Thursday, January 18, 2024

How can something so small bring up such a good memory?


I'm always amazed how small things can trigger big memories. This morning, while dressing, I pulled out a pair of shoes I'd recently purchased. When I saw them on sale, I knew I had to get them. They were my favorite brand, Alegrias. They're unique shoes made to shift the majority of your weight backward, so it's distributed more on the heel than the ball of the foot. They make standing for long hours very tolerable. I think that's one reason nurses love them so much. 

After getting the shoes on, I walked across the floor to my dresser. As I did, my foot slipped, and I realized these shoes didn't have as much traction as my other Alegrias did. Maybe that's why they were on sale. In that instant, my mind traveled back to the early 70s. 

I'd just begun working for J C Penney. I was working the Junior's department; the place women and teens would shop for trendy clothes. I'd never much cared about clothes except for their comfort factor, but when I started being surrounded by clothing on a daily basis, I started to notice the trends. 

Back then, a lot of my friends from school were getting wooden clogs. They were a popular item that year and of course, I wanted some, too. Since I was working, I knew I could take money from my measly paycheck and buy a pair. If I really wanted them, I'd have to do that because my parents couldn't afford that extra expense. 

I weighed the pros and cons and decided they were worth the $11 I'd have to shell out. (That was a lot back then. My check was only $70 every 2 weeks!)

I bought the shoes and brought them home. Proudly, I strutted across our living room floor in them to show my parents. As I went to take another step, my foot went sliding out from under me and I did my first ever split! I was not only embarrassed, but it hurt. Daddy told me to let him see my shoes. I was afraid he was upset at me buying them, but that wasn't the case. He wanted to see why I had slid in them. 

Holding one of the clogs upside down in his hands, he inspected it. There was rubber on the bottom of the shoes, but it was a very thin layer, and it was smooth. Daddy said that was the problem. 

Taking them out to our garage, he dug in his toolbox for a large nail. As I watched, I wondered what in the world he was going to do. Next, he took his cigarette lighter and popped it into full flame. Holding the nail over it, I watched as the tip got red hot. Then, he took the nail and moved it along the sole of my shoe creating a deep ridge line. He did that over and over again, creating horizontal and vertical ridges. When he was done, he handed the shoes back to me and said, "TA DAH!" (That was his favorite expression for completing something and being pleased with it.)

I was shocked! My brand-new shoes had been branded forever... Holding my head down, I carried my shoes to my room and cried. But then, as I rubbed my fingers across the ridges, I was thankful. My Daddy had cared enough about my health to do what he could to keep me from slipping and breaking my neck. 

The next day at work, as I walked across the slick floors of the department store, I smiled. My Daddy was a smart guy! Who would have thought to have done what he did? 

Now shoes often come nonslip soles. Those are so nice and uniform, done by machines, but I would much rather have the ones my Daddy made. They weren't perfectly straight, but they were evidence of his love and care for me. That's what mattered most. 

Oh, how I wish he was still alive. He'd be surprised to see the various types of shoes people wear today and he'd be really impressed with the condition of the soles, too. 

I know another Father who's concerned about souls, (not soles as in shoes) - our Heavenly Father. And guess what, He's also an engraver. His Word tells us He's engraved us on the palms of His hands. Now that's something to think about. 

"Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me." Isaiah 49:16

No comments:

If it ain't one thing, it's another!

  Trying to smile through the pain I've been AWOL for a while now, so this post will more than likely be longer than most. I don't e...