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  • Writer's pictureSusan Carr

The lucky ones get to leap

No words about dementia.

Or freelancing.

Or squirrels.

The beach. A sunset. My red hat. The best Black Lab ever.

Today, it's all about me.

I will be 49 years old tomorrow.

I'm one year away from having lived for half a century.

And because it's a Leap Year, I get one extra day to enjoy life before I reach that mark.

Because it's all downhill after that, right?

As I look back on my life I've been blessed enough to have:

  • wonderful parents

  • fiercely devoted brothers

  • a supportive extended family

  • two daughters who have been my world

  • a husband who holds my heart and my hands with the same passion

  • two bonus sons who excel at loving others

  • two bonus granddaughters who bring new life to each day

  • countless pets who have brought comfort and happiness

  • a pretty good mix of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

And without each of these, I would not be who I am today.

But, as I continue to think about my life, I realize that my bucket list may be close to full, but it's not quite there yet.

So this post is mainly for me.

I wanted to look back at my 49 years on this planet and have a picture of what I've experienced.

And can I just say?


Stood under the Eifel Tower

Was quarantined in Venice during Swine Flu

Traveled around the whole of Ireland

Walked the Golden Gate Bridge

Stood next to Big Ben

Drank Dom Pérignon and Moët & Chandon

Ate escargot and cuisses de grenouilles in Paris

Paddleboated around Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Been up close and personal with two moose

Have a Disney Annual Pass

Climbed Black Mountain, North Carolina

Stood at the top of the Empire State Building

Been to a Yankees game

Graduated from college at age 43

Been to the birth and resting place of Abraham Lincoln

Toured Windsor Castle

Hiked the Grand Canyon (part of it, like 1% of 1% of it)

Stood in wonder at the bottom of Bryce Canyon

Defied an early morning death at Zion National Park

Met most of the cast of The Princess Bride

Survived a weekend in Las Vegas

Stood within 2 feet of Sandhill Cranes

Worked in the world of books for 17 years

Been on a Caribbean cruise - once was enough

Survived walking through Times Square, NY

Sipped coffee and chicory and ate beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Saw snow, played in snow, been snowed on, made a snow angel

Drank Jameson and Guinness in pubs in Ireland

Snorkeled next to a shark and survived (barely)

Laid down on the glass ledge at the top of Sears Tower

Walked by the Declaration of Independence and didn't steal it

Cried at the base of The Lincoln Memorial

Stood at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Held a letter handwritten by Abraham Lincoln at the Library of Congress

Watched a manned capsule launch at NASA

Stood at the shipyard where the RMS Titanic was built

Stepped foot in the Pacific Ocean

Sang with The Florida Orchestra

Saw a rainbow in Ireland

Sat in Ford's Theater and mourned

Toured the whole of Washington, D.C.

Serenaded by bagpipes in Chicago on St. Patrick's Day

Walked in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul on the streets of Rome

Met Anthony Daniels and David Prowse from Star Wars

Met Sue the T-Rex

Stood in the Supreme Court

Kissed the Blarney Stone

Stood in the Long Room Library at Trinity College

There's more. There's so much more.

I know I've left off many things that I've done or been a part of.

Apparently, without pictures right in front of me, I forget.

So I reserve the right to come back and add to this.

Just as I'm going to make sure I suck the marrow out of that extra day I get this year.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...” -- Henry David Thoreau

I know I said no squirrels. However...

On the day I started writing this post, this happened while I was having dinner at EPCOT.

Add one more box to that grid above.

A squirrel sat in my lap.

Pay no attention to the cookie in my hand. This squirrel only had eyes for me.

48 views2 comments


Cherrie Kandie
Cherrie Kandie
Feb 18

🍰 Happy Birthday Susan !

Susan Carr
Susan Carr
Feb 18
Replying to

Thank you, Cherrie! You're always such an encourager!

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