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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

Bucket List




Driving from Davenport to Des Moines Kyle’s eyes start to get that half-mast look and I feel compelled to come up with a stay-awake car game. Kind of like back in the day with little ones when our outings overlapped with naptime and I worked desperately to keep a toddler’s eyes open those last few miles to home.


Let’s talk about what’s on our bucket lists.


Not that we’re really bucket list people. Neither of us actually has one, but it seemed like a fun way to pass a few miles.


You start.


Okay, well. I want to climb to the top of Half Dome. A no-brainer. I want to finish my seminary degree. Hmm. Golf eighteen holes under 80. Hike in Banff National Park. Go rafting in the Grand Canyon. Write a book. Dunk on a 10-foot hoop. Do the things on a bucket list have to be achievable?


I want to build a little empty-nest house on a lake. Oh, that’s on my list, too.


We get sidetracked for a bit talking about that little house and which lake we’d like to build on. Remembering every now and again to add another item to the bucket. Share my favorite books with a grandchild. Learn how to really fish.


And it works. Kyle’s eyes stay open and we stay between the lines the two hours it takes to get to West Des Moines and Grant’s and Kiana’s apartment.


Later we’re hanging out just the four of us watching HGTV and we mention the house on the lake. Kiana has questions. Where and when – and how far will this be from Des Moines?

And that’s when it hits me. This is real to them. And it matters.


The next morning I’m thinking about this when I remember a dream I had a few years back. It was right around the time I was interviewing for a job at the kids’ school – a job I didn’t get. I wasn’t sure I wanted it, either, which is why I think I had the dream.


God asked me a question. What do you want? He asked it three times, and each time I answered the same. I want to go to seminary; write books; and enjoy my grandchildren.

The dream stuck with me and it seemed to matter. I repeated it to my husband and a couple of friends. One friend was impressed. Everything in threes. That’s a God-dream for sure.


I don’t know, but I tucked that dream away and I saved it just in case. I’d return to it and ponder from time to time. Which is what I did last weekend.


I want to go to seminary; write books; and enjoy my grandchildren. I’m impressed with the similarities to my bucket list. Minus the lake home. And who has dreams about grandchildren when their own kids are still in high school?


God-dream or not, last weekend it became just a little more real. Hanging out with children grown and married. Celebrating my husband’s fifty years. Talking about a bucket list.

Pondering a future full of possibilities; full of the offspring of these five boys of mine. And wondering which God-dreams are going to come true.

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