To Do List

by Paul Jensen from Ottawa, ON

I was looking at my to-do list today. You know the one: posted in command central, the place where you can find plenty of loathsome tasks, waiting for your attention.

Our lists are posted on a big white board in our kitchen. Most of them written in my wife’s careful script. 

But the list I was looking at today was written in my own hand. Yes, I had broken the sacred rule and added to my husbandly burden. Mind you, in my defense, it was obvious that I had made this grievous error sometime in the exuberant throes of spring, and, to the best of my knowledge, had yet to act on any of the items. Now I was standing in front of it, coffee in hand, ready to erase it.

But when I reread the list, I drew a black border around it, rather than erasing it I framed it instead. It's not that it is a significant list. It seems, when I wrote it, that I had need of lumber for a long forgotten project. And that I was thinking that sticks might make good perches for the birds in our garden. Evidently, it was berry season; and we were having, as I recall, a "spittle bug" problem on one of our shrubs.

It was the sum of these things that made me smile. As I stood gazing at it I thought, "This is a good list. This list is too good to erase. This is the sort of list Dave would appreciate."

So I left it where it was, in the corner of our white board – the frame around it. And if I ever feel that there is nothing to do, or that I have no purpose in life, it is there for me to consult. Life could be worse.

Here then is my permanent to-do list:

Get Wood
Find Big Sticks
Pick Strawberries
Spit Bugs