Monday, January 5, 2009

Sisterhood of The Traveling Oxfords

About eight years ago I was in an antique mall doing what I do, when I was drawn all the way across the room to a pair of little blue and white oxford shoes. I picked them up, and looking over them carefully took note of the broken shoe strings still tied tight, the smoothness of the soles, where the color had been worn off, yet still unbendable and sturdy as the day they were made.

Tears sprung to my eyes, much to my surprise. What the heck?!

I scooped them up, paid my two dollars and seventy-five cents for them and took them back to the shop.

Alicia had been working for me at the time and I pulled them out to show her. Her eyes watered up immediatley. What is going on here?

Then there was Lana. "Lana, look what I found..." Yep, water works. Do I dare mention Shaun and Julie? All of us somehow so moved by those little shoes with not one word exchanged.

Those shoes have been in the shop ever since with a "NFS" tag on the bottom (not for sale). I play a little game in the since that I move them around from time to time and more than a few of my friends and customers always spend time looking for them. Why this pleases me so much, I can't explain.

I've come across childrens shoes time and time again. I've seen more than my fair share of antique childrens stuff and more stuff.

There is something about these shoes... so small and worn that they had plenty of owners as no child could wear them for long. Alicia remembers wearing shoes just like them and swinging them back and forth under her school chair. I wore shoes just like them when I was only three years old and disticntly remember loathing them as I preferred my cow girl boots. Cheerlearders wore them back in the day.

What is it? I think these shoes may remind us of a time when we didn't have to worry so much about life and grown up things... Who was coming over to play today? How high can I go in that swing? Please let me spend one more week at my grandparents house! Somehow breakfast, lunch and dinner appeared on the table. Twenty five cents to spend on candy that would last a week.
Could it be the babies we were raising weren't babies anymore?

While I do love my life today, what I wouldn't give to spend even the smallest moment absolutely carefree... no worries.

Those are the shoes in the picture. My friend Kay McKinley took the picture last week with the coat, cap and leggings that I just found. Those are for sale, the shoes however are tucked away in the shop still with the NFS tag in place.

Come by any time and hunt for them.




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