50 Ways to Celebrate 50 Years

One of our nearby neighbors put out an all call for birthday cards for her father who is turning 88. She’d like to surprise him with 88 cards to celebrate 88 years. It got me thinking. Rusty and I turn 50 this year. What if we found 50 ways to celebrate our big accomplishment?

My birthday is December 28th, which is a terrible time for a birthday. By the time my special day comes around everyone is sick of gathering and broke. Rusty’s big day is 6 weeks later, which lands during February Vacation. Up until the last few years, we generally waited to do something during that week. This past week we celebrated in Florida surrounded by our immediate family. Our grandson planned the party, wrote the list of items to purchase and decorated the hotel room (with a little help from Nanny).

10422349_10205255468058480_5068068117622177918_nIt was a very special day for all of us, but most especially, his Papa.

Christopher is 7, and his sister Alexis is just 2 years old. They don’t know… They just know that they have a Papa that loves them, is silly with them, and sometimes needs a time out and a snack, just like they do.

1506580_10153120409528184_4544738599285039618_n   11001778_10153120409368184_1405342895453560246_n

Years ago, my roommates from college urged me to make a bucket list. I have no idea where I put it, but I sent them a copy and they remind me that I need to be working on it, fairly regularly. I do think that some things were fairly unrealistic, but many were doable and affordable. This made me start thinking…

What if we created a Bucket List of sorts, that incorporated a 50 year celebration of life? What would we put on our list? What could we do to celebrate, in 50 affordable ways, with the final celebration landing during February Vacation of next year?

The trick is that my husband has been diagnosed with Frontotemperal Dementia, which is progressing fairly quickly. This means that crowds are challenging. He has been recently approved for SSDI, which also means we are on a very strict budget. And…we live in Maine, which means that the weather can be tricky. Here, is where you come in:

If you could do something that is fairly quiet- with few crowds, had to stick to a fairly strict budget, and work around tricky weather, what would you do? Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Go on a Ferry ride and spend the day on one of the islands.

2. Picnic at the base of Mt. Katahdin.

3. Canoe down the St. Croix river.

4. Walk the sandy beach at Acadia and look for shells.

5. Test drive a Saab Convertible.

6. Walk up to the Cross at Camp Fair Haven.

7. Laugh until my stomach aches with my roommates from college.

8. Get my gun permit.

9. Target shoot with Rusty’s 243.

10. Watch our daughter teach.

11. See our youngest graduate.

12. Get another pot belly pig.

13. Take the train and go to a show in Boston and go to the Amphitheater.

14. Plant tall trees in our berms.

15. See Niagra Falls.

16. Grill out on the deck at the farm.

17. Take a long walk through the sugar bush.

18. Learn to make blueberry pie.

19. Spend the entire day with each of our siblings.

20. Get fishing licenses

21. Go canoeing a lot.

22. Visit all the State Parks.

23. Go whale watching.

24. Find a starfish.

25. Go sliding.

26. Go snowshoeing.

27. Take a boat on Moosehead.

28. Take a cruise on the Katahdin Steamboat.

29. Go camping.

30. Take a hot air balloon ride.

31. Be the first to see the sunrise on the eastern most part of Maine while sipping hot coffee.

32. Take a cruise with Contemporary Christian artists.

33. Go horse back riding.

34. Go back to Florida to see the Mayport beaches and the other half of our family.

35. Visit as many Maine lighthouses as possible.

36. Fly a kite.

You can see, that this may be difficult. Some things just might have to be done without Rusty, and it just may not be realistic while holding down a full-time job. However, the list 10987461_10153120409633184_1944431575164824888_nmay help when we need something to do. So to those who know us… help! What can we add to the list, and how can we celebrate next February? Any suggestions?


  1. Hey bro – I am working on that bucket list and plan for my 50th next year as you know. Who’s bday is the 28 th of Dec.? bro that was my Mommas bday. Things I want to do for my 50th- have a themed birthday party mine will be Mickey and Minnie Mouse. I want to loose 60 lbs so I can go paragliding next year at LaJolla which is what my dad did when he turned 80. Win Big at vegas – just knocked that out of the ball park! Ride a helicopter over the Grand Canyon and walk the glass Bridge- just did that with dad and it was great. There is a movie I used to watch about a girl that had an illness and she wanted to be in two places at once like stand on the state line of two states. I might check that off this year. I will think of more. We can do it and make 50 a blast Love ha J


  2. I look at it this way for you there’s 52 weeks in a year divide up them based on season because you can’t do sledding in summer and do one once a week but I see most on you list doable you may nor be able to say have rusty go in the woods snowshoeing but you have a huge yard when it gets a little warmer have someone take a snowmobile around it and a idea build a fire pit or buy one and on a Saturday night sit out and roast marshmallows or even maybe get a star book and lay out looking at the stars


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