Needful Extravagance

Work: day off, inadvertent.
Report: rinsed off his microwavable hot pads before reading the directions that say air dry 24 hours before using. Ah well, the blacksmith just left. Previous Horse had a rule that he got the day off after shoeing. Rodney isn’t shod and wasn’t going to work, but the spirit of the law lives on.

Ramblings: Wore the wrong pairs of shoes to the barn and had them pulled off by the mud, one after the other. I had an armload of hay that I didn’t want to drop in said mud, and my socks were already goners. So I squished up the hill in my socks, delivered the hay, came back, yanked the boots out of the mud, retired to a dry patch, and rearranged my footwear.

It got me thinking about having the right tools for the job. I was wearing unlaced work boots instead of my wonderful Wellies. Okay, they shouldn’t have been unlaced, but the point remains: they are ankle- rather than knee-height, leather rather than rubber, and possess convenient holes around the laces where a 1/2 inch more mud would have oozed in. I am as fond of my Red Wing boots as I am of the Hunter Wellies but as work boots rather than barn boots. I bought them when I was working on my feet all day, walking on concrete aisles. Not a job for sneakers or hiking boots. At the prompting of the store clerk (and may I say how rare and awesome it is to encounter knowledgeable clerks), I bought the full boot for ankle support rather than the shoe version. I thought they would be too hot in a southern summer. They are hot. Also comfortable, sturdy, and supportive. My knees stopped hurting.

In both cases, the boots are expensive. Many times more than similar-shaped versions at a category-killer store. But they last. And while they last, I can get on with my job or my barn work without worrying about my feet. If false economy ends up costing you money, then needful extravagance ends up saving you money.

A modern urban philosopher made the same point:
“Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

“But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.”

Captain Samuel Vimes in Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett [Victor Gollancz 1993], quoted from Good Reads.

Nor am I the only blogger to quote Sir Terry on the subject of economy: Finance Dad, Things that you shouldn’t buy cheap. My previous Pratchetting: The Weather Outside Is Frightful (for us)

What was your most recent needful extravagance?

Categories: Barn Life, Horses

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1 reply »

  1. I bought a huge bag of clearance yarn to crochet into a blanket while I watch T.V. at night. Even on clearance, the yarn was still expensive. I feel guilty for just watching T.V., though, and getting nothing else accomplished, so I convinced myself that I “needed” the yarn.

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