In one of the programs I give relating to my novel, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast, the focus is on women’s bucket lists. At a recent program, the hostess cautioned that I might have trouble getting the ladies to share what’s on their lists. In fact, she didn’t think any of them would open up.
It was a group of a dozen and we were in a living room. So I said we would go around the room and casually share. “If anyone doesn’t want to, just wave yourself off and we’ll go on to the next. No big deal.”
Sure enough, the first lady said she didn’t really have anything to offer. Great, I thought. What if the hostess was right? But in a setting like that, you just have to keep moving. If things went badly, and the discussion was poor, well, I’d be home before dark.
But then, an interesting thing happened. The next woman up said that she’s always wanted to take a trip to Europe but she doesn’t have anyone to go with. No one in her life wanted to join her.
“I’ll go with you,” the hostess piped up.
“I’d like to go too,” came a voice from the other side of the room. The three of them took a moment to briefly discuss it before we moved on.
There were more hopes and wishes shared as the activity continued, but I couldn’t quit thinking about what had just happened.
At least three women there wanted the same big thing and they could make it happen. Before that evening, apparently none of them knew that the others had this same heart’s desire.
The evening progressed and as I signed some books following the program, I heard the women chatting. It sounded for all the world like they were in the beginning stages of making trip plans. To Europe. As I left the house, they were still talking about this.
I hope someday to hear that they really did make the trip.
Hopes and dreams take many forms in life. In 2014, I had two unusual dreams take shape and come true. I published a book. I went to Israel. I still think daily about both and praise God for these unique opportunities.
Now, my bucket list’s target is publishing a sequel in 2016. Things are progressing but it’s still far enough away that I don’t want to get too deep into that topic on this blog just yet. I’ll certainly be unpacking it in detail next year.
This year, the old bucket list’s focus has been the joy of seeing Brian reach that milestone of retirement and finding a happier, more relaxed husband where I used to see a man out the door at 5:30 a.m. and grading papers until bedtime.
It’s also been the year of finishing my sequel and ushering it into the hands of three trusted people who either have or are currently editing it.
I don’t have a list to check off for my own pending retirement in a few years. I have some ideas, though, and a belief that at the right time, more ideas will take shape.
One thing I’ve wanted to do since I was 19—my first summer out of 4-H when I found myself missing it, is to one day be a 4-H judge. I’d like to take the class required to one day do this.
I would also be honored to serve as a Bible Study Fellowship discussion-group leader.
But while I’m still knee-deep in my day job, I can’t take on either of those. Someday.
Recently, I was asked, quite out of the blue, to judge a festival parade in Shirley and the other day, the phone rang and I was invited to judge the baked goods at the Mooreland Free Fair.
For years I watched as judges evaluated foods in the annual Courier-Times recipe contest. I coordinated it, not judged it.
One year I judged the Knightstown Jubilee Days’ Queen Contest but that was by default when Janet Helms (their first choice) couldn’t make it. I once judged a hospital Christmas decoration door contest and another year the Christmas trees at the Wilbur Wright Birthplace.
The Supreme Court isn’t going to come calling, but I’m pleased and honored to be asked! I love small towns and simple, small-town activities.
If your women’s group ever needs a program, hit me up. I make house calls. Just like the Tupperware lady only with books and a door prize. Who knows? Maybe you’ll connect the dots toward your own dream.
As much as I love contemporary Christian music both in church and on the radio, I cherish the old hymns. I miss hearing them regularly. One of dozens that resonate is The Church in the Wildwood. Even though my childhood church was not brown, it was in the vale, nestled along the east fork of the Whitewater River between steep hills to both the east and west of town. From the cemetery on the grounds, you look to the west and see a good stand of wildwood.