2017-09-07 / Features

I Remember

Rules for the Proper Preparation of a Vessel of Dreams
Peter Young

Do you dear reader have a bucket-list?  No, I don’t mean some random thoughts rattling around your bean of things to do before you assume room temperature.  I’m talking about a real honest-to-goodness sit down at your computer and pound out a roll of items you want to accomplish before you head to that big ranch-in-the-sky list.  

    My list was prepared after I saw the motion picture, appropriately titled, “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman back around 2008. You may remember that the lead characters in that movie were diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Ergo, since the personality played by Jack Nicholson was a billionaire, they went on a bucket-list spree.  A hedonistic voyage of gigantic proportions. A self-indulgent trek, with no cost spared.  Skydiving. Piloting a Shelby Mustang. Flying over the North Pole. Riding motorcycles a top the Great Wall of China. Touring the Taj Mahal.  Dining at gastronomically famous five-star eateries all over the planet.  And so on.

That movie caused me to study the concept of pre-rigor mortis list fulfilment. You see, I sort of consider myself an expert in the mortality business.  My father owned and operated a small granite shed with six or seven employees including himself. Tombstones paid the bills when I was a lad.  My dad was not greedy however.  His advertisements in the high school yearbooks during my sister’s and my time at dear old NHS always included this admonition.  “Don’t hurry, we can wait.”

But I digress and I apologize.

My list was not scripted in Hollywood.  No. I compiled it without a screenwriter’s assistance. And being a student of dream-vessels, I thought I would share with you the five rules of my bucket–list code of conduct that I have developed over the years.  It could also be called “Etiquette for pre-mortality adventures,” or the “Dream Vessel Creed.”  The French might refer to it as “La Bucket du Liste.”  As part of my bucket-list mission statement I decided to incorporate that ancient saw or adage attributed to William Ross, a 13th century Scottish freedom fighter who supposedly uttered, “Every man dies – Not every man really lives.”  

So, let’s get to the rules.

Rule One:  Be Reasonable.  Your goals or aims must be doable.  Keep in mind the difference between fantasy and reality.  An entry on your dream vessel such as “I want to go to Mars” is a waste of time, a destroyer of ink and a misuse of paper.  If you want to keep a fantasy list, by all means do so. However, I submit that bucket-lists are no place for such reveries.  I’ll even go farther and wager that if you experience an item on your fantasy list it should have been on your “Liste du Bucket” to begin with. Fantasy lists are just that. Fantasy!

Also, keep in mind the monetary limitations of your situation and your health.  The item may be eminently doable but your finances will never allow it to occur.  Few of us could afford to take an around the world cruise in a first-class state room or purchase a sea-side villa in Acapulco (prices start at 3 million.) Or even stay one night in London’s Hotel Connaught’s largest suite which has a daily rack rate of $23,500.00.  Even if cost were not a factor, your wellbeing might simply prevent you from experiencing that pleasure.  In those situations, move it to your fantasy register.

We will continue next week with rules two, three and four of the bucket-list code of conduct. The Northfield News needs no dream-vessel-list as it has been alive for over 130 years and sees no need to contemplate mortality. But we lesser mortals must. So, tune into the next issue of the Northfield News which is one of the Dog River Valley’s oldest enterprises and learn more about the “things I wanna do before I croak list” code-of-conduct.

 Peter Young’s latest book, “Tales from the Dog (And More)” is available locally at the Northfield Pharmacy, Shear Edge hair salon and the Northfield Historical Society as well on amazon.com and Kindle. It’s a collection of short stories about Northfield and its college on the hill with a ton of vintage photos of times and people past. Take a gander and try it!

And don’t forget Peter’s book “Flatlander and the Rise and Fall of Mike and the Ravens” which received the 2016 silver/second place prize from the Feathered Quill Book Awards Program in the best humor category and is also available locally as described above and Bear Pond Books in Montpelier.  It can also be purchased on the Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kindle web sites.  Today’s musing is not from any of his books, just from his fractured mind.


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