Mine are black

Today I want to talk about boots. Boots are one of those things that most people don’t think about very often. You pull them on, you pull them off. It starts snowing and you grab for them to keep your feet warm. Unless you’re a shoe fiend who lusts for a new pair of thigh-highs or lace-ups, you may not think about boots very often at all. 

I am not a shoe fiend. I can’t afford to be, but more to the point, my feet do not cooperate with most footwear. I have wide flat feet and muscular calves. I have trouble finding regular shoes, and snow boots are hard to come by. Luckily, in Seattle, I no longer need them.

This weekend I went out to buy cowboy boots for all the country dancing I’ve been doing. I needed their ankle support, their slippery bottoms, and their solid heels. A girl wants to make a proper stomp while she’s line dancing, and it’s much easier to glide and spin in the proper soles.

I turned myself over to the capable guidance of Renton Western Wear. I explained what I wanted the boots for, and what some of the issues might be with the fit. Then I started to try on boots. It was such a surprise! You know those loops on the sides of cowboy boots? I found out what those are for. Those are to put the hooks into. Hooks, you ask? Yes, hooks. You take a handled hook into each hand, slip it through the boot loops and yank your boot on. Want the boots off? There’s equipment for that, too. You place one foot on an angled board and hook your heel into an indent. Voila—you are ready to yank your boot off.

I ended up buying a much simpler pair. They come up to mid-calf and lace all the way there. No tools are required, and they’ve got a lovely heel and suitably slippery bottom. I’ll dance a lot of miles in these shoes, but more than that, I’ll always have the memory of buying them. I’ll never look at those little boot loops the same way again. I am now a person who notices boots. All this in one morning—it was a very productive trip.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

78. Find out about something you’ve never encountered. Ask a friend about an unusual hobby or visit a factory to see how something is made. Does it change your perspective on things?

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Sieze the sunny day

Saturday was one of those special days–days that feel like a vacation even though you haven’t left town. The sun was out–all the way out–from behind the clouds. People here aren’t used to that. They get all dazed and happy. I was no exception. Rain worshipper that I am, I still appreciate the odd bit of sun. We see the full sun so infrequently that we view it almost as visiting royalty. It was short sleeve weather, too, after a string of chilly days. Everyone was out enjoying it.

It was the perfect day for a field trip, and I’d already had one planned. First I went down to Renton to buy cowboy boots. That was such an unusual experience for me that I think I’ll describe it in more detail on another day. The lady at the shop was very friendly and guided me through it, and I emerged from Renton Western Wear with my very first pair of boots. Yeehaw! I can’t wait to take them for their first dance this Wednesday.

My friend Gary tagged along because he’s been raving for months about an Indian restaurant down there. Na’an and Curry did indeed have splendid food. It was fun to have a spicy brunch. Downtown Renton was more charming than I anticipated. The architecture was very diverse, including some lovely Art Deco buildings. It was a walkable, sociable place. I think I’ll spend a writing day down there soon.

Coming back from Renton on the bus, I was telling Gary that I wished I was in North Carolina, which is where my family goes to the beach each year. He reminded me that we have the beach right here in Seattle. I’m not used to living so close to the ocean, and I just forgot that we actually had that option. It’s too hard to keep track of Seattle’s delights. There are so many of them.

I love this city. There are so many different neighborhoods and nearby cities that you can stay close to home while being a tourist all over town. We ended our day trip on Alki beach, watching the sun set over our cold drinks. I’ll raise my glass to that.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

77. Take a vacation right where you live. Revel in some nice weather, spend time with friends and explore a nearby neighborhood or town. How did it feel? Is it worth doing more often?