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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Saying Goodbye to The Best Shoes I’ve Ever Owned

Please allow me to be nostalgic for a moment. On Tuesday afternoon I was excited to mow my lawn for the first time this year. The first cut of the year is hardly as fun as I imagine it will be in the depressing winter. It’s inevitably soggy, the mower acts up, and I usually don’t have enough gas to finish the job.

Tuesday was just so. As I was finishing the job, though, I noticed that a piece of the sole of the shoes I wear to do yard-work had come off, giving me a very uncomfortable limp. The sole was irreparable, so it was time to discard this ratty, muddy pair of sneakers.

As I prepared to toss them, though, I remembered how much of my life’s journey had been covered in that pair of New Balance shoes. I purchased them in 2004, just before I left home for the last time to attend seminary at Baylor University. Since then I’ve been married, welcomed a daughter, and now eagerly await the birth of a second daughter. All the while those shoes have been with me.

At some point (probably 8 years ago or so) I stopped wearing them for anything but outdoor work. In 2008 I was wearing them when I foolishly allowed a car that I was working on to fall onto my foot. I was trapped with my left foot stuck between the rotor and the concrete of my driveway. Thanks to this same pair of shoes, I escaped that event with minimal injuries.  Even now I have a long series of scars to remind me just how bad that night could have been.

These shoes were nothing special, but they were with me through some pretty big life events. They were there in moments of peace and moments of horror. I know for sure that they will easily be replaced, especially since the grass is still growing in Mississippi. Next week when I lace up a different pair and gas up the mower, though, I’ll certainly miss them.

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