My List

by Martha Morrison  Gelin for the Skywriters Project. Pre-print version.

Number one on my list is this:

  1. Own my own Encyclopedia Britannica.

Number two is this:

  1. See Halley’s Comet. (I know, I know. It’s a long way away and I’ll be old, probably 48 or 49 when it comes back, but I plan to see it.)

My mother thinks I’m too young to have a list, but I’m already 10, and anyway she told me her list.

Her list:

  1. Get your chin fixed. (She thinks it’s too small.)
  2. Get your front teeth straightened. (Well, that is OK. I agree with that one.)
  3. Get married. (Huh!) (And I know that means have kids, too.)
  4. Make sure you go to college. (I agree.)
  5. Keep your room tidy.
  6. Don’t try to vacuum anymore while you are reading a book. (She actually took my list away from me and WROTE that on it!)

So I’m not talking to anybody any more about my list, but this is the rest of it.

  1. Write a book.
  2. See the book in bookstores and libraries and other people reading it.
  3. See a really good Northern Lights.
  4. See a total solar eclipse.
  5. Get a PhD.
  6. And I really don’t think this will ever happen but SEE A SUPERNOVA!

I’m not sure the list is finished but those are things I want to do. I’m not too sure about the PhD thing, but I know if you get one you get to be called “Doctor” and I’d like to be Dr Morrison or to friends, Dr Martha. I don’t want to be a real doctor.

I’ve been reading about stars and planets and thinking about how big and how far away they are, maybe too far for us Earthlings. I read that name, too, in a story, and I like it a lot better than “German” or “American” or “Japanese”. I think everybody should just call themselves an Earthling. And I’d really, really, really like to see a supernova.

I don’t think this cloud cover will end soon enough to see SN 1987A. They say this supernova is visible in the Large Magellanic Cloud, but we can’t see it from Bathurst – yet – come on Mother Nature. Clear up this cloud!!! I can’t stand it!!!

And She did! And there it is!! Gee, it’s so clear. It’s smaller than I hoped, but it’s a bright dot where no bright dot ever was before. So, forty years after writing my list, I’ve done the one thing on it I thought I’d never get to do! And I’m pleased I’ve done most of the rest.*

I still think “Earthling” is the best name for all of us. And I missed the total solar eclipse.

*  1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8
5 – Did see one smallish, very green, hand-shaped one in Ontario.
6 – Several partial solar eclipses.
From my mother’s list: 2, 3, 4. Plus kids. And I have tried vacuuming while reading a book, but it’s never worked

© Martha Morrison Gelin 2017




Page created 19 October 2017. Last updates 23 October 2017