Here it is. My 100th post. The burden of being meaningful and significant weighs heavily upon me.
Although there’s no reason why it should, as no-one other than myself is likely to know it’s my 100th, or attach any expectations to that. But, in the words of my favourite Ashleigh Brilliant saying: “Lord, give me strength to meet this self-imposed and totally unnecessary challenge.”
I have borrowed an idea I’ve seen here and there about the blogosphere and decided to commemorate Hypergraffiti’s 100th post by posting 10 lists of my Top 10 … whatever. The challenge will be to keep this short and pithy, and refrain from commenting on and explaining each list and each choice on each list at length. After all, I do want at least two or three people keep reading to the bottom of the post.
List #1: 10 Books that Have Changed My Life (in roughly chronological order of reading)
I don’t think I could do a list of “favourite” books because there are too many, so I’m trying to select those that have had the most profound impact on the person I’ve become and the way I see the world — mostly fiction, but a few nonfiction have crept in there.
1. The Bible — specifically the J.B. Philips translation of the New Testament
2. Kate, by Jean Little
3. Mindy, by June Strong
4. Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
5. Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers
6. The Last Convertible, by Anton Myrer
7. The Diviners, by Margaret Laurence
8. Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay
9. Gospel, by Wilton Barnhardt
10. The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions by N.T. Wright and Marcus Borg
List #2: 10 Movies I Would Gladly See Again and Again (in no particular order at all)
I’m sorry, I’m not a film buff, so none of these are “great films” by movie-people standards. Just mainstream Hollywood movies I have known and loved over the years.
1. The Princess Bride
2. Good Will Hunting
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
7. Galaxy Quest
8. Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail
9. Nothing in Common
10. The Sure Thing
List #3: 10 Days of My Life I’d Like to Relive (chronological order)
1. An afternoon at Hodgewater with my parents, late 70s, when we canoed over to the other side of Hodgewater Pond and saw a beaver lodge. The evening probably ended with my dad playing guitar and us singing by the fire in the cabin, so it would be a great day to relive.
2. Almost any Sabbath and Saturday night at Andrews University between 1983-1986. Even Saturday nights when I was breaking my heart because the guy I loved was out with some other girl … I’d go back and relive those, too. I was growing up, I was with some of the best friends I’ve ever had, I was completely alive. Actually, I’d relive any day at Andrews, in a heartbeat, and change nothing.
3. Any day of the camping trip to Lake Simcoe in 1990 with Jamie, Ted, Jerry/Scott, Kirsten and Cathy.
4. The trip to Quebec City with Jason and the Pathfinders in 1991, but without getting violently stomach-sick (although re-living it that way would remove one of the most romantic moments of my life, when Jason carried my bag of vomit and I knew he was The One. Still would be nice to actually see Quebec City though).
5. August 1, 1995 — the day Jason and I bought our house.
6. August 20, 1995 — wedding day. Yes, it was fun and I would actually like to relive it — we managed to make it fairly low-stress, and there were beautiful moments with family and friends.
7. January 24, 1998 — about four days after Christopher was born. Those first days with a newborn were a little scary, but by the weekend the post-partum blues were gone, my milk had come in, and I relaxed and started to enjoy having my own little person to play with.
8. April 4, 2000 — the day Emma was born. A much easier birth than Chris’s, and I was much more prepared, so this was actually a great day, and I only spent about 4 hours of it in labour.
9. The day we spent tubing on a river in Tennessee, summer 2002
10. Any day on the houseboat in England, summer 2006. Preferably the day with the least locks.
List #4: 10 Dead People I’d Like to Have Lunch With (chronological order)
Comment: These could be ten separate lunches, but it also might be fun to group them. I’d like to have the first three at the table together, for example. All ten at once would be chaotic, though.
1. Jesus (OK, not strictly dead, as I do believe in the resurrection, but not readily available for lunch at the moment)
2. St. Paul (I have some questions for him)
3. Julian of Norwich
4. Queen Elizabeth I
5. Louis Riel
6. L.M. Montgomery
7. C.S. Lewis
8. Margaret Laurence
9. Peter Gzowski
10. Rich Mullins
List #5: 10 Living People I Might Actually Have Lunch With, but Haven’t Had the Chance to For Awhile, or Ever
Friends who are far away, whom I haven’t seen for years (and in one case haven’t met at all except online). The first six are people I’m still in touch with; the last four I’ve lost touch with … would love to sit down for lunch with each of these folks. No particular order to this list.
1. Kerry Schafer
2. Jamie Townsley
3. Catherine O’Brien Townsley
4. Sharon Fleshman
5. Katrina Stonoff
6. Linda Paulson Ramos
7. Roseanna Elton
8. Allan Paul
9. Grace Marks
10. Kurt Gillen
List #6: 10 Places I’ve Been Before That I’d Like to Visit Again
2. Eastport, Newfoundland
3. London, England
4. Any portion of the Grand Union Canal, England
8. The place in Tennessee where we went tubing on the river
9. Brooklyn, New York
10. Williamsburg, Virginia
List #7: 10 Places I’ve Never Been That I’d Like to Visit
3. Anyplace in the South of France
5. Any South Pacific Island
6. Africa — any part
8. New Orleans
9. The Alhambra
List #8: 10 Songs I Would Put on the Only CD I Could Take to a Desert Island With Me
This is even tougher than the books. The criteria has to be songs I deeply love … which could easily be 100 … that I wouldn’t get tired of. And each would have to carry some kind of message that would sustain me on my desert island. This is my best list, but I’m kicking myself for stuff I’ve left off.
1. John Cale, Hallelujah
2. Bruce Guthro, Walk This Road
3. Rich Mullins, Hold Me Jesus
4. Bruce Springsteen, The River
5. Lone Justice, The Gift
6. Fernando Ortega & Amy Grant, I Will Arise and Go to Jesus
7. Bob Seger, Against the Wind
8. Great Big Sea, A Boat Like Gideon Brown
9. Garth Brooks, The Dance
10. Steve Taylor, The Finish Line
List #9: 10 Items of Clothing I Have Loved
This is tough for a different reason — unlike the books and the songs, I’m hardpressed to think of 10 items of clothing I’ve really loved. But the very few things I’ve ever really liked, I have liked a lot.
1. The corduroy skirt I’m wearing in my Grade Five school picture.
2. The pink-and-blue striped rugby-style sweatshirt, 1985.
3. Same style sweatshirt, peach and gray stripes, circa 1990.
4. Light denim jacket with floral insets on the shoulders, 1987-1997, probably.
5. Peach lace snakers bought in Oshawa in 1986 after a very depressing day teaching.
6. Bright red, very short dress with gold buttons bought at Fairweather in St. John’s in 1990, which never looked as good on me as I thought it should but which I loved anyway.
7. Black and floral-print dress worn in Alberta in 1992 (and for some years after).
8. Cream-coloured slip dress with tapestry jacket, also worn in Alberta 1992 and for years afterwards.
9. Second-hand brown leather jacket bought three years ago at Previously Loved.
10. Riders mid-rise jeans from WalMart, size 12L, which I am wearing at this very moment. Most comfortable jeans I’ve ever owned, and the cheapest too — I own three identical pairs, and if WalMart stops carrying them my life is pretty much over.
List #10: 10 People Who Have Influenced Me, Excluding the Obvious
This is another difficult list, as is any list that names individuals (i.e., I wouldn’t list “My Ten Best Friends” for fear of hurting my eleventh and twelfth-best friends, and who really ranks their friends anyway?). I’m going for mentor-type connections here, people I have sort of looked up to, but I am excluding my Mom, Dad and Aunt Gertie because it goes without saying that your immediate family should get a free pass — obviously all that I am or hope to be I owe to those three people. Ten others (there are far more than ten) who helped make me The Woman I Am Today…
1. Bernice Morgan, my aunt
2. Joyce Griffiths, Grade 4 teacher
3. John Janes, Jr., high school history teacher
4. Mary Barry, 1st year university professor at MUN
5. Valerie Phillips, women’s dorm dean at Andrews
6. Meredith Jones, English professor at Andrews
7. Bruce Ronk, likewise, and also my boss for 2 years when I worked as a student in the English Dept.
8. Penny Estes Wheeler, my first editor at R&H and lifelong encourager
9. Glenda-Mae Greene, registrar at Kingsway College where I first taught
10. Ann McCann, on-site supervisor for my counselling internship and now my co-worker & friend.
That’s it, folks. Now you know 100 things that are important to me. I’ve kept it as succinct as I can (which, as always, is not very) and if you require any clarification, or you want to say “Hey, me too!” or “You like that? Ick!” please put your comments … well, in the comments.