Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Lists seem to be everywhere around me.  A friend the other day emailed me and said that when he was sitting through the chemo he would make lists of all the things he was going to do when he was well.  Things he had done before but wanted to do again, things never tried, small and large.  And he tells me that he and his wife have checked things off the list and continuously look at it for ideas of things to do.  Nice.

Then I watched one of those sappy made for TV movies on Hallmark.  It was about a woman obsessed with lists.  And by the predictable end she did not give up her lists, but rather realized what were the important things to put on her lists.

Today I spent about 15 minutes outside working in the garden and it felt good, but I felt sweaty quickly and I am not a person who normally perspires, I mean at all.   In the past few years I have started to perspire on a hot day in the garden but I am built for heat.  Sweating is a lost of hydration and my only responsibility through this process is to stay hydrated.  So I pulled weeds and picked peppers for 15 minutes and thought that when my throat is better and I can drink and eat food to stay hydrated that might be a better time to start gardening.  (But I might go back out in the morning for another 15 minutes tomorrow, moderation) So I did a very cursory cleaning of the house, a load of clothes and then started reading Kris Radish's The Sunday List of Dreams Bantam books, 2007.  I think she has put out at least 2 new books since this one.  Radish's two most popular books are, The Elegant Gathering of White Snow and Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral.  I enjoy her writing, if I was to compare it to anyone that y;all would be familiar with would be Ms Moon.  The Language is beautiful and brutal, blunt and truthful, and almost always with a dry sense of humor that makes me laugh out loud sometimes.  And another friend of mine, who also is a writer, Kim, who lives in North Carolina and lives on the side of a mountain in a cabin with a husband named Jim who also is in the Naval Reserves so he is gone a lot and Kim survives her brutal beautiful world with lists.  Lists of things that need to be repaired, ideas of ways to make an income that feels right, things to get ready when Jim comes home next week.  I know this sweet sensitive woman and I love that about her.  She makes lists, but she also gets out there and lives those lists.  She is doing power point presentations on various subjects related to native plants, birds, insects, why leaves change in the fall, nature things.  And she writes articles for the local newspaper about these same subjects and she is learning a lot.  Newspaper writing will really hone your skill for writing.  She gets 400 words.  can you imagine me working with only 400 words, it would be a challenge. And she is not just thinking locally, she is already wondering about syndication.  Hey why not?  Why not do what you enjoy and find some way to make money with it.  My favorite is an article she wrote about the ant and the grasshopper, how the original story was a katydid, not a grasshopper.  Now for all you Entomologist, doesn't that make so much more sense?  For all of you non-entomologist, saying grasshopper instead of katydid is like being forced to look at a crooked picture on the wall while at someones home for dinner.  Crickets sing, katydids sing, grasshopper's are not thought of as "chirppers" or "singer's" like the other two, so that just was so much fun to hear.  And that is what is special about Kim's writing she always tries to p put a bit of magic or folk lore and something positive in her articles.  She wants her column to be something positive the people will look forward to reading each week.  

And I thought about the idea of lists all day, and my conclusion, is like choosing not to fight the cancer.  I choose not to go back to the same bad habit of making too many lists and instead of living in the moment, constantly missing the moment as I anticipate the next thing to keep all the balls in the air.  I am a list maker, Christmas cards and gifts, grocery lists, to do lists before visitors, lists every day at work prioritizing each project.  But I need to learn moderation, so for now anyway, I will try and live for the moment and leave the lists for other times.  I have lived a wonderful and full life, and what else happens each moment forward of this journey and beyond can wait for now.  So many things to learn, to experience, and each person must do it using their own strengths and learn the lessons that they are open to.  


  1. I enjoyed this post, thanks! The age old dilemma; do you make Lists in life or do you stop and smell the roses? While I'm still going to keep making my Lists, I'll now make sure that "living for the moment" is noted with a two-star priority! (I like my cake and to eat it too!) JL

  2. Your posts are so lovely. I am a compusive list maker, chronicler, justifier, reminder, organizer, and such a holy mess that it makes no sense. I am trying to let go a little, but I still have the urge to document and gather data about the mundane and the crucial. It is part of my nature, and no doubt yours, too.
    I came across a funny video by a favorite author, who decided the bucket list was not for her, and opted for a fuckit list, things she'll waste no more time on, freeing up lots of life for the good stuff. I'll find a link for you.
    Thanks for the book ideas, I'd like to read someone who sounds like Ms. Moon. I do love my books. Take care, and keep writing. You are a pleasure to read,