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Today I woke up at 630 am. I slept in. Looked at the thermostat. I was happy to see the wood/coal furnace was still keeping things warm, but I suspected it was low on wood.
I walked the 150 feet to the furnace outside my home and tossed five or six sticks on the fire.
sticks, noun, (stiks) — the term du jour for logs both split and yet to be split. Using this term is my daily exercise in pseudo-macho-self-deprecation. Did I just execute a four word triple hyphen?
The ground in front of furnace is caked with mud and ash.
Went back down to the house where Junior joined me. We walked down to the chickens and fed and watered them. The ground around the chicken tractor is muddy, icey and being that a coop cleaning is over due, well, you can figure it out.
I watered the chickens from water from our stream. The ground at the stream, as you would expect, is wet and muddy.
Back to the coop. No eggs yet, as the ladies like to like spend their mornings eating, gabbing and checking and pecking their BirdBook status updates. Back to the house through an icy (It’s December) and muddy (We recently laid about 170 feet of drainage pipes) yard.
Junior and I did all of this with our feet dry thanks to our muck boots. Muck boots are waterproof calf high rubber boots that slip on and off easily. Mine have been indispensable to life on the homestead. The easy on and off feature is a big plus, as it encourages me to take them off before I enter our house and go beyond the “mudroom”, the entry room where boots, coats and mud make their home. Leaving my boots and mud in the mudroom encourages my wife to withhold the “stinkeye of death”, the look reserved for those who track mud in the house.
Muck boots are a canary in the coal mine of life
If you’re reading this thinking, “What do I care about muck boots?” the problems isn’t the boots, but it might be how you’re living. Seriously. Nobody has muck boots to spend more time in the great indoors. They’re for living a life that’s integrated with comforts and pleasures of the inside and outside. There’s not much my sons can currently do to help me in my day job, but there are plenty of wingmen opportunities around the homestead. These “wingmen opportunities” necessitate muck boots.
And these opportunities aren’t busy work (commonly known today as “shovel ready jobs). They are real work (putting logs in the furnace, feeding the chickens) with real benefits (warmth and eggs). While sports, arts and crafts have an important place in a boys life, I’m not raising boys to eventually be bigger boys. I’m raising them to be men. Giving them a taste of real work with real benefits that they can do puts them on that path at an early age.
Everyone in our family over the age of two has muck boots. Josiah, age five months doesn’t… slacker.
Not only for them…
I like it, too. There’s much to be said for a variety of life that puts a man around a computer, shovel, business suit, egg basket, sales meetings, log splitter, conference calls and muck boots.
You have to love a boot with the word “chore” in its name. That, my brother, is a boot that knows its role.