I have about 10 books from the library right now. I’m deep in the throes of researching and writing the padding guide about the Peace River, so I got some local history books. One of them is The Last of the True Pioneers by Ted Krause. He lived in northern Alberta and the book tells the stories from his life between 1929 to 2004. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole book, but I was flipping through the first few pages and the last few pages. This is what’s found on the last page, written when Ted was 78 years old, and I loved it and wanted to share it here.
If I had it to do over again…
I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax a little more. I would limber up quite a bit, and be a little sillier than I have been this trip.
I know there would be very few things I would take so seriously, and I would be crazier.
I’d take more chances. I’d take more nonsense journeys. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers and watch more sunsets.
Oh, I have had my moments… and if I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, that’s what I’d have most of… just moments… one after another, instead of this living so many years ahead of each day.
If I had it do do over again, I would go more places. I’d get up and go quickly and travel much lighter than I ever have, and I would go places I never dreamed I’d go.
If I had my life to live over again, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and I would stay that way until later in the fall. I would play hooky more. And I wouldn’t make such good grades, either… except by accident.
I would piss off my doorstep just to say it’s my doorstep and I can do what I want.
I would go into the wilderness and scream at the top of my lungs just to hear the echo.
Try some of these things — they’re good for the soul.
And above all, do not pay any attention to what the neighbors are saying about you. They like to talk.