Monday, June 7, 2010

Will lists of chores be my Life List?

Highlights from the garden this week: roses and peonies and lots of stuff I don't recognize.

Note the lichen on the very old steps.

There have been crazy storms all week. An inch in about an hour yesterday and lightening and thunder every night. The yard and garden are getting hugely overgrown and I feel overwhelmed about everything; piles of weeds, piles of laundry, piles of dishes and obligations to cook and clean all the time. How did I turn into a frustrated 1950s housewife? And by the way I load all these chores on myself. My kids obviously don't mind a mess, and I'm sure everyone would be happy with takeout more often.

I just finished Life List.

It is a biography of the great birder Phoebe Snetsinger. She was a frustrated housewife of the early 1960s who after a prognosis of 1 year to live from melanoma changed her life. Living as if every day was nearly her last, over the next nearly 20 years she followed her dream of studying birds from all over the world. At times she traveled to remote locations across the globe for up to 10 months of the year. By the end of her life she had seen nearly 85% of the bird species in existence, the most of anyone at the time. She caused many rifts in her family relations but she made great friends and followed her dreams. It's a complicated story of passion bordering on obsession.

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