Huh. I guess I missed posting on Twelfth Night. I fell asleep at my computer trying to prepare for today and I guess I figured maybe I should go to bed instead of struggling to be alert enough to write something coherent. And our Twelfth Night festivities have been postponed due to Lucy’s being out of town (with Tanner visiting his grandparents).
Yesterday ended up being another very intense sewing day because I was trying to meet a deadline and I also had to make it to the post office to mail a couple of things before it closed. (I succeeded.)
I also stopped by the clinic and finally made an appointment for Jasper. His severely infected toe is not getting any better, despite his protestations, and I really do not want a repeat of what we went through with Flynn when he was a teenager. After a couple of years of treatments, including surgery and intravenous antibiotics, and thousands of dollars, he still ended up getting both of his big toenails permanently removed. The bad news is that Jasper’s appointment isn’t until the 27th, so he will have to suffer a little longer. If the subject of permanent removal comes up, we will jump on it.
For the rest of yesterday, I was knitting and also preparing for today’s tutoring session. My English classes don’t officially start until next week, but I have some new students starting with my younger class, so I had them come today so I could do my best to prepare them for jumping in midstream, as it were. I think it went pretty well.
After lunch I set off with dread in my heart. I could no longer put off a task I’ve been avoiding since July, which is when I bought plane tickets to Spokane for next weekend. Unfortunately, Walter won’t be able to accompany me after all, but I still plan to attend a reunion up there in the frozen north. My problem? Footwear.
I have no footwear suitable for wearing in snow, or even very cold weather. In fact, I have exactly four options: my three-year-old men’s flip flops, which are my everyday wear; men’s leather sandals; men’s clogs; and a pair of neoprene slippers which I pretend are shoes and which I wear when I am trying to dress “up.” None of these things will work in real winter conditions.
I have known for months that I would have to find boots of some kind by this month. But when shoe-shopping is fraught with frustration, disappointment, and humiliation every time for decades, it’s hard to make yourself do it. It’s not just that my feet are large due to my height, and wide due to growing up barefoot. I suffered a very serious injury to my left foot and ankle as a teenager, which was not properly treated, and the resulting arthritis has made it almost impossible to wear anything but sandals, flip flops, and clogs, no matter how high the price tag might be.
I trudged into the sporting goods store with very low expectations. I knew better than to even look in the women’s section. I glanced at the knee-high wellingtons and hoped that wasn’t my only option. As I expected, most of the boots on offer fell into the categories of very expensive work boots or even more expensive cowboy boots. After looking at all my options, I decided to try on a pair of “tactical” boots. Apparently these are designed for law enforcement.
This is when the miracle occurred. First, I was actually able to get my feet into them, and do the laces up over my misshapen arthritic ankle. Secondly, I was able to stand up and walk in them without gasping in pain. They aren’t by any means the most comfortable footwear I’ve ever worn (that would be my men’s slippers!) but I think I should be able to wear them for short forays outdoors while I’m in Washington, especially if I make myself wear them to walk in for a little while every day until I leave. I’ll just have to schedule my walks in them for times when someone is home to help me take the boots off, because it was a bit of a struggle in the store. Downright embarrassing, to be honest.
There is nothing cute or fashionable about my new boots. No woman my age wants to be out and about wearing police boots. But, if they’re functional, and if I can wear them without being in actual agony, that’s more than can be said for 99% of the footwear I’ve tried on in the last 20 years, so I’m calling it a win. And I found them at the very first store I tried!
I went for a walk around the campus at sunset (NOT wearing my new boots) and enjoyed the dropping temperatures and deserted landscape. Over the next few days the students will return and the school will roar back to life. I am already into class mode, trying to catch up with the grading that fell by the wayside during my holiday travels.