Thursday, June 1, 2017

Non Bucket List Events

a small herd of deer crossed the road without my dogs noticing...they were busy sniffing something exciting on the ground
Ill start this column with a warning: the following content may contain elements that are unrelated and not suitable for organized minds. Rambling words ahead.
I recently wrote about my observations and admiration of crows. There are two sides to every story, and although I can admire their cunning and adaptability, I am currently frustrated by their antics in my yard. 
The area I live in has a problem with chinch bugs, which results in very poor lawn conditions. The crows do their part by tearing up the dried up turf and presumably feasting on the grubs. Our front lawn was spared last year, but when we went on a short breakaway from home recently, the crows had a wild party at our place. We came back to the sight of our front yard torn up beyond repair. What to do?

An extension of the flower garden was my answer and we invested in landscape fabric, a few shrubs, and lots and lots of mulch. My theory was that the crows just seem to tear up the grassy area, so we should replace the grass with gardens. I used to be able to garden for days on end, but six hours of planting and moving dirt and mulch resulted in an exhausted state and a very sore body. Theres nothing like hard work to make you feel your age, or maybe even a tad older. This was repeated the following day, but at a much slower pace and a lot less accomplished.

We still have at least half of the front yard in patchy grass, a dilemna to ponder for a while. Any recommendations that dont involve pesticides or further back breaking work would be appreciated.

The good weather has brought back my morning routine of walking the dogs before I sit down for coffee and breakfast. One of the good things about owning dogs is that they are creatures of habit, and even after just two days of walking they adapted to the new routine and guilt me into walking even when I would rather just sit with a morning coffee. Theres nothing like a guilt trip to force a person into exercise.

The other day we had just headed down the road and had paused at a vacant lot for some dedicated sniffing. I looked up and there were 5 deer frozen in place about fifty feet in front of us. I pulled out my pocket camera, turned it on and took several pictures of the deer while their hooves clattered across the road and they disappeared. All this went unnoticed by my two dogs, fierce protectors that they are. I put my camera away and we carried on with our walk without incident and without the dogs knowing what they missed.

I dont know if its age, or just part of lifes cycle, but Ive been doing a lot of thinking lately about our routines. Prompted by my husband, who is one of the worlds greatest analyzers, Ive been giving thought to what makes me happy and what projects I want to be involved in. For I am a project person and am lost without a list of tasks to do or things to accomplish. I do a lot of philosophizing about how I would like to "just be", but the fact is that I like to be doing things. The trick is to be doing things I enjoy, not doing things because someone else thinks I should be doing it. Thats one of the benefits about being retired, we get to pick and choose how we spend our days. 
It seems that there isnt an age restriction on the question "what do I want to do with my life". However, when youve got several decades under your belt, there is a general feeling that you better get on with things before you run out of time. Some people have a "bucket list" of things they want to do, but I never could write one. I have something I call the "bucket list in the rear view mirror", a list of things Ive done that give me a warm fuzzy feeling. 
On those days that Im feeling down, its nice to take a look at my list and see the things that I have done that make me happy to think about. We all have those days despite the fact that social media wants us to think all our lives are perfect and filled with one great adventure after another. My list starts with "raised a son with excellent life values who is a contributor to society", so you can gather that its not an itemized list of great adventures. 
Whats on your rear view mirror list? Thats something good we can all focus on.

published in the South Shore Breaker - May 31, 2017


  1. I feel like you wrote that eighth paragraph just for me. I've been a retired person now for... let me see... 22 hours... I've been thinking those same thoughts.

  2. I'm with you on eliminating the things that just aren't ME (anymore), and its taking some serious soul searching and self-honesty. But I'm loving the results.

  3. I try very hard not to focus on the negative in the rear view mirror; the losses and bad decisions. Instead I think of new friends, you may know one of them ;-) and adventures travelling around this lovely province. I too love gardening but do seem to find the heavy lifting harder than before. How about a load of pea gravel where the "grass" used to be ?

    That image of the deer is wonderful. I love how they're spaced out crossing the road. You have very mellow dogs not to have noticed the deer.

    I don't have a bucket list per se. What do you do if the list is short and you do everything on it ? Lie down and die ? lol


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