Nothing about this would seem unusual to anyone who knows me in a corporate environment. I've led them to believe I am polished and put together.
...Until they see my Jeep...
Earlier this week, I was walking out with a co-worker to the parking ramp when realized we had parked right next to each other.
"That dirty Jeep is YOURS?" he asked incredulously. "I've always wondered whose that was!"
And as I got in my Jeep, another co-worked turned the corner and rolled down the window in his car.
"Hey, Ashley! Did you go mudding?"
I don't even know what mudding is. But I don't blame him for thinking that. All of this was a reminder to me that it is that time of year again; Where the dirt cakes on like mud. This is what I am seen in driving around town.
Apparently someone thinks my Jeep is sad.
That little marking happened while I was inside Costco yesterday. I noticed it as I was loading up two 48 lb bags of dog food, 10 lbs of ground beef, 3 cases of beer, and about 50 lbs of water, all while trying to balance on my heels and avoid swiping my white blouse against the dirty car.
"Excuse me?" I heard a lady behind me ask in the parking lot. I turned around. "How did you get the back of your car so dirty?"
"I live on a farm." I laughed as I answered her. "Gravel road."
"YOU live on a farm?" she asked incredulously.
"Yep." I said proudly. "I sure do."
That really happened.
Earlier in the week, I was invited by a fellow blogger, who happened to find my blog and who also happens to live in Waconia, to a BBQ with a group of women in Waconia. I went and had a fabulous time meeting and talking with some other local women. It was a really diverse group of women all ages and backgrounds, who have found some common ground all living in this growing community on the outskirts of the Twin Cities.
When I was introduced to the group, someone said, "Oh, you're the WINE lady. The one with the vineyard that we heard about! Gosh, I expected you to look like a farmer and show up wearing overalls. But you look so...nice!"
I made sure she saw my Jeep parked on the street later that evening. I think that made her feel better that at least some of her preconceptions of me were true.
But when I got home that night, I kicked off my wedge sandals, threw my hair in a ponytail, and put on my favorite green rubber boots and bibs and went out to pick some weeds.
I may not look like a farmer. I may not talk like a farmer. But at least I have my Jeep as proof that it's a part of who I am.