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Bucket lists


Mark March 4 on your calendar and join me in celebrating the World Champion Chicago Cubs at the Frida Kahlo Mexican Restaurant, 101 Windflower Ln., Solon (off of Hwy. 1, south edge of town) from 7 to 9 p.m.
Kevin “BF” Burt is lined up to play. Goat tacos will be served for the first 100 attendees, as well as a beer selected by brew master and friend Jeff Allen to match. If the keg spits we’ll pass the hat and buy another. Put on your favorite Cub gear and be prepared to sing “Go Cubs Go.” Everyone is invited; especially Cardinal fans.
With the party, I can cross of one of the few remaining items on my bucket list. It’s been there since my elementary school years when the likes of Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Billy Williams caught my fancy. Even during the eras with the bleakest of teams, I believed and professed that this is the year until mathematical elimination. At that point, even if they were 40 games out, it became wait until next year.
There were a couple of exceptions. The Steve Bartman incident was the worst. Any other fan would have reached for that fly ball. It totally sucked that anyone would blame the Cubs’ demise in that 2003 playoff game on him. I can stand, even love a loser, but not a bad loser. And that’s what the Cubs and their nation were that year. The other low point came in 2009 when outfielder Milton Bradley lost track of the number of outs in an inning. After catching only the second out, he tossed the ball into the stands with two men on base. It was such a rare and boneheaded mistake, the umpires had to have a conference to decide what call to make.
Besides experiencing the Cubs winning the World Series, I want to throw the party to celebrate it because, to tell the truth, I went to bed when the rain delayed game seven. I’d hung on every pitch, pretty much the entire season, and I just couldn’t take it any more. I think Joe Maddon is one of the greatest managers of all time, but when he went to Aroldis Chapman to pitch a little part of me died. Say it ain’t so, Joe.
They did do it and I want to celebrate for all the millions who can’t, including my sister Bonnie and grandmother Agnes. Please join me/us.
Speaking of checking items off the old bucket list, Sabra got to cross one off during our recent trip to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, or the land of the endless buffet, as I like to call it. We stayed at a charming resort called Playa Car Reef, and it turned out to be the landing zone for Skydive Playa.
We started talking about it immediately after seeing someone else land. They made it look so easy.
She wanted to do it.
Me, not. Somewhere in an earlier life, I was sacrificed to the gods by being tossed off a cliff, ruining my enjoyment in subsequent lives of high places, the thrill of free falling and the sudden stop at the end. Plus, I learned in the Army only two things fall out of the sky: paratroopers and birds...
I kept saying she should do it, however not very enthusiastically. At best, I’d be the scaredy cat on the ground and, at worst, I might actually get talked into going. But then I learned I couldn’t go because I was too heavy. From that point on I became very enthusiastic about her doing it, and began telling fellow vacationers I really wanted to go, too, but couldn’t.
So one fine 80 degree, Yucatan morning recently, I picked up a Bloody Mary from the all-included bar, waddled down to the beach and watched my spouse float out of the sky strapped to the stomach of the jump master.
I turned to a passerby and announced proudly, “That’s my wife, I wanted to jump, too, but I weigh too much.”