It Takes Courage

The hailstorm that is called my family just left for the day. Husband driving the boys to high school. 8:16 AM, only 16 minutes over schedule. Not too bad for a Monday. My dog, Checkers, stands at attention following my every movement amidst the morning chaos. It partly looked like this:

1son walked up to me, cheerier than usual, asking if I thought his new shoes he just bought yesterday are too big. Given the fact that a pair of socks could be rolled up and stuffed in the toe box, I answered yes. His father tried to tell him that while at the store, but he insisted these were fine. Now guess who has been awarded the task of swapping the shoes that he just HAS to wear to a concert tonight? Thus the buttering up and kind words. With his temperament though, I take what kindness I can get, and if an unscheduled trip to the mall is part of that, so be it. It’s not the end of the world. He’ll see that I’m not an ogre, and I might even get another hug from the 16-year-old man cub. I guess I can be bought. Speaking of—

I bought a small oscillating fan at the close of the summer season to use in the kitchen. I prefer to have a little air moving nearby instead of turning down the air conditioning, which I consider wasteful. No sense in chilling the entire house when I’m sitting in one area.

Checkers has not been a fan of the fan. When I first plugged it in, he relocated. This morning my husband had plugged his laptop into the power outlet next to mine, leaving the fan cord laying on the floor. I had to find another wall if I wanted the fan turned on, which I did. So I moved the fan to the corner behind my chair and positioned it where it would blow out into the room hitting my legs under the table with every turn. The fan actually decided its best location as it scooted across the wood floor positioning itself out from where I’d put it. I’m pretty sure I heard it say, “Lady, I was hitting the furniture there. Are you having depth perception problems?” I suppose fans know best.

Checkers, who could usually pass for my footstool also relocated. He wanted nothing to do with the fan being nearby, especially a walking, talking one.

However, the distance between us was too great for my dog—six feet and all. I could see him don his coat of courage as stared down the fan and approached it head on. He must lie down near me; he must be my protector, my companion, my footstool. He edged his way up, turned his back to the fan and plopped down. Though still skeptical, in anticipation of the fan scooting across the floor again, the dog’s eyes remained on the little white robot that turns its head from side to side blowing into his fur with each sweep. Checkers would have to endure the agony if he were to be by my side.

My dog is so brave. He confronted his fear and found that it wasn’t so bad after all. Someone once told me: Do what you fear, and then you won’t fear what you do. Now if only I can follow my dog’s courageous example as I go about being the mother of teenage sons and trekking to the dreaded mall to swap out those shoes.

Boogie Shoes?

It’s that between-season time of the year when wearing certain colors would be taboo to a proper Southern lady, but cooler morning temperatures call for a change in dressing habits. After months of torrid days, the chill in the air is most welcome. Not quite packing away those summer shorts and tee shirts yet but having the opportunity to switch to 3/4-length sleeves, capris, and maybe a vest almost qualifies as fun. Afternoon temps here in the sunny South will most likely mean a change of clothes back to the shorter versions, but at least I’ve had a taste of something different for a half-day reprieve. Too soon for long pants and jackets, I’ll gladly take it one step at a time. Plus, I really like this new vest I picked up on sale recently.

That leaves the question of shoes though. What do we do with our peds? Sandals will be fine after lunch, but if we wore them in the morning, the little piggies would have to change their tune to “brrr brrr brrr” all the way home. Too soon for boots and not wanting to go the athletic route with sports shoes with my capris, I scanned the clear shoeboxes lined up on the closet shelves.

There it was. Tan. The perfect between-times color. Not too light, not too dark. Neutral. Like Switzerland. I pulled down a box that obviously had been stowed up there for over a year and found two pairs crammed inside. One was too dressy; the other would do. I had to laugh though. They were clearly not my normal style, something of a flat huarache sling back. They look like something a little old lady would wear. I’m far from little, resist being old, and strive to be a lady, so I settled on the shoes for the day.

As I garnered my props to write while sitting in a rocking chair outside the library awaiting it to open, I had to laugh again when I looked down and saw my dearly-departed mother’s feet at the end of my legs. These shoes look exactly like some she would have worn. Though they may not be my favorite pair, they work for now in this between-season, but the best part of all is that it brought my sweet mother’s memory front and center and made me smile. Now if only I could dance as well as she did.