These boots were made for workin’

I don’t have the occasion to wear my boots very often these days.  My feet spend most of the summer in sandals.  Combine 90 degree heat and no AC, and I sure am not about to wear my boots for fashion purposes.

Today I needed to bag up some yard waste, though, and because we had a rattlesnake on our property a few days ago, proper footwear was in order.  Who says shorts, a tank top, gardening gloves, and black cowboy boots are an unusual look?

While the reasons for wearing the boots were new, the memories that filled my head when I put them on were old.  I heard my boots clomp through the house, and remembered the hollow sound they made on the barn porch at camp.  As I shoveled up the partially composted leaves and twigs, I actually missed shoveling horse poop.  Yes, I said that.  I missed shoveling horse poop.

Now something that may surprise you is that I HATE to sweat.  You would think a horse chick who also loves camping and hiking wouldn’t mind it.  But I do.  A lot.  Mind it, that is.  Back in the day when my horse jobs forced me to work through the heat all day, I kept the end-of-the-day shower in mind as the dangling carrot to spur on my work ethic on the hottest of days.  Knowing that shower was coming allowed me to enjoy the fun things like riding, teaching riding, brushing horses, feeding horses, and yes, even shoveling poop.  But other than horses, there are only a few things that like to do enough that I am willing sweat for, especially when I am already sweating just by sitting around.  Those things would be…  horses?  Yeah, I can’t think of anything else.

Yet somehow, by putting on my cowboy boots, I found the motivation to put some muscle into attacking the yard waste and hauling the huge, heavy bags into a pile.  My body is a little softer than it used to be.  My abs had to work a little harder in order to work together now that they have added “carrying two babies” to their resume.  As I watched those two babies play in the yard I was working so hard to clear, I could feel a new and different kind of strength that I never had back in my childless working days.  A strength that compels me to work through the heat to create a better home for them, when I would rather be knitting and sipping iced tea.  A strength that would make me go ape-wild with a hoe to kill a rattlesnake.  A strength that finds joy in watching the little blond heads bop around, even when there is not a horse in sight.

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