Old shoes and a long ago Christmas . . !


NOW, I’m not one to panic over small sounds coming out of nowhere, but these here voices were coming from boots and even a pair of shoes in my room, “Bob, write about us today please!”

You don’t disobey shoes and boots considering they can bite, so it’s shoes and boots today, and why not, there’s lots about them I’d like to say.

Like two years ago in the bitter snow of Chicago, I saw the snow outside and wore my worst pair of shoes, and then stepped into a mall, and felt like a tramp or some vagabond; bitter snow or cold outside, the shoes worn by others were good, fancy ones and as I looked at my own old pair, I realized that whatever the weather outside, I needed to put my best foot forward, suited and booted and looking fighting fit! Or the time, I looked at the pair of canvas shoes that lay among my father’s belongings after his death; I saw a splash of fresh paint on the shoe.

My father had been an artist in New York, and for executing some of his work, he himself, quite often climbed a small ladder, due to which some paint must have fallen as he climbed, holding paint tin and brush. That shoe lay by my bed for many years, reminding me it was never too late to work! ‘Keep going Bob!” was what dad’s shoe always said to me.

And then the time when a friend of mine, who I’d helped in his time of need, and when I say need, it was much he needed, and one day, while sitting with him, he handed me a pair of old boots, “This doesn’t fit me!” he said, “I think it’s your size, take it!”

I looked at the pair of old, scratched, worn out pieces of leather, and was about to refuse in righteous indignation when I realized he was reciprocating my own gesture of giving, from his meagre bounty.

I took the shoes, tried them on, and wore them, always reminding myself that even the less fortunate had a pride and dignity you had to keep alive for them! I look down at the floor, and swear I can see my shoes and boots grinning at each other, “Lots of memories Bob?”

“Yes!” I whisper, but there’s one memory that stands out and that was the time when I was dead broke, it was around Christmas many years back when I was struggling to build a business, and I’d looked at a pair of new shoes through a shop window, “No money Lord!” I whispered.

That evening my brother came home. I opened the gift he left behind, it was the same pair of shoes I’d seen at the window! “I’ll provide them Bob!” I seemed to have heard a whisper from above and that’s what He’s done every day of my life..!