It could be worse. This might be the winter that refuses to end. But it will-eventually. One doesn't have to travel too far back in time to realize it could be worse. Do you remember the floods of 2008? I do. And it started around this time of year. The rain I mean. I wrote this then. Just remember, it could be worse.
My feet are soaking wet. Yeah, it's been raining for a few days straight now, and some towns are shoring up the sandbags to hold back the deluge, but that's not it. I didn't accidentally step in a puddle.
My feet are wet and they will stay wet all day I'm sure.
Now I didn't say I was wet behind the ears. Maybe that term was used to describe me way back when, but that isn't it either.
"You're all wet," a polite idiom used to tell someone they're full of crap isn't it either. You may be all wet, but it's my feet that are all wet; no soaked!
I sloshed into my early morning coffee group this morning just hoping I wasn't leaving puddles of water wherever I walked or sat.
It's not that the yard is sodden or that the lane is partially washed out because of all the rain. Yep, even the sump pump has been running, but that's still not the reason my feet are all wet.
You should know I am not an impulse buyer. Seldom do I just go out and buy something on a whim. Most purchases are well thought out and planned. Some purchases are even planned out, mulled over, rearranged and put off for extended periods. I guess going to the doctor is a purchase of sorts, and I can put that off like most other stubborn men. I have been contemplating buying a new car. Well that contemplation has been going on for about four years now. I may do it and I might not. If they had a diesel Jeep that got 40 mpg it would be a no brainer. Anticipation is often greater than the event. I anticipate one day I will buy a new car and the anticipation is a treat.
But I still haven't explained why my feet are all wet.
My feet are also cold. Now "cold feet" is a term used to characterize apprehension or doubt strong enough to prevent a planned course of action. I got cold feet when I was about 40 feet up my tower and planned to climb to the top. Yep, cold feet.
It's easier to get cold feet as you get older. Many times sensibilities overtake bravado and plan old recklessness. To me getting cold feet may be the better part of valor. Or am I mixing up discretion with cold feet?
During the fall and winter months I am apt to wear boots. Now not just any boots either. My boots have to be form fitted and comfortable. I have been seen in public wearing cowboy boots. The only pair I own, that is dress boots, also cowboy boots, I got in 1981. They have seen a lot of wear, and have been re-soled. The leather on the nap of the boots has begun to tear, so I decided it was time to get a new pair.
I have a couple pair of pull-on boots that look something like cowboy boots. They have steel toes and are used when I make wood. I think the contemporary term for those sorts of boots is Farm and Ranch. That's not what I want.
So I began my search. I even found one pair at a farm store close by. I carried them around the store with me while I shopped for other items. I liked them; a little. They weren't exactly what I was looking for, but were on sale. I was making a compromise by making a decision to take them off the shelf. At the last minute, I got cold feet and sat the box down on a stack of dog food bags and darted out of the store. I didn't buy them. My quest continued.
Back in 1981, when I got that last pair of cowboy boots, I was talking to an older gentleman who gave me some instruction in breaking in a new pair of boots. I followed them. First he had me take a rag soaked with gasoline and hit the gloss on the boots to break the glaze. "Don't smoke," he admonished! I didn't. Next he said to put the boots on and stand in the shower. "Fill them with water and just wear them until they dry," he continued. The logic is that if you get the leather really wet and then wear the boots until they dry, they will form fit to your feet. I followed his instructions and to this day those old boots fit me like a glove. The leather conforms to every contour of my feet and fit just like a custom made pair.
As you might be expecting now, last evening I finally found a pair that fit my needs, and were cheap enough I didn't get cold feet again. But wait a minute; I DO have cold feet, and wet feet and soggy boots.
I'm going to be very careful where I walk today and try not to slip and slide or leave wet spots where I walk. By the end of the day I should have a form fitted pair of new cowboy boots, properly distressed and functional. I'm sure my feet will be all white and wrinkly from being in water all day. Maybe in another 28 years when I'm looking for another pair I'll be able to look the salesperson in the eye and think to myself, "I have boots older than them." Then again, maybe I'll just get cold feet.
Until next time-
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In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2005 - 2013 Mike Gilchrist. Readers, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342.