In the movie "Promised Land", there is a scene in which the main character, a corporate type, has been sent from New York to a small farming town to lease the land for gas drilling (played by Matt Damon). After he arrives in town, he puts on his boots to go visit a farmer and make his proposition. The boots are old, and not much to look at, but they are something that he has owned since his early days in a small town in Iowa. In more ways than one, the boots are the only authentic thing about him.
It made me think of my old boots. When I was 14, my first winter in America was approaching, and my American mom took me to the store to get some winter boots. She, being a gentle soul, let me choose the one that I liked. When my American dad saw them, he said that they were fine work boots, but they had no insulation and would not really do for the winter. They were about ready to take them back, but I hemmed and hawed and said that I liked them and would be fine with them in the snow. And so they let me keep them.
And indeed we were fine together. With some bees wax, I made them waterproof and then took them on my little adventures: a week long hiking trip through the North Cascade Wilderness (where a bear tried to tear down the bag of food that we had hung from a tree), bucking bales on a hay farm (where I lasted only a single day, as the bales were 60+ pounds and I weighed barely twice as much), and oh so many fishing trips (where despite the loads of fish, we fried hot dogs for dinner).