Dirt Roads

Elaine, Smith
…And Then What Happened?

Out here in the country, dirt roads are a part of everyday life. You see, asphalt and concrete can’t be used everywhere. So lots of us tend to have a love/hate relationship with our dirt roads. Vehicles can get to homes, stock ponds, barns and such. So called “improved” roads make remote areas much more accessible. That’s the “love” part of the relationship.


The “hate” part comes with the side effects. Like, don’t come to my house to do a white glove test. Oh, a tan glove might be all right, since the caliche on our road is of that color. Between vehicles driving by and the ever-blowing wind, massive amounts of dust escapes from the road and ends up elsewhere…everywhere…especially on my coffee table. At what point does the dust become dirt, you ask?


The best answer is this: when company is expected. One then notices the dusty surfaces are indeed dirty and quickly breaks out various cleaning apparatus. Such a realization came over me recently when I had the opportunity to interview with a DFW TV newsperson. I thought we’d meet somewhere and do the story. Oh, no. She wanted to bring the film crew to my HOUSE! I spent the majority of two days bulldozing the dirt from my living area. Man, it was close, but at last the dust/dirt was removed…from that room. Didn’t even get to the other rooms – and didn’t care by then.


…And then what happened? Late the evening before the interview, it got cancelled. I was disappointed, sure. But the living room was clean. Well, for a little while, that is. Really, what’s the point? Dust one day and the next those surfaces are dusty again.  So, wait until that dinner party or your mom is coming to visit, do a thrash cleaning and call it good. In the meantime we can pretend it’s all right NOT to clean – just leave the dust in a uniform coating creating a natural appearance. That may or may not work out for you. I’m willing to keep up the charade.


If the dirt outside would just stay outside and the only dirt inside would be the dirt we bring in ourselves. That dirt we can pretty well control. The dust is a completely different…dirt. Oh well, our dirt roads are practical, easily maintained, and even picturesque. Isn’t it a shame that same dirt in our houses isn’t so great?

Copyright 9/7/11 Submitted to TexansUnited

About Elaine Smith

Elaine is a pretty good ol' gal, darn good writer, great friend, and can make things happen.
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One Response to Dirt Roads

  1. Sam Vineyard says:

    I know exactly what you mean, except I do not like the “improved” country road I have now. I had a good country road made out of sand and clay until the county got some FEMA money to repair some wash outs a few years ago and hauled in caliche to cover it from end to end and covered the dirt that didn’t blow, up with that awful stuff. With the smoother road people seem to think they can drive 40 and 50 mph down it and raise the dust that takes forever to settle. I don’t think my road has improved not one bit.

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