"You see, the most important time of my life there were no shoes."
Getting ready for our big adventure, I was so excited that I'd have not only some space in Mini (our travel trailer) for clothes/shoes but that we would have the whole of the back of our truck to fill up, as well. While packing light (yes, I did have this in mind!), I most definitely didn't pack as if I only had one suitcase that could easily fit in the overhead bin. And, so during those last few days of preparation, I would go down into our basement and empty bins to use on the trip (OK, our basement looks a little bit like we could be on featured on that TLC show, Hoarders: Buried Alive after emptying our storage space so there were plenty to choose from but I was able to find and not have to buy a number of bins). I carefully but happily packed one bin for cool weather clothes, one bin for warm weather clothes, one smaller bin for shoes and then put all my yoga/workout gear in my overflowing gym bag.
It wasn't until we were in Toledo visiting family and we re-packed the back of the truck based on what we seemed to need first as we pulled into a campground (you just can't really pack the truck right until you have been on the road and have experienced what you want/need first and foremost as you start to set up camp - we seem to like the ice maker, the anti-gravity chairs, the tables, and then the clothes/shoes because all the food is in the trailer)...anyway, it wasn't until that moment as I was moving and shuffling around generators, saws, hoses that I asked my husband, "Hey, where is my shoe bin?" "Shoe bin?" he looked surprised I was even asking. "Yea, that smaller bin that had my sandals, flip flops, and one nice pair of shoes in?" Well, it was no where to be found....nope, no box of shoes for Joy. Guess in the haste to hit the road last Wednesday morning (wow has that been 5 days ago!) the shoe bin was left at home (hopefully not in the yard?). At first I cheerfully posted on Facebook, "Oh, no problemo that I have only two pairs of shoes. I have a pair of gym shoes in my gym bag along with those skanky but beloved Teva camping sandals. I will use one of those pairs of shoes or just go barefoot." However, when I finally got back into my routine this morning which is to get up way before dawn (while everybody else slumbers away) to have some alone time for yoga and writing (I know I was a monk in a previous life), I searched for my running shoes in my jam-packed gym bag as I pulled out my yoga pants and got ready to take the dog pee and.....no gym shoes for Joy! Bummer, right? I have no choice, right? I am going to take my father-in-law and my sister-in-law's advice. My father-in-law's exact words, "Well, I guess you are just going to have to go buy a new pair of shoes. I've heard that one before!"
What's funny is that I always joke that I'm kind of like Imelda Marcos. I love my shoes. I have shoes for different outfits in different colors and with different heel heights. I have always loved my shoes. Years ago the famous Nordstrom Shoe company used to be just a small shoe store in Seattle (just read up on that...opened in 1901 in Seattle and currently headquartered there) where I grew up. The most exciting time for me was going into that high-end shoe store to buy a pair of shoes. I remember a caramel-colored pair I bought that were sort of boot-like with a wooden heel. I bought these while in high school and I felt so amazing walking around in them. And remembering these shoes is a big deal because I have a frustrating case of childhood amnesia so much of my childhood and teen years are blank; just can't pull up memories. In any event, if you remember Imelda, she was the wife of her brutal dictator husband, Ferdinand Marcos, the president of the Philippines from 1965-1986. She and her corrupt, self-absorbed husband loved things (just read that she remains one of the richest women in the Philippines). Apparently, she was poor during World War II and once she became the first lady of the Philippines, with access to unlimited money she started buying inexpensive shoes in bulk and then more expensive shoes later on. When the "People Power" rebels overran the presidential palace in 1986 they found that she had over 1,200 pairs of shoes in her closet which so incensed the people of the Philippines and the world because most of her country folk went barefoot. Interestingly, and here's your history lesson for today, the new president, Cory Aquinas put all of Imelda's shoes and clothes in a museum but that closed in 1992. In 1999 the Marikina Shoe Museum was opened (in Marikina, Philippines) which held 200 of her pairs of shoes (and shoes of other famous/infamous souls...soles?). From what I read on the internet (and so this has to be true!), as she and her horrible husband were ousted from the palace she took a pair of comfortable Nordstrom shoes with her :) Check out this picture of the shoe maven: Imelda in her closet with 1,200 pairs of shoes!
I will be happy to have just two pairs of shoes for this trip and so on the list today is visiting an athletic store and picking up a pair of gym shoes for the road (we have one more day in Toledo before going to a family funeral in Fort Wayne, sad story, and then heading out). My skanky but trusty Teva sandals I brought for walking in the dirt and taking into the camp showers will work fine for now as we will encounter much more dirt and may more campground showers than pavement in our continuing camping travels.
Life on the road. I love it! And I just might say at the end, "The most important time of my life was when I had only two pairs of shoes."