Sunday, February 27, 2011

coveralls ain't sexy

I love country music. It expresses my feelings when I can’t find the right words. It stands for strength and courage and deep family bonds. Faith in God and belief in His word are at its core. It’s hot, it’s loud, and it’s brash…soft, slow and tender. It’s just part of who I am.

My relationship with country music goes back to my childhood. The only radio station we could get when I was small was an AM country station that went off the air at sundown. The radio host was “the TomCat” Reeder up on the Breezy Knoll. When Tom and I married and bought our house in the county, we were up the road from the radio station. Every time you picked up the phone to make a call, you heard country music (if, of course, it was before sundown). Honestly, the radio signal somehow bled over onto the phone line. I believe the station is gone now. Just another faded rural American memory…it may be gone, but not forgotten.

Despite my lifelong love of country music, I have a serious gripe. WHY are country men mentioned in song and you never hear of country women? I mean, Kenny Chesney sings about a woman thinking his tractor is sexy, Trace Atkins croons about how ladies like country boys….and farmer tans….and there are more. Is that fair? Am I being sexist for asking the question?

It occurred to me the other day, that I will never hear a song about me..or my coveralls…and particularly not me IN my coveralls. Nope, never. But, I love my coveralls. They keep me warm; my clothes clean….and on rainy or snowy days…keep my underwear mercifully dry. Oh, dear…I suppose you really didn’t need THAT piece of information. However, after feeding 20 to 50 sheep on a rainy day, one comes to value these things.

I discovered coveralls years ago, and coveralls that fit about 3 or 4 years ago. I didn’t realize that I was short enough to wear kids’ coveralls, but they are SO much better, and don’t drag in the mud (well, not so much). I have pockets for everything: my phone, my Leatherman, my MP3 player, my gloves, a headband,a couple of dog cookies, my rubber exam gloves ….oh, and hey, there’s that pair of pliers I thought were lost!

My coveralls keep my clothes clean (well, clean-er, it's a relative term). They are covered with all kinds of animal fluids, mud, and antiseptic spray, a little bit of blue-coat, maybe some wormer, and occasionally some dog food. I fit right in with the barn inhabitants!

As a matter of fact, I was in the barn the other night, just kinda hangin’ out. I love to watch the interactions of all the animals. As a shepherd, this is important work….the checking for health and well-being. Besides, it’s fun. While I was standing there, lambs began to come closer and closer. I waited to see what would happen. They got close enough to sniff me. I waited. They sniffed some more and began chewing on my coveralls. Then, they bunted me….just like they would their mothers in order to get something to eat.

Hmmm, maybe I know why country women (at least this country woman) never make it into song….

Maybe I seriously need to wash the coveralls!

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