Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Bucket List

Well, to start with, I don't have one. Not really. That's not to say there aren't things I occasionally revisit, measuring their attainability against my current reality. I have wanted to spend a long weekend in Iceland for years, and a few years ago might have made it happen, but Joe HATES cold weather, and part of the draw to me would be seeing the Northern Lights, which seem to turn up in winter. In winter, we seem to turn up in Florida. I haven't given up on this, but it goes on the back burner to steep a bit more. But last week I had an experience that can only be described as a Bucket List item by just about anyone's standard.

I got to ride a Zamboni.

 Now, first I'm compelled to correct myself. I actually rode an Ice Resurfacing Machine, and the brand wasn't Zamboni, it was an Olympic. Zamboni is neither a verb nor a noun, but a brand name, like Kleenex and BandAid, that has become synonymous with the machine itself. They were developed in Paramount, CA and replaced a manual process that took over an hour to resurface ice between races, or periods in hockey. Now, thanks to this lumbering behemoth, the surface can be smoothed and sparkling in less than 10 minutes. I won't bore you with the details, but the new surface is created by scraping the old one up and laying down a coat of clear hot water, which seems to freeze faster. I love things that simply do what couldn't be simply done before. Thus my love of the Zam.

Being a red hot fan of our local Kalamazoo Wings Hockey Club, I noticed a request for donations for an upcoming auction benefitting Susan G Koman Foundation, and asking for survivors to be part of the ceremonies at the February 15 Pink Ice game. I may have been the first to respond, pledging a gift certificate and offering to help in any way I could. I flippantly mentioned "I'll be happy to ride the Zamboni" and later said..."just kidding". Typical Zam passengers are about 4 or 5 years old and ride around backwards, peering out from under the mandatory helmet, trying out a little wave when they passed the 3 people in the stands who know them. Haha! How funny to say I'd do that! Have you met my friends? Anyone I mentioned it to said "Oh, You Have To, and wear your tiaras and boas and...". I think these people live vicariously through me. So, by game day, I've gotten tickets for my besties, draped myself in fluffy pink feathers and a pink flower headband, and found myself strapped (unhelmeted) to the rumble seat of my new ride.'s bumpy, and it moves faster than it looks. I was lapbelted in, but my feet dangled precariously over the newly resurfaced pink ice, and I was waving with one hand and taking pictures with the other. I thought it would be silly and campy but it was a royal HOOT! Many fans had their pink tshirts on and those sections roared and waved when I went by...and went by...and went by again (you kind of circle th rink several times). 2 Tweens in the stands realized I was singing along to "Baby, Baby, Baby Oh" so they sang it back at me on each go-around. But the most fun was my own fan section of 5 who crowded down to the glass to wave like mad and yell my name. Joe was up there too, having moved up to our seats after getting to watch practice from ice level with me (cool!). It was over too soon, but as I debarked, I knew...this was a Bucket List Item. Even if there is no list, this was a chance to do something unique and do it for a good reason (they announced each survivors story in our separate parts of the program) and I gotta say...if loosing a boob isn't at least worth a Zamboni ride, something is not quite right in the world And yes, I know I didn't ride a "Zamboni". I rode an Olympia Ice Resurfacing Machine. But my feathers flew, glitter sparkled, and I had the time of my life. Wishing all my readers the wisdom to seize the next opportunity that presents itself, even if it's a bit off the beaten path. You might just discover YOU have an undiscovered Bucket List, too

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