The Rancher’s Wife Mic Drop

Gramma and Grampa

Grandma Edie and Grampa Pete

If a rancher invented cussing, a rancher’s wife invented the walkaway mic drop
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The first time I heard my dad swear was when he was standing in the horse trailer at a high school rodeo in New Salem while my horse was standing on his foot.

Or maybe it was that time the bulls got out and bringing them back with only the help of an 11-year-old was going about as swimmingly as you can imagine.

Wait, no, I think it was the time he stepped off a young horse to open a gate and that horse began his slow and methodical side pass toward home, leaving the reigns just out of Dad’s reach.

Well, I can’t remember exactly, but my dad doesn’t swear much — so when he did, it made an impression on me. It meant a brief loss of the positive nature he exuded that fooled us all into believing we were going to be all right out there chasing bulls out of brush patch after tick-infested brush patch.

But mostly it was the string of words he chose to stitch together when it all finally did come spitting out, slowly and with utter, exasperated passion in a sort of poetic way that only a frustrated rancher could pull off.

Anyway, it just sinks in the point that being a cowboy is glamorous and everything, until it’s time to do cowboy things. I think it was likely a rancher who invented cussing. He was probably working on broken equipment.

And it was the rancher’s wife who invented the walkaway mic drop. Because the rancher’s wife is often times a rancher, too, unless you’re my mom who steps about as far into the calf pen as the porch outside her house and only gets her hands as dirty as they can get while planting geraniums, which is probably one of the reasons they’re still married, honestly.

My dad’s parents, however, worked side by side on the Veeder ranch during a time when the stakes were a bit higher on this place. And so it wasn’t always as romantic as their once-a-year trip down to the river to go catfishing.

And because I admired my Grandma Edie so much when I was young and she was still alive, I always lean in when my dad and uncle start sharing stories of their childhood with their mother at the helm.

ARCHIVE: Read more of Jessie Veeder’s Coming Home columns

Last night, after the last few bites of my mom’s lasagna and a comment about my recent run-in with a cranky cow, the brothers sat back and remembered the time their mother was out helping move a bovine with a similar attitude from the pen below the barn to one in front of the barn.

It sounded like one of those moments where my grandpa passed on his own unique string of cuss words to the next generation as the cow did her best to fight the system and run past the gate and toward members of the happy family yelling and waving sorting sticks.

And then that cow turned on my grandma, chasing after her as she ran for her life toward the fence while my grandpa yelled at her, “Run toward the gate!”

And the part where their mother continued her climb over the fence and, without a word and without looking back, walked straight through the barnyard and up the hill into the house, leaving her husband standing there with only his foot in his mouth and stick in his hand, will forever be etched into the memories of her two sons.

And that, my friends, is what you call a mic drop that will live on in history…

Boot Stories (PRIZE ALERT!)

I’m not sure if I remember my first pair of boots. I might have had a pair or two of hand-me-downs before I got to the red ropers with the scuffs on the toes. Of course, they didn’t come with the scuffs on the toes, but that’s the only way I remember them.

I was probably seven or eight when I opened the box and tried them on. Boots in our childhood were a purchase thought out carefully by my parents. They had to fit well. They had to last. They had to polish up for 4-H horse shows and they had to come off and let us loose if we got our foot hung up in the stirrup.

We didn’t go riding in lace-ups.

Sometimes I would wear those red boots to school, but mostly I would save them for riding. I was a particular child and I believed there was a particular dress code for things.

Apparently bright and buttoned up to the top was one of my rules for public appearances…

Anyway, as my feet grew, I would tuck my old boots away at the back of the closet for my little sister and dad and I would head to the store to pick out my next pair. I’m not sure why, but the memory of the boot-picking-out-process with my dad is one that stuck with me.

Maybe it was because shopping in farm and fleet stores was the only kind of shopping the two of us ever really did together, but there was something about the smell of the leather standing next to my father staring at a wall full of boots in every shape, size and color that was both comforting and confidence building.

I think it was justification that I was his helper, his right hand man, and he needed to make sure I had the right gear.

There isn’t much gear more important to a cowboy than his boots.

And the choice in boots was never made on looks alone. No. It was brand and quality of the leather. It was height of the heel and comfort of the fit. It was a toe not too pointy and a sole not too thick. It was flexibility and durability and practicality.

Luckily, back then, I was a Plain Jane sort of girl. Anything flashy or frilly was for Rodeo Queens, and, despite the pair of hand-me-down yellow western pants I got from the neighbor, I was no Rodeo Queen.

Clearly…

In fact, once my feet quit growing, I wore a maroon pair of Ropers until the duct tape that I used to repair them wore off and a friend who borrowed them lost them at a rodeo.

If it weren’t for her I’d probably still be wearing them. I think she probably did me a favor there.

Anyway, I don’t have to tell you how times have change me. No. You are all well aware of my affinity for boots. We’ve talked about it before.

And while my life still calls for a plain brown riding boot with a good heel, I believe it also calls for a vintage red pointed toe with a cream lace detail top, perfect for under my wedding dress.

I also must have the the tall gray snip toe with a lace butterfly detail to show off with black pants and a flowy top. And then there’s the pale brown pair with the embroidered tops that I wear with sundresses.

Oh, and the black pair with the lizard skin inlay and the killer toe that I squeeze into a few times a week because they were a gift from my husband a few Christmases ago and I was too excited to worry about things like the correct size.

And then the chocolate brown pair with the turquoise and red detail I convinced my mom to buy that have somehow found a home in my closet…

Yes. It might be the hat that makes the man, but I think it’s the boots that make the woman.

Which brings me to the reason I brought this all up in the first place. Are you ready for it?

See, I’ve got plenty of stories I could tell that involve a great pair of boots, but I want to hear yours. And so do my good friends over at Rocky Boots.

So guess what?!

I am giving away a free pair of Rocky Boots (your choice) to one of you, my loyal, beautiful followers. 

 FREE BOOTS!!!!

If that doesn’t make your heart race like seeing a cowboy bending over a branding fire, I don’t know what will…

FREE BOOTS FROM ROCKY!!

Sorry, I don’t get to use that phrase very often. Had to do it again.

Anyway, all you have to do to get in the running for the prize is leave me a comment with a story involving your favorite pair of boots. Now ladies and gentlemen, I know you’re not all out there donning cowboy boots, so that’s not the rule.

They can be rubber boots, shit-kickers, snow boots, hunting boots, hiking boots, knee-high dancing boots or the ones that got away for all I care, just tell me why you love them or why the memory is so sweet and I will put your name in the hat for a free pair of your choice from Rocky.

Now Rocky sells outdoor, duty, work and western boots, so there’s truly something for everyone here.

Me? I’ve got my eyes on these babies.

Anyway..here’s how to enter.

  • Tell me about your favorite boots in the comments on This Blog Post Right Here
  • Or leave your story as a comment at facebook.com/veederranch
  • And since we’re having so much fun here, I’d love to see some photos! Tweet or Instagram your favorite boots shots using #rockybootstories. These entries will be counted toward the free boot drawing too!You can find me on both Instagram and Twitter as @VeederranchThen head over and show Rocky Boots some love!
  • Facebook.com/rockygear
  • Twitter: @rockygear
  • Instagram @rockyboot

    Rocky Logo_PrimaryThe drawing will be held and announced next Wednesday where I will feature some of my favorite photos and stories right here on the old bloggity blog!

    This is fun stuff folks! Can’t wait to hear (or see) where your boots have taken you!