It happens to almost all of us. Call it mid-life crisis or empty nest syndrome, there comes a time when we look back on the goals we had in our 20s, 30s, and even our 40s, and realize we have done a lot of what we had to do, what we needed to do, what we were expected to do and very little of what we wanted to do. In the everyday struggle to raise our children, manage households, forge relationships, obtain financial security, we constantly tell ourselves, “Some day…,” until we reach the point where we realize time is running out and that list of goals starts to look a lot like a “bucket list.”
My biggest passion is history. I can remember the exact moment when I learned just how much I loved history. About thirty years ago, I was visiting San Antonio and standing in Mission Concepcion in its library. On the ceiling is a fresco, called “The Eye of God,” and directly below it, in the stone floor, are indentations, where the feet of who knew how many penitents had subjected themselves to divine scrutiny. I placed my feet in those indentations and felt a tingle, knowing I was standing in exactly the same spot where once stood people whom history has long forgotten.
I was born and lived most of my life in Texas, which has a glorious history. But, then, life circumstances necessitated a move to Kansas City, Missouri, and what do you know? It has a great history, too. It occurred to me that, unlike other countries in Europe and Asia, in America, there are fifty unique legacies of discovery and innovation, expansion and settlement, pride and shame, victory against all odds and heartbreaking loss… and I want to know about every one of them. My bucket list was forged and on it was the name of every state in the country.
This blog is a compilation of my travel memories and journal notes, detailing my discoveries, not just of unfamiliar destinations, but of myself. And, hopefully, my descriptions will encourage others to discover — and live — the amazing and beautiful wonders of America or, at the very least, pick up that “bucket list” and make things happen.