Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I've Got a Little List

I have a friend (and she's a doctor's wife, so she should know) who says that every time a woman has a baby half of her brain is removed during the process. I believe that. Before I had kids, I could remember four, five, six things at a time. Now that I've had four children, I'm working with one-sixteenth of a brain (if my memory of fractions is correct) so I can't remember squat.

Instead, I make lists.

I have lists for things to do, and lists for things to buy. Lists for people to call and people to write. Lists of what to eat for Thanksgiving dinner, lists of possible blog posts.

Years ago when Boy#2 was a baby and we started camping I made this list. It has been transferred from computer to computer as we've upgraded and is perhaps the single item most crucial to our camping enjoyment.

You see, when you are in the wilderness and have left Dishpans (2, nesting) at home, you don't just run over to the dollar store and replace them. You have to figure out some way to wash your Coffee Mug (1) and Saucepans (large and small) without the use of the Dishpans (2, nesting) and that is not always an easy proposition.

There are substitutes for Potato Peeler (from kitchen)--you can use the Paring Knife, or even the Big Knife in a pinch. But if you don't have the Colander (yellow) and need to cook the spaghetti you've boiled in the Dutch Oven, the best of luck to you.

Some items on the list will make you feel incredibly efficient, as you pull out the Zip-Loc Bags (quart and gallon) for all kinds of uses, from storing leftovers to impromptu ice bags after someone drops the camper trailer on her toe. Yes, it still hurts, but wooo! Camping injury!

Over the years the list has aged along with the list-keeper. When it was first assembled, for example, I thought nothing about putting a check-mark next to Thongs, knowing that they would keep me from getting athlete's foot in the communal showers. Now I would perhaps call that item by a different name. I also don't obsess on the "Miscellaneous" section of the list as much as I did--if Husband still needs the Baseball Mitts/Ball/Bat to keep himself occupied, he's on his own. Camera/Film is outdated as well.

The camping list, though? I'll keep printing it off every time we get ready to roll. Otherwise I might forget my Bug Spray (killer) or Bug Spray (repellant) and have no defense against the critters that take the irony quotes off of "camping."

All it takes is a list.

1 comment:

  1. My parents had a Giant Camping List when my brother and I were little. Every single thing was on it. EVERYTHING.

    Now I do similar lists. I have an overnight-suitcase list for when I visit my brother and sister-in-law, and it is happy now even to print it out: it means there will be FUN soon! (And that I will not have forgotten anything.)