Today in My History
16 April 2020
I recently came across a PBS show called Two for the Road. Husband and wife Nik and Dusty, who quit their jobs, sold their home and all of their "stuff" and decided to spend their lives traveling around the world and having adventures.
This may have started as a podcast, but now there are half hour videos on PBS. I got hooked because the first show I saw was from Northern Ireland and I knew that surely t here was a Republic of Ireland video and if I continued watching I would eventually see it (which I did 2 weeks ago). But all of their travels are fascinating. With their cell phones and good camera they just record all the things that they are seeing and doing.
Today's segment was from Iceland, a country I knew little about, but which I learned from this half hour was a simply gorgeous country. If you like waterfalls, glaciers and volcanoes, this is definitely the vacation spot for you!
Most of the 30 minutes was scenery, but they went into a small museum in Reykjavik that had what was kind of like a collection of blogs on display, but nothing about the internet. There were lots and lots of hand written journals attached to the wall, as well as some reflections on objects that were important to someone and the reason why it was important.
Several of the objects were shoes. Shoes that were important to someone for themselves, or because they reminded them of their mother...or their grandfather or someone else. It was amazing how interesting these simple little displays were.
But looking at the stores of the shoes reminded me of my mother. My mother loved shoes. When she was working for Hospice of Marin's thrift shop she loved being able to buy fancy shoes for a pittance. We are SO different!
She told me often about her childhood. They were a big family with not a lot of money. they lived on a ranch and lots of their clothes were hand me downs. When she was in school, there was a girl who had a pair of patent leather shoes. My mother loved them and all she wanted was a pair of patent leather shoes. But her family could not afford them. I cannot count the number of times that she told me how much she loved those shoes and how jealous she was because this classmate had those shoes.
Then the school put on a play and she needed to wear patent leather shoes for the play, so she got a pair and she was so incredibly happy.
Throughout my life, I remember how fancy her shoes were and when she could buy them cheaply from Hodge Podge, she bought new shoes every week or so. When I found out about Imelda Marcos, it made me think of my mother.
It must have been a huge disappointment for her to have me as a daughter. As a small child I hated going to get shoes. I cried whenever she took me into a shoe store. I still remember that at that time they x-rayed your feet (sounds horrendous today!) to get the right fit.
Shoes were never comfortable until they were thoroughly broken in, at which time she was ready to buy me new shoes. And yes, I had a lot of patent leather shoes.
As I got to be an adult, I learned to walk in high heels, and hated it. I never bought shoes because they were comfortable, because they never were comfortable. They always hurt. I remember one time buying shoes in Berkeley--They were Old Maine Trotters and looked something like this.
When I exclaimed "They fit!!!" the shoe salesman looked at me and said "Madam, Old Main Trotters always fit." I bought them.
I needed some good shoes to go to a wedding when I was pregnant with one of the kids one time. I went to a big mall, determined I was not going to leave until I found a pair of shoes. I went into every shoe store in the mall. I think I was there for 3 or 4 hours, going from store to store. I finally found a pair of red shoes that kinda sorta fit and a didn't hate them. I wore them for years because they kinda sorta fit and I didn't have to go and buy new "good" shoes. (Walt has saved thousands of dollars over the years because I never shop for shoes!)
It took awhile before I felt comfortable in Birkenstocks, but now that's all I wear. Even in the rain, I wear Birkenstocks. When we moved my mother to Davis, she wasn't interested in shoes at all. By the time she left Atria, she had lost all of the shoes that I brought to Davis for her. Now she mostly wears slippers and I don't think she has any interest in shoes whatsoever.
It's hard to believe, since shoes were such a huge part of her life for most of her life.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Tom and family out for a daily walk
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This is entry #7339