Friday, July 31, 2015

The Old Dirt Road


Not long ago I was out driving with my son. We drove past what used to be his grandparent's farm. As we pondered the changes there (all that is left is Mom's weeping willow tree and Dad's yard light) I mentioned that I remembered when the road going past was just an old dirt road. He remembered that too.

The road is paved now. As it should be. It is a fairly major road with the quaint name of Broken Kettle Road.

I mentioned that I had seldom lived on paved roads as I grew up in Nebraska. Even after we moved to Iowa and lived in Sioux City the streets we lived on were not paved.

One house was at the top of a hill. Boy was it hard to drive up and down when the road was wet from rain. Walking was no fun either.

The other house my family built. It was on the corner. The road leading to the grade school was paved and the road that met it at 90 degrees was paved. But as soon as you turned the corner... dirt.

I can remember in the summer being so excited when the "grader" came down the road. It would level out the holes and ruts so that the ride would be smoother for a while. In the winter the same machine served as the snow plow.

Dirt roads and even those that were graveled meant a lot of dust flying when cars went by. If we were playing in the yard we gloried at dancing in the dust clouds. Of course then we had to wash up. Oh the horror of it all.

Of all the places I lived while growing up I only remember one where we lived on a paved road. The reason it was paved was because it was the main highway into town and also the town's main street. Less dust.

Even now I live on a little dead-end street in a little bitty town. Until last year it was just a dirt road. Last year they laid asphalt. It really has not made much of a difference. The street is maybe a half block long. The cross street is still dirt.

I do not mind the dust so much. It is just dust. In the big city dust is mixed with all the petroleum waste in the air. That means that it is oily and sticks to everything. Plain dust is for me.


14 comments:

  1. It wasn't until we were looking at old photos and videos recently that I vaguely remembered that the street I grew up on was also a dirt road. And,there were those ruts and holes you described. They made bike riding a challenge.

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    1. Bike riding and trying to roller skate using those old skates that fasten on your shoes.

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  2. A dirt road makes my jogging track.
    So I hate when cars pass by.

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    1. I bet you do hate it. The dust can choke you.

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  3. I lived on a dirt road most of my young life too. You could see the dust cloud long before the car.
    We knew to take a rag and wipe the dust off the front porch swing before sitting.

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    1. Ah those good old dusty days... I was happy when we lived in a house with electricity. I was overjoyed if we had running water and ecstatic if there was an indoor toilet.

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  4. Dear Emma, your post brings memories of long walks through fiels in my youth to me - they were not paved, and in the heat the dust went up.

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    1. Oh my yes. Sometimes it could be so bad you could not breathe.

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  5. you made me recall my childhood too, and like you, I grew up living without paved road, actually, we had to walk quite a distance on a dirt trail ( not even a road for vehicles to pass) for quite a distance before reaching a dirt road, then, a paved road. I loved those walks, and now, love walking down the memory lane.

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    1. Our memory lanes may be dusty but they certainly are fun to remember.

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  6. I can imagine how you felt looking at those places and things. They're somewhat the same but different. Whenever I go homevisit, I've always got mixed feelings. Happy to remember what has been there before, sad to see that those are just in memories but all in all it's a nice feeling :)

    I don't mind dust (and dirt) too especially when I go on purpose to experience the bare nature.

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    1. Actually dirt and dust are fairly clean. I know that sounds strange but I lived in a city where the air is filled with emissions from all the petroleum operated vehicles. The film that covers everything is next to impossible to clean. And it covers everything again as soon as you do clean it.

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  7. Dirt in the city, oh yeah that is understood. I'd probably be pissed all the time cleaning. I love cleanliness and I like cleaning for the result's sake but it can get so tiring at times.

    By the way, regarding your question: I'm married to a local that's why I live here. Yes it is difficult to learn the language especially that their words mostly are composed of more consonants together with only a few vowels. But many words have origins from Latin, so it is recognizable. It is not a place of honey and milk (like no where) but yes I've come to love it with all its pluses and minuses.

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    1. Some cities are dirtier than others but I believe that the other things mixed in with the dust is worse than just dust. And thank you so much for answering my questions? I can tell by your posts that you love your new home.

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