Living in rural Texas means dirt roads are a part of everyday life. You see, asphalt and concrete can’t be used everywhere. So lots of folks have a love/hate relationship with our extremely necessary dirt roads. Vehicles need to get to homes, stock ponds, barns and such. These gravel and caliche 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 TV news reporter from Dallas, Texas. I thought we’d meet somewhere like a restaurant or Dairy Queen and do the story. Oh, no. She wanted to bring the film crew to my HOUSE! In a panic, 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. I didn’t even try to clean the other rooms – and certainly didn’t care by then. I hate housework.
Then what happened, you ask? Late in the evening before the interview, the TV thing got cancelled. I was disappointed, sure. I mean, I’m a writer and am always looking for good publicity. The upside was the living room was clean. Well, less dirty. Really, what’s the point? Dust one day and before you turn around 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, the only dirt inside would be the dirt we bring in ourselves. That dirt we can pretty well control. The dust that filters in unseen 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?