Bucket lists are where dreams go to die

I live for the summer.

Mild temps and intense thunderstorms that roll in and out within an hour make my weather-loving heart go pitter patter. I love walking past my garden and grabbing a handful of sun-warmed cherry tomatoes, and catching a powerful whiff of basil.


Those blissful three or four months seem to fly by so fast and in their wake leave memories of sea air, sticky fingers from homemade popsicles and dreams of doing more next year and checking off to-do lists.

I’ve never considered myself a bucket list person.

Bucket lists are where dreams go to die.

But living in Maine has taught me to embrace every second of summer. To soak up the family time, the barbecues with friends and the dips in the freezing Atlantic.

So now I make a summer list. (I still refuse to call it a “bucket list.”)

And since I’m experiencing seasons for the first time in my life after moving to the east coast from California, I make a fall list too. It includes things like “eat as much pumpkin as possible and buy cinnamon scented candles.”

But I digress.

My summer list is full of things to do at home and away. This year, it’s geared a lot toward my daughter, who is a year and half and full of energy.


We want to take our canoe out at least a handful of times. Climb rocks high into the sky. And for the love of Pete, I want to pick some blueberries — a goal I’ve missed accomplishing — for one reason or another — three summers in a row.

After two years in our home, our closets are starting to fill and I’m thinking a good garage sale is in order. I’m a minimalist at heart after all.

Most of our garden is planted — kale, lettuce, onions and beans. We still have tomatoes and peppers that need potting and I’d like to try a few potatoes.

Picking strawberries circa 2014.

Picking strawberries circa 2014.

I want to forget we have Netflix and instead spend evenings walking to our neighborhood Gifford’s stand or visiting the splash pad in Old Town.

Some of my “to dos” are already getting crossed off.

We’ve already spend a handful of evenings fishing along the Kenduskeag while the busy toddler splashes along the shore, throwing rocks in one by one.

I also drink iced coffee all summer long. But it was only recently that I was introduced to “cold brew” — a process that creates a smoother, more potent iced coffee that doesn’t taste diluted by inevitable melting ice.

I made my first ever cold brew this weekend and I foresee many more two-quart containers of icy, liquid energy in our near future.

Want to make your own? I adapted my co-worker Emily Burnham’s recipe and used an old punch pitcher I found in the back of a cupboard.

BDN file photo

BDN file photo

Cold-brew coffee

yields 2 quarts

At least 12 hours for the coffee to steep.

A two-quart pitcher or similar type of container

1 ¾ cups of coarsely ground coffee

4-5 cups cold water

Large spoon

Place the coarsely coffee in the bottom of the pitcher, add water and stir for about 10-15 seconds until the grounds are suspended in the water. Cover and allow the coffee to sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, but no more than 18. Run the coffee through cheesecloth or a coffee filter in a mesh strainer or pour over cup. Mix with water, milk or a little of both and enjoy!

** For a fun, caffeinated twist, try freezing additional coffee and use as ice cubes.

Natalie Feulner

About Natalie Feulner

Natalie Feulner is a journalist and “semi-crunchy” cloth diapering momma to a rambunctious toddler named after a county in California. She drinks too much tea and loves to climb rocks but not at the same time.