From Mud
To Macadam

I was busy making a dinner for Ginger last weekend. Ginger was in my office while I busied myself with mixing two scoops of dry dog food with a topper of tuna. She loves fish mixed with her regular food. I know that I love giving her a little extra as much as she loves receiving it. I called Ginger to come for dinner, which was strange since she can smell the fish from anywhere in the house. Finally, after announcing her tuna fish dinner was ready the second time, she bounded into the kitchen. I questioned her about her delay.

“Well, I was at your computer doing some research. I’m thinking about starting to collect stamps.”

That didn’t surprise me, Irish Setters are smart dogs, but Ginger is one of the smarter setters. Before I could follow up on her statement, she continued.

“I’m interested in starting with this stamp with the likeness of John Loudon McAdam who was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. Before dinner, let’s go to your office, and I’ll show you the stamp on the Internet.” So, we went to my computer.

John Loudon McAdam

“Now, you know McAdam was the one that created macadamisation.

Well, I knew that John McAdam invented the process that we call macadam. I told Ginger that I did know about macadamisation. I simply assume that the term meant creating what also is called blacktop. Nonetheless, Ginger continued.

“McAdam was a trustee of the Ayrshire Turnpike in 1787. Imagine having a turnpike in Scotland over two centuries ago. During much of that time, there weren’t any cars. However, I couldn’t find any mention of him knowing Robert Burns who you like and about whom you have written essays. Bobby, as you call him, would have been in his mid-20s when McAdam was the trustee. Surely, they knew of each other, since they lived in the same area of Scotland.”

I just let Ginger give me her history lesson about Ayrshire residents. I didn’t mention to Ginger that her breed came from Ireland, which is less than 150-miles between Northern Ireland and Ayrshire, Scotland.

Nevertheless, I did ask why Ginger was so fascinated about McAdam.

“Well, every morning we walk around the lake, and it takes a good part of an hour. We talk about all sorts of things and enjoy our time together. You tell me how smart beautiful Ti Ti, Snow, and Fatty are. You certainly love them. That being said, the developer in this subdivision put in some cheap sewer lines around most of the road around the lake and many of the side streets. The roads have been chewed up for well over a year.

“I love taking early morning walks with you around the lake. We can talk and joke around. However, often, you need to give me a bath when we return home. I’m covered with mud. I know whether I’ll need a bath by the time we get to halfway around the lake. When we get home, I’ll just go the bathroom near the front door and get into the tub. You laughed the first time I did that. Hey, I’m an Irish Setter; we are smart dogs.”

I acknowledged both of Ginger’s comments: the one about laughing and the other about Ginger being smart.

“I became friends with all the workers. I wanted to jump down in the hole, but you told me not to do so.”

“You took this picture and said that I was attacking the bulldozer. I just wanted to see what was going on.”

“They are working right in front of our home.”

“My worker friends hired me be to supervise the work in front of our home.”

“I told them to straighten the green pipe to the right about a foot.”

“Those three are my best friends. I told them to get the pipe to a right angle of the main sewer line.”

“See, it is now straight. I don’t let things pass my inspections.”

“Now, they are back filling the street, but the section of our driveway will need to be replaced due to one of the bulldozers cracked m the section to my left.”

“You love giving evil eyes to your friends. All your family in Myanmar have one. I thought to put one in the new section of the driveway. It will keep evil spirits away from us.”

“Do you see that John McAdam’s invention made the street new again? They put down the first layer before it snowed. In the spring, they will return and put down the final layer. Finally, the road will be perfect.”