It has been a great week living in Iowa if you are a fan of different weather. From warm to snow and ice to rain to warm again, this past week has brought on more colds and kept our driving skills finely honed. There is one thing for certain though, you can’t get away from one exceptionally unfriendly fact of living here. My friends I’m talking about mud; that gooey messy concoction that is only available here with our good black soil.
I’m not sure that I remember my first interaction with mud. I’m sure it had something to do with stomping through mud puddles on the farm, much to the frustration of my mother. As farm boys we never worried much about getting dirty, which is easy to see in home movies of my brothers sitting in mud puddles trying to catch frogs. Mud seemed to not bother us much and I do remember a few times having to sit outside until the mess dried on our bodies until we could go into the house so we wouldn’t track across the kitchen.
But mud wasn’t always something we enjoyed. There were more times than I care to remember that I hated those first days of spring when the frost would go out of the ground and we would have to venture through the cow lot that had been rutted up by the constant steps of the hooves. The holes that were left always held some water in them and no matter how carefully we stepped it always seemed to end up all over our pant legs. There were also those spots that our feet would sink into and we would either pull out of our boots with unsteady balance and end up with a wet muddy sock as we stepped down to keep our footing, or the mud and water would ooze up and over the top of our boots leaving us no choice but to continue the rest of chores with wet feet.
Even as an adult I sometimes have a silent battle with mud that I usually end up winning. Most of the time my dislike of the mud comes because of a vehicle. I’ve been stuck in the mud more times than I really ever have wanted to be, and as anyone knows when you are stuck in the mud it isn’t ever very easy to extricate yourself from it. I’m sure I’m also not the only one who can find that one mud hole in the entire parking lot at work to park next to. Nor does it ever seem to fail that I can’t even get out of the car wash before I hit a spot of mud flinging it upon a freshly washed car.
But what makes me most crazy is my inability to keep the back of my pant legs clean while getting in and out of a vehicle. If there is the least bit of mud or dirt on the door sill, it seems to be attracted to my pants like a bee is to a flower and I don’t notice that usually thin line of brown on my pants until I’m somewhere important and just sitting down. Oh sure, we all have our own battles with mud, and perhaps we shouldn’t be too harsh in our dislike. We are lucky to live here, to have the most fertile and fine soil in the world and if that means we have to endure a little mud every now and then to get to the point where it is dry enough not to create a mess, I’d much rather have that than something far worse. I suppose I should go mop the kitchen floor now, I’m sure that will make mom happy. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.