100 Things Worth Doing, Part IV

The last of the things I’m glad I did, numbers 76-100:

76. Hummingbirds busy over Bryan’s shoulder at my 28th birthday breakfast.
77. Up on stage with everyone else to play air guitar after the championship competition had ended.
78. Playing Island of the Blue Dolphins using all the kitchen bowls to collect poisonous berries
79. Warm bottle in hand, Hank’s tiny head tucked under my chin
80. Dad telling me to reach into his jacket pocket, and finding a puppy inside
81. Stringing necklaces with mom at a big table in the sunshine.
82. Finally learning to swim because my sister bribed me with Ritz crackers.
83. Toilet papering Chris Parson’s backyard on Sunday morning when we knew he was away at church.
84. The smell of hardcover books and steam heat in the library.
85. Roadtrip games of Choose with smart friends
86. Back of our pickup truck, holding a warm donut, legs buried under freshly folded newspapers.
87. My first kiss: after the slow dance ended, just above my right cheekbone, on the soft skin beneath my eye.
88. Dancing drunkenly on the bed in PJs at the Ace.
89. Wrangling a litter of kittens in the playhouse in Julie Tucker’s backyard
90. Crying to gospel music
91. Running classified ads through the waxing machine
92. Collecting shells on a beach where even the smallest grain of sand was actually a shell, in Jamaica
93. Cheese board and a glass of wine on the patio at the San Jose in Austin
94. Freshly shaved legs and clean sheets
95. Spinning on the tall stools at Grandma’s tiki bar in her living room
96. Learning the chocolate chip cookie recipe by heart.
97. Kettle corn at the flea market in a sun hat
98. Sneaking to 7-11 after school to buy candy on my way home
99. Collecting lady bugs in jars to release in the garden
100. Backseat of the VW bus, legs sticking to the vinyl seats in the heat, Jim Croce tape

If you haven’t done this yet, it’s awfully fun. Add a few of yours in comments.

43 thoughts on “100 Things Worth Doing, Part IV

  1. Being 12, lying on the trampoline in my back garden, sun warming my back, black trampoliney material warming my tummy – no school , no work. life was good.


  2. and here I was thinking my dad was the only one who brought home small furry animals in his coat! (his was a kitten though)

    but for me it would be spending a day just sitting on the shores of a river in russia on a warm granite wall just watching the boats go by (it was great until the Turkish guy started hitting on me in English…)


  3. 8. Sept. 10, 2001: Seeing They Might Be Giants for free at Tower Records in New York City completely devoid of irony.

    17. Kissing Matt Brown E.T. style in behind the toys in his closet after pre-school.

    46. Finding that stuffed bunny at a shop in VT and thinking it was the best day ever only to get a marriage proposal 10 minutes later.


  4. listening to the cicadas call in the evening as my boyfriend kneels down on my front porch and proposes to me.


  5. Freshly shaved legs and clean sheets is my all time favorite. My husband always lets me keep the sheets tucked in on the first night even though he can’t stand it. I love him so much.


  6. Singing “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” to my future husband, ten minutes after meeting him.


  7. Relaxing in the hot tub on the deck of the villa we stayed in during our honeymoon. Driving through the streets of Goshen, NH on the back of a car, hanging on the rear window for dear life. Making igloos during the Blizzard of ’78. Being outside of the delivery room when my niece/godchild was born and hearing her first cry. When the baby was placed on my bare chest, after pushing for two hours. Huddling in the back of John’s classic car – with NO heat in 0 degree temperature – on our way to snowmobile.


  8. 1. Giving the maid-of-honor speech at my sister’s wedding
    2. Seeing Mike’s face when I turned the corner and stepped onto the aisle
    3. Watching a production of My Fair Lady on a brutally hot day at Mt. Tam
    4. Walking home from my last college class
    5. Smashing the cupcake in his face


  9. I used to play Island of the Blue Dolphins too, but without the poisonous berries and pretending small oyster crackers were the abalone…


  10. My Boy and I are having our first baby in June, so your accounts of Hank on these lists make me cry. Right now, remembering seeing those two pink lines is something I hope will flash before my eyes as one of my life’s greatest snap shots. I can only begin to dream and imagine the joy and wonder of actually holding and seeing and loving our baby when she’s born, but know they will be my heart’s dearest treasures, too.

    PS: Your number 78 is making me giggle a little. Just a typo I know, but boy, that must have been messy: all those bowEls in the kitchen ;).


  11. New Year’s Eve, walking upstairs without an engagement ring, then walking back downstairs ten minutes later to a house full of friends who all knew what was going on, wearing one.


  12. Standing on a cliff looking out at the Tyrrhenian Sea, sun warming my face and reflecting off the waves. Ruins behind me, a horse galloping on the sand below. I realize it’s November 5 and I’m in shirtsleeves, while back home in Chicago people are wearing coats.


  13. Returning to the room I just left ten minutes ago, and seeing my sweet two-year-old boy running toward me, arms outstretched, huge grin on his face, as overjoyed to see me as if I’d been gone for days.


  14. Holding my brother the morning after his birth.
    Swimming in a heated pool for the first time at state championships.
    Walking downtown with friends belting the entire libretto of RENT late at night.
    Sailing right before a thunderstorm hits.
    Picking up Zoe at the kennel and hearing the half-cry-half-yelp of a dog overcome with joy as she jumps up to lick my chin.


  15. Spraining my ankle getting off the bus in eighth grade, being carried home by Justin Saunders.


  16. collecting pears from my grandma’s pear tree to make pies with my cousin

    sitting in my friend’s backyard in the heat, eating cherries and spitting the seeds

    doing watercolor paintings on my easel, barefoot in the summer heat in my grandma’s backyard

    walking across the stage at HS graduation

    exploring mexico by myself during a grad trip, getting lost, but finding my way back with no help from english speakers. (as in, using all spanish to find my way around!)

    playing grocery store with a REAL cash register

    laying down in a meadow at night in yosemite to watch the stars with some of my favorite people, and seeing my first ever shooting star


  17. * Exploring Japan for a month with my brother and sister-in-law.
    * Moving from Virginia to Baltimore, ALL BY MYSELF. Because I could.
    * Traveling to Ireland with the future husband.
    * Split-second three-day trip from Baltimore to San Francisco with future husband, just to get the heck out of that place.
    * Leaving Baltimore and moving back to Virginia, with future husband.
    * Not going back to Baltimore, if I can help it.
    * Marrying the future husband.
    * Having the boy.
    * Telling work I’d only come back part-time, because I wanted to spend more time with the boy.
    * Spending more time with the boy.


  18. Being served breakfast in bed on my birthday which was also the first morning in our new apartment. Panicking on Table Mountain and never reaching the top. Drinking tequila with the man of my dreams. Reading Cat’s Eye. Skinny dipping with friends after a long night.


  19. Seeing Terence Blanchard play in New Orleans about 6 months after Katrina. Herbie Hancock sitting in.

    My first time taking pictures with a press pass. Soaking in the validation, and taking better pictures because of it.

    Seeing my first feature article in print.

    Doing stand up comedy for the first time.

    Writing and performing my second one woman show.

    Meeting Jim backstage at Second City, never realizing what we would become to each other.

    Girls weekend in upstate NY.

    Meeting my BFF Annette’s baby a few hours after she was born.

    Sitting on the balcony with my dad.

    Sushi with my mom.

    Summers at the CNE.

    Royal Alex 100th anniversary, boss inviting my sisters, Jim playing piano.

    Making my first Christmas Dinner.

    Oakville with Andy and Jim.

    Surprise 30th birthday party.

    Meeting Bob Dorough.

    Taking Bernie home from the Humane Society.

    Cuddling with Ambrose when I was 6 years old and still when I was 26 years old.

    Watching old movies with Paddy, new movies with Mo.

    Talking politics with Paula.

    First time in NY.

    Visiting Baton Rouge with Jim.

    North Carolina with Jen.

    Performing in Chicago.

    Drunken Kareoke.

    All nighter with Reimer. Breakfast at the Ranch.

    Seeing Fromstein featured in the Globe and Mail.

    Meeting Jim’s mom.

    Staying up late with Yvonne before Annette’s baby shower.

    Giving maid of honour speech at Annette’s wedding.

    Bathrobes, The West Wing after first night with Jim.

    Seeing Spike Lee’s Malcolm X the first time.

    Crying and taking pictures while Jon Hendricks sings.

    Seeing Oscar Peterson on his 80th birthday.

    Skipping off class in high school, sneaking to indie theatre, watching The Apartment.

    Starring in High School as Auntie Mame. Loving the work. Taking it seriously.

    Obama wins South Carolina on my birthday. Thrilled. Dinner with Mark Chelsea and Jim in celebration.

    Coffee at Balzac’s in the Distillery.

    Hot tub in Collingwood.

    Jazz Fest, Nathan Phillips Square, Roy Hargrove.

    Making this list, remembering to cherish the small stuff…


  20. I forgot about the wax machine! Thick, clumpy wax and trying to thin it out so we could finish the paper. At my college newspaper, the production room had this huge window that we would crack open and on Tuesday afternoons in the spring you could hear the sounds of baseball — the crack of a bat, the thump a ball makes when it hits the center of a baseman’s glove. In my mind the room is aglow with soft spring sunlight …


  21. Standing in Red Square.
    My first shooting star, which I saw with my best friend.
    My first morning in San Francisco, waking up to see the sun glistening over the Ocean.
    The sound of cicadeas and the smell of honeysuckle on a sultry summer night.
    My first newspaper byline on the front page.
    Sleeping under the brightest stars I’ve ever seen when the wind on the beach was too strong to pitch the tent.


  22. Eating popsicles with ice cream in the middle at my grandparents house.
    Helping my grandmother shell peas in her living room with her hair in curlers watching Price is Right.
    Running into my daddy’s hospital room to find out we were 15 minutes too late.


  23. waxing my legs for the first time with my friend Janae. Not reading the instructions and generously applying the wax to both of our legs. being in so much pain while trying to chisel the wax off. Giving up and wearing black tights over our wax infested legs for days.

    Oh you said worth doing.

    Writing naughty words with sunscreen on the mean girl’s back while she was sunbathing at the church pool party.


  24. A few of my 125…
    1. Early morning car rides with my Dad to the skiing mountain, listening to Jethro Tull on cassette tape.
    5. Catching tadpoles and putting them in bubble yum containers.
    21. Coming across a very tired baby bird on a low fence and talking to him until he pooped on my leg.
    48. Cheating on “the mile” in middle school and taking the short cut. And never getting caught.
    78. Buying the worlds smallest wading pool and then trying to squeeze two teenage girls in it.
    109. Holding Clifford (my son) for the very first time.


  25. I TOTALLY played Island of the Blue Dolphins. All the time. I had a black skirt that I pretended was made out of cormorant feathers. I sat alone in my playhouse in the backyard and made marks on the walls to count the days. Pretended the house was made out of whale bones.


  26. These are wonderful, thanks for sharing.

    *Walking down the stairs in my prom gown, my friends are downstairs. My dad has to leave the room for a minute.

    *Spending the first night alone in my own house and falling asleep instantly.

    *Meeting my best friend’s little girl fifteen minutes after she was born.

    *The first kiss with John in his parent’s basement, summer of ’94, Oasis on the stereo.

    *Drifting the afternoon away in mom and dad’s pool.

    *Seeing the Pacific Ocean, Newport Beach, CA.

    *Drunken shadow puppets on the front stoop with Wes and Chris.

    *Hockey excursion to NYC with the best friend, stalking professional hockey player for five blocks.

    *Baking Christmas cookies with mom, inadvertently dropping the F bomb in front of her for the first time. Mom laughs her ass off.

    *Laughing in the kitchen with mom, any time.


  27. Sitting with other recovering alcoholics at the diner after my first AA meeting, feeling so much hope that it made me gasp.


  28. dad lacing up my rollerskates/iceskates

    first hint of spring and asking to drive the long way home with the windows down just to listen to the white album and sing along.

    a first date at the Vagrant America Tour show

    falling asleep on the couch with the dog softly snoring in my arms

    crossing the finish line at my first 15K (yesterday!)

    Saying, “Yes” and him slipping the ring on my finger

    Listening to the Tori interview CD for the umpteenth time on the way to school and hearing my dad recite the words right along with me

    Getting my pink vinyl under the pink signed by Tori.

    carriage ride through central park

    seeing the desert’s sunset for the first time

    Dad’s breakfast of frozen waffles and very chocolate chocolate milk on Saturday mornings

    The first fly ball I ever caught and not understanding what it meant. Short stop. Six years old.

    Seeing Chris for the first time in his suit before the wedding

    Friday after work pizza at Luna’s and waiting for the train


  29. Ah poison berry mudpies! I had some of those myself. 🙂

    -Red wine & dark chocolate in the lobby of Hazel B.
    -“Let me be your Athletic Supporter” chalk drawings
    -Late night Papa Sam’s meals
    -Listening to the dedication hour of K92 on my clock radio, barely audible, I was so sneaky
    -$1.99 Margaritas at Applebee’s
    -Memorizing Newsies and acting it out w/ my sister


  30. * Age 20 – Going with Todd to the grocery store at midnight so he can buy the ingredients with which to make me my first PB&J

    * Staying up all night for the first time, with my a new friend on band trip to Boston, grade 9

    * Floating in the river at my grandparents’ cottage for what seemed like hours

    * Picking wild strawberries with my brother

    * Pisang à l’orange on 15 août in Liège with the girls

    * On a driftwood log at the beach. He proposes. I accept. We keep it a secret for 2 years.

    * Letting Mémère put rollers in my hair and the afro that ensued


  31. Sitting in bed with everyone around me, watching “Fairly Odd Parents”
    Sleeping with the window open for the first time in the spring.
    My first kiss, and realizing it had happened AFTER the fact!
    Coming out on stage to thunderous applause for the first time.
    Getting my first fan mail.
    Listening to birds in the back yard and knowing who was who.
    Seeing the Alps for the first time and realizing they were NOT a cloud bank.
    Putting my toes in the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
    Singing to Bob Seeger songs in the back of Mike Russo’s car, riding around on a summer night.
    Reading Victoria Holt novels in the courtyard outside the library in my favorite shady corner every seventh period for a whole year.
    Standing stage left, watching Don Giovanni, watching the score for the next cue, realizing I was reallly WORKING AT THE OPERA!!!!!
    Seeing my god daughter’s head emerge from her mother’s body, amazed at God’s miracles.


  32. 1. Staying home from work on a nice summer day and spending the vast majority of the day in the sun on a towel, with a really good book.
    2. Staying home from work on a rainy April day, and spending the vast majority of the day on the couch, with warm blankets and a really good book.
    3. Going to Disney World with Nick for my birthday. Acting like kids 100% of the time we were there.
    4. Going to open houses for the first home you will ever own. Feeling extremely adult and childishly excited at the same time.


  33. Waking up and having your husband tell you you are beautiful and mean it even thought your hair is tangled you’ve got morning breath sleep lines on your face and a zit.

    Going to scout wedding locations, and coming home with two dachshund puppies.

    Sitting on the floor laughing so hard you are crying, watching the dogs race and wrestle around the couch in a WWF style throw down.

    Painting the first wall in the first home you OWN.

    Your dad attempting to make ANY shape pancake you request as an imaginitive 6 year old.

    Watching your dad dance across stage in a pink dress at the church variety show.

    Getting yelled at by the park rangers because the newly released manatees keep following you from one end of the springs to the other.

    Getting “hugged” by a huge sandpapery manatee.

    Winning $1000 at age 12 for being the only one to knock putt a hamster ball into a hole against all adults.

    Wrapping presents by candle light on Christmas eve because the power is out.


  34. Remembering…
    Me and my mom standing side by side, with our arms around each other, staring into a mirror and simultaneously saying… “Aren’t we pretteeee?” I miss her so!!

    Moving into my very first apartment, standing in my empty living room, dancing and lip synching to Carol King’s, “I feel the Earth move under my feet…” (over and over…)

    Hearing the “Lucy and Linus” theme song as my husband and I departed the chapel where we were married…

    Wow, just thinking of these things has instantly lightened my mood and brought happy tears to my face!

    I think I need to keep going…


  35. Smiling at my brother as we both crossed the finish line after 26.2 miles

    Eating donuts in my bathing suit in the sun after a 4 hour swim practice

    Riding my bike in the middle of the street with my best friend while we sang ‘We built this city’

    Standing in a hail and rain storm for 2 hours with my husband while waiting to get into the U2 concert and loving every minute of it

    Looking out the dorm room when I arrived at college and crying tears of joy because I realized this was my life.


  36. Watching my two girls sleep. I love getting in close and feeling their breath and kissing them so lightly. They are now 9 and 11 and I still love it!


  37. Floating in a kayak, hearing the song from the humpback whales through the surface of the ocean, crying, putting my hand in the water to feel the vibration.

    Seeing the face of my unborn son for the first time, fuzzy and gray, on the screen in the darkened exam room. My husband squeezing my foot.

    Eating the edges of the freshly baked cake my Mom would cut off and dipping the pieces in the frosting.

    Painting pictures on tiny remote islands, and then selling them.

    Rescuing a litter of kittens and giving them homes. Saving the sweetest one for yourself.


  38. Drinking kool-ade and playing baseball with my grandfather after getting off the bus from school, nearly every day, till he passed away when I was 7.

    Hitting my first homerun, and having all the older kids cheer me on. 9 years old. Little League all-star game.

    going to college far away from home, becoming friends with people who had never known me for the previous 18 years.

    Crying at my wedding.


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