Some believe the world is coming to an end on Friday The good thing? You can stop searching for a Christmas gift for Uncle Scrooge. The bad thing? You’ll be dead.
Most who believe the apocalypse is imminent point to a calendar kept by the ancient Maya. The long calendar, as it is called, began in 3114 BC and concludes on Dec. 21 of this year. Which brings us to what’s on your bucket list?
We asked readers to tell us the things they hope to accomplish before they buy the farm. And if Friday is the day we all destined to croak, they had better hurry. The following are some of our favorites; see Ohio.com for more.
Raising the roof
My No. 1 wish is attending an African-American Southern church. I’m talking about the type where the choir is full of bold, boisterous voices and everyone is praising the Lord.
Now mind you, I am not an extremely religious individual. I went to church every Sunday as a child, but have not attended regularly since then. In fact, I am a white 60-year-old female who has had this wish for … 40-plus years.
I can’t imagine what feelings those church members must have. Being able to participate in this experience is an overwhelming thought. I want to hear their voices. I want to clap my hands and shout praise at the top of my lungs. I want to be able to stand and dance while the minister is on the pulpit preaching his sermon. I want to vocally and physically express my own belief, and I want to leave their church feeling just like they do, uplifted, strong and exhilarated.
As seen on the infamous George Lucas movie classic American Graffiti, I would like to find a parked patrol car, sneak up behind the car, tie a rope onto either the back wheel or axle and secure the rope to a tree or other sturdy structure. Then I would hop in my Mustang, and fly by the patrol car to see if they give chase. If they take the bait and begin to intercept my Mustang I would see if the rope would dislodge either the back wheel or axle from their patrol car just like in the movie!
This is in no disrespect for police officers. They risk their lives day in and day out to keep the general public safe both at home and on the road. I just watched the movie as a kid and always wondered if it would really work.
The desktop background on my laptop is a painting of the A-4 assigned to the Commanding Officer of VA-45, which was stationed at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Fla. in the 1970s. I do not recall if I flew that actual jet, but I did fly most of the others assigned to the squadron.
I am now 65 and I feel I still have the skills to fly a high-performance military jet. I have accomplished enough in my life to be satisfied. I would love to be allowed to fly one of the more recent jets from takeoff roll to landing and to do all the crazy things I did when I was in my twenties. I want to do all the aerobatic maneuvers and perhaps a little air combat. I know the air combat would be the most difficult part for my body and current (if any) skill level.
I have no interest in hanging with or meeting any celebrity. I would enjoy a conversation with John Glenn or Chuck Yeager. Pilots all have stories to tell, the kind they only tell to other pilots because they appreciate, understand and probably experienced a similar situation.
I started to think about my bucket list a few years back after the passing of my brother, Jeff, my mom, Ann, and my granddaughter, Makenna.
Not wanting to feel the pain of their passing, I walked around numb. The only problem with that was losing my sense of joy also. Life was passing me by and I wanted to feel alive again, so I started my bucket list.
I had a small tattoo on the back of my hand in memory of my loved ones.
My first step back to the land of the living was more of a leap — deep into the icy waters of Portage Lakes to take a Polar Dive. From there, I sky-dived from 11,000 feet out of a perfectly good airplane, taking my husband, Paul, son, Adam, his girlfriend, Tary, and my co-worker, Corey, with me.
My next adventure will be more down to earth as I sumo-wrestle my sisters, Judy and Steff. I will rent the suits and perform at my granddaughter, Destany’s, graduation party in June at Wingfoot Lake.
In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to flash a trucker. Speeding down I-77 with my dearest friend, Joyce, behind the wheel, we flew past the truck and ended up flashing two nuns instead. That scared me more than the polar and sky dives combined. Having 12 years of Catholic education — need I say more?
I’m not done with my list and hope I will always have something to add as time goes on. The things I’ve done have given me a whole new view on life. I’ve learned to appreciate and love every moment, taking nothing for granted.
Who knows, maybe one day you’ll see me running with the bulls in Spain. (It’s on my list.)
The things that matter
Others say that I’m a “people person.” I guess they’re right because anything I would like to accomplish relates to people I’d like to see — before (you know).
My Central High School classmates of 1942. We had reunions in 1982, 1992 and 2002. This year would be our 70th, if we have one. With all of our losses, we could hold our gathering in a phone booth.
My Air Force buddies of World War II. Of my B-17 crewmates of 10, only two of us are alive. I was the radio operator, Eddie, in Detroit, served as tail gunner. I still receive a B-17 newsletter describing the memorial events of the war years.
The students I taught (1948-60) or those I served in an administrative role (1969-79). I loved all those young people who passed my way.
The jewel of those years was while I served as principal of Ellet High School (1966-71). I’ve attended many class reunions and hold a special affection for the 1971 class. (My assignments changed after that year and some say I also graduated in 1971.)
Some bucket lists probably mention … snowboarding in Colorado, a trip to an exotic land, or meeting a world figure like the Pope. But my list is a yearning to see, one more time, all those who gave my life its meaning.
I do “see” them in quiet times. After all — “The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own.”
Kim Hone-McMahan can be reached at 330-996-3742 or email@example.com.