Growing up on a farm/ranch, the roads were dust, grit, and red dirt. This was the proud home of the dust bowl, after all. In election years, the county magnanimously dumped a truckload or two of gravel along our road. Some yahoo on a big CAT grader would fly by doing 30 MPH, extending the granite misery as far as he could.
My bike was a hand-me-down. Frankensteined together with baling wire and cart parts. It wobbled like a drunk on Fourth of July, but when I hit the gravel patch, it jerked to a stop, tires spinning in one place like an exercise bike. Of course, my body kept going. For years, I was petrified of bicycles. I have the scabby knees to prove it.
But now, in my Grace Kelly arc of life, gravel is my friend. Mud in front of the compost bin? Toss some gravel in front of it. Poor drainage area? My old friend, gravel, to the rescue. I buy it by the truckload, hands-on-hips, saying things like: “Dump it here,” “You sure this is ¾ inch?” and “Who ordered this much?”
I needed some gravel the other day to teach a mischievous little embankment that its sliding days were over. So I went to my local gravel boutique where it was $2 a bucket. By the 15th scoopful, I was pondering the stupidity of paying money for broken rock. It’s a free range commodity like air, water, and dirt. But, I’ve been stupid enough to buy those too.
The lot for the new grocery store was full of homeless gravel, living in uncared for piles. But…I suppose it should stay there and become part of a parking lot. Finally, Cowboy Fan helped me complete my project with a gift: A DYI gravel kit.
Gravel appreciation is truly for a mature afficionado.
- Adults who don’t want to stomp in mud.
- Adults who want straight posts for taut fence lines.
- Adults who like to stretch their arms an inch longer, hauling wheel barrows of stone to the back 40 acres.
And Adults who’ve already destroyed their knees. Now they’re working on their backs