Mar 13, 2018

Try it Tuesday: Travel Version



It is Tuesday, right? I've had to check like, twice.

Yep, it's sort of Tuesday.

They day that follows Monday.

So, winter 2018 has definitely been dubbed the winter of traveling. In the last 5 weeks, I've been to Houston, Reno, Anaheim and St. Louis. All for agriculture-related business. I hold a few leadership positions with a few organizations and winter is usually when meetings and conventions go down.

This may not be a huge deal to some, but for this inexperienced traveler, I've been on more plane rides this winter than I have in the last 10 years combined. Pretty sure.

I've learned A LOT and I still have a lot to learn.

With each trip, I feel like my suitcase gets like a half pound lighter as I come just a bit more efficient. It should be illegal to limit a girl to 50 pounds. P.S. I LOVE my lightweight  IT hard-case luggage.  I learned a few years back that good luggage makes all the difference when traveling. Be sure to weigh your luggage before you go and toss in this luggage scale so you can weigh your suitcase before you come back home!

While you're tossing the scale in your luggage, toss this portable steamer, too. If you hate ironing like I do, you need it. There's nothing worse then waking up for a meeting the next morning after getting in on a late flight and wrestling with the ironing board as you're trying to get out the door. No matter how hard I try to carefully pack my clothes, they still always get wrinkled!

Toiletries take up a lot of room so I love my FLAT toiletry bag. It has made packing my toiletries so much easier especially with all the separate, easy to access compartments. When I get back from a trip, I refill all my bottles, Qtips, cotton balls and keep them inside. I love this bag because I can just grab it, toss my makeup in, lay it on top of my clothes and close the lid! There's no need for Tetris and strategic placement!

Speaking of Tetris, I am in love with these packing cubesI put all of my business clothes in one and casual clothes in another. I also have two smaller cubes for pajamas and under garments. They really help keep everything organized and protect your clothes from shoes and anything that spills out of your toiletry bag.

I am excited to say with all my airplane hours, I finally finished watching The Crown on Netflix. If you like the Royal Family, history and really good acting, this show is for you! I love that you can download a bunch of shows from Netflix and watch them offline. Always make sure to pack your headphones so you can watch Netflix on your phone or iPad! I've been wanting to invest in a pair of noise canceling headphones but I haven't pulled the trigger yet.

I think I shared this is my last Try it Tuesday, but my husband and I have been able to easily keep track of each other's travel schedules with the Cozi app. There are a variety of options when setting up a new event. You can opt to notify your spouse or family member whenever a new event is created, set reminders closer to that date, create shopping lists and much more. We used our iTunes gift cards and subscribed to the Gold version where you can access a full calendar view and some other features. Having this app has also allowed me to leave my Erin Condren Life Planner at home to save some weight in my briefcase. I can take a look on the Cozi app to see what events and tasks I have planned for when I return.

When traveling, I've also learned it's important to feel comfortable but also to look slightly put together especially when you're traveling for business. You just never know who you're going to bump into! I have learned to snag a pair of comfortable jeans with a little bit of stretch or a really nice, flattering pair of black leggings that can be paired with a jacket, blazer or a vest. Layering is important because you're either freezing or you're really hot on a plane! Vests and jackets are also great for mixing up outfits on the duration of your trip. Tossing on a big, fun pair of earrings also helps me feel put together. I really enjoy these leather earrings! They're light and versatile. I've also found out the hard way that cowboy boots are not practical to travel in. I've found in the winter a comfortable bootie, neutral colored sneaker and in the summer a pair my favorite moccasins, loafers or supportive sandals work best! I know my fellow farm girls can relate to this struggle. The downside is, your boots can add 5-10 pounds to the suitcase! The struggle. is. real.

What are some things you've learned that has made traveling a bit easier on you?

Jan 23, 2018

Winter on the Farm






Post created for Ranch House Designs, Inc.



It seems whenever we go to an agriculture-related conference, the hotel staff always enjoys talking to farmers and ranchers, asking questions about the industry.

Our most recent trip to Nashville, Tennessee for a conference was no different. In fact, I was asked a question by our front desk clerk that I have not been asked before as a grain farmer.

“Do you guys work all year round?”

Instantly, my answer from within was a, “Yes!” but I knew it would be hard to explain the kind of work we do in the wintertime since we are not in the fields, working on our soybean or corn crops.

We may not be in the field, but we are still working on our old and new crops all winter long!

Those in the livestock industry are obviously destined to chores 365 days a year regardless of the weather! In the winter they have animals to feed and issues to battle when the snow, ice and freezing temperatures arrive.

At one time, it was a stereotype that midwestern grain farmers would “winter” in warm places such as Florida or Arizona. Fortunately, winter work allows us in a nice, warm office or meeting hall, but there are some chores that involve being outside in the harsh weather.

Farms have grown in size, resulting in on-farm grain storage and the need to market and truck grain all year long. Sometimes younger farmers and seasonal farmers will take a job off the farm during the winter to supplement their income and even some seasoned farmers will do so as well. It really depends on one’s individual situation.

For us, my husband and I and my father-in-law all work full-time jobs, off the farm, year round.. Our farm is not large enough to employ us full-time. Winters seem like they should be a slow down for us, but we feel just as busy in the winter as we do in the spring, summer and fall. We just don’t have a lawn to mow or weeds to tackle, which is a nice break!

So what do we grain farmers do in the wintertime?

... to find out, visit the rest of the article over at Ranch House Designs, Inc.

Jan 10, 2018

Life Lesson from a Grocery List

I sent my husband to the grocery story on his way home from work last night. He drives right by so it’s convenient to have him pick up a few necessities between my large stock-up-all-the-things trips.

He walked in the door last night, hands me the bags and I set them on the counter. As I begin putting stuff away I already recognize a few things that are “wrong”. He bought a package of fresh mushrooms. I wanted mushrooms in a can or jar for the pantry. He bought organic spinach. I wanted conventional. He bought a package of individually wrapped processed Swiss cheese product slices. I wanted real Swiss cheese from the deli. He bought whole chocolate milk. I wanted 2%.

I can go on.


I could have been mad that he bought the “wrong” things. But was he “wrong”?


Take a look at the list I sent him:





Based on my list, he bought exactly what I had asked for.


I provided zero details. My list lacked brands, sizes and flavors.


You see, I assumed and expected he would know the exact brand and package I wanted. But, how would he know?

Last night, I watched the new episode of This Is Us. Kevin, one of the triplets, now 35 years old, was checked into rehab for an alcohol addiction. The family was brought in to dig really deep into the triggers of his addiction. He shared a perception of his childhood, his siblings Kate and Randall shared theirs and his mother Rebecca took a turn; each having a different view on how things were growing up in their household.

The family argued and the conversation turned into several walking out of the room in frustration.

Towards the end of the episode, after everyone has cooled off, Randall shares an excerpt of his childhood from when he first had to get glasses; looking through the various lenses of the device that would then help determine his prescription. Some of the lenses were blurry, some clear.

He makes a point that we all view life through different lenses.

We can’t expect everyone to view through our lens when they are looking through their very own, unique “prescription.”

Details are so important. Whether we are describing a process from an industry outside of someone’s familiarity, such as agriculture or sending our husbands or wives to the store to pick up something for us, we have to communicate in a detailed language that people understand.


Things are no longer black and white anymore.


We live in a world of variety and choice. Our world is full of information.


When it comes to choices and expectations, we only know what we know through our own lens.


So, the next time you make out your grocery list, provide details.


Or you’ll end up with organic spinach and processed Swiss cheese product.

Jan 9, 2018

Try it Tuesday


So, my husband and I just got back from a long weekend in Nashville. We were there for the American Farm Bureau conference at the beautiful Opryland Resort & Convention Center which is full of indoor gardens, restaurants, shops and even a lazy river! Definitely a wonderful destination spot. You'll never want to leave the resort. 

.... and I found this photo in my phone from the weekend. You just never know when something may inspire you.

Even a bathroom door from a bar downtown Nashville.

Our groups ate at the Wild Horse Saloon, Claim Jumper and Caney Fork Restaurant while in Nashville. All delicious.

President Trump addressed thousands of farmers and ranchers at the convention we went to. Unfortunately we were on our way home during his speech, but we watched it live from my phone and you can watch it here if you missed it!

We used the Uber app a lot in Nashville. Tip: Download the app and set up your account prior to your trip. And be sure to swipe right for Economy or you'll pay twice as much. 

These boots paired well with my business casual attire this weekend. Especially this blazer.

The one thing I hate about traveling is having to iron everything out of the suitcase. My friends told me they always pack this so they don't have to iron. Genius.

Also hate traveling with winter coats. Try this one if you need something packable and warm.

Can't wait to get back to a normal breakfast routine and try this Instant Pot accessory in my Instant Pot with this recipe.

Watch this quick video on the importance of plant breeding innovation. I like it. Quick, simple, and to the point. It showed up in my inbox today.

Well, back to the grind in the office today. We have a Beck's seed meeting later this week, some friends are taking us out to dinner and I need to take Granny to get groceries sometime. And maybe some for us, too. Fingers crossed for a quiet weekend at home!

Jan 2, 2018

Try it Tuesday



Did you guys have a wonderful holiday season? I took some time to reflect, spend time with friends and family, work on a few projects in the office and really think about some goals and outlooks for 2018.

Gadgets have been a new love of mine lately. Especially ones that make our busy lives easier and maybe... less busy?

My husband and I purchased this robotic vacuum with some money we were given for Christmas. My brother and sister in law have this one and we've noticed how much they've enjoyed theirs. Needless to say, with a dog and two cats, this gadget was worth a try. So far we are loving the job it's doing! I love walking into a room and it feeling/looking like it's been freshly cleaned. It's like having your own digital maid.

I made this in my Instant Pot last night and my husband and I loved it!

I am trying to read a novel every two weeks in 2018. Starting with this thriller. So far so good. Half way through but technically I started it in 2017. Any tips on getting your reading in?

I am also trying to listen to more Podcasts. If you like agriculture, try this one and this one.

Got my husband these socks for Christmas. Says his feet stay dry and warm. Brownie points for this wife. Possibly our new go-to.

I also thought he would like these.

Mom got us these for Christmas.

I want to watch this on Netflix.

If you can never have enough chambray button downs to layer under your sweaters.

This winter coat is the warmest. Did you know today is the coldest day on record in my lifetime? Brrr.

Been connecting with my friends on this free app.

Any gun-toting ladies out there? I put this bag on my Amazon wish list. Fringe or no fringe?

I hope you learn, laugh and love a lot in 2018! My husband and I were appointed to a national position with this committee. We will have a lot of traveling and many dates to keep track of this year! We downloaded this calendar app to keep our lives in sync.

Dec 1, 2017

It's only December 1st




It's been one of those weeks! And it's about to be one of those months.


We arrived home from Thanksgiving vacation in Kansas late Sunday evening. It's always good to see my sister in law and her family! Such a much needed trip for our family.


We finished our custom harvest job this week for our Mennonite neighbor. Harvest '17 is OFFICIALLY OVER for us. The combine can now go into hibernation.


I've been working diligently in the office trying to take care of some hot projects for clients. My husband has been working on end of the year quotes for his customers. We've had several meetings and this weekend is full of fun events with friends. More meetings, events and projects next week.


I have no idea when we will get our Christmas decorations up or get to our Christmas shopping. And you know what? For the first time, I don't care. It's only December 1st.


It always gets done.


It'll happen when it happens.


So many of us stress over the holiday season. It's a season I don't look forward to for many reasons but this year, it's time for a an attitude adjustment.


I am going to focus on the people and all the wonderful events. Not the things or the details in-between.


I've already worked on some ideas to eliminate stress.


What have you done over the years to make your holiday season more enjoyable from Thanksgiving to New Years?

Nov 8, 2017

Struggles Small and Large



I’ve been reflecting on the episode of This Is Us from last night. I’ve never seen a show that comes even close to touching so many emotions. It’s a show everyone can relate to.


One thing I am really learning from this show is that we all have struggles small and large. Sometimes the people that seem to have the most perfect of lives and have it all together are struggling the most. There is no such thing as a perfect life and a perfect family.


I try to share content that gives you a peek into my life in hopes you’ll find a small nugget that you or someone you know can relate to. My content may not always be relatable to everyone and you won’t always agree with me. We are all wired differently, share different struggles and we come from different places.


Last night on the show, a poor, heart-broken drug addict and a judge came together in relatable disappointment. The judge found himself in constant disappointment every day because of the sentences he had to serve. The drug addict was in constant disappointment because of the everyday down spirals he was experiencing in his life.


This goes to show that two people living completely different lives can share the same emotion and struggle.


Under-minding someone’s struggle or accomplishment is one of the worse things you can do. It is not up to you to decide how someone should be feeling. Come along side and help someone find a solution to their stress or problem. Be a cheerleader through the good and the bad.


We don’t have to settle. We can always be better. There’s always time to redesign the ending to our stories; especially with the help of others.

Oct 23, 2017

Farm to Town: Fall Edition


Yesterday, my husband and I ran into town for breakfast and on our way back we ended up moving farm equipment. Not too dirty of a job, but you still needed some sturdy clothes and boots to handle the uneven dirt, hook up a trailer, tie down the grain head or fill a flat with air. I wasn't in what I consider my farm clothes but I was still dressed for the job. You just never know what you will get roped into around here, especially on the weekends!

One thing I've experienced living on a farm, is that during the busy seasons and maybe all year round for those of you with livestock, sometimes it's hard to find things to wear that you can quickly work in if needed but also feel put together if you need to run into town for errands. (Now, if I know I am going out to farm for the day, I pull on an old hoodie or flannel, a college t-shirt an old pair of jeans and my work boots...)

So, I'm sharing my favorite 'farm to town' pieces with you because they've been put to the test. They've been worn a season or two already, have been washed, washed and washed again. They've done some light duty work around the farm. And I simply could not live without them. 

So, husbands, listen up because psssst... Christmas is coming.

Oct 18, 2017

Unfinished



Two months ago, I signed up to do an online Bible study by Proverbs 31 called, 'She's Still There.' At a time when I have really been experiencing a lot of stress, wondering if that happy go lucky girl was still inside this busy body; this study couldn't have come at a better time.

In my 30s, I've started to experience a lot of anxiety, especially recently. This year I started my own business, I took on some leadership roles that are amazing opportunities but have left me feeling alone at times, my husband and I have continued to farm another year even through this rough farm economy, my in-laws have separated and there's the constant pressure from family, friends and society to start having children when that's never been something I've wanted. I began questioning my purpose and direction. I found myself constantly getting caught up in the what if. 

I instantly ordered the study's foundation book, She's Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You and joined a small accountability group with a friend and her friend. I counted down the days until the study began. I could. not. WAIT.

On the first day of the study, I got up at 5, made my coffee and felt like a kid on Christmas. I printed off my study guides, watched the videos and got through the first chapter of the book; nodding my head over every word and marking it up with highlights, notes and filling out all the reflection options. I felt like a champion. I felt refreshed. I felt inspired. I was a new woman [for a day]. I was really looking forward to diving even deeper into the study.

The next morning, I dove into Chapter 2 and the new lessons. I made some more notes and continued to enjoy myself. By the time the third day rolled around, I saw that I needed to get through a few more chapters. We were getting ready to go to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a weekend get away with some friends so I saved the rest of that week's study to do before everyone else got up, overlooking the mountains on our cabin's front porch. Long story short, our cabin's front porch was little to be desired as well as the rest of the cabin. I was very stressed about the false advertisement and very unhappy for someone who was on vacation. I used our unideal situation as an excuse to not crack open my study like I had planned.

Oct 13, 2017

The Rules of #Real







Social media is here.

I don't know if you've noticed or not. I hope you sense my sarcasm.

In fact, it's been here.

I was thinking the other day, that I've been on social media for roughly two thirds of my life. It dates back to the MSN messenger, AOL messenger, Xanga and Myspace days and then onto Facebook when my college was one of the first networks created. Before Facebook came along, my friends and I were already using instant messenger statuses as a way to share what we were up to or the latest group of song lyrics that applied to our current life situation at the time. I remember always crafting an 'Away Message' before leaving my dorm room.

Social media has become a way of life especially as it now fits into the palm of our hands 24/7. Whether you're on a blog, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, Pinterest and many other channels, it's how we search for information on a business or person, look for today's headlines, discover new products and communicate with our loved ones and... not-so-loved ones. Whether we like it or not, we have all become influencers. Unbeknownst to us, we are crafting our own personal brand by what what we share and how we share.

However, in a world where some are still reading print newspapers and watching local TV stations, we still look at social media as this realm of entertainment or information resource and communication tool hat doesn't count.

But it does count. Oh, how it does.

Much like fashion, photography, design, the food industry, automobiles, farm machinery and technology, social media hones trends that are constantly changing. From what channels are popular to use to how we should share things whether it's through photographs, writing, video or memes, if you don't stay up with the latest trends, your voice will get lost. If you go to a Facebook or other social media workshop, the content of that workshop is relevant for the month, if that. That's how often trends are changing. It has become standard for companies to hire outside contractors to consult with on social media trends and many even have in-house staff members whose job is to run the company social media channels. That's yesterday's news but so many people to this day still roll their eyes at the mention of careers in social media.

People are constantly preaching about what kind of content should be shared and not shared. With social media, we've become extremely personal. Complete strangers may know more about us than our best friends or family members. Social media has given literally everyone a platform if they so choose to use it; politically or not.

However, as we've become personal, we've also become unreal. We hold off sharing good news and large purchases as we don't want to appear as boasting. We bite our lips as we erase an emotional post about a hardship or struggle we may be going through because we don't want to come across as an emotional basket case. We are afraid that our struggle or blessing may be menial to someone else.

Over six years ago, I started Old Blue Silo. I was afraid to share pictures from the old farmhouse we were living in as it was old, outdated and some rooms were very less than ideal. I was embarrassed of it, not knowing that many, many, many folks were living in the same kind of situation. We started building our new pole barn house and as much as I wanted to share the entire building process, our floor plans and my journey through decorating, I held off because of a comment a friend made. Because they didn't have a new house, they didn't think it was fair that I shared our new home. That same person also knocked me down in my journey through leadership. I held back from inspiring others with some things I was so proud of because of things one person said. Even though I didn't go into a lot of detail or share the process of building our home or my journey in leadership, I still have provided some sneak peaks and enough information to spark reader interest. I find myself receiving emails on a daily basis, full of burning questions from readers who too have interest in pole barn homes and furthering their leadership journey.

I have found myself buried in a situation where it is going to take a lot of work to dig myself out. I've recently been inspired to go back through and start sharing more of our home and my leadership with readers, regardless of what one person said years ago. However, as you know, it's much harder to go back in time and relearn all of those basic details you once knew by heart. In fact, I don't have a digital copy of our floor plan anymore. I will have to recreate that. But, it's something I want to do for you because... it's time to start being real.

Be #real... regardless of your current status or situation. Your successes will inspire others to be successful and crush their own goals. Your struggles will help others through their own.

When it comes to being real in person and on social media, the rules are wide open as long as you stick to these guidelines:





Share the good.

Share the bad.

And YES, share the ugly.

But please. Please don't BE ugly.

By ugly, you know what I mean. Find that fine line. Don't post on a social media channel what you wouldn't say to one's face. And for goodness sakes, what happens behind a closed door, keep it behind a closed door.

The other day, I shared a very raw video on Old Blue Silo's Facebook page with my readers. Some thoughts were weighing heavy on my mind and I couldn't take it anymore. I literally turned off the TV and sat up straight as I started recording. I shared some successes I've been keeping from you guys and I shared some hardships that our family has been going through. My in-laws separated this summer. It's been very hard. But that's all I need to share for now. The rest, is their personal business. Our family isn't perfect and neither is yours. You know how to get a hold of me if you're through the same thing and would like to talk about it. That's why I shared it. You can share your struggles without airing your dirty laundry too.

Social media is not going anywhere. It's time to really learn how to use it.

You can use it as a tool to influence, inspire and relate or you can use it to craft an unreal life that makes someone else feel less than ideal.

Share that new vehicle. But share it because you've worked hard for it. Share the features and functions you love about it so someone else vehicle shopping can learn something. Share that hopefully positive experience you had with the dealership and the salesperson so we can pay them a visit our selves. Don't share it just because you want to one up your neighbor. Just don't.

I am inviting you to forget about what others may think and join me in a challenge to be more #real in sharing the good, the bad and the ugly.

Will you join me?



--- 


PC: Sarah Straeter Photography

Jul 20, 2017

A Break from the Norm


As of Monday, our first wheat harvest is in the books!

Many of you have driven across some of the "I" states and see a lot of corn and soybeans growing everywhere. That's what we are known for. We grow corn and soybeans. We are good at it.

Occasionally, you'll drive past a field of wheat. I hope it leaves you as breathless as it does me.

I instantly want to stop and start singing, "Oh beautiful.... for spacious skies... for amber waves of grain...." But I don't. Because, well, my singing is bad enough that my cats will bite me if I start.

Wheat is a beautiful grain. It dries out to a beautiful golden color that creates a gorgeous contrast across the horizon.

It's a grain that has changed society to the way we know it. It's the foundation of our history.

I'm amazed at how such a small kernel can come together with others to feed such a large amount of people all across the world. It's a grain we truly take for granted.


Jun 22, 2017

Because Corn

IMG_6288.JPG

For almost twenty years and my entire childhood, my dad sold Kubota tractors. Every night, he’d pull just past the driveway and then back in with a piece of equipment on his trailer ready to deliver or demo to customers in the morning.

There wasn’t a day, even on weekends, you wouldn’t see my dad in his orange Kubota hat. Owning an entire fleet himself, he loved the product that he sold. If you want to see my dad light up, just ask him about Kubota tractors. He always said if you sold and promoted an honest product you loved, it sold itself. Even in a tough market where everyone was use to red, blue and green paint, dad loved selling his products and was successful at it.

Now, I get to grow and market an honest product that I absolutely love.

Corn.

Corn.

I get giddy just thinking about it.

A good friend once asked me why we grow so much corn and what it was used for.

I didn’t know where to begin. When it comes to corn and other crops that we grow, there are endless possibilities ranging from food, animal feed and fiber to fuel and everything in between.

May 10, 2017

Necklace Give Away





Much like the things I have to decorate my home, I really enjoy clothing and jewelry that tell a story. Especially jewelry.

I recently came across a new line of beautiful beaded and whitetail antler necklaces created by Emily at OnTheWildeSideDesigns. I explored her Etsy shop a few times. I found myself admiring her work even more every time I visited. I swooned over all the different designs and colors.

May 1, 2017

Rainy Days and Mondays



Growing up, my mom use to listen to the Carpenters and right now, I have the song, Rainy Days and Mondays in my head.

Getting into a groove here at our farm has been difficult this past week spring.

We witnessed a really mild winter which left us pretty anxious to get in the fields and work ground for #plant17. However, if you get into the fields in February and March, you risk those temperatures cooling down again as well as a late snowfall. Working ground too early is oftentimes wasteful because your soil will get re compacted over time and you'll lose that nice fluffy soil bed. We spent our time slowly working on equipment maintenance and getting things ready to go. I enjoyed some of the early nice weather as I worked in my landscaping and mowed the yard. 

Last week, we finally made the decision to get into the fields. Just a day later than last year according to my Facebook timeline. Things went well for a few days. We had two of last year's soybean fields worked for corn and even got just a little bit of seed in the ground! Morale was up and life was good. We were looking forward to the weekend and getting a lot done.

However.

Everything came to a screeching halt on Friday afternoon. It's been raining off and on since then. We have been pretty fortunate as we've only had a few inches of water compared to some other parts of the state and county who have witnessed 6-11 inches over the weekend causing a lot of flooding which may result in a replant. Some major storms passed through over the weekend and we are also fortunate they did not hit us as hard. We did not have any damage online our neighbors out west and up north. 

Feb 18, 2017

These Boots





It was May 2008.

My now husband had invited me down to his farm for our second date. I had never been to his house before. I slowly pulled in the drive and walked anxiously up the sidewalk to the front door taking it all in. He greeted me at the door with a huge grin wearing a Hollister t-shirt, a crisp pair of bootcut Levis and a pair of sneakers.

I walked into his old farmhouse and I took off my shoes. I placed them on the floor of the mudroom next to a pair of worn out Red Wings. The leather was rough and the toe was worn out where you could see the steel toe peeking through. I noticed a tin of Red Wing mink oil sitting on top of the upright freezer above. I smiled, wondering if these boots ever saw a drop.

But that didn’t matter.

You see, I learned very quickly.

These boots, they’re special. They’re a rare breed.

They’re the boots of a 4th generation farmer.

They’re purchased once every two years and when a hole starts wearing in the sole, it’s time for another.

He never tells me when it’s time for a new pair.

They just show up. Right next to the door, like that loyal old friend. Like clockwork. Same size. Same style. I really don’t even know what happens to the old pair. I suppose they go to old farm boot heaven.

They’re like family, these boots.

In fact, I’ve gotten so use to them that I forgot how special they were.

Until tonight.

I had just walked up from our backyard. My husband had recently came home from working and was sitting on the tailgate of his truck in the shop. It was a nice, unusually warm day for February. He was covered in dirt. The dog was covered in mud. He looked tired. But happy.

He climbed off the truck and went in to clean up for the evening. I put a few things away outside. As I rounded the corner back into the shop, I walked in and stopped.

The sun was shining in on the tailgate where he once sat.

And in his place sat those boots.