I’m catching up a bit with my One Little Word notebook. I decided my entry for June would be a photo story on my footwear and how it relates to the “delights” of this season.
My slippers were a Christmas present a few years ago. The soles are wearing thin and I would like to replace them but the sheepskin in the toes is still fluffy so I will make due for a while longer. At home, I usually have my slippers on. When July comes and it finally gets hot enough for me to enjoy the coolness of tile on my tender arches, I forgo my slippers and begin the summer task of toughening up my feet for pavement and beach walks. But every morning I pop on my old slippers to take the dog out for her morning constitutional and they are the last thing I kick off before plopping into bed at night. My slippers bookend the day for my tootsies.
The boots were a luxury purchase for me a while back. They are lined with sheepskin and come up to mid-calf. The first heavy rains of autumn have me digging in the hall closet for them. I pull them on over my sweats for walking to the field with Sasha in the morning and then leave them standing by the closet door where they remain ready for little jaunts the rest of fall and winter. It isn’t until a measurable snow fall that my boots get christened with a real seasonal walk, the soles becoming caked with mud and debris. When the spring rains subside, I toss them back into the closet as though removing them from the hallway will propel me more forcefully into a warmer and dryer season.
Sandals and sneakers become my shoes of choice in late spring. It is with childlike joy that I dig them out in late spring or whenever it becomes warm enough that I am reaching for skirts and Capri pants. Real summer weather banishes my work and closed-toe shoes to the bedroom closet. Parked like school buses, they will remain out of the way until the beginning of the school year. All season long I alternate between sandals and my walking shoes, depending on whether it is town or country that beckons. In between outings, I’ve usually kicked the shoes to the edge of the doorway by the dining room where they catch at the corner like flotsam from the tide on a harbor buoy.
There are two kinds of footwear I keep in my car ready for a spur-of-the-moment adventure: hiking shoes and flip flops. This way I can heed the prick of a wild burr on whatever journey I am on – stopping by a shoreline for a quick photo, hiking up a little hillside to see the falls I think might be there, or the decision to shed shoes altogether and slip on flip flops when my feet get dirty or hot or both – and the way home is long.