The Comfort of “To Do” Lists

Christine Thomas takes the next step in the journey of making a life in the country. First up: make a To Do list. Then another. And another….

May 10, 2010 | | Blogs | Community | Leisure | Red Squirrel Musings

Now I own my piece of heaven. What happens next? Where’s the manual that goes with this place? In pretentious urban fashion I begin constructing lists of to do’s.

Moving to the country did not dissuade me from my habit of making lists (for now, for later, for some indefinite time in the future). Lists are my security blanket, my mac and cheese of comfort foods so to speak!

The first list of course was the “if I had a million dollars” list. It included: new flooring in the family room; a new kitchen (definitely); siding, yes, siding, we had to change the color of the house.

It’s funny. Before we bought the place, neither my husband or I ever complained about any of these obviously necessary upgrades. We loved it warts and all and gave it the unconditional love it deserve.

The practical list of to do’s kept getting bigger. Replace the leaking toilet; fix the cracked window…. I would take care of items 1-4, but by the week’s end I would have added eight more!

The family room was soon discovered to be the unofficial “pee box” for our beloved 16-year-old cat and various visiting canines! Pulling the rug up after several scrubs uncovered a “mushy” subfloor…hummm. Add “new subfloor” to the list. Move “new hardwood floor” down.

Two weeks later we discovered the patio door to the family room face down in the yard. We had planned to replace it anyway with French doors “when it was time.” Now this item moved up the list!

Five days after they were ordered, snow came quite early…eeekkkk! For six weeks we had only plastic sheeting and duct tape between us and vermin!

I heard it said soon thereafter that nature determines your to-do lists and the rest is whatever you can squeeze in!

Finally, a word to everyone who commented on my first post (“Moving Up to the Country”). Thank you all for sharing your insights and memories. You all have similar thoughts and dreams and wishes, which confirm for me that I am not alone in my love for this life!

Please keep sharing your stories. I enjoy the company!


A chef, caterer, dog walker and novelist in training, Christine Thomas also claims mastery of forklifts, composting, car racing and Italian regional cuisine. Christine lives in Mono with her husband, dog and three cats.

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Red Squirrel,

    Thanks for more musings. I share your passion for lists, which I always lose, then start a second list, then find the original list, until I completely lose the plot. Sometimes when you’re completely at a lost as to what to do first, the only thing to do is to write a list to structure your thoughts and sort your priorities.

    Looking forward to your next instalment,


    Richard on May 12, 2010 at 9:42 am | Reply

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