Priorities change. That point was recently driven home for me when I needed a pair of gloves.
Five years ago, if I'd said that I needed a pair of gloves, what I would have meant was that I wanted to buy a stylish pair of knitted Isotoners to complement either my all-weather trench or my serious winter coat - a long, down-filled wrap in which I resemble a chocolate version of the Stay Puft marshallow man. It's not too flattering, but in an Iowa winter, fashion must sometimes be slightly sacrificed in favor of survival.
Still, no matter how poofy my silhouette, I always wanted Isotoner gloves. These lovelies stretch enough to be comfortable and are available with a knitted lining. They are not as warm as double-knitted mittens, but they keep your fingers from freezing solidly while you are waiting for your car to warm up.
Back in the day, I had black Isotoners, dark blue Isotoners, taupe Isotoners, dark brown Isotoners, black Isotoners with taupe trim and an outrageous leopard print pair of Isotoners.
This year, I didn't just want a pair of gloves, I needed a pair of gloves. But Isotoners weren't on my shopping list.
Having recently expanded my menagerie to include three of the most handsome Katahdin sheep in North America, I found myself involved in a number of projects to improve the quality of their lives.
First, there was the removal of two woven-wire fences around a pasture. It seems the previous landowner had found it more convenient to simply staple another fence to the existing posts without first removing the scrunched down rusty wire fence that preceded it. It's not that hard to pull out woven wire fences, if you have an endloader and some chains.
Then, there was the installation of dozens of new fence posts and the stretching of hundreds of feet of new woven wire. Again, it's not a job that requires much more than a tractor with an auger, along with a tamper, as well as said tractor with a come-along.
Somebody - me, as a matter of fact - also had to clean the previous owners' leftover junk, broken glass and nail-studded pieces of lumber out of the unused chicken coop that was to become a sheep shed.
In addition, that same person had to help unload the first 20 bales of hay off a wagon and into a winter storage area.
Isotoners simply wouldn't do.
Luckily, I managed to snap up the last pair of cowhide, thermal-lined, size small ladies gloves in stock at Shoppers Supply.
I don't think the sheep appreciate the sturdy functionality of my new gloves, and the Kinco gloves won't be appropriate when I attend an upcoming holiday party with other members of The Messenger's editorial board at Terrace Hill, but I couldn't be happier with the purchase.
Speaking of the Terrace Hill party, I suspect my newest black boots - a pair of insulated Mucks - probably aren't the right fashion choice either.
Barbara Wallace Hughes is managing editor of The Messenger.