Listing Away

by | Feb 13, 2024 | Home Life

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Wrinkly Bits
A Blog by Gail Cushman

I’m a list maker. And the Cowboy isn’t. Therein is the rub. His brain catalogues things in bold print with numbers in front of them, so they are done in order and on time, but I can’t see them. They are picked off, one at a time, you know, first things first, second things second and so forth. He is very organized.

On the other hand, my brain scatters things like bird seed that falls below the bird feeder, meaning the wind might pick them up and toss them over the hill, rearranging them in some random form. Hence, in order to get things done, I make a list. On paper for everyone to see. In plain English, usually with a space for a check mark indicating that I completed it. If I do something that’s not on the list, I can add it to the bottom and check it off. Yea! Another item completed.

The Cowboy on the other hand tosses out an item now and then, as if he is roping a steer with a rope that doesn’t have a loop. “It’s on the list,” he says. 

“What list?” says I. 

“The one I made up last week, don’t you remember?” He knows better, I forget a lot.

“Hmm,” I murmur, and dutifully write it down in my notebook. “Now it’s on the list.” 

I make lists for everything, daily chores, outside tasks, grocery lists, drug store lists, and of course to-do lists. I am working on a new book, so I have things like idea lists, brainstorming lists, and I even have a list of alternative words to use when writing conversation. For example, I might write “he said,” “he shouted,” “says he,” or “he mumbled,” all good ways to express words coming out of someone’s mouth. I currently have 185 ways someone can reference a conversation, but sometimes “he said,” is the best. As a matter of fact, “he said” is a non-word because it is so common that people skip it when they read. 

I have a bucket list also known as “the first hundred things to do before you die,” which mostly includes names of countries I need to see or rivers that would look better if our boat was floating on them. I list books I want to read, too, but I used up one whole notebook, just for that. People keep writing books, so the list only grows bigger, not smaller, no matter how fast I read. I’ve crossed out a lot of the countries and rivers, perhaps I’ve been there, and some are crossed out for other reasons, like any place with a war or snakes. I used to have Russia on the list, but I crossed it off, replacing it with floating down the Nile. The Nile is still good, but the India’s Ganges River is iffy, we are rethinking it. We are still thinking about the Orient Express, though. I could write a book called, Murder on the Orient Express. But, alas, that title is already taken.

I have a list of the best movies, which spurred a new list of worst movies that grows each time we turn on the television. The best movies seem to be old and/or with established, mostly deceased actors, like Humphrey Bogart or Ingrid Bergman. The worst movies, well, there are thousands, too many to put on paper so I’ve kind of given up, listing them is useless.

Today’s list had just four things on it 1. Write today’s blog. Check! Done! 2. Try out my new eyeglasses, which have purple frames and bluish lenses. Check! Done! 3. Watch for deer and chase them from the bird feeder 4. Go for a walk, but I already crossed that one off because it looks like snow. Three out of four isn’t bad. I need to go outside and watch for deer. Have a great weekend!

New books! They are here! Murder in the Parsonage  

Book 1 of the Maggie Monroe Series 

AND Loving Again A Guide to Online Dating for Widows and Widowers…you don’t have to be alone.


Wrinkly Bits Series, a senior hijinks

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