Blonde On The Prairie: Don’t Kick Your Bucket Until You Take a Risk

It happened again this week. That thing the moon does. It gets plump and full. That big, protective moon sat perched shining life onto the dark, provocative night. I sat under it looking up wondering what’s it’s like shining light onto the dark, provocative night from way up there. At that point I smiled not just at the moon protecting me –but at eternity. I’m certain that plump, golden moon disappeared until next time knowing it had affected me so. You and I both know that what affects me affects that husband of mine just like I’m guessing what affects you does the same to that husband or wife of yours.

Add to the moon being so full the temperature being so hot. Can I get an “Uffda”for all of you who agree with me? Even my sweat sweated this week. I was so hot it confused my hormonal hot flashes into being cold. My upper lip dripped a nearly constant puddle onto my chin each time I walked outside. A full moon and humidity can change the way a human thinks I reckon. I reckon for a reason.

Time is ticking. It’s not just ticking it’s alarming me and us to what is left to do. After a popular movie with the same name came out a few years back, many people began practicing a procedure that kind of forces an outcome to living. It’s called a “bucket list.” The idea is that you write down all of the wonderful, fabulous, adventurous, exciting, joyous, youthful things you’d like to do before you kick the bucket and cross them off the list as you complete them. Since you’re reading this I trust you haven’t yet and so perhaps you’ve already made a list. Some people make very far out, extraordinary lists that include things like hiking to the top of Mt. Everest or skydiving over the Grand Canyon. Some people do more conservative lists with things like, “I’d like to eat at Fuji’s in Grand Forks and drive to Williston to see what in the world is going on up there.” Other people make lists with a servant’s heart. They list things like feeding the homeless in a big, metropolitan city or helping build houses in Honduras or practicing medicine in India.
The pull of the golden, full, protective, provocative moon had me shaking that husband of mine awake. “Husband! Wake up! I can’t sleep and we have to do this! Are you awake yet? I have an idea!”

Husband’s hair looks like Einstein’s when he wakes in a hurry, which helped sprinkle the idea that there was intellect behind my plan.
“You know about the bucket lists, right,” I asked him knowing full well he wasn’t really listening. At least I knew he was alive enough to hear me and so despite knowing he wasn’t going to contribute much to this sleep time conversation I kept talking anyway.

“Most people make a bucket list of all the lovely, exciting, inviting things they’d like to see and do and experience. Well not me,” I exclaimed with the enthusiasm of an old time Lucille Ball sitcom!
“I want to make a bucket list of all the things I’d never think about doing because I would be far, far out of my comfort zone. I want to do risky things before I kick my bucket and I want you to come with me!” No response. I didn’t really need his response because once the wife has spoken the whole land hears one way or another I’ve determined. I waited until the next morning and offered him a cup of coffee as I drew him in to my risky, uncomfortable bucket list plan. I want to do things that will challenge me to my core. Finally he responded.

“How much is that gonna cost?”

I shot him that look we wives shoot our husbands when they say something we brush off as ridiculous.

“You want to do risky things and you want me to come with you? We’re getting older. What do you have in mind?”

He asked so I told.

“First I want to dress up in a jersey and sit in a sports bar and pretend like I know what’s going on,” I stated sportswomanly-like. I waited for his reaction to my living on the edge statement.

I was enthused that I saw him pondering my plan as he asked, “Which team’s jersey are you going to wear and which one am I going to wear?”
I couldn’t believe he asked me that. He already knew what my answer would be. I would wear whichever team has the jersey that looks best with my skin tone. “Duh!” I told him he could wear whichever jersey he picked off the rack in his size. I kept going with my risky list.

“I want to go way outside of my comfort zone and go to a hockey game. I want to shop in the mysterious grocery store in Fargo with the sign written in Arabic. I want to dance with the Africans in Fargo and I want to eat a fish stick.”

My risky list went on and on and on. Some of the things are so risky I can’t even share them with you.

I pray that the protective moon will be high in the sky the night I finally risk my life to eat a fish stick. The smell alone nearly has me kicking my own bucket purposefully each time I attempt. Goodnight moon. See you again soon.

Ingstad lives on the prairie near Valley City and writes this column for the Times-Record.