It all began with my bucket list after I was diagnosed with cancer. I thought of the one thing I really wanted to do before I go: fulfill my dream of seeing all 50 states. How and when I would accomplish this goal, I didn’t know.
From the time I was a small child and my family would go into another state, I kept a list. I would get so excited each time I could write down a new state. I still do.
If the opportunity arises for me to take a trip and go somewhere I have never been before, I get excited. To be completely honest, I get giddy with excitement. Such is the case this week.
By the time you are reading this column, I will be on vacation to Minnesota and North Dakota. I actually touched down in Minneapolis last year when we returned from Alaska (my birthday gift), but I have not seen Minnesota and am looking so forward to doing so.
Two of my friends and I were talking one day, and I told them I really wanted to go to Vermont. We decided that if the three of us split some of the cost, maybe we could afford it. So we began planning a trip to Vermont. I’m sure you are thinking right about now, “I thought she said she was going to Minnesota and North Dakota.”
Well, somehow that trip took on a whole new look when I went to get a pedicure after I had tried to tan myself from a bottle, and my feet looked as though they had rusted out. I knew I would need some help in getting this home beauty treatment off my feet. While I was getting the rust grated off, I was sitting next to a dear sweet lady who offered me and my two friends a visit at her place in Minnesota. It was all I could do to sit long enough to get out of there and get home to call and tell them what she had offered us.
Needless to say, it didn’t take any coaxing for us to change our plans from Vermont to Minnesota. We have all been so excited for nearly two months now that we can hardly wait for my birthday to arrive. You see, that is the day we are going to leave. Planning it around my birthday helped me to coax my family to give me gas cards for my birthday this year.
I must say I began packing my bags a month ago, in case I might forget something. The only thing is, I will have to pack lighter than normal, and you readers know that can create a problem for me. I sheepishly mentioned I had already begun packing to the other two and found out they too had been packing early.
We all are the same age with some of the same aches and pains. We have even promised ourselves we will stop every two hours to walk around the car so something like rigor mortis won’t set in on us, and there will be a few bathroom breaks for me. My brother once said he knew my bladder must be the size of a BBC when he took me to Florida with him.
This trip promises to be a fun trip with two of my very dear friends. One I have known since I was 5 years old. She and the other friend only met about six months ago, and they hit it off immediately. We have been counting down the days until July 22 arrives and we are off. One did mention to me she packs lightly. I got the hint and am now trying to reload my suitcase. We named her the momma of the group.
We are depending on her to remember things and keep us on course.
Funny though, no matter how excited you are to go somewhere, the night before you leave you have 50 reasons why you need to be home, that home feeling kicks in and you get nostalgic. That feeling didn’t last as long as usual and the excitement is back.
If you see three slightly old ladies on the road laughing their heads off thinking we are young again, that will be us. Just honk and wave, and I promise we will wave back.
I’ll let you know if we are still friends or never want to see one another again after this week. Wish us luck and your prayers are always welcome.
Just a note: Happy birthday to one of my loyal readers who has kept every article of mine. Happy birthday July 29 to Leslie Kay King.