Life has happened. It passed you by with barely a goodbye. A “so long,” and a “see you later,” is all that's left; so much more you could have done with your life. We all have our bucket lists that we wanted to complete in life. Some do more than others, some never even get started. Welcome to Life as it Happened a fictional retelling of those real bucket list items we all hope to complete before our last candle is snuffed. All are welcome to join in and contribute the stories of how they think their experiences would go. I'm your host, Marc Sakol, and I'm here to say “Hello” before Father Time says, “Goodbye.”

Monday, August 2, 2010

Life is a Highway

By: "Absolute" Marc Sakol

Bucket list item #21: Live in Every U.S. State
Date completed: September 30th, 2043

It's been a long time since I started this quest. I set out just over four years ago from my home in Illinois with nothing more that a Winnebago and a full tank of gas. When I started back at the end of the 30's I had just retired, forced out in order to let new younger kids come in. I was fine with it though. By that point in my life, my home and RV were both paid off and I had saved up a nice little nest egg.

I had set my bucket list aside for quite awhile. I had almost forgotten about it. There it was, sitting in a chest in my attic. I was cleaning it, throwing away things I no longer wanted or needed. Most of the list was crossed off at this point, it brought back some pretty fun memories. One item had stuck out to me though, number 21- live in every U.S. State. Why not, I had no job and all the time in the world at this point.

The mission was this. One month, one state. Illinois didn't count, I've already lived here most my adult life. The plan was to take my RV and live out of it until I finally came back home. I would move into Indiana then up to Michigan and back down to Ohio, then onto the New England states and back down towards Florida. Zig-zagging around the southern part of America and up through California. Then we head back towards Illinois.

The months seemed to go by fast. Every time I would go to leave a state, I would really consider staying longer. I plowed through though, taking pictures and mementos from all the big sites: Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, Fisherman's Wharf, D.C.'s capital building to name a few.

The hard part was when I finished the main states, in order to finish the quest I'd have to live in Alaska and Hawaii as well. In order to do so, I decided to retire old Murtle, as my Winnebago had come to go by and rent town homes in each of the states.

Alaska, I thought was more interesting then Hawaii. The scenery was as serene as it was beautiful. The people were friendly and they loved to exchange stories and anecdotes with me. I still consider going back there for the rest of my retirement. Hawaii was more warm then Alaska was, but curiously I found the areas I visited less interesting then I expected. Though I did manage to complete another one of my list items while I was there, but that's another story.

Anyways, as I rest on this never-ending plane back to my home in good-old Illinois, I'm really not sure how to feel now that this whole event is finally over. Homesick for the road, maybe. I wonder to myself as I peer at the drink about to fall into my seat neighbor's sleeping lap, If I actually will be home once I am home. Being a modern day troubadour, I can't help but feel that settling down for good in Illinois will mark the end of my quest to finish my bucket list. I hope that isn't the case, but still

the wonder and doubt are there.

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