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I realized the other day that I should be responsible for approximately 10 square feet of the world. I think I could handle that though right now I would be hardpressed to locate 2 square feet in my home, yard, or car that I am responsible for that would make anyone think I should be in charge of more space.

Perhaps it is just the typical procrastinating going on now that the galleys for the Insiders’ Guide to Richmond were emailed to me the other day by my editor and I have until Tuesday to get them back in perfect order, that I feel the desire to bring perfect order to very small bits of my universe.  It suddenly seemed important to buy the equipment to wash every window in our house, clean out my grody car, and transplant every daylily on the property. It never seems important enough to tame the paper tiger that rampages around in my office. In fact, until I finish re-reading my manuscript, there won’t be time to do any of those jobs that seem appealing only when I am tied to a computer and completely unable to attempt them.

I never caught on to that square foot gardening craze–perhaps because I have a large yard and think in terms of large swaths of plants and larger swaths of weeds usually, but this year there is one tiny little bed of flowers in my backyard that gives me a feeling of ahhhh rather than ARRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!. It’s not exactly Southern Living material, but it’s a sweet little spot–emphasis on little. Some artemisia, vinca, caladium, hosta, sedum, and perhaps more mulch than is a good idea, judging by this photo, hang out under a redbud. 

sweet yet sad

No doubt, it’s less than 10 square feet, but it’s a start. If only it could be a finish.  But there are compacted clay areas to revive and a creek to line with spiderwort and daylillies, and ivy overtaking everything. Perhaps I need a grid–10 square feet at a time.

I wake up every day thinking I can get everything done I need doing.  Somehow I believe this will be the day I check off thirty seven errands, fifty two emails, two dozen stories, five article pitches, a few children’s poems, and three essays in between planting dozens of annuals, buying more plants, weeding thousands upon thousands of weeds, transplanting 8 million liriope and daylillies, calling several people, organizing my desk, files, and closets, cutting up fruit for my fruit salad habit, making two pans of brownies from scratch for my other habit, and running 100 miles or so. Then sitting down to knit several rows of the throw I’m not making any progress on would be such a relaxing treat. Oh sure, running 100 miles seems slightly unrealistic, but I keep adding up the miles I don’t get around to running every other day and they add up.

I guess this approach makes me simultaneously sunny and stupid. Jim Croce couldn’t save time in a bottle, but it fits nicely in a trash bag.

I’m back!