Things To Do Before You Die, updated

To Do List

Today, Saturday.

A day when I wake up and have time to think and dream and write.

Today I ask: What am I doing with my life? What do I want to be?

These questions I’ve asked myself for most 30 plus years.

I think that right now is good. I think that what I’m doing is what I am suppose to be doing, for the most part.

Is my life what I envisioned for myself? No. But I don’t think many people in their fourth decade are living the life they imagined. If you are, email me. I’d love to talk to you.

As I look back on my goals and the list of things-I-want-to-do list I created in 1992, I see that I’ve reached almost all the goals I created for myself. There are a few things I haven’t done so today I created a new list of “things I want to do before I die”.

Here is my updated list, not in order of importance, with some left over from the original 1992 list and some new ones:

I have some things to start working on today.

Road Trips, New Hampshire Brewery Tour, Happy Easter

Wallis Sands Beach Rye NH April 2018

The second weekend in a row that there were all-day road trips that took me to places I’ve never been. Last week was western Maine and this weekend the lakes region in New Hampshire.

On Saturday Jeff and I planned to go to at least two breweries: Kettlehead Brewing Company in Tilton and Woodman’s Brewery in Bristol.

Winnie came along for the ride too.

We met Kendra and her boyfriend at Kettlehead and had a great time trying new beers. I had the Shuttlebus Rye IPA and the others tried flights of different beer. I forgot to take a picture of us.

Then Jeff I I headed north to hike off the calories to find that the trail we were hoping to hike was closed: Rattlesnake Mountain. Bummer. So we decided to drive to Meredith, get some coffee and walk around. This is the southern tip of Lake Winnipesaukee and normally it is bumper to bumper traffic, according to Jeff.

Jeff and Winnie-dog

But it is March so there wasn’t much traffic. The day was sunny and in the 50s. A perfect day for a road trip.

Then we headed to Bristol to find the Woodman’s Brewery, a very rural-type tap room. We lost cell service in Bristol and need to actually ask for directions. Once we found it – it was indeed rural up a hilly paved road, then the driveway was a hilly-muddy dirt round. I had the Subaru so we made it just fine. And, boy, was it worth it.

Woodman's Brewery Bristol NH

The people were fantastic and I was able to bring Winnie inside.  

Dog Friendly Woodman's Brewery

It was a good road trip followed by some great Vegan food at Hermanos back in Concord.

Today, Sunday, I spent the morning with my parents, went to church with my Mom and then we walked on the beach in Rye. It was the first time I can remember that there were big seashells on the sand. I brought a few home to remember the day.

Wallis Sands Beach in Rye


Happy Easter everyone!

The real reason for the holiday

Commitment Issues in Place

Continental Divide Colorado

My lease is up next month and the last thing on my mind is moving; for once.

I like this house. I really like the neighborhood and I walk everywhere. Everything I need is walking distance: groceries, restaurants, library and YMCA.   

Concord Neighborhood
My neighborhood

I want to stay.

I want to stay because while the house is too big for me if offers everything I need. I love the kitchen where I write, a living room and entryway, two entrances, several windows for the dogs to watch squirrels and bark at the mailman, two staircases, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and two sunrooms. If  I was going to stay longer than a year I would consider buying plants for the sunroom but I’m not that long-term committed – I think.  

Since moving back to NH a year ago, I still have commitment issues with place. I still need a few more things in my life to feel committed to staying in Concord. However, New Hampshire, I’m staying. The long-term question is which city since there are so many great regions: seacoast, mountains, lakes region and the south western area.

New Hampshire Regions

In the past, each move I made was about hope, change and the possibilities associated with a new place such as better job, new friends and exploring the mountains and trails of a new area.

When I moved to the Maine mountains when I was 29 I was in the older category of people moving to a resort town and living the mountain lifestyle. Most people did that right out of college. However, I was just out of college but took a different path to a college degree; taking classes off and on for 10 years while working and traveling to Europe and the West. I have always felt I was 10 years behind everyone else my age.  Additionally, not being married and not having kids probably kept me in the younger crowd.

Maine to Colorado

When I moved to Steamboat Springs, Colo. from Maine I wanted a new life in a new place but still in the mountains and living rural. I wanted a small town with access to the outdoor life. Later moving to Grand County, an even smaller rural community, I loved being surrounded by wilderness and beauty.

After living the mountain lifestyle I was ready for Tucson. I knew that I wanted something new, something I’ve never done before: to live in a big city and have a great job. Tucson and Phoenix surprised me since I didn’t realize before arriving that they were surrounded by big mountains with  amazing hiking, trail running and mountain biking. Now I had the best of both worlds: mountains and a big city.

Now, I live back in the state I grew up in and thought I knew it pretty well. Things change after 15 years and now I’m re-learning the mountains and trails that I loved so long ago.

Moving back to New Hampshire and the process of leaving Colorado and The West was a feeling, at the time, I couldn’t express and didn’t fully realize. As I drove across country I was excited to see my parents and live close to them, but I wasn’t sad and I wasn’t completely happy. It is only now that I feel the  sense of loss.  I truly miss the familiar spaces of Colorado and the self I left behind. That self – that  adventurous, always-planning-the-next-trip me who was always surrounded by mountains, wilderness and friends.

There was something about crossing the imaginary line from east to west that changed me, and I’m still trying to process what it all means. As a writer, I’m still trying to find the story, find the meaning and write about it.

I look at the photos, posters, coffee mugs and books all bought in Colorado or Arizona. I remember all the great people and good times. Nothing here seems that familiar yet and I know that it takes times.

Tucson Botanical Gardens
My mug from the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

I don’t want to be anywhere else right now. I want to be here.

I am not seeking a new place. I’m staying put.

I’m ready to get into a new routine and find new spaces that will eventually become familiar all while creating a new self that is engaged in place and welcoming the new people who show up to share their life with me.

Biking in New Hampshire Humidity

Wow! Humid.

I rode this morning since it was better to ride in humidity than run.

Ironman training has started and two workouts most days.

Feeling good so far. I need some major stretching and a massage needs to be scheduled.

91 Days until Ironman Florida.