Blogs > Laura Kessel's blog

Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It’s sugary sweet, but bucket’s still filling up

It wasn’t much of a list. But maybe I have simple tastes.

It also could mean I should dream bigger.

Whatever the case, the release in 2007 of a funny, poignant movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman prompted many of us to sit down and acknowledge our deepest wishes.

“The Bucket List” followed two terminally ill men who wanted nothing more than to try all the things they always dreamed of doing before they “kick the bucket.”

Morbid? Kinda. Touching? Absolutely.

Freeman was a kind and gentle working-class guy. Nicholson was a brash and rude rich guy who felt entitled.
Their lists, of course, matched their lifestyles.

Nicholson’s Edward listed places he wanted to visit — the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, an African safari.

The list of Freeman’s Carter was practical and emotional — laugh until he cried; help a complete stranger; witness something truly majestic.
They went skydiving, drove on a racetrack and got tattoos.

Some of the items made the other bristle, because of the difficulty in figuring out whether it was actually accomplished — like Edward’s “kiss the most beautiful woman in the world.”

In the end, they both fulfilled their lists, and learned life’s lessons along the way.

As viewers shared the joys the two felt in accomplishing their goals, many got out pen and paper and started to compile their own lists.

That’s where my own lame list comes in.

I say lame because that’s the word most have used to describe it.

There are only a few things left on the original list, and they’re likely to stay there a while.

They’re trips to not-so exotic places, and require far more planning than I’m willing to commit to, so Boston, San Francisco and New Orleans will have to wait. I decided to cross off Savannah, because I flew into its airport in January. No, it’s not a true visit, but I have proof I was there, so I’ll take it at this point.

The one most likely to remain the longest is the dream trip I decided I wanted to take when I was just a child waking up early to watch the finals of the Wimbledon tennis tournament each year on summer Sunday morning.

Because I haven’t yet gotten a passport, that journey to watch a few matches at Centre Court will have to wait a while.

The ones that I’ve crossed off are the ones that earned the “lame” tag. But, they were legitimate, because I honestly always wanted to do them, but just never took the time.

First up was “go to a fish fry.”

Yes, I’d eaten fish. I’ll even admit to piling it on at a few all-you-can-eat fish dinners. But, before seeing the movie, I’d never gone to one of the various fish fry dinners that are conducted across to the area during Lent.

If you’ve never been to one, get ready for a true community eating experience. You walk in, pay, get in line, fill your plate and then look for a seat. Who knows who you’ll end up sitting with. If you’re like me, it’ll be a priest.

It’s happened twice, both at St. Noel. They were different priests, from different parishes.

Also on the list was “go to the Kirtland Strawberry Festival.”

This one sparked the most teasing at work because it’s an event we cover every year. And I only went last summer for the first time, so I’ve missed about 13 of them since I started working here.

I like strawberries, and I like festival food. So you’d think I’d have been there before. You’d be wrong.
But now I can say I’ve gone, and that I’ve enjoyed a good shortcake.

My favorite item crossed off the bucket list was “go to a pancake breakfast.”

A couple of years ago, we headed out to Burton for the Burton-Middlefield Rotary’s pancake breakfast, that year held at Century Village. Served with real Geauga County maple syrup, the pancakes and assorted extras were worth the lengthy drive for breakfast. It helped that we got to catch up with an old friend and meet his young daughter, but the homey atmosphere also made it worth the effort.

This year, the breakfast will be held at Berkshire High School in Burton. For our list of area breakfasts, most of which kick off today, head to

Sure, these three items were rather easy to accomplish. But, because I’d never done them and always wanted to, they easily fit on my bucket list.

I always thought it was kind of funny that a pancake breakfast during maple sugar season would be a bucket-list item, since the sap is collected in buckets.

Maybe I’m the only one that finds that humor, though.

My sense of humor is about as lame as my bucket list.


Blogger Milady said...

Melanie here! I enjoyed this piece, please email me--I have a question about your blog. MelanieLBowen[at]gmail[dot]com

March 9, 2012 at 5:41 AM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home