Thursday, March 15, 2007

Muck boots and memories

For the first time in my adult life I own a pair of rubber muck boots.

They are a bright lime green with orange soles, a far cry from the horrid farmer green muck boots I pranced around in during high school. I used to slip those too-big boots on every day to slog on out to the horses and do my chores, every morning, every evening, summer, winter, fall, spring. Rain, snow, ice, mud and dust.

They were most amusing when I paired them with shorts and a flannel shirt tossed on to ward of the chill, or, best of all, a skirt. Country hick at its finest. I'd clump around in those things, through the mud and poop and snow, rarely with socks. The inside lining was torn to crap (probably from clumping around in them sock-free), and sometimes I'd slide my feet in and manage to get stuck between the lining and the boot or hook a toe on the lining and rip it a little more. The boots sat just outside the door on the back porch and were usually crusted with all kinds of nastiness. Eventually the nastiness fell off and left a nice pile of dirt and bits of poop and pieces of hay on the floor.

I remember chilly mornings and sliding my bare feet into cold, cold rubber boots to venture out into the dark before sunrise to feed the horses, the rabbits, the goats, ducks, chickens, lamb. I remember walking through puddles of muddy water and feeling the slimy wetness seep through the tiny cracks in the sole. Many times my feet came out of the ugly green boots dirtier and smellier than they went in. Those boots lasted for years and I'm pretty sure they followed us from one house to another, leaving tracks and shedding chunks of mud in at least two states.

For some reason, although I spend hours at the barn tramping through horse crap or slogging through mud and poo on my own land, I never bought a pair of boots once I moved out on my own. It always seemed to slip my mind until I had to trek across a vast expanse of sticky, slippery muddiness in my work flats or tennis shoes while muttering obscenities about my own stupidity and knowing someone at work would make a comment about the muddy state of my shoes and accompanying stinkiness from my foray into the poop soup. Then, the mud would dry again and buying muck boots flew right out of my head.

I knew I didn't want an ugly pair of muck boots. I definitely didn't want a pair of green boots. They are going to be ugly enough caked with crap and I wanted something I could feel cheerful about while mucking around in the dark. I found the lime green and orange boots on sale, under $10, in the children's section and snatched them up. I'm pretty sure they are rain boots, but whether rain, mud or poop, the effect is still the same. Of course, I was thrilled with my latest purchase, but Hubby doesn't understand my excitement over a pair of shit sloppers. It's complicated, this long-neglected affair with muck boots.

The first morning I slid my bare feet into those rubber boots and gasped a bit when the chilled green skin caressed my toes and heels, the memories of my teenage years came flooding back. I clumped through the mud and into the pasture, christened them with horse poop and sticky mud and jumped into a puddle of muddy water, just for the hell of it.

Isn't it funny, the simple things that bring back the best memories?


Sandy. said...

I can picture you in dang rubber boots with a smile of bliss on your face. :)

Oh, the little things.


amy said...

Yup, you made me giggle....will you pleeeeease get a goat now? Please? And train up Unruly to wear The Boots with any type of clothing... *snicker* least one of us has some fashion sense--> I can't see Wild cheerfully wearing those, even if they are lime green!

Sandy. said...

I came across some boots and couldn't help but think of you. Granted, they are more than 10 bucks, but they're dang cute.


Jenn said...

Oh my gosh, Sandy, those boots are absolutely adorable! They may have to find their way into my closet, but I don't know if I could muck through poo in boots THAT cute (and pricey!). I'd feel guilty somehow.

Amy, Amy, Amy...we are working on the goat, you know that! I'm very particular about my goat, not just any ole nanny will do. She must be a Nubian nanny.
I busted Unruly running around in ratty shorts, one of her nicer velvet blouses and a pair of black mud-covered cowboy boots earlier this week. She has about as much fashion sense as her mom.

Anonymous said...

a walk down memory lane... picturing those really baggy bleached out pale blue, manure/mud stained sweat pants tucked into and billowing around those yuck boots, paired with any old faded xxxlarge t-shirt you could find. and I was called 'goat roper'??? you made me laugh

Lisa said...

You are right. Simple things do bring back the best memories. Like comfort food for the soul.