“Where have you been that there is so much dirt on your Prius?” she asked politely.
That was Paula. We had not met yet but she had heard about the farm and thanked me for the work we were doing. I love straight forward people like Paula. She has an honest curiosity without judgment.
"I didn't need to go anywhere," I replied. "On the farm, the dust comes to you. Does it do that at your house too?"
The dust on the farm has its own unique quality. It is very small in size and that means it gets into everything and on everything. The cars in the garage are covered (along with the spiders). Every inch of every surface in the house (along with house spiders). Things in closets, like clothes, are laced with dust (as are the closet spiders). I started covering my hanging clothes with sheets to prevent dust on all the shoulder parts of my clothes (did you know spiders have shoulders and there is dust on them?).
Dust does have its pluses. I can tell when I used something last by how much it is covered in dust. i.e. my tooth brush is not covered in dust as I use it twice a day. I do rinse it before I use it because I know there is a little dust on it and a shelf spider has walked across it at least once in that period of time. I can see high heels with A LOT of dust. I know it has been too long when I see webs connecting my high heels together. At this point I dust them up, put them on and walk around the room to remind myself that I can be pretty if I want. My spider girlfriends comment on my self-importance and note that they have slimmer legs than I.
The wind moves the dust in and out of my life. In my house and out. In my car and out. Into the computer chips in my car and, after a $450 clean up, out of the chips in my car. My feet are either covered in dust in my flip flops or they are white from the darkness in my boots. Dust is good for you skin though. It keeps skin microbials in check. That’s why chickens take dust baths. If you walk around the farm you can see the chickens taking their dust baths. It’s kind of cute if not, well, dusty.
For the most part dust is a part of farm life and for curious people like Paula, it brings us together. Two woman connecting over simple curiosity about each other. Or maybe it was just the dust.