Let’s Talk with Lois Winston

On Birthdays and Bucket Lists
By Lois Winston

Have you ever noticed the older we get, the swifter the years go by? I can remember walking home from school and bemoaning the fact that summer vacation was still six weeks away. Six weeks seemed like an eternity to eight-year-old me. Now six weeks often flies by at warp speed.

I bring this up because February is my birthday month, and I’m wondering how I ever got this old. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I gave birth to my first son? I remember the day as if it were yesterday. Yet now he’s the father of three, the oldest of whom recently turned sixteen.

Who knows where the time goes?

Judy Collins once asked that question in a song. I’m asking it a lot lately. Back in the sixties the Boomer Generation suggested no one should trust anyone over thirty. Now we’re confronted by the derisive insult of “OK, Boomer” by those under thirty. To paraphrase a quote from another songwriter of my generation, the times they are a-changin’.

Once upon a time birthdays were something we looked forward to—parties, gifts, cake and ice cream! Yea! So many of those birthdays connoted milestones we looked forward to—Sweet Sixteens, getting a driver’s license, voting, ordering that first legal glass of wine. Wishes were often fulfilled on birthdays, the one other day of the year besides Christmas or Hanukkah when you might receive that new bicycle or pair of skates.

Now at this point in our lives, if we want something, we buy it for ourselves. Most of us have too much stuff already. We’re at the point in our lives where we’re thinking of downsizing and getting rid of those things we haven’t used in decades. Why on earth have I kept a soup tureen I received for Christmas thirty years ago and still have never used? Does anyone ever use soup tureens? And when was the last time we used that fondue pot? 1980-something? These and more—much more—are now piled in my basement awaiting a trip to the donation center.

Bucket Lists are now more important than soup tureens and fondue pots. Whittling down the Bucket List has taken priority. I still haven’t gotten to Scandinavia or Great Britain, and I really would love to see the Terra Cotta Warriors in China.

What about you? What’s on your Bucket List? In celebration of my birthday, one commenter to this post will receive a print or ebook copy of her choice of one of my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries or Empty Nest Mysteries. (print copy to U.S. residents only.)

While you’re here, enter our February Bonanza Book Giveaway. Six mysteries will go to one lucky winner! Contest runs until Feb 18. To enter, Click Here.

Comments

  1. The most important item on my bucket list was to greet a grandchild, and that one was granted four months ago by our daughter. Now I just want to spend more time with family and travel less. Been to most places I wanted to see. These days I like the comforts of home.

  2. Going to Italy.

  3. Pat Willoughby says

    Happy February birthday. We have been fortunate to travel everywhere that was on our bucket list. Yes, I’m old. But my continuing list now consists of trying to let go of that beautiful but huge, heavy punch bowl with lots of cups along with anything else my daughter and granddaughters would say to each other——-why on earth did she keep all this stuff?? I don’t want it, do you want it?? 😂😩

  4. Happy birthday, Lois! My Bucket List is small but long in mileage. My father told me to make sure I visit Alaska before I die and I want to honor that statement. En route, I will be going through Oregon and Washington state – the only continental United States I have yet to visit. That is a great way to see the western 1/3 of Canada (I have seen the eastern 1/3 of Canada.)

  5. Kathleen C Kendler says

    Top of my bucket list, go to Australia and New Zealand with my husband Jim. Hope you have a fantastic Birthday!

  6. Happy Birthday! I hope your special day is wonderful.

    I also see the months and years flying by at the speed of light. I can’t believe how fast the years have gone by. My daughter 35 and my son almost 32. It seems like yesterday they were just little kids riding bikes and playing in the dirt.

    I too am working on going through my house to pull out items I don’t use and don’t need . I’m planning a yard sale this spring/summer hoping to make a little extra cash and will donate anything I don’t sell to charity. It’s crazy how much stuff you accumulate over the years.

    I don’t have a formal “bucket list”. It’s just something in my head of things I want to do. A couple of years ago I got to finally see Metallica in concert. This year my bucket list item is to see Rammstein in concert. They rarely come to the United States and my daughter and I are excited to see them.

    I don’t really have much travel on my list except to someday go to Key West. I’m not sure when that will happen as money is tight right now and we’re tending to stay close to home.

    Margaret: scarletbegonia5858(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Cheryl Bonner says

    My bucket list keeps growing. I want to visit the Grand Canyon, and travel around the western part of the US. I’ve always lived on the East Coast.ccher

  8. Italy is on my bucket list. legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  9. Taylor R. Williams says

    The top of my bucket list is visiting Ireland. Thank you for writing books and ;having contests.

  10. Jamie Gillespie says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I do have a bucket list of a few things. I want to visit Scotland, have grandbabies, go to Disney (I am prob the only person my age who has never been, lol), vacation in Maine and visit Alaska. We will see….

  11. Sherry Clark says

    Happy Birthday. I’ve never had a bucket list. I just take life as it comes along.

  12. Yeah, bucket list work better! You haven’t have to store them or worry about breaking them. Happy Birthday!b

  13. Lois A Becker says

    Happy Birthday this month. I feel ya. I just retired this Dec. 29th and now that time is all I have it still doesn’t slow down. My bucket list, which I’ve never really thought much about, has Machu Pichu on it, which I know I will never be able to see, but I would still love to see it. That’s the most extravagant thing on it. Oh, btw, I never got a soup tureen.

  14. sallycootie says

    Happy Birthday! Yay to decluttering, but it’s hard. Once I became “a woman of a certain age” and retired I decided that what I needed was an Anti-Bucket List. Instead of worrying about all the things I hadn’t yet done or seen or felt I just had to do, I decided to eliminate them and go with the flow and just start from today and do what I want now.

  15. Happy birthday! My bucket list is a lot of traveling (New Orleans, Ireland, England, Australia, going to Germany again…to name a few.) I’ve always liked to write and maybe someday I’ll get up the nerve to try to publish something. And I’d like to drive a race car just once.

    • Thanks, Alicia! When we were first married, my husband had two friends who raced Formula Fords. I couldn’t even push the clutch pedal down. Didn’t have enough strength in my leg!

  16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONTH! I have still in its original cello wrapper a glass salad bowl with silver plate edging that I got for a wedding gift. Actually, I received that same bowl from two different people (it must have been a “thing” 40-odd years ago) and re-gifted one of them to another couple a few years later. I’ve got a ceramic soup tureen, too, that I think also dates from our wedding. Used it for stuff other than soup, but not in the past two decades, LOL.

    • Thanks, Diane! I wonder if that salad bowl was on sale somewhere and that’s why you wound up with two of them. When we got married, everyone ignored our registry. I received at least 3 or 4 electric food warmers. Not sure what they were actually called but they were flat, and you plugged them in to keep buffet items warm at parties. I think they were a “thing” that year because we also got one for opening a bank account. I wondered how you kept people from tripping over the cord as they walked around the dining room table, helping themselves to food. Needless to say, I returned all of them and never used the one from the bank.

  17. Hello Lois,
    Happy Birthday to you!
    My bucket list was started in my thirties after a severe injury, I began to check things off!
    I wanted to write a children’s book – I have
    I wanted to start a business – I closed one and started another
    I wanted to take a creative writing class – I have enrolled in one

    Make today Amazing – for you!!!

  18. Patricia W Wilkes says

    Happy Birthday and may you have many more. Time does pass quickly when you are in your 70’s, but each day is precious so make the most of it. Getting ready to sell my house and move into an apt where I will have less concern for cost and care. No bucket list at present, just looking forward to meeting new neighbors and making new friends. Decluttering and downsizing have stirred up a lot of old memories.Been keeping the good ones. Enjoy your day and celebrate the whole month!

  19. bobbi makuch says

    My husband and I are working on our bucket list, we have crossed off many of the items but still have to visit Egypt/Israel to complete our list.

  20. Sheila Siarkiewicz says

    Happy Birthday! I’m at that age in life where time is flying by much too quickly! I’m starting to clean out and downsize. Lots on my bucket list though I doubt I’ll ever get to do them. I’ve always wanted to go to London, England because I love Tudor history and I want to visit Ireland where my move was born and raised,

  21. Happy Birthday to you. After my husband passed, my son wanted me to move to another state to be with him and I got rid of a lot of my “soup tureens”! England was on our bucket list and we loved being able to go there and visiting some Sherlock Holmes sites.

  22. Happy Birthday Lois! I haven’t started downsizing yet, but getting close! My eldest son is getting married in May and I hope to start ‘sharing’ with his soon-to-be wife after that! 😊 Have great day and enjoy your birthday month!

  23. Happy Birthday! I have been getting rid of things for a few years but still have silver service, trays, tea pots etc. which I received for my wedding 50 years ago. Just is taking up space. I enjoyed your birthday post. I don’t have a bucket list but wishes are what I dream of daily. After 8 yers of major health problems I am happy to go for walks and enjoy life.

  24. Used the fondue pot (ceramic from Germany) this week😉 my bucket list includes getting very fit so I can hike and use my camera. Happy Birthday.

  25. Jane Starcher says

    I just want to see Ireland before I die. The land of fairies,witches,and legends galore!

  26. Aleece Ginsburg says

    Happy birthday Lois. I love your books and always look for them in the new mystery section of my library. In the fall I’m going to be getting ready to sell my house. It will be interesting to find items I haven’t used in 40 years. I did get a soup tureen as a wedding gift from a hospital gift shop. I returned it and got a nightgown. (This was from someone on my husbands side. )
    Enjoy your day and many happy returns for the year to come.

    • Thanks, Aleece! How strange that a hospital gift shop would sell soup tureens! I love that you were able to exchange it for a nightgown. Unfortunately, some gifts you don’t dare exchange because the giver is a frequent visitor. Such was the case with the soup tureen. I really did think I’d use it at some point but never did.

  27. Wendy Bognar says

    Happy Birthday to you, hope you having/have had a very special day & felt very loved – we share the same month, my birthday is on the 14th, I am a Valentine baby 💜 & am Blessed to be spoilt twice on the day by my adorable husband – during the day lots of friends, family & of course a decadent cake 😁 & at night a simple romantic supper for 2 💜💜 … I live in South Africa & on my bucket list is to travel – I’m in my 60’s so hopefully soon 👍🏻🤗

  28. Happy Birthday Lois, Enjoy your Special Day doing whatever makes you Happy. My soup tureen will celebrate 58 years unused in April. Question: Did everyone receive them as wedding gifts?…lol

    • LOL! You’ve certainly got me beat with soup tureen longevity, Beaj! But I received mine as a Christmas present. The year I got married was the Year of the Fondue Pot.

  29. Carol Knudtson says

    Happy Birthday! I am also at the stage of “decluttering” and am reluctant to buy anything new especially if I’d have to dust it. I don’t really have a bucket list but maybe I should start one. I guess a TBR pile doesn’t count? Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. I’ve never had a bucket list. I take life as it comes. Is that wrong?I guess that’s what you do when you have never had extra money for vacations and things. Or, maybe, it’s just the realist in me. I guess it’s good I am happy where I am.

  31. I have both a soup tureen and a fondue pot. I keep thinking I will use both at some point. Maybe the soup tureen would make a nice receptacle for a flower arrangement?

    Hmm. My bucket list is a mile long. Among the things on the list: I want to go owling, learn Greek enough to speak it if I ever get to visit Greece, and spend a Christmas in Scotland.

    What a fun post! I love thinking about my Bucket List. Happy birthday month!!

  32. The years do fly by! I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively when I was an engineer. I’ve seen the Taj Mahal, the Sydney Harbour, the London Tower Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, and so much more. A lot of places, but I’m still excited to visit the Giverny Gardens where Monet painted his famous water lilies this May. Keep moving, keep exploring, stay curious.

  33. Phyllis McGuire says

    I am reevaluating my bucket list as well. Travelling especially out of the U.S. is off of the list for now. However, I have lots of books to read, time for family, and willingness to change what I need to change it improve in my life!

  34. maggietoussaint says

    First, Happy Birthday Month!!! I hope your day brings smiles and hugs. Second, my Mom had a soup tureen like that. It sat on the sideboard my entire childhood, and I think we actually used it for chicken and dumplings when we had company, especially when Aunt Nell came. She made the best dumplings I’ve ever had. Needless to say, my Mom left and each of the daughters in turn received the soup tureen. I’ll be next if my sister outlives me, and I won’t have the ability to get rid of it. Too sentimental. Though it may become equivalent to a junk drawer for all the little things I seem to need. Traveling exhausts me. Because of all my stuff requirements, it’s like packing for an expedition. I am content to travel less and watch more documentaries, and to live vicariously through others’ travels, so I’m counting on seeing you with those Terra Cotta Warriors.

    • Maggie, travel has become a real hassle. That’s why I like cruises, especially the ones I can take from right here in NJ. As for those terra cotta warriors, not is definitely not the best time to travel to China. Besides, I need to buy a new stove this weekend. I’m down to two working burners. Not exactly my choice of birthday gifts! 🙁

  35. Hi Lois, I love what’s left on your Bucket List. My list includes taking on walking treks through the South of France and in the Lakes District in England. Linda

  36. I have one of those soup tureens – received it as a wedding gift 35+ years ago and never used it, but never got rid of it when we downsized. Maybe next time. Btw, the Terra Cotta Warriors are fantastic to see!

    • Debra, maybe we should take a poll to see if anyone has ever used one of those soup tureens! I’m still hoping someday I’ll get to see the terra cotta warriors. I’ve only seen them on documentaries and the miniature version at Epcot.

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