Every once in a while there is a movie with which I can readily identify. THE BUCKET LIST turned out to be one of those movies. About four years ago Belva, my wife, and I ordered it and watched it on, one of our “date nights” and as soon as we finished watching the film we realized that we had never taken time to list any of the things we would like to do before we died. Granted we were always thinking “Boy, I would really like to do that before I die”. However, life and day to day activities would take over and all thoughts of that thing we’d like to do were pushed aside, until the next time something struck her or my fancy.
Finally we started a list, like the guys in the movie did. Belva wanted to take a hot air balloon ride or go on an archeological dig (for almost anything, located anywhere), she just wanted to find something older than she was, or maybe go to somewhere that stays daylight for 24 hours a day. I wanted to drink wine in the south of France; celebrate Octoberfest in Germany, and tour the distilleries of Ireland and Scotland. These are just a few of the things that began to make it on to our Bucket List.
Whenever friends would ask “what are you doing now?” and learn that we were pondering and compiling our very own bucket list, they always asked what we had come up with. After hearing our list, they would mention some items that they had always wanted to do, some of these sounded so interesting, we asked if we could add them to our list. Soon that list was growing by leaps and boundspeople were calling to add items they heard about, things for us to do, things they may or may not want to do themselves, but sounded interesting.
As time went by, our list became much more than Belva could keep up with, even on multiple pages of her yellow legal pad. I suggested we start putting them into the computer and create some kind of order to the ever growing list of eventsMe and my big mouth!
Making a word document and an excel spread sheet was a breeze but my entrepreneurial wife took one look at that and said, “why couldn’t we turn this list into a resource for people looking for things to do?” Like a website, I asked? Again, me and my big mouth!
Belva, jumped on that foolish suggestion, like a lioness on a baby springbok, “Can you make a website?” Not wanting to sound incapable or lacking in some way, I answered, “Maybe?”
In truth I hadn’t the foggiest idea where to even start in the process of building a website. But, neither did Belva, and she also believes that I can do anything, if I set my mind to it! And I wasn’t about to change that. “What shall we call it?” she asked.
Seeing as it was her idea, and I didn’t want to be blamed if it failed, I suggested Belva’s List. She bought it and so a new website was conceived, “Belva’s List… of things to do in and around Seattle and Western Washington.”
But to bring it to life and fruition we were both set out upon a course that included, me navigating the trials and tribulations of website construction, content management, coding, SEO, ad building, HTML, CSS, PHPThank God for W3 Schools. And Belva, who ran the other way when ever I turned the computer on, had to learn how to operate one enough to write blogs, search the web and collect data. As there were exactly two of us and multiple jobs to do, writer, techie, sales person, ad guy etc., we each had to wear multiple hats and our work day expanded to, “get up early, go to bed late, seven days a week.”
The good news is Belva’s List, after numerous remodels and format changes, is up and running, growing each year in visitors per day and ad sales. The bad news is, Belva and I are so busy we can’t find the tine to do any of the fun stuff we list for everyone else to do. So, our new goal is to sell Belva’s List to someone who will franchise it, like they have with Crags List, and Angies List, branching out to include other major cities. Then hopefully we can find Belva a “Dig” and me, a near by distillery, or ride a hot air balloon over southern France while drinking some great local wine. So, if you know someone with a lot of money, who needs a project, send them our way. As soon as possible, there’s a lot on our Bucket List and we’re not getting any younger.
Belva & The Bearded One (that would be me, Wally)