Posts Tagged With: shoes

 
 

Ring Dings

It’s Gratituesday! When we first moved to Arizona we had very light, almost white carpet on the stairs just ten steps from the front door. The bedrooms and hallways also had the same impractical carpet. It was a no-brainer that we’d be one of those families. You know the ones. We became a family that didn’t wear shoes in the house. So right next to the front door a shoe pile grew.

I tried all sorts of ways to keep them organized and neat. Mostly, about once a week, everyone had to haul all their shoes to their bedroom closets and only leave one pair by the door.

Dirt Happens

The carpet still managed to get dirty.

The shoeless habit stuck with us. We’ve lived in four houses in eighteen years and shoes still come off and go on at the exit door. Not so much for the clean carpet, ours is dark beige now, but for the comfort and routine of it.

What does this have to do with gratitude today? I’m getting there.

Look closely at this photo of my wall by the front door.

photo 2-3 copy 18It just looks like a paint job needing repair I suppose. Or little pencil marks. We have dorky paint in this house. It was at one time a repossession by the bank and got a cheap paint job before we ended up living here.

This is the kind of paint that comes off if you take a damp sponge to it to wipe away fingerprints. Why do they even make that kind of paint?

Cheap Paint Happens

The only way to “clean” a wall in our house is to very carefully dab at a spot and hope the paint sticks. Otherwise there’s a can of touch-up paint I use sparingly to keep the fingerprints and such at bay.

But if you look at the wall photo I pointed out, those aren’t fingerprints. Nope. I’m not even sure what to call them. Dings? Nicks? Marks?

It took a bit of thinking but I figured out what they were and how they got there.

You see, every time MSH slips his feet into his shoes by the front door, he puts his left hand on the wall to steady himself. And often, if not always, his wedding band taps, dings, or touches the wall. Given the nature of the paint it invariably leaves a mark. There’s quite a collection of the dings in a small area.

Rather than painting over them in frustration, I’ve decided to leave them there for a while as a sweet reminder of MSH’s travels to and from our home.

Honestly, sometimes I’m glad when he leaves, but I’m also really glad that he always returns. When he’s traveled for work there were weeks and months when the departures happened often and arrivals were brief and coveted.

I see those marks as the adult version of sticky fingerprints, I suppose. Every once in a while things like that get cleaned up and taken care of. But in the meantime, I’ll enjoy the ring dings. I’ll count them as a blessing, since they’re really just evidence of MSH and the thirty plus years we’ve shared.

Strange, I know. But hey, paint is cheap.

Photo by Jeff Belmonte from Cuiabá, Brazil

Photo by Jeff Belmonte from Cuiabá, Brazil

 

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Got My New Shoes On

My cool cousin introduced me to this song. It’s pretty kicky. (Ha, notice the pun? Shoes-kicky?) I dare you not to feel like dancing while this song plays.

Some things in life elicit an automatic response. No thought required.

  • For me, a new pair of comfy shoes makes me want to dance.
  • Something fun to look forward to can kickstart my endorphins.
  • Breathing the scent of mountain air relaxes me all the way to the molecular level.
  • Those smile wrinkles at the edges of MSH’s eyes melt my heart.
  • Happy laughter makes me want to join in and laugh along.

Of course, not all automatic responses are good feelings.

  • a cop running into a store I’m just walking out of makes me want to run to my car
  • a baby crying makes my heart flip-flop
  • feeling cold and not able to warm up sets my nerves on edge
  • hearing someone yell at someone else skyrockets my blood pressure and discomfort level
  • a near miss in traffic instantly triples my heart rate
  • the phone ringing late at night or early in the morning sets off the panic system in me

Neither of those lists begin to touch the depth and breadth of possible autonomic responses we humans come programmed with.

English: Mountain Combat Boots

What I don’t get is why some people purposely expose themselves to those triggers. Haunted houses, for one small example. Why is the Sam Hill would anyone want to feel terrified for an extended length of time? I don’t get it.

Or jumping out of an airplane? Never, ever, not even for a million bucks. No way. I’d die of a heart attack on the way down if not the instant I leaned out of the plane. Can’t, won’t.

I’m glad some people can overcome natural responses. Firefighters for one. Police officers for another. Doctors, nurses, teachers.  (Okay, maybe I exaggerate with the teachers, but only a little. Have you been in a classroom lately?) Military people.

I suppose some people don’t have a reaction to the sight of blood and such. And some love the sound of shelling and gunfire. And it’s possible that danger just feels great, like a new pair of shoes maybe, to others. I can’t imagine it, but it’s possible, right? How else to explain people who take on risky, scary, nauseating, crazy jobs.

My new Naturalizers! Mmm, so comfy!

My new Naturalizers! Mmm, so comfy!

I just meant to write about how great my new shoes feel on my feet. Like a little hug, supportive, warm, snug, protective.

Who knew I’d end up being grateful for people who are okay with the uncomfortable, cold, lonely, not-so-safe, daring pairs of shoes or boots.

Well, why not? If you’re one of those people who make sure I’m safe  and can walk around protected in this crazy world, this “THANK YOU” is for you!

Categories: Gratitude, People, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Hot Pink Satin Heels

My mother wore hot pink satin heels. I kid you not.

That image has been in my mind the past few days and won’t go away. So I’ll give it my full attention and then set it free.

Why would Mom wear hot pink satin heels? Because the shoes matched the hot pink satin dress she wore. And that matched Dad’s hot pink tie and cummerbund.

Hot Pink Heels

The two of them danced in a performance group when I was young.

The hot pink outfit was my favorite. The waist of that dress cinched in tight to Mom’s tiny tummy and then flared out in a wide swoop of flowing fabric when she twirled. There was some crinoline or tulle underneath to keep it fluffed and full when she wasn’t spinning.

Oh how I loved it when they got dressed up and ready to go out dancing. Seems like Dad wore cuff links and smelled like Old Spice. He tried not to smile, but it crept onto his face anyway. Mom clipped on round hot pink earrings as the perfect touch to her bouffant flip. The soft silky smoothness of the pink satin felt decadent and mysterious, luscious and exciting. They both glowed with something besides the reflection of the nearly fluorescent color. Joy? Fun? Anticipation? Relief at getting away from us kids? A night out alone?

Adelaide ballroom dancing

Hearing the swish of her skirt and seeing the light in their eyes brought a sense of wonder and contentment with it. Why? I had no idea then. Now I know that those shared times, getting dressed up and going out together, were part of what got them through the tough days and often long nights of parenting and responsibility. Those brief moments of fun built a bridge over the difficulties of life.

Some days, when Mom was busy elsewhere in the house, I snuck into the closet and just let my hand run along the fabric as if I were petting a rare animal. I don’t remember ever trying on the shoes, although I can’t believe I didn’t. Wouldn’t you?

Somewhere, surely, there’s a photo or some 8mm film of the two of them dressed up and dancing. I’m making a mental note, and a written note, to see if I can find such sweet evidence of their younger dancing years together.

I learned early on to idolize, fantasize and dream of dancing as the most romantic of adventures. Little wonder that years later dancing swept me off my feet and into a whirling, silly, illogical relationship that became MSH.

Dad and Mom later joined a square dancing group. I’m sure they had every bit as much fun do-si-doeing and as they did waltzing.  But for me, nothing else carried the mystique of their hot pink satin nights.

Categories: Family, Memory Lane, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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