Sunday, August 26, 2007

Driveway Zen

I just spent two and a half hours weeding my driveway. I estimate that it might take another six hours to get the whole thing done. Sometimes when I'm weeding the driveway, I think about what my reaction would have been if, at sixteen, I had been told that my future held hours of driveway weeding in Alaska. I'm pretty sure I would have smiled politely and then backed slowly away from the crazy person, who, it would have been clear to me, was about as out of touch with reality as if they'd chosen to announce that Abraham Lincoln was living in their garage. I'm not sure a weed ever dared poke a head above concrete level in a single one of the driveways of the ultra-tidy, landscaped, manicured and sidewalked neighborhood where I spent my teenage years, but you can be sure if it had it would have been quickly fried to a mutated crisp by a brief but intense skirmish in the chemical warfare that passed as gardening at that particular time and place. "Driveway" and "weed" were mutually exclusive terms. And, of course, my disbelief would also have had to do with the fact that Alaska wasn't even on my particular map of the world (which featured Santa Cruz, the closest surfing to my house and, later, San Francisco and flower power, and not much else).

But now, here I am, weeding my driveway in Alaska. Actually, I'm pretty casual about weeding the driveway, only getting serious about the whole thing when the house starts looking like an abandoned building - since I'm not anxious to come home and find squatters setting up housekeeping on my porch. Well, and even that isn't too probable in Alaska. Up here we cultivate an air of gentle dishevelment in our living spaces, and the sophisticated squatter would know that, barring a fallen in roof and 24 inch gaps in the flooring, the most crumbling and humble of homes is still likely occupied.

I've gotten particular about what I pull up from the driveway. Every year I'm visited by the progeny of a group of pansies I planted the first year I lived in my house. I planted them in an actual flower garden, and how they migrated to the driveway remains a mystery. But I love them and so every year, at randomly spaced intervals scattered across the drive, their colorful heads wave happily at me when I come and go from my house.

Anyway, the picture is an actual close up of a bit of my driveway. The moss is nice, don't you think?


Chris said...

Peg, I have read some of your blog and viewed many of your pictures. You are indeed accomplished. Merry Christmas from Anchorage. Chris.

MizMagee said...

Thanks, Chris! What a nice thing to say. I have fun with it all, that's for sure.