I wish I had included on my bucket list "sing in the street with a hobo" because I would now be able to mark that item accomplished.

While strolling the cobblestone of Vilnius, Lithuania, we happened upon an elderly gentleman. He had a long white beard and blue eyes that sparkled as he sang. His age and the fact that he had no musical instrument, save his voice, set him apart from other street musicians. He stood with outstretched hands and upturned face while singing traditional folk songs from the Baltic region.

When we placed money in his palm, his face lit up. Kissing the back of my hand, he spoke to me in Lithuanian.

"English?" I asked.

"Where do you come from?"

"The United States."

"What city?"


"Ah, yes! Indianapolis, the capital of Chicago!"

"Close!" I laughed, impressed with his geographical knowledge.

"You are American. Sing Bonnie!"

And so, we stood in the street, holding hands and performing a Grammy worthy duet:

My bonnie lies over the ocean

My bonnie lies over the sea

My bonnie lies over the ocean

Oh bring back my bonnie to me

A small crowd gathered, and we made about one dollar and eighty-two cents. I let him keep my half because feeling his damp beard pressed next to my lips in an unexpected kiss was quite enough reward.

A week or so later, in the back room of the Oscar Wilde Irish Pub in Berlin, Germany, it was karaoke night. Karaoke is actually on my bucket list, so bolstered by the success of my Lithuanian debut (and a wee bit of rum and Coke), I decided the time had come. After the guy wearing a sombrero and feather boa finished performing "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" I figured I had nothing to lose. Besides, his song mentioned Chicago, which as the Lithuanian hobo pointed out, is practically my home state. I took it as a sign.

For weeks I had been singing along in the car to Lenka's "The Show." I am pretty sure it was not written from the perspective of a middle-aged mom who just watched three children leave the nest, but nearly every line suits me to a tee. I have a speech prepared, just in case they start awarding Grammys for heartfelt performances in a vehicle.

And so, since all of the stars were in alignment, and I was 5000 miles from people who actually know me, I took the stage and belted out my well-practiced song. Afterwards, I texted friends and family and shared how the crowd was blown away by my awesome performance.

The following morning, I watched the video hubby took with his phone. Okay, so maybe it wasn't that mind blowing. My timing might have been slightly off, and the key really needed a bit of adjusting. It is quite possible the crowd so enthusiastically sang along as a mass joint effort to drown out my warbling.

But it was a great deal of fun, and whenever I am drinking heavily in a foreign country, I won't hesitate to do it again. I might even look up the other half of my Lithuanian duo, and hit the karaoke circuit. I am pretty sure that with his vast knowledge of international folk songs, and my ability to almost stay on key, the crowds would love us. I should add "win a Grammy" to my bucket list.