I leave for Wyoming in two months. Since I have been preparing for this adventure since the fall, this summer feels like the home stretch. I have taken 2 horseback riding lessons so far and I think my total time in the saddle amounts to about a half an hour. I have a few books on order that my spiritual director has recommended including The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues: Finding Our Way Home by Sandra Maitri and Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrilch. But really, I think the best advice I have gotten so far has been from my neighbor, who is an honest-to-goodness cowboy and former rodeo star. One of his rodeo stories inspired the name of my blog – although he is none the wiser about this fact. He has traveled extensively in Wyoming (or as he says “Y-O-min”), and had some definite opinions on exactly what I need for my trip . . .
“What are you plannin’ on wearin’ in Y-O-min?”“Well, I’m going to pack light. A couple of pairs of jeans, shirts, my boots, a sweater and I want a really good hat.”“Are you taking those New York City jeans you wear?”Actually, I think Old Navy is headquartered in California, but I didn’t think that would help. “Uhh . . . should I get some Levis?”Outraged: “Levis?! They’re worse than those NYC jeans. You get off the plane in Levis, they’ll know you’re not a cowboy. You need some Wranglers. Cowboy cut. Go to Jacksons uptown and get you some.”“OK.” I didn’t dare ask if Wrangler cowboy cuts came in petites. And even if they do, I doubt they will provide enough cowboy cred for anyone to think I’m the real thing.“Now, what’s your hat size?”“Honey, women haven’t known their hat size since Jackie Kennedy was in the White House.”“Your. Cowboy. Hat. Size.”Blushing: “Don’t know. I’ve never owned a cowboy hat. I’m from New Jersey, remember?”Gives me the you-poor-Yankee look that I know all too well. “You’re probably a 7 1/4. You want a Resistol. It’ll cost more, but you’ll have it for the rest of your life. Go to Jacksons uptown and get you one.”
Obviously, he operates under the assumption that the clothes make the man . . . or the woman. And actually, I have been to Jacksons. Once. My parents took me there for my 21st birthday to buy a pair of cowboy boots – and maybe that ups my cowboy cred somehow.
If you have any advice on horses, books, jeans, hats, boots or breathing at 9,000 feet above sea level, I’d love to hear it.