Saturday, April 28, 2007


In the Zone

Oh, what a glorious Minnesota spring day! I was up-and-attem, ready to go this morning. My first task was taking our pile of recycling to the landfill - no, not to dump it in with the garbage, but to put it in the recycling containers. We've found this to be much easier than waiting for the city to collect it. The city collects it every other week, but we can never remember the day and they are quite persnickety about how we prepare it, so we'd rather load it in the car once a month and go for a little drive.

After the recycling, I decided I'd take on some yard work. I'm not much for gardening, but the herb garden was filled with leaves and long, scraggly, dried-up herbs and the job didn't look that strenuous, so I got to work on cleaning it out. What you seen in the photo is the end result. Turns out that herbs grow beautifully in our sandy soil, while most other veggies and flowers do not. We created this herb garden a couple of years ago using bricks left over from remodeling. (We're hoping the herbs come back. If not, it's time to replant.) The bricks are a local variety from when we had brickyards in town between the 1890s and 1920s. They are quite soft and not at all appropriate for landscaping as they flake and break easily. The one saving grace about this is that the bricks came from the ground and they're going back to the ground - another form of recycling.

While I was working in the yard, I figured I could get some thinking time in. I'm trying to imagine a character's home and belongings for a short story and thought that gardening would free my mind for the task. Not so. The more I worked, the less I thought. I slipped into a zone of no-thought, which was quite meditative. The same thing happened later, when the hubby and I hopped on the motorcycle and went for a ride. It's my first of the season. The hubby's been out a number of times already. I don't have a motorcycle endorsement, or a cycle of my own, so I'm always a passenger. It's fun to sit and let someone else handle the driving. Without having the worry of watching the road, I immediately slip into the zone, which is enhanced by the buzz of the cycle and the rushing wind. The zone is so relaxing that after being on the bike for about an hour, I have a tendency to fall asleep. This is not a good thing, for obvious reasons. Maybe, if we had a massive touring bike with armrests, I could get away with this. I have to concentrate really really hard to keep from falling asleep. If I do start nodding off, my body slips a little and I jerk myself awake. My husband jokes that I need to have bungie cords strapped around me to hold me on. I just pray that being in the zone won't cause an accident one day.

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