Filling The Bucket! - A To-Do List


Dear Henry,

The other day, I saw a random Twitter post about The Golden Girls. In the post, they gave the age of the characters, and I realized I am in that age range now. But, I'm far from old and now wonder why it was called The Golden Girls when they were (except Sophia) in their middle age.

Still, it got me thinking about my bucket list and my lack of focus on the list.

I've always wanted to complete one of the big 'through' hikes, like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest. Unfortunately, since "the accident," I have been unable to carry a backpack big enough or sleep on the ground long enough to complete one of those hikes. Fortunately, the Camino de Santiago offers both a porter system and nightly hotel accommodations. The Camino de Santiago would also be an excellent option for me. Spain is the country of my birth. I was born at the Naval base in Rota during the Vietnam war and, and even though the French way of the Camino doesn't go near Rota (maybe I could stop by and see it when I finish), I still feel a connection to Spain and want to see it. I'm also Catholic, and the Camino de Santiago is one of the more significant pilgrimages of the Catholic world.


Despite the promise of porters and a bed, there are still some significant challenges to walking the Camino. First, while I can walk quite well, all things considered, the Camino de Santiago is just shy of 500 miles. Therefore, I would need to walk around 14 miles a day. That is 10 miles more than my current daily walk, and most importantly, I will need to be able to walk that distance consistently before I go, as I won't be able to recover on the walk. 

Another problem is the language. I can't speak Spanish fluently, but it's not for lack of trying. During "the accident," I bumped my head pretty hard, and that seems to make some things, like coming up with the right word, hard (I can see the correct word spelled out in my head, it just doesn't always come out right)  and speaking Spanish has been challenging (although I can read it just fine). I will keep practicing, and, from what I understand, I should be okay with my limited skills. But, I am concerned about running into a significant problem, and I don't speak Spanish well enough to describe my past injuries.  



I will also require some special accommodations. Because the flight coming into Spain is seven hours long, and because of the neurological and circulatory damage from "the accident," I'm going to need at least a day or two to recover from the flight. Adding the extra days, the porters, and nice cushy beds are starting to become a pricey endeavor, particularly since I will have to fly (particularly the long segment) first class.

Of course, as the price tag begins to climb, I  wonder if perhaps I wouldn't serve the world better by giving the money to the poor instead d. But the quote "God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realized..." from St. Therese of Lisieux, and I'm inspired to keep practicing my Spanish and building up the length of my walks.


Another bucket list item is revisiting an old dr am. Years ago, I wanted to attend St. John's College and complete their Great Works program. However, I was encouraged not to. It was considered "impractical," so I got an excellent, ordinary degree in Business Administration. It served me well while I was working as a cost account t. Now that I've had to retire from corporate life and am writing a book blog (www.riteoffancy.com), a degree in the Great Works of Western Literature doesn't sound as impractical. Of course, I'm not going to enroll in college again, but there isn't anything stopping me from completing the curriculum, and so, starting August 15, 2022, I will start reading the first book on St John's college reading list: The Illiad. I bet I can complete the program in less than 4 years. 

Finally, I've always wanted enough land for a big garden and Fish, and I think the Roanoke area might be "home." We are starting to look for the perfect house. And I'm getting ready to make the perfect garden. It is going to be spectacular! To ensure so, I will be starting the Master Gardner program next January. In addition to making my own garden great, I am looking forward to the volunteer hours at the community gardens. I like that type of volunteer work.

Of course, I'm still going to work on my military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com and will always be planning the next road trip and adventure.

xoxo a.d. elliott

a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Roanoke, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

Her online gallery can be found at shop.takethebackroads.com

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