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One Off the Bucket List

I clicked one off the bucket list this week; well, I almost did.

We didn’t take many family vacations when I was a kid. We took two to be exact. The first one was a car trip to Southern Colorado, and the second vacation was a car trip to Disneyland.

If I had to guess, we didn’t take vacations because my father was busiest in the summer and my brothers and I were in school the rest of the year. My second guess would be my parents didn’t want to be in the car with five boys.

I was about nine when my parents informed the brothers we were going on vacation to Southern Colorado. I was going to get to spend the night in a motel.

My family jumped in the car and headed for Southern Colorado. It seemed like we were in the car for quite a while when we finally arrived at the visitor center for the Air Force Academy. I thought it was really cool. I could see the chapel off in the distance. The mountains were spectacular. There was lots of cool stuff in the visitor center.

I had bought along some of my paper route money and I was determined to buy something. I picked out this piece of leather covered with fake blue hair. There were two plastic eyes and a ribbon the said Air Force sewn on the leather. You could “pet” the leather and it would curl up (like an animal enjoying being scratched). I had this piece of leather for years.

Soon after I purchased my leather the parents told the brothers to get in the car. We had to see more neat stuff. I would have been great to go tour the Chapel and the actual Academy but, that wasn’t in the cards.

We took off for the mountains, not really the mountains, more like the foothills, ”Look kids, look at those mountains.”

I heard my mother suggest, “The State Fair is happening in Pueblo, maybe we should go down there.” We headed off to Pueblo.

We arrived in Pueblo after what seemed like a long time. (It had to be slightly more than an hour but I can’t be sure, I was just kid.) We found the State Fair. The brothers and I could see the Ferris Wheel. My brothers and I had been to carnival so we knew this was going to be great.

My dad pulled the car into the parking lot in front of the “State Fair” gate. He pointed at the gate and something like, “Well, there it is.” He didn’t park the car. He pulled out of the parking lot and headed for home. We were home before bedtime.

I like to think he just didn’t know how to go on vacation. After all the very next year we got all the way to Disneyland (and inside), although my oldest brother didn’t go on that trip.

OK, here comes the bucket list part.

It has been fifty years and I have never been back to the state fair. (I can’t answer for my brothers but they can write their own story; I can’t do everything for this family.) I’ve always been curious what I’ve missed.

Ivy has an interest in “tiny houses”. She signed up to attend the Tiny House Jamboree in Southern Colorado. Ivy asked me to attend the jamboree with her. I’ve watched that crap on television (No offense if you live in one) and I would like to see who is actually thinking this is a good idea. I agreed to go. The Ivy suggest we go down to the State Fair to check on a sweater she was going to enter.

Now this was getting better, after all these years I’m going to the State Fair.

I could change gears here and start writing about the Jamboree, but I will save that for another day.

When Ivy and I had seen everything the Jamboree had to offer, we headed for the State Fair. I’m getting ready to click one off the bucket list.

Arriving at the State Fair I noticed the parking lots were empty. I saw the big gate I saw fifty years ago, I didn’t see a Ferris Wheel. I looked at Ivy and said “I wonder why no one is here?” Ivy replied, ”the fair doesn’t start for another three weeks, we’re here just to check on the sweater.

God’s plan is for me not to see the State Fair. I’m taking it off the list.

Our crazy lives!


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