At the Helm

The Five-Year Bucket List

March 2014 Feature Brady L. Kay

Let’s face it: it would be hard to top what Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman’s characters conquered in the 2007 movie, The Bucket List. Yeah, the thought of having a list of things you want to get accomplished in life before you kick the bucket is a tad cliché, but it’s hard not to be a little inspired by this movie.

If you didn’t catch this one, you might want to go rent it. The plot is actually quite simple: two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die. The film is full of laughs and of course, like most good movies, it delivers a positive message and leaves you taking a closer look at your own life.

I’m no Edward Cole, but the thought of creating my own bucket list has crossed my mind. But maybe instead of looking at my list as things I should do before I die, I’d like to look at it as a five-year to-do list and continue to build on those adventures for the rest of my life by tweaking or adding to it as I get older.

So I’ve created my own five-year bucket list that is geared toward the life of an avid outdoorsman, boater and the editor of Houseboat magazine.

Go Vintage

I’ve always wanted to take an old houseboat and fully restore it, but like most bucket list items, this one tends to get buried under other obligations in life. It takes time, money, resources and even a place to do it, but it’s time I get it on my list. Maybe in five years it won’t be completed, but it should at least be started.

Set A Record

Years ago I attended a blues concert on the Mississippi River where the band played from the top deck of a houseboat while other boats tied up together to listen. The music was great and so was the atmosphere. I recall at the time wondering what the Guinness World Record for the most houseboats tied together in one location would be and thinking it might be kind of fun to set that record. Talk about a party: it’s now on my list and the State Dock Marina on Lake Cumberland might be a good place for me to start since we’re there every June for our National Houseboat Expo.

Catch The Big One

When professional bass anglers talk about their favorite fishing lakes, it seems like the state of Texas comes up a lot. I’d like to catch a Texas-size bass on one of these Texas lakes. I don’t need the state record, but I’d like to catch a large mouth that is worthy of a photo.

Cruise Vermont

Because of my job I’ve been fortunate enough to visit every state in the U.S.—well, every state but one and you can probably guess which one I’m missing. For the majority of these state visits I’ve been able to get out on the water so I’m adding a cruise on a Vermont lake to my five-year bucket list. And not just any cruise: I’d like to do it on a vintage houseboat that has been restored.

Punch The Time Clock

What can I say? I’m fascinated by the process. Wouldn’t it be fun to work a day on the production line at a houseboat manufacturing plant? My skills only qualify me to work a broom, but maybe I could talk my way into being involved in the process in one way or another without getting in the way too much. 

Teach A Kid To Fish

Yeah, it might be viewed as a “simple” one, but I’d like to teach a kid to fish—specifically, my young kids. Fishing was passed down to me from my grandfather and I’d like to be the one that helps my children snag their first ones.

That’s a good start, but I’m sure I’m missing something. My list is far from laminated because it’s ever changing but at least I know what I’m 

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