Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gravel Expert

Thanks to some tough love advice from my truly loving mother: "there will always be some one better, smarter, and prettier than you-" I have never considered myself an expert on anything. This sentiment is truly ingrained in my personality. Opinionated, yes. Expert, no.

Until now.

Five years living here, countless filthy cars, dusty shelves, and days when windows should be opened, but are closed thanks to the fast traffic kicking up dust, I have begun to consider dust the bane of my obsessively clean existence.

Therefore, dust and its properties have become a case study for me. I'm going to become an expert in it and do what all slightly-OCD people do, become educated and obsessive (thus the "O" in OCD) about aforementioned issue.

So far, I can tell you how many minutes a car can remain clean after traveling only 15 MPH down our road on a typically dusty day. Answer: less than 1 minute. I can tell you that your shoes will turn from black to gray and your toes may look a little tan from the dust clinging to the grass as you walk to get the mail from the mailbox. I can also tell you how long to turn your head when running down this lovely, secluded and equally infuriating road, and a car passes you. Answer: at least 45 seconds, and hold your breath.

These are the simple things I have studied thus far. Yesterday, however, I went from a normal, dust hating woman to a crazy woman. As we were traveling down the gravel road to where Joe's grandparents' live, I found myself checking out the lovely white rock, spread so thick and lovely. I watched as we kicked up just a little bit of dust on my newly cleaned SUV, marveling at the possibilities that could occur if our township got their hands on some of these lovely white rocks. I began to envy this nice rock, wishing our road commissioner would come out and see how to spread these large pieces of gravel, thick and white, like a blanket over the dirt road underneath.

I then found myself horrified with what I was thinking! What in the world was with me? When did I become envious of gravel? When did my simple study of how to keep my tabletops clean turn into a crazy woman with gravel daydreams? Where was the girl who analyzed outfits, spotting designer brands as well as fake Coach purses at 20 paces? I realized that I have instead become the woman who now considers whether white pants would be a good decision based upon the grime on my car. Where's the girl who worried more about the rain situation for the sake of my shoes or hair? I'm now the girl who considers the state of the road, and if it's mucky and gross, I'll change my plans. Who is this person, and why do I have GRAVEL ENVY??


However, I refuse to be horrified with my "rural" self. Again, I have to pull myself up by my bootstraps and embrace my craziness. I will become a gravel expert. I will fight for the application of my dust deterrent (the substance spread in front of our house that does help with the dust...for about a milli-second.), and fight for it to be applied sooner, rather than later. I will study the way the road is after it is grated, and note with great certainty whether or not that was a wise practice by our road commissioner. I will continue to fight the battle by keeping my windows down and my Swiffer Duster handy, fighting the dust on my dark furniture and white woodwork.

I will prove my mom wrong on her point: no one will be smarter than this gravel expert!


  1. Maybe I should have you talk to my husband.
    I've been nagging him for 5 months to order new gravel for our driveway--which is quite long and showing badly that we've not had new rock down in two years.
    He can't seem to make up his mind about which kind, what size, etc., etc. He's at an impasse in his head. Maybe you could offer him some advice (not that he's real worried about dust in our house!).

  2. Here I thought I was the only person left living on a gravel road in rural America ;) gotta love good ol' rural country living! Wouldn't have it any other way. I have to laugh every time I go to fill up my vehicle.... we still have "southern hospitality" at the gas pumps, they fill 'em up for you & wash your windows in the meantime. I always tell them it's a waste of time, it will get dirty within 3.5 seconds of hitting our road (that & that shiney front windshield looks out of sorts with the gravel dust covered rest of the vehicle).