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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. 

Covered in mud and almost 9 years of memories.

I started crying.

Hot tears rolled down my cheeks as I chuckled to myself.
“Those. Damn... Boooooots.”

I wiped the tears with my sleeve, walked over and caressed the ankle of the boot between my thumb and index finger.

I get so frustrated with these boots sometimes. I'm always kicking them out of the way and picking up those little pieces of dried mud that get stuck between the tread. Much like my mother did with my father's boots growing up.

I’ve had many moments since we’ve been married that made me feel at home.

And I’m sure there will be many more.

But there’s one thing I can always count on.

These boots being in my way.


  1. I loved this post. This year, my farmer and I will celebrate 10 years of making memories. I'm now sitting at my desk with tears streaming down my cheek, just thinking of those faithful muddy boots. Something so simple, as a pair of boots can drive me crazy and warm my heart all at once. I love reading Old Blue Silo. Much love from our farm to yours.

  2. Kelly,
    I think all farm or ranch wives have an item that annoys us, but if it was gone or missing we would instantly notice. Shoes, over-shoes, slippers I vacuum around them and put them back where J set them. I do move them on the rare occasion we have company. Otherwise, it is a comfort to know all is ok.


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