George Plimton, Bucket Lists, and Life

 Literature Blogs

Yesterday, my husband called me “a George Plimton.” How cool is that!

When Plimpton wanted to do research for a book, he’d participate in the activity about which he was writing. For instance, while writing books about the National Football League and the National Hockey League, he joined professional teams. He did the same with golf and the GPA. He was a high-wire circus performer and stand up comedian – all for the sake of writing about them.

So, what brought on my husband’s most recent comment?

I’m looking into volunteering to observe or crew for the World Hot Air Balloon Championships here in Michigan in 2012. Preparation is already going on for it, of course. That alone is not really such a big thing. (I mean, yes, it is. Really. Hot air balloons? Are you kidding me?) But this month, I’ve also been cleaning oil off of animals at the Wildlife Rehab Center from our very own and personal oil spill. While in Western South Dakota, I went to buffalo round ups, pow-wows and rodeos, and participated in cattle round-ups and branding days, and got to know quite a few rattle snakes face-to-face. In Wisconsin, I hand-milked goats, and canoed the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. I didn’t get to “walk the beans” while in Iowa, but did spend a lot of time watching corn grow from our backyard.

These are all intentional local events I participate in for the sake of writing about them. The unintentional things which happen are much, much longer. There was the time I yanked my young son off of the icy rail at Niagara Falls. He was going to retrieve my mitten which he’d accidentally dropped over the edge. Or the wild boar attack in Arkansas. How about outrunning a wildfire in Utah on our honeymoon? Isn’t this a great and varied country?

And then there is the people element. Often, I walk through life with my mouth open, wondering at the peculiar people I see or meet or know, and the unique and unusual (might I say bizarre?) things they do.

Who needs bucket lists when every day of life is an adventure… or involves people? What a world to write about.

Carpe diam!

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