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.