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(Note: This was written and submitted for publication long before the Carr Fire started). FYI only.

Let me start by saying that this article is not about animals, their care, or home remedies. Shocked? Me, too! This article is about Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, ZZ Top, and my bucket list. I'll try to explain.

You see, my life here on the farm is quite simple. I spend my days caring for my animals, pushing wheelbarrows, cleaning cages, and milking my beloved goat, BonBon. In the course of a day, I see very few people. Early morning, about 4:00AM, I watch the paper person pull in the drive. He (or she) tosses the paper and drives away. At about noon, Kathy, the mail lady, comes by. She's Hispanic, but she smiles and waves at me in English. The garbage man, Juan, comes every Wednesday. He stays and we chat a bit, bless his heart. As you can see, my days are wonderful but obviously very simple.

Now, back to my bucket list and “good ol' Willie”. Like my life, my bucket list is also simple. There is no white water rafting, skydiving, mountain climbing, travel, or running with the bulls on that list. In fact, there has for many years, been only one thing on that list in that bucket.

Let me explain....You see, my only son and my only granddaughter have never met my only brother. It seems for many years we have all played scatterball. About the time I had my son, my brother went off to join the service, and ended up living in North Carolina. I moved to California, my son and my granddaughter chose to live in Michigan. With work, play, jobs and families, the meeting just never happened. So, of course, the one thing on my bucket list was for them to meet. So, last week, when little brother Joe called to proudly announce that he and his wife, Candace, were going to a Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, and ZZTop concert in, of all places, Michigan - BINGO – my golden opportunity!! I decided that life had gotten in the way once too often. I chose to give life a shove. I called all parties involved, added a dash of bucket list quilt and my plan was in motion. All of them decided to please Mom, Sister, Gram. Smart move on their part!

The meeting went off as planned. Dinner at 7:00PM (Michigan time) at a beautiful restaurant overlooking Lake Michigan. Of course, they called – I knew they would. Somehow, via speaker phone, magically, I was there at that dinner table, watching the boats sailing by, watching their faces and hearing the voices of my family. I watched them laugh, talk and quickly get to know one another, catching up on their lives, as though they had known one another forever. I hung onto every word. Four hours later they parted ways – hugs and tears all around – promising to get together again soon. I know they will.

For me, my bucket list is now empty and resting peacefully. I shall go back to caring for my animals, pushing wheelbarrows, cleaning cages and milking my beloved goat, BonBon. I'm sure I'll put that empty bucket to good use somewhere here on the farm. Its mission was accomplished.

I am one happy mom, sister, gram, thanks to my wonderful family John, Joey, and Chelsee....and let's not forget Willie, John Fogerty, and ZZ Top. There are no words....A huge thank you!

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