2/22/12

The Significantly Insignificant Things Post


Years ago, while sorting through my parents' belongings with my brother, small discoveries were made. My dad's shoes had holes in the soles with cardboard covering them. This, from a man who always prided himself on his dapper style of dress.

Dad circa 1953-4
It's from him (along with my mom) that we inherited our love of well-made leather shoes. If you want good foot health, leather soles are a must IMHO. They breathe and cushion your tootsies in a way no synthetic sole can.

Guess I'll never be a vegan. A good pair of classically styled, well-made leather  shoes...worth every penny. What I find interesting is that they were ahead of their time in that it's certainly more earth-friendly to buy quality and then preserve it with minimal waste (re-heeling and resoling), rather than just tossing used shoes out and buying more.

We were taught a few cardinal rules of proper shoe care:
     -one never wore the rubber part of the heels down to the actual shoe heel, you had them reheeled
     -if the soles wore through, you resoled them (not with a synthetic product)
     -you polished and buffed your shoes with shoe polish and a proper brush regularly

My parents were not rich but weren't lacking in money for the basics, so this little discovery shocked the heck out of us.

Why had this happened? How? When? Maybe as you hit a certain age, you just stop worrying about the details.

All I can say is that I'll never forget the look on my brother's face as he carried the shoes over to the bed where I was sorting other things. The look of shock and dismay was so intense. It was as if he were a child again and a parent had disappointed him. But now, he couldn't ask "why?"....


The problem is that this mentality doesn't explain my dad allowing the holes to go all the way through to his feet. One doesn't wait that long, because then the bed of the sole is ruined. On top of that, there's the covering of the holes with cardboard...makes no sense.


In mom's closet I'd discovered boxes of S and H Green Stamp books with the stamps all glued in place. What was she saving them for? I also found a gift type box filled with old red cancelled postage stamps from the early 1950's.

Again...why? It wasn't like these were in the spare room that she used for storage. These were in her day-to-day bedroom closet with things currently in use. Yet another question never to be answered.
S & H Green Stamp Books
Some things you simply can't prepare for. For example, let's just imagine what my mom's reaction would have been if I'd said (excuse me while I peel myself off the floor where I was rolling in fits of laughter at this thought) I wanted to go through her closet...the answer would have been a firm "no". The "don't ever go there again" would have been implicit.

But there's so much else that you could think of in the way of completing their histories and thus yours. It's information that will be forever lost to you. Never forget Mark Twain's words,  "...years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did...."

So if you're reading this, take a little time to record what you remember. Often, simple retelling of stories is the easiest way to do this. By doing this while you still have your family, they can help fill in the blanks!

A few months before my parents died, I was "home" and the three of us were sitting in their den. I asked them how they met. Mom became all shy and school girl-like. Dad looked off into a distance only he could see and after a pause, began telling the story. He'd glance every now and then at mom, in a way one looks at a another when seeing them as they had appeared so very long ago, in the very memory they were reliving.

It was truly magical and something one doesn't witness often. They seemed to see each other as they had in that moment so long ago. I'll never forget it. It was like being a witness to time suspended.

It's a romantic story that will be with me forever but would have vanished into the winds of eternity had I not taken time to ask. I'll share it with you, but in a future post. I'm going to go and be alone with the warmth of this memory for now.

I think I've written this before, but it deserves repeating,

Memories don't belong in drawers.
George Burns (1896 - 1996)

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4 Comments:

Blogger Joanne said...

It's amazing how incongruous people can be at times...true mysteries. I can't wait to hear the story of how your parents met. I love a good romance!

2/23/12, 5:22 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

That little story was a real gift...it'd be hard to fantasize one quite as fairytale-like and still have it actually occur in "real" life. Need to find a few missing photos to post with it.

2/23/12, 2:37 PM  
Anonymous BellaKarma said...

My grandparents were of the same generation as your parents, so your story sounds *very* familiar. I love reading your posts about your parents, by the way. :)

2/24/12, 10:48 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

It's funny, my parents had me late in life, so in some ways they feel like a cross between grandparents and parents. Glad you enjoy the stories!

2/24/12, 11:57 PM  

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