List Your Top 10 by Heidi

February 21, 2011 by Heidi (picture is Heidi playing w/chicken’s on Grandma’s farm)

Work at the oil gate has been slow, so I’m sorting. I must have always liked lists. The other day when I was cleaning out my backpacks full of journals I found a list that my grandma had “translated” for me on the back of a magazine ad. There were some wiggly lines and drawings, then Grandma’s handwriting.

Grandma kept everything. (She had a handy stack of note paper under the lamp on the kitchen table. It was years before I understood people meant something else entirely when they talked about note paper. Hers was torn blank corners of ads, newspapers, envelopes.) Here is the list I found:

Things I Love:

  1. cows
  2. baby chicks

Pretty concise. Very accurate. I stayed at Grandmas farm sometimes for a week at a time. My favorite things were, as mentioned, and if it were really cold in the spring when the chicks hatched she brought them inside and placed them in a box with a blanket behind the wood cook stove, which was located handily beside my favorite step, explained in an earlier post: Steps.

I progressed to writing my own lists that don’t need translation. For instance, I used to play school and I had a list of all the kids I knew and loved- or not. I gave grades to them based on how I saw their class performance. If they were nice, they got good grades, If they were indifferent, they got the average C and if they were mean to me, they flunked. Again, easy.

I started keeping some lists all year. Christmas list ideas, for instance. I’d keep one in my billfold and add to it constantly. The trick was coming up with something uniquely suited to each person, meaningful, but costing very little. I never had much money and I’m not one of those handy people that can make things out of wood or cloth or beads. I’m scared of a glue gun! (Just give me back my .22, please Galen!) Below is a picture of the work from my .22 and those of my best friends at Mama Sue’s farm.

Evidence of the "gang"

I work with words. I make lists.

When phones got smarter than people, I started keeping lists in them. I use the recording sometimes for random things like article ideas or things to tell my mom. I use shopping list applications for my groceries and supplies. That works so much better than the scraps of paper I grew up using. You know from experience what happens to odd pieces of paper just as well as I do!

Not all technology has improved the use of lists, however. I have noticed a little bit of competitive spirit in people and their Facebook or Twitter lists. Some people seem to have befriended the universe! I realize these are not really friends, but if not, then why would I want to communicate with them every day? It’s not for me. I have around 30 friends on my list and I really care a lot about each of them or they’d be off the list.

The other thing about lists on Facebook is that you can group your people into lists and categorically determine who is your “Best Friend” kind of friend and who is not. Competitive friending, I’m not into.

Here’s a current list: things I don’t give time or energy to now that I’m almost 60


  1. Makeup
  2. Regret
  3. Bad relationships
  4. “Live” TV
  5. Guilt
  6. Boring books
  7. Nail polish
  8. Pleasantries
  9. Worry
  10. Competition

How about your top 10? Share a top 10 list of anything with me. I still like lists. I’d love to see yours. That’s a challenge!