I have fond memories of watching M*A*S*H as a kid. One of them is how much time Hawkeye spent complaining about the mud of Korea. Well, I think I now know of what he speaks.
Many of you know I live on a farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The farm has a long lane extending up from the street, a lane presumably comprised of gravel. In the summer, the lane is a dusty mess, instantly turning even the cleanest car into a filthy shadow of its former self. Time and inattention has rendered the lane less gravelly and more dusty than it ought to be (the care of the lane is not the Kitten's responsibility nor mine). The incessant snow of this winter, in addition to aggressive plows, has also taken its toll.
We are now left with a lane that is almost totally mud. This includes the once gravel circular drive in front of our house. There is no place for one to park without instantly stepping into several inches of gooey icky mud. It is demoralizing, especially when one has recently purchased a new automobile. The tires are muddy, the wheelwells are muddy, there is mud along the length of the car and there is mud all over the ridiculously expensive rubber mats I purchased to cover the ridiculously expensive plush carpet underneath. I find myself having to aggressively maneuver the car simply to make it through the accumulated muck without getting stuck.
There is, on our farm, an inherited aversion to blacktopped farm lanes. I won't mention any names, but I happen to be one of the very few full-time inhabitants of any of the dwellings on our little peninsula who would like the lane to be blacktop. Some of the others think blacktop is "for
Washington people", those who have gobbled up the old family estates along the water here for their weekend entertainment, much to the chagrin of the locals. One might even speculate that clinging to gravel is a way of clinging to a past long gone by. I don't know why blacktop has such a bad rap here, but I'm all for it.
I've developed a rewarding relationship with a local carwash. Rewarding for the owners of the carwash, at least. For the low, low price of $26.00, I can have a squad of dubiously credentialed "guest workers" (ahem) descend upon my beautiful, but muddy automobile, and in a matter of minutes, she is returned to showroom glory--chrome gleaming, tires Armor-alled, the faint odor of new car smell once again wafting through the cabin. I am made whole by the Wet Dog Car Wash, at least until my next trip down the lane.