This old boot belongs to my dad (Eben) and tells a story of its own.  On a previous visit home, my Mom and I cleaned up some of my dad’s old boots and spray painted them.  I painted black and red for a unique old look, and the worn seams added extra character and lines.  My mom and I had fun collecting rocks to add to the bottom of the boot for draining.  We added whimsical flowers for a nice final touch.  We made several boots that hot afternoon, and I gave one to my sister for her birthday.  My sister told me she thinks more often about dad and memories back home when she looks at her boot.

This boot tells a story about my dad, and is a tribute to him.  Before the paint and flowers it was just an old boot.  It had manure on the bottom of the shoe, the shoelaces were torn and broken, and it should’ve found its place in the trash.  I wonder when the boot was brand new and shiny how many steps it walked with my dad’s hard work, passion, and dreams?  I wonder how many cows he fed, how many crops he planted, how many meetings he attended, and how many people he touched as he walked in these boots.  My parents started their life journey with absolutely nothing.  With tons of hard work, dedication to keep growing the business, they have made an impact in many lives.  My dad taught and helped both of the older brothers the skill of ranching and farming, and they now enjoy the freedom and hard work that comes with the occupation.  The trade has been also passed down to the oldest nephew.  Three generations of starting with dust/nothing.  Opportunity is what you make of it.  Some people are fortunate to have a mentor like my dad to help them along the way…teach them the way to go, and show them what to do.  In the end, they are the ones that determine if they want to continue to grow the crops to feed to the cattle, work long hard hours, but reap the many rewards that come from a family business that my parents created from nothing.

My parents have always been there for our family, and I can only imagine what it must have been like to walk in my dad’s shoes.   My boot will be a forever keepsake for my family, and I will look forward to planting new flowers in it each Spring.  Thank you dad for all your hard work, your guidance, your love, and your support for our entire family.  You have made such a positive difference in so many lives, and I’m proud to say I’m your daughter…

 Psalm 103:13–14 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.