Saturday, April 29, 2017

ABC Post 29--Lists

Ten Things Everyone Should Do At Least Once:

1. Hold a kitten.

2. Take a road trip and be in charge of buying gas and checking the oil.

3. Clean up barf.

4. Plant and grow and eat lettuce.

5. Visit an orphanage in a developing country.

6. Make a speech.

7. Sleep outside with a few children.

8. Paddle a canoe.

9. Visit a nursing home.

10. Live through a blizzard.

Ten Things I Worry About:

1. That my kids are manipulating me if I indulge their tastes and preferences.

2. That tea will yellow my teeth.

3. That a fox will kill the chickens.

4. Homeless people on cold nights.

5. That I will never catch up with everything I need to do.

6. That the Cascadia earthquake will hit when I'm waiting at a red light, under the Beltline overpass on River Road. The underside of the overpass is flat. I will be squished.

7. That Paul will accidentally say a bad word from the pulpit when he gets his words mixed up.

8. That the cup I toss in the garbage today will still be sitting in a landfill 500 years from now, as Matt informed me his first year in college. That bothers me, that cup, endlessly buried but not decaying.

9. That I'm missing important clues in someone close to me.

10. Wars, persecution, pestilence, and so on, around the world.

Ten Talents I Have And Hopefully Use Enough To Gain More:

1. Apologizing. [Recently I sent an apology email and the person replied, " write such a perfect apology--such a rare talent--and I am delighted to promptly accept! ]

2. Finding things. [Ben says, "I won't worry about you getting Alzheimer's until I ask where things are and you don't know," since he had just asked about the leftover pork chops and I said, 'In the fridge on the second shelf in the red Tupperware on the left.']

3. Finding good deals, like the chandelier in the bedroom that I got for $5 at a yard sale that is worth much more.

4. Suggestion. Or, as Emily says, "Telling Dad ideas in a way that makes him think they're his ideas."

5. Seeing humor in things that aren't supposed to be funny, like funerals and airport security.

6. Making people cry. Or, as my friend Judy's daughter said, "Really, Mom? Five minutes with Dorcas and already you're crying?"

7. Picking the shortest grocery-store line that ends up taking the longest, with all the forgotten PIN numbers and the groceries not covered by the Oregon Trail card.

8. Matchmaking, in my imagination and prayers at least. Not so much in real life.

9. Fixing everyone else's problems, in my head, and telling them just where they're wrong, with perfect clarity, also in my head.

10. Keeping cloth diapers nice and white. [Haven't used this skill in years, but I still know how.]

Ten Things I'd Like to Write About But Can't

1.  All my children's escapades and quotes and decisions that they won't give me permission to share.

2. Anything that will bring on a flurry of you-should-have-justs and advice, such as cats having kittens.

3. What I really think about politics, guns, spanking, vaccines, and global warming.

4. Why it's hard being a pastor's wife.

5. People who are deceiving you.

6. Body weight and why it's such a volatile topic.

7. The sins of people who look perfect, and the private heroism of people who don't.

8. All the eccentric people and what they say and do.

9. Mission work in closed countries.

10. Solutions to mysteries that I can't divulge because they were told to me in confidence.

[Maybe this is why people write novels.]


  1. Please write about items 2-8 :-) I may not agree with everything you would write about but I enjoy reading what you write.

    1. I agree, too. We're all adults. Civil adults.

    2. As I told a commenter below, I need a good deal of emotional reserves before I write about controversial things.

  2. Your list of items you "can't" write about is curious. No idea who you are, but the list reveals a lot of a character.

    To be honest I'm less interested in what you would write for each item, but rather why you feel you can't write about them. Several are obvious - private lives of children, things told in confidence - but others are well within your right (and capacity) to speak about.

    You seem well-spoken, thoughtful, humble... so honestly why the reservations?

    1. Well, this is a good exercise for me. Let's see.
      1. Obviously I need to respect my children.
      2. I've learned that if you write about cats having kittens, or something like it, it brings out the unctious, anxious, horrified people who are So Disappointed In Me, that I didn't get the cat fixed. Or whatever.
      3. I've made it a policy to not write publicly about politics. The other things I'll write about when I have the emotional reserves for a heated discussion.
      4. Privacy/confidentiality issues here.
      5. I need to have emotional reserves for this one too.
      6. I wrote about fat a few times. Some people were extremely offended--because I don't know what it's like to be fat, they said.
      7. confidentiality.
      8. You just can't go describing "Hazel Miller" and all her bizarre and hilarious behavior when her daughter might read it.
      9. I can't put people in danger.
      10. confidentiality. looks like some reasons have to do with keeping secrets when it's the legal and ethical thing to do. And some have to do with just not having the stomach for controversy.

  3. Ha! I'm so glad you appreciated my appreciation of your talent for apologizing. I wish I could send people to you for lessons!