lakes Minnesota claims.

Wander in woods

I’ve loved to explore the woods with my childhood faithful companion collie dog, create a pretend home by roping off trees and make white clover decorated mud pies with with sisters. Hiking trails with my son to magnificent places such as Multnomah Falls in Oregon reveals the awesomeness of our Creator.

Visit festivals, experience performances

I love quiet time in nature, but events that surround me with thousands of people celebrating life together make a great change of pace. One year our family took a special vacation to Disney World. It’s always fun to take in local events such as the Smoky Hill River Festival which includes children’s art activities, artisan craft demonstrations, all kinds of foods, browsing fine art and craft booths and enjoying performing art entertainment

Browse art galleries and museums

Visual arts involve imagination and expression of reality through the creation and interpretation of images or objects with paint, sculpture, printmaking and photography. Architecture, decorative and commercial arts are common practical applications I pay attention to. The Wichita Art Museum and Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis are among exhibitions I’ve experienced to engage my aesthetic sensibilities.

Read/discuss books with friends

Having a friend choose books offers motivation to participate in a book club. As a reward for reading, a “scheduled time” helps cultivate friendships through discussions. I enjoy reading books written by a grandfather, friends and cousins. I’ve picked up stacks of garage sale books which remain a mystery. So many books to read, I should never be bored!

Sunday mornings in church

I “like” my church! If I miss being there on a Sunday for some reason, I feel as though I missed something very important.
“Worship is like no place else in this world. But there is one place that it does resemble, and that is heaven” —“Taking a Tour of Heaven” Reporter insert, LCMS
Church is our life together in worship… confessional faithfulness, artistic excellence, integrity in presentation, distribution and reception of the Blessed Trinity’s life-giving gifts in Word and Sacraments.

Have peace in Christ

I don’t know when the last day will be, but at the end of my days, it’s all about Jesus. My bucket is full and I’m completely in the peace of Christ. God gave His Son who lived perfectly but took upon my sins at the cross and rose from the dead on the third day. Through the gift of faith I received in baptism and by hearing the Word in church, I know that my confessions are heard and I am forgiven. Eternal life in heaven is for me and anyone who believes. Simple truth, everlasting pleasure.


  1. Who ate all that ice cream !?!!??!!!!

    1. In this photo, must have been my husband, Stan :-)