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5 things I wish I had done in life that I actually still have time to do...

Updated on March 10, 2009

1. Canadian Vacation

I grew up in a remote place: Bayfield, Wisconsin, in the United States. Right on Lake Superior, the woods was a palpable spiritual force and Mother Nature always in your face. But northwest of Bayfield is Minnesota, International Falls, coldest spot in the contiguous 48 states. And north of that is the expansive boundary waters area shared by the United States and Canada. And still north of that are remote lakes that can only be reached by bush plane.

If I could persuade my lovely wife, I would take her way, way up there into the middle of nowhere to a cabin on a lake on which our little puddle jumping plane would land. There we would fish and eat our catch when we were lucky and eat hamburgers and hot dogs when we were not.

We would get the feeling of true wilderness isolation, where nature is the undisputed boss, and the air slaps you with its freshness. Both of us enjoy nature so much, I am sure it would be the best of times.

2. Tour de France

Once I got a yellow jersey for riding in some fundraising event - Multiple Sclerosis or Diabetes, I guess. I was wearing it while I prepared to ride home from work and a coworker came out of the office.

She saw my yellow jersey and said, "Wow, were you in the Tour de France?"

"Sure," I said. "They needed somebody for last place."

I am old and slow, so the Tour de France is no place for me. Still I would greatly enjoy riding the route of the Tour de France for say, three weeks at my own pace. To be on the same roads as these superhumans would be a great honor. Also, I love to bike.

3. The Places of my Heritage

I have an interesting heritage. On my father's side, I have Charles Cotesworth Pinckney who signed the United States Constitution and Thomas Wilson Pinckney who negotiated for the port of New Orleans during the American revolutionary war. Also on his side, a cowboy / farmer who settled down to raise a family in North Bend, Nebraska. Castle Pinckney is built on an island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. On my mother's side I have Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, and Leah. Also on her side I have a bubba (great grandmother) who migrated from the Russian Pale in the early 20th century to New York City.

On my fathers side, my ancestors were slave owners in South Carolina. On my mother's side, my ancestors were slaves in Egypt.

Before I die, I would like to visit Charleston and Castle Pinckney, see Charles Cotesworth Pinckney's original signature on the Consitution of the United States, and visit Israel, Egypt, and the Russian Pale.

4. Kung Fu

I have studied Kung Fu for several years. I would like to have the time to study and practice every night and go to class a few times a week until I am accomplished in this very spiritual martial art. I would like also to spar and to fight in a tournament.

5. The United States

I have lived all my life in the United States but seen so little of this beautiful country. I have been to the Statue of Liberty in New York City and I have visited my inlaws in Florida. When I was four years old I visited Nebraska. I grew up on Lake Superior, one of the Great Lakes of North America, with Chippewa tribe native Americans as neighbors. I have been over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Before I must go I would like to take my wife to see the Grand Canyon, the Badlands, and the Hopi adobe villages. I would like to walk the beaches of western Florida and collect shells with her. I would like us to climb Mount Washington in New Hampshire. I would like to take her to visit the abandoned Bethlehem Steel mill at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, although she would not want to go. And I would like to drink local beer in at least 49 of the fifty states. (She could have a Marguerita.) I would like to see Alaska, and she would, too: its tundra, glaciers, and incomparable wildlife. And I would like to see Hollywood and the Walk of Fame and a Broadway Show.

So there is not all that much I want, I guess. Life's been good to me so far. I can't complain. And, God willing, I'll have plenty of time to get these things done.

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    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Sandman. It's good to get out of the box. I think that's what the word, 'vacation' really means.

    • profile image

      TheSandman 

      9 years ago

      I loved reading this, especially about how remote some of your areas of becoming have been. I lived many years ago on top of a mountain in West Virginia, so remote that we had to hike the last two miles. It was one of the happiest years of my life. I also spent many years on a 1500 acre farm in Tenn, also very remote and a working farm with cows, chickens and cotton to pick. I'm not to fond of picking cotton. this was in the mid to late 50's and those were also some very happy days.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      I think we all have a short list in our minds. It definitely feels good to put it on paper, so to speak. Thank you, Pgrundy.

    • profile image

      pgrundy 

      9 years ago

      What a great hub. I hope you get to do ALL these things! Reading your list I thought of lots of my own--thank you for sharing!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      One would like to think so, Ashley. But time goes so fast!

    • Ashley Joy profile image

      Ashley Joy 

      9 years ago

      It is never too late get out there and start checking these things off of your list.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      AEvan's ideas were definitely doable, too. I hope you do a 5 things hub, too, Iphigenia. I bet it would be fascinating.

    • profile image

      Iphigenia 

      9 years ago

      Great idea and your list is realistic (ie: no 'space flights or 'be a movie star') - this encourages me to make a list of my own. You and your wife have got to do at least some of these things. I'm a Brit living in France AND I LOVE THE TOUR 6 SO WHEN you come over here - email me in advance and we can watch a stage together then, while you follow the peleton, your wife and I will sip rosé on a terrace and just talk .... also, I've been to the Grand Canyon and visited the Hopi villages - both superb.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thank you Blondepoet. I am fortunate to be in good health and hopeful I will be granted time to do some or all of these things, or at least an edited version.

      Christoph, I think I was thinking of Hawaii, now that you mention it, but being the age I am, I don't remember why.

      I think I'll start with Kung Fu. I can begin training more seriously at home right away.

      I have been to Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, and California, AshleyV. Thirty-six to go! Oh, I've been to DC, too. Does that count? There are all the national parks - Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Yosemite - and historical places and attractions, so much yet to see. Perhaps when my thirteen year old graduates from high school we'll be able to travel more.

    • AshleyVictoria profile image

      AshleyVictoria 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      I agree with the United States trip. I have visited most of the states, but I still feel like there's so much in this great country left to see! I've never seen the Black Hills - that's what I want to see next.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      9 years ago from St. Louis

      Well, get crackin', Tom. None of those are out of the realm of the possible. Start with the easiest. Regarding the 49 beers, maybe you weren't planning on going to Hawaii? Their beer probably tastes like pineapple anyway!

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 

      9 years ago from australia

      It's great to have a bucketlist (new name for it all) I really hope you get to do all those things Tom,they are rather different to AEvans list haha. That's really interesting stuff too about your ancestors too Tom,wowee.A great list too....

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      I will continue to train. I have fantasies. Who knows?

      I have no idea what state I had in mind to skip when I said 49. Why would I do that? It's totally out of character.

    • ParadigmShift... profile image

      ParadigmShift... 

      9 years ago from San Jose, CA

      I know of a certain champion cyclyst who would tell you you can do whatever you put your mind to, especially in terms of the Tour De France...

      But anyway, great hub!! I was wondering though, what's the 1 state you DON'T want to try the local beer???

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Princessa, your Highness, your consideration of an aging cyclist is most appreciated.

      I'll try, Eovery, I'll try.

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 

      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Do it!

      Keep on Hubbing!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      Hi Tom, let me know if you ever come to do the tour the France. I promise I will choose the easiest and most picturesque trails for you ;-)

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks very much for the good wishes! India is fascinating to me - I'll have to add it to my own pending list.

    • charanjeet kaur profile image

      charanjeet kaur 

      9 years ago from Delhi

      Wow this is a great list and so much insight.. i can so relate to being in the USA and not seeing much of it. It is the same with every one i guess since you have the option of visiting the places you live in anytime it always gets added to the pending list. From personal experience i have hardly seen so many parts of India myself.

      Hoping that you make your dream a reality.. choosing france is classy i know i cannot get over paris even after so many years of my visit.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      She made positive sounds about a fishing trip to Minnesota, which would be almost as nice, AEvans.

      Mr. Golden, Amy, I will skip Hollywood on your advice. Maybe we'll go see the world's largest ball of string instead. I always wanted to see that, boy.

      If I am spared, Londongirl, if I am spared.

      I have been few places in my life, Funride, and would definitely like to remedy that while I have time. If I plan to tour the Pyranees I will let you know.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      9 years ago from Portugal

      Great list Tom, I hope you´ll achieve all your goals.

      What can I say, even though I already made some of the things you are going to make like the Canadian/Egyptian/Russian vacations,  I would love to join you on some of them specially the Tour in three weeks. Have fun.

    • profile image

      Amy G 

      9 years ago

      Great hub! I agree with Toad, though. Hollywood will be a disappointment. Grand Canyon is on my list, too... post pics after you get there!

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 

      9 years ago from London

      sounds a great list - get on and do it!

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 

      9 years ago from Free and running....

      Tom, skip Hollywood, you'll be disappointed, trust me on this one.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 

      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      My husband couldn't get me on one either, so that I defintely understand.:)

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      We will definitely do at least some of it. I don't think I'll really be able to get her on a puddle jumper, tho!

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 

      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      How wonderful and both of you still have time to do it!! Start planning and you will achieve it.:)

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