Thursday, February 12, 2009

This is my life

So I saw this posted on a friend's blog, and it was intriguing to me. There are 99 items on this list, and you're supposed to highlight in bold those things you have done in life. You can see mine below:

Here are the rules: Bold the things you've done and post on your blog.

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more time than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a Marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagra Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancesters.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone wale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone's life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Got a tattoo.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.

After doing this, I got to thinking, "What are the things I most want to accomplish off of this list? If I can't accomplish all 99--and let's face it, there are some I don't want to accomplish--what feats would I choose to mark my life? (note: these are not in any particular order)

1) Adopt a child. A couple years ago when my parents were preparing to move, I made several trips back home to purge my old stuff so they wouldn't have to move a bunch of junk! While I was purging, I found a list of goals that I had made for myself when I was probably eight or nine years old. One of the things on that list was to adopt a child. (By the way, what eight-year-old kid thinks of adopting children someday?) I couldn't believe that a dream I had for my life before the age of ten was a dream I still had at 21...and have now.

2) Publish a book. Also on the list of goals from childhood. That one was not so surprising. I've been writing stories since the third or fourth grade. And if you're a regular visitor to this blog, you know that I have a novel in the works at the moment. My plan is to finish that book this year. Whether or not it will publishable is another story!

3) Ride a gondola in Venice. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to travel to many places. But Italy is the one place I've always wanted to have and not yet been to. I love the idea of Venice...even though I know it's mostly a big tourist trap and hot and crowded. I still want to ride a gondola in Venice someday.

4) Which brings me to one of the items on this list that I will get to accomplish this year: Go on a cruise. My generous grandmother is taking me, my mom, my two aunts, my female cousin, and her brother's girlfriend on a Mediterranean cruise this summer! This cruise will also get me to Italy (just not to Venice), which is even better. We will sail from Barcelona and hit nice, Sicily, Rome, and Florence.

5) Go whale watching. I actually live somewhere where I can make this a reality...and it's not even that expensive. So I am pretty confident that I can make this happen. I think it's a matter of just planning for it and executing the plan! There's a kayaking company in San Diego that does whale watching kayak tours, and I love kayaking, so that sounds awesome!

6) Walk in Jerusalem. Someday I want to go to Israel. I want to walk where Jesus walked. I want to walk the streets of Jerusalem, swim in the Dead Sea, and see the birthplace of Christianity.

7) See the Grand Canyon in person. For some reason, I always feel a bit like a bad American for having never been to the Grand Canyon. I've flown over it many times, but I've never actually been to see it. I met some Australians a couple weeks ago who have been on a tour of North America, and they described their experience seeing the Grand Canyon. I'm sure it's totally breathtaking...but I can't speak from experience.

8) Go to a drive-in movie. This is so simple, but I love the simple things in life. Somehow I've never been to a drive-in movie. I would like to remedy that. Especially if I can go to said drive-in movie in a convertible...even better.

9) Kiss in the rain. This reminds me of the scene in SpiderMan when Kirsten Dunst kisses Toby Maguire as he's hanging upside down. Is it even raining in that scene? I think so. Kissing in the rain is probably not as romantic as it sounds (wet...cold...sloppy?), but I'm still gonna go for it.

I know this list would look better if there were ten things on it...but I'm going to leave it at nine. Nine future accomplishments. I think I can make it happen.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rain Music

Rain Music
On the dusty earth-drum
Beats the falling rain;
Now a whispered murmur,
Now a louder strain.

Slender, silvery drumsticks,
On an ancient drum,
Beat the mellow music
Bidding life to come.

Chords of earth awakened,
Notes of greening spring,
Rise and fall triumphant
Over everything.

Slender, silvery drumsticks
Beat the long tattoo--
God the Great Musician,
Calling life anew.

~Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr.~

I woke up at four this morning to the sound of rain. It was glorious. Nothing is better than laying cozy in your bed, warm and safe when there's inclement weather outside. I've always loved late nights when the wind is howling, rain (sometimes snow) is falling, and it's cold--and there's nowhere to be but tucked under the covers.