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Blair Garth floats in the Gulf of Mexico at Perdido Key beach in Florida’s Panhandle.

After Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman did the movie, The Bucket List, the term became popular. It’s a great concept – to make a list of things you want to accomplish before you go to that big fishing hole in the sky. I’ve subscribed to the bucket-list philosophy all my life. I actually have a hand-written list in my filing cabinet that I refer to from time to time. However, I also believe in filling my bucket on a daily basis as well.

Take this morning for example, June 1, 2012. It began as a typical Friday with scurrying the kids out the door for the LAST DAY of school (Yippee!). Feeling empowered of getting through another school year, my wife and I made our way to our local beach at the east end of Perdido Key, Florida to watch the morning sun sparkle on the water. Check. Then we jogged a few miles. Check. My mostly functional injured knees didn’t blow out. Check.  During the jog I noticed schools of fish churning the water so I hustled to the car and grabbed a rod. In about ten minutes I caught three skip jacks on my fly rod. After that, we jumped into the water for a five-minute swim in the cool, clear Gulf of Mexico.  I scrubbed at the fish guts the skip jacks had splattered on me. Check and check.

Back at the park’s pavilion we took an invigorating cold-water outdoor shower and watched the seabirds diving for baitfish. Check. I stopped at my favorite coffee shop on the ride back to the house for a medium dark roast while my lovely wife made some eggs and toast. Check. After breakfast we realized that we were alone and I had a few minutes before I had to go to work and so we, uh,…Double check!

The bucket thing was in high gear and it was only nine o’clock.  This normal weekday had developed into an extraordinary morning. As I drove to the office, I was giggling like Morgan Freeman and smiling like Jack Nicholson. I made a mental note to rent that movie again.  


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