Thursday, July 10, 2008


Gold in the Hills

My father thought that this might be the last year he would ever go to harvest.

He said that last year too.

I didn't want him to drive this year from California to Nebraska, and told him so. I also didn't want my mother to drive across country. He asked if I would come out from New York to go with him. I said that I could not, as I was trying to meet a publishing deadline.

Now I am going to go to harvest alone.

It has occurred to me that I need a pair of boots. Last time I went to the harvest, I was annoyed at the complete insufficiency of a pair of sneakers when I was out in the fields. I had burrs everywhere. There is a reason that farmers wear hats, gloves and boots. (Yes, I know that is a photo of corn farmers).

(When I went to Cheyenne for "Frontier Days," I felt the extreme, nightmarish pressure of being the only person not in cowboy boots. See? Despite my annoyance at the modern addiction to packaging, I'm still a girl, and the repeated image of a person wearing cowboy boots makes me think I need them too).

There are a lot of useless boots in the world, just as there are a lot of SUVs (I mean: do most people need SUVs? Do most people need boots)? But I really, really will need boots. (I will need a hat, too).

I did not know that the term "field boot," which is the article of clothing I am going to buy, is actually a fashion term. Here are two examples of field boots.

Now, which one do you think is practical?

I've been looking at online stores. John Deere and Carhartt of course have their own sites. I also like and

Nonetheless, I think I want a slip-on pair of boots, that I can just leave in the bins to use next year. Because there will be a next year. I think I will pick up the boots in Cheyenne, when I drive in from Denver.

And, for those keeping score, yes, I know that Cheyenne is in ranching country, hence the preponderance of ranching gear. Yes, I know that farming is different.

Now that I have my boot issues resolved, I will turn my eye to trying to understand weather patterns and soil. These things are going to be more complicated. Fortunately, there is no "glamour soil' and there certainly are no "fashion weather patterns" to deduce.

I'm still hoping you show up in sparkling Rodeo performance attire.

With feathers and fringe.
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