SPRINGHILL, N.S. – Life can be wonderful and adventurous if you choose to make it so.
Springhill’s Wanda Skidmore made that choice for her 50th birthday.
“There’s some things I’ve wanted to do my whole life and just didn’t get around to doing, and this year I made sure I did them,” said Skidmore.
Skidmore made a bucket list of 50 items for her 50th birthday.
“The scariest one I did, I went zip-lining at Grand Falls, N.B., and I’m scared of heights,” said Skidmore.
She needed a little coaxing to get through that one.
“My husband (Mike) went and paid the money before I decided if I was going to go or not because I was so scared,” said Skidmore.
Once on the zip-line she needed a little push.
“The woman counted me down ‘3-2-1 go,’ and I didn’t go. She counted me down again and offered to push me, and then I did go,” said Skidmore. “It was scary. I screamed all the way across like a banshee.”
On the trip back across the ravine she had a choice to either take the ‘walk of shame’ across a bridge or to zip-line across.
“I thought, you know what I did it once, so I zip-lined back.”
Skidmore has been a nurse at All Saints Hospital in Springhill for 32 years.
“I was born at All Saints Hospital on April Fool’s Day, and I work at All Saints Hospital, and 50 years later to the minute I was in the hospital,” said Skidmore. “I was born there at 5:45 a.m. and I worked backshift so I was there exactly 50 years later. The girl I worked with that night came out with a cake at 5:35 in the morning. That was cool.”
Being a nurse has helped her appreciate the fragility of life. That is one reason she made the bucket list, and she was also inspired by a friend who made a bucket list of her own.
“I actually sat down and made the list in one evening,” said Skidmore.
In the course of making the list some of the things had to change.
“I wanted to walk across the Confederation Bridge but this year they didn’t have that walk.”
Although she didn’t get a chance to walk the 13-kilometre span of the Confederation Bridge, she did take part in the 5K portion of the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax with her sister.
“I wanted to do it in 45 minutes, and I did it in 44:45,” sad Skidmore. “That was hard, but we did it.”
She also walked the Skyline Trail at Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
“You walk through the woods for quite a distance, and then you come out on top of the trail and you are up on this cliff. It made me dizzy, and apparently it does that to a lot of people. I had to focus because I’m scared of heights.”
Some bucket list items were closer to home, including walking to the Wentworth Falls in the winter.
“It was icy. It was pure ice, so we had to be careful.”
Many of her bucket list items were charitable.
“I volunteered at the Legion. They were having fish cakes and beans. I cooked over 200 fish cakes that day,” said Skidmore. “And I wanted to donate something to the GOVRC so I built a shelf, which they auctioned off.”
She says she will do another list this year, but it might not have 50 items on it.
“I’ve never travelled, I’ve never been on a plane. I’ve only been to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI, and I did make a couple trips to New York,” said Skidmore. “But, with that said, there is so much to do nearby. There’s waterfalls throughout the province. There’s one in Fall River near Halifax that I want to see.”
She hopes her adventures inspires others to create a bucket list.
“You just got to get up and go,” said Skidmore.
She has completed 48 of the 50 items. The two that are left are: see a psychic medium and spend a night in a chalet.
Wanda Skidmore’s Bucket List (in the order they were written down)
Send out a DNA Kit
Visit sunflower farm in Aulac
Picnic in Wentworth Park or another nice Park
Go to Waterfalls in Wentworth
Go to hole under the train bridge in Folly Mountain
Dispose of 50 things I no longer need
Finish my journal
See a covered bridge
Walk on a sandbar
Buy someone a meal
Donate 50 things to the food bank
Try new food
Take a cool picture
Get a nice picture of Mike (husband) and I
Visit Victoria Park in Truro
Make a quilt
Write a poem
Tell someone what you really think of them
Go to an apple orchard to pick apples
Go to a Pow-Wow
Get a picture with the giant blueberry and strawberry
Donate a game/toy to the IWK
Donate a craft to the GOVRC to auction
Bake for a bake sale
Walk 100,000 steps in a week
Make something from pottery
Go to the Pumpkin Festival in Windsor, N.S.
Celebrate Canada Day
Go to a psychic medium
Make a meal for guests
Red Chair Challenge
Visit Hope for Wildlife
Walk a trail I’ve never been on
Go to McNabs Island
Explore a cave
Participate in a Christmas parade
Spend a night in a chalet
Go to a fair/farmer’s market/craft sale
Buy something for myself
Pan for gold at the Ovens Natural Park
Visit a unique place
Go on a trip
Explore a new beach
Walk the Skyline Trail
Go biking on a trail I’ve never been on