Darrell Huckaby - Writing my own bucket list

A few weeks back my buddy and I found ourselves alone on a Monday afternoon and decided to see a movie. It is a rare thing, indeed, for me to be alone, at any time - much less on a Monday afternoon. The movie we chose was "Bucket List," which might give you some indication of how long it has been since I had a free moment. I am certain that the movie in question has made the rounds of the first-run theaters and the "dollar shows" - those that only cost four or five bucks - and will be out on DVD soon, if it isn't already.

The movie featured Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson - two of my favorite actors. Let's face it. I will never look like Hugh Grant or Leonardo Dicaprio or Denzel Washington - but I still have a chance to look like Jack Nicholson. The plot was rather simple. The characters played by Nicholson and Freeman had been diagnosed with terminal illnesses and made a joint decision to live what little life they had left to the fullest. Each made a list of things he had always wanted to do before kicking the bucket - thus the title; bucket list - and then they set out to do as many of those things as they could.

I have been threatening to make my own bucket list since I saw the movie, but just haven't had the time - which is a big part of the point of the movie. How can we get around to doing the things we always wanted to do if we can't even make time to list them? Well, I was on vacation last week and finally got around to thinking about some of the things I would like to experience in whatever time I have left on this earth.

And, no - I am not sick and have no reason to suspect that I won't be here for a good long time. Conversely, not even tomorrow is promised to any of us - much less next week. So without further ado, I give you my own bucket list - the things I would most like to do before kicking the bucket.

I'd love to take one of those 10-day raft rides through the Grand Canyon. I saw an Imax film about it one time and have been wanting to do it ever since. You go with guides who cook all your food for you and you just hang out and enjoy the beauty of God's creation. I can't imagine a better way to spend a week or so of whatever time I have left on this earth - be it a year or be it 50 years. I might just get around to doing the Colorado River, too - and sooner rather than later. Let me know if that's on your list and maybe we can get a trip up and go.

I want to visit Normandy. I have read all my life about the heroic men who waded ashore on those faraway beaches - Omaha and Juno and Sword and Utah and the rest. I have always wanted to go and pay my respects to the men who saved the world from Adolph Hitler. I need to go soon, while some of those heroes are still around to receive my thanks in person.

I want to write a screenplay for a movie. I want to hang out with those Hollywood types and watch them put my ideas and stories and characters on the big screen. I have always thought that my first novel, "Need Two," would make a hilarious movie if I could just get someone to look at it. I don't want to be in the movie, understand. I just want to see it made. If you know anyone in the business, help me out here.

I want to see Georgia win another National Championship in football. I may not have to wait long.

I want to escort both of my daughters down the aisle on their wedding days - but I don't want to do that any time soon. And I want to stand at the altar in a black tux and watch my son marry a woman with whom he will spend the rest of his life. Again, I don't want to do that any time soon.

I want to live long enough to see gasoline drop below two bucks a gallon again. I think the odds of Georgia making it to Miami next January are a lot better than gas dropping to pre-Katrina prices.

I want to get on a scale and see it read a number less than 175 again. That's a long-term goal. I would settle for 199 in the short term. Things could be worse. My weight could be keeping pace with gasoline prices.

I also want to ride on a shrimp boat. I mean a shrimp-catching boat. I've admired shrimpers all my life and read about them and eaten their bounty. Now I would love to go out and watch them work - just once.

And that's about it. I realize it's a pretty short list, but I've done a lot already. Besides. By the time I check these items off my list, I am sure I will have come up with afew more.

Let me know about that Grand Canyon thing. See y'all Saturday - I hope.

Darrell Huckaby is a local author and educator. He can be reached at dHuck08@bellsouth.net.