Boots. Just one word is enough to put a grin on my face. I adore boots. Dress, riding, combat, ankle, hiking, work, tall, short, black, brown, white, gray, with heels, without heels, zippered, lace-up, or pull-on – any and all boots are my favorite. But the absolute top of the heap when it comes to boots are unequivocally cowgirl boots. Or cowboy boots, if you’re a fella. I don’t remember not being in love with them. I don’t wear them all the time (unfortunately), but when I do, I feel like the queen of the world.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved the idea of cowboys and the Wild West. Cowboys and rustlers was my favorite kind of role-play as a kid. (Tea parties was my other favorite – riddle me that if you can.) I devoured western movies and books. Still do actually. I recently found a copy of a very old cowboy book that I had as a kid, which I unfortunately lost. But every cloud has a silver lining and this one was no exception. The book was for sale as part of a set – and I had never heard of the other book. So not only did I recover a long-lost favorite, I found a new favorite as well. My grandpa loved cowboy stuff too. I remember his boots and hats and country music and his extensive John Wayne video collection.
Despite my love for all things western, especially boots, I didn’t own my first pair until I was nearly grown. It was primarily a money issue. Good boots aren’t cheap and money was kinda scarce growing up. My first pair of cowgirl boots (which I still have) came to me second-hand. From a flea market of all places. Fit me perfectly and in very good condition. I paid $8 for them. I was so excited. I was gonna take a picture of myself wearing those boots and the western shirt from my grandma and send it to her and my grandpa. Two days later my grandpa went to heaven. He never saw the picture, but I think of them as my “Papa boots” – a little piece of him that I will forever cherish. I can almost feel him smiling down on me every time I wear them, and that makes me smile all the more.