Pretty Shoes

I don’t have any “good” shoes. Really, I don’t. I throw glances down at the feet of women I know…and women I don’t know and they all seems to wear such pretty things on their feet. I mean, these days glasses adorn the face and shoes adorn the feet.

My closet is filled with shoes. I stumble over them each day when I open the door to find something to wear. But my foot coverings simply cover my feet; they’re functional. They do not adorn. This goes for sneakers, regular shoes, boots, and right now last year’s sandals. I do not wear heels, well, hardly ever…anymore.

I think it’s time I wear something pretty on my feet, as long as the something pretty does not kill them. After I’ve completed my brisk hour walk each day wearing my Keens, my right foot hurts. That’s the truth. I have to sit down, take off the shoe and massage my pad. Sometimes, I have to hop around on my left foot for a while. Even so Keens are the best sneaker I’ve found for my particular feet, but you have to admit they’re not pretty. They’re quite strange looking. They remind me of duck feet.

Back to pretty. I want something pretty to adorn my feet. I want someone to throw a glance down at my feet and think, WHAT GREAT SHOES. THEY ARE SO PRETTY!


This morning I was thinking about a trip Paul and I took to Edisto Beach, South Carolina some years ago.

When we arrived late at night, mystified about how to find our rental unit in the dark, the security guard held up his hand.

“Don’t get out of your car!” he said. Then, as if surprised by the vehement sounds that had shot into the dark, he added more softly but with a detectable slur, “I’ve had the flu.”

We woke to the sound of gently lapping waves. I peered through white blinds at “pipers” running their long spiky legs along the wet sand, pecking for food through the shallow water.

Light. Ocean. Fresh air. Birds.

One day on my rental bike, I pedaled the front shore and back lanes with my note pad in my pocket studying the summer cottages, which mostly carried FOR SALE signs. I tied to figure out why. Surely these summer residences were worth a lot. Maybe that was the point. Investment value. Resale value. But what about the value of family memories? Would that be so easy to give up?

In one or two words, the names of these summer cottages told their own stories:

At Last
High Maintenance
Just Us
Dune Dancing
Yes Indeed
Not too Shabby
Side by Side
The Last Resort
Dream Weaver
Cast Our Fate
Sea Song
Total Amnesia

A Design Project Takes Shape

I saw my daughter Cora come home with wood pieces cut to size. Over days, she would appear for meals, then “get to work” in her area of the house. She hardly talked, and when she did, it was in spitting language.

“Not working.”

“What’s not working?”

“My design!”

It came out so fierce; I didn’t dare ask any more questions.

I never saw the finished product, only photos of it. I liked it so much I’m showing a few of the designs and how they fit together here:

Dreams and Me

The other night I was in a truck driven by a man who wasn’t driving. I knew I was going to be killed. As the truck went up a hill, I opened the door and jumped out.

It amazes me the wherewithal I can pull off in my dreams.

I was in a real accident once. The man driving the car I was in hit a car standing still in the high-speed lane. I did not jump out. When I was able to open the door, I fell out.

It took a year of my life to recover.

In my youth I had, what I call, reverse dreams. I’d be on top of a building. Someone pushed me off the roof. My eyes popped open, my stomach hit my gullet. I knew I was going to die, but then…this falling happened ever so slowly. I landed softly, like on a cloud. I’d wake up in a sweat and think…I’m here!

Then, I’d get up, brush my teeth and put on my school uniform.


Like Alice, I’ve disappeared lately into the hole where mysterious things happen. However, the mysteries I encounter are no fun and not by choice. It’s the world of PC versus Mac; the world of Microsoft Word 2007 installed on a PC, versus Microsoft Word 2007 installed on a Mac. It’s the world of “track changes” being communicated to me from a copyeditor from her PC, not doing the same things when opened on my Mac. In other words, vital communication is being thwarted by these techy problems leading to off-the-charts levels of frustration.

The kind where, after a while, you just have to leave the whole scene and take off for a look at the glimmers of sunlight hopping on top of the waters of Clinton Lake to calm yourself. But before you get to this magical scene, you have lugged your old desktop PC leftover from your teaching days in your sewing case-on-wheels (because it’s heavy and you have a bad back) down to Geeks-on-Wheels for the Geeks to install a copy of Microsoft Word 2007 on it because you tried yourself and the monitor shouted at you, “YOUR HARD DRIVE IS IN GRAVE DANGER,” although in techy language of course.

But, on the way to the spiritual blessings of sunshine on lake water, a cop pulls you over. You lower your window to see what kind of cop you’re getting, and when you look at him carefully, you’re still not sure.

“Do you know,” he says, “you took an illegal U-turn.”

“I think so,” I say.

“I can see you’re eating while driving. Not the best idea.”

Caught. My frustrations had taken me to McDonalds for the no-no’s–cheeseburgers and fries.

“What are you going to the lake for?” the cop then asked.

“To read,” I say pointing to my huge Raymond Carver biography lying on the seat next to me.

He nodded slowly, taking me in. Then he left and walked back to his cop car while I finished off my fries.

Minutes later, he’s back with paperwork in his hand. I think, THIS IS GOING TO BE A VERY EXPENSIVE DAY!

He leans his head down towards me.

“You know you did something wrong,” he says.

I counter with, “I think I have a pretty good driving record, sir.”

“Well, I have a pretty good driving record, too,” he says, “but if I took an illegal turn it would still be illegal. My mistake could seriously injure somebody, or myself.

“You’re right,” I say, knowing now I can’t negotiate this one.

Then he hands me the paperwork through my window. I glance at it quickly.

“I am giving you a warning,” he tells me. Then he points to a scribbled figure on my yellow sheet. “It could have cost you…this much.”

I stare at the figure and try to keep a poker face.

“Thank you, sir,” I say.

“Take a minute before you drive to the lake.”

“I will, sir.”

The next morning I attacked the track changes from my copyeditor on my old PC–fixed and installed with a copy of Microsoft Word for $79.80–with a vengeance. For two track changes, it worked. Minutes ago, I turned it on to read, “a problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to you computer…beginning dump of physical memory…physical memory dump complete…contact your system administrator or technical support group for further assistance.