Here’s a picture of myself that I don’t hate too much. But don’t look at me. Look at my shoes.
My pink and black sneakers probably cost less than $30 when I bought them from Payless four years ago. Payless was a godsend to those of us with feet so wide you would think we could water ski without the skis. These are shoes I still wear when I walk laps at our local park or trek through the Southern towns we visit.
I probably wouldn’t think twice about my shoes except someone chided me for still wearing them. It made me think about all the places those shoes have taken me. These are the shoes I had on when I finally got to stand on the stage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. I tried to “climb” a mountain in these shoes while in Highlands, N.C.
I walked through the beautiful Bryson City, N.C. downtown area wearing these shoes. I “talked” to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt while wearing these shoes on Georgia’s Pine Mountain.
I have gained and lost about 30 pounds a few times since I started traveling through the South with my family. I like t-shirts and denim shorts or skorts and I have been through a few of them. I don’t look like a fashion model in my photos. I sometimes wear cheap clothes, too. But while my clothing size has fluctuated, my shoe size has not changed.
Now, these are not the only cheap shoes I am wearing out on our journeys. I am still holding on to a pair of black ankle boots I probably got at some low-price mall store five years ago. I have purchased a new pair that probably cost twice what I paid for those. But they just don’t feel right. Those old black boots are my winter “go-to’s.” They have taken me from the shores of Lake Allatoona to Florida, where I stood next to an astronaut, or at least a uniform worn by one. And I have spent many happy times relaxing with Steve wearing those little boots.
Unless Payless opens up again, I am going to have a love-hate relationship with shoes–mostly hate. If you are a woman whose feet are twice as wide as her ankles, you get it. Wide-width shoes are hard to find.
So I will keep walking in the cheap shoes, the flip-flops, the boots and maybe even some high heels as we journey through the South. These cheap shoes were made for walking. And so am I. I hope you will join us on our travels as we share stories about interesting people and places.
And please overlook my cheap shoes.