This is who I dream of being when I'm at the farm and fleet
"At the farm and fleet, I’m a woman who wears an apron and shoes her own horses," columnist Jessie Veeder writes
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — One of the most worthless things on the planet are rubber boots with holes in both.
I own a pair, and, well, until I get a new pair, I can’t throw them away. It makes no sense, I know.
But it gives me a good excuse to go to a farm and fleet store (really, I’ll take any excuse to go to a farm and fleet store).
Any farm and fleet store there is, I don’t care — Runnings, Tractor Supply, Fleet Farm — there’s just something about the racks of work gloves, the spring seeds, the paint, the plethora of barn jackets, long underwear, dog kennels, tack and brushes, fly spray, heat lamps, medicine, fencing supplies, tools, generators, extension cords, lawn furniture, and toy farm animals that make me feel like anything’s possible.
I could spend hours browsing and dreaming of a perfectly organized tack room, or a summer spent in a light, long-sleeved snap shirt and this cute Carhartt cap right here.
In a farm and fleet store, I become another woman in my head. The kind of woman who would raise chickens in a coop built with all these supplies and tools. Look at all these supplies and tools!
At the farm and fleet, I’m the kind of woman who would raise and feed those chickens to collect farm-fresh eggs for farm-fresh omelets on any old regular weekday morning.
I am the kind of woman who could butcher one of those chickens to fill our freezer and then take it out to whip up a batch of delicious homemade noodle soup or chicken and dumplings if we happen to have unexpected company.
At the farm and fleet, I’m a woman who wears an apron and shoes her own horses.
At the farm and fleet, my horses become something better, too. Better groomed. No burs. Never even saw one in their life, because he exists in our perfectly weather-proof stable and I bought all the weed-control supplies. And their hair shines like the sun because, well, Show Sheen! At the farm and fleet, I’m the kind of woman who buys it by the barrel.
That and fancy tack. The kind with silver on it. Because, well, at the farm and fleet, only the best for my horses with the Fabio hair.
And at the farm and fleet, I am a redecorator. A barn painter. A farmer with a garden that could feed the neighborhood.
And I can everything. Like meat and beets and corn and carrots. Because at the farm and fleet, you can buy a book about that and you believe you’ll actually read it.
And when I’m done reading and canning, I will train my dog to herd the cattle into a nice group and load them up into the stock trailer on command. Because there’s a book for that at the farm and fleet, too.
Then I’ll buy myself a nice pair of leather gloves, because a woman needs a good pair that fits for all the fences I’ll be fixing … for all the weeds I’ll be killing … for all the dirt that needs tilling and the piglets I’ll be raising … and the mud I’ll be slopping around in this spring …
Because a woman like me, well, she … oh yeah … she needs new rubber boots.
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Greetings from the ranch in western North Dakota and thank you so much for reading. If you're interested in more stories and reflections on rural living, its characters, heartbreaks, triumphs, absurdity and what it means to live, love and parent in the middle of nowhere, check out more of my Coming Home columns below. As always, I love to hear from you! Get in touch at email@example.com.