I seem to have quite a few buckets lying around. They’re just so darned handy. I have a collection of just about every shape and size. I have my kindling for our chimenea in one. I often turn one upside-down and use it for a seat when I’m working on something in the barn. They also make great planters for those extra tomato and pepper plants you can’t squeeze into the garden. I have my car washing bucket, my bucket I take into the garden when I’m pulling weeds and a bucket that goes to range with me to hold spent brass.
Buckets have found their way into numerous idioms and other sayings. When it’s raining hard, we say “it’s coming down in buckets” (that would hurt). The vulgar term used when someone passes away is “they kicked the bucket”. The origins of this idiom are disputed, but it’s clear this is where we derived the term “bucket list” from. A “bucket list” is a list of all the things a person wants to do or experience before they die. Some lists include things like sky diving, swimming with sharks, climbing a mountain, etc. I’d have one heck of a bucket list if it only included finishing all the uncompleted projects around my house!
When you’re working toward a large goal and you’ve made a small amount of progress, your contribution could be referred to as just a “drop in the bucket”. If you get into some deep trouble, it might be said you’ve got a “bucket load” of trouble. In the game of basketball, you try to get the ball in the bucket. An old, rusty, badly running car is referred to as a bucket of bolts. Winston Churchill once used a bucket to make a point when he said “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”
You can put just about anything in a bucket and then carry your bucket everywhere you go. My daughter has a new trick-or-treat bucket she just filled with candy the other night. I have a nifty tool bag that slides into a five gallon bucket and holds tools inside as well as outside the bucket in pockets. I take that bucket when I go to work on building projects or do disaster relief work. I also have a specific bucket I take into the alley to clean up after my dog; my “nasty bucket” that I wouldn’t want to take ANYWHERE with me!
We’re kind of like buckets. We hold lots of stuff, and we carry that stuff around with us everywhere we go. Some of the stuff can be useful, some of it can be sweet as candy, and some of it can be nasty, unpleasant stuff. When my bucket gets too full of the latter, I have to pray and ask God to empty me of that so I can focus on the good things He has placed in my bucket. What’s your bucket full of?
© 2016 Curt Savage Media