Traveling Shoes

1 July 2017, Pearl City, Hawaii (Oahu), 9:28 Hawaii Time

It was another great day on Oahu yesterday.  We went to the place where the land basically ends, falling off into the ocean and the majesty of the Pacific.  I was wearing, as usual, my traveling shoes, which have been with me nearly everywhere we have been for the past 8 years or so.  This trip, they are probably making their last stand, as the side completely ripped out of them while I was walking on the sand yesterday morning.  I’m very sad, as these shoes have been with me for good, worse, and everything in between.

These shoes helped me get through law school.  They were there when I studied for the bar exam that cooler-than-normal summer in Arkansas about 4 years ago.  They have walked the streets of Paris, the beaches in Marseilles and Sicily, the beaches of California, Florida, and New Orleans, as well as many in Hawaii.  They got me about 5 miles on a gravel-topped Tahiti road in pouring rain when we didn’t have a rental car and had to walk to get a cab to go to the airport to get a car.  They have been on the streets of Curaçao when I really thought I was going crazy from law school, a stressful job, and unruly teenagers still at home.  They are the peace in times of a great storm in my life, and I love them dearly.  Just putting them on makes my anxiety level decrease to nearly nothing, although that may be due to the fact that I rarely wear them when I’m not on vacation.  They are easy-on, easy-off, great for going through the TSA pat-down at the airport.  They are bedraggled, worn, and torn, but they are my rock.  Unfortunately, I believe the road has come to an end for me and my shoes.  The only question is what to do with them.  Keep them, hidden in a box in the closet, which just seems wrong.  They arn’t meant to be boxed up.  I could never take them to the Goodwill.  No one else would understand their worth.  I have though about tossing them into the sea, but I don’t want to get in trouble for littering.  I have thought about burning them on a pyre, kind of like the Vikings and their dead, then sending them out on a raft into the ocean.  It just seems like the ocean is where they belong, much like me when my time is up.

Yesterday, I noticed that my right foot had a lot more sand on it than my left.  That’s when I realized that the shoe had a big tear in the side.  They are Rocket Dogs, my favorite brand of shoes.  They don’t make this particular shoe anymore.  I think when I bought them they were on clearance.  Not the most attractive or feminine shoes in the world, but oh I love them so!

So, as I contemplate what to do with them now that they have served their time, and served it well, I am sad and happy at the same time.  Sad because i feel like I am losing a friend and travel companion.  Happy because I think back to all of the adventures we have been on throughout the years, knowing that these adventures and a $10 pair of shoes are more important to me than any “things” I might have purchased in my lifetime.  I have the memories in my head, and the photos in my computer (and on Google photos!), and soon I will have to find a replacement for the very best traveling shoes that any girl could ever wish for.  

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