Three pair’s of sweet Mary Jane, black & scuffed church shoes were lined up.
Every single Saturday night, before bedtime, my sisters and I would place our shoes on a piece of newspaper directly in front of our father’s chair.
After we kissed him goodnight all three of us girls, scrubbed with slightly damp hair, dressed in our granny gowns, skipped, ran, pushed, raced, jostled our way to our bedrooms. After which he would, I am sure, enjoy the calm & quiet and would polish our shoes. Sometimes, my mother’s high-heeled shoes were there as well.
I can still smell the polish. I can still hear him. I can still see him polishing shoes. Now that I think about it, he polished a LOT of shoes. He wore a suit to work every day which means he wore dress shoes daily. Yes, he polished those as well.
It was what we/he did.
Sunday morning, after eating and getting dressed, we knew where our shoes were. They were all lined up and turned around facing us. Magically, they had no scuff marks, were spit spot clean and had been buffed to a shine. So beautiful, I felt like I was putting on a brand new pair of shoes.
Lucky for me, military men seem to know how to shine shoes. While it was certainly not one of the things I was looking for in a mate, it certainly is a perk. I am equally certain, when he was 18 and polishing his Army boots for hours at a time, he was not thinking, “golly, this will sure come in handy when I have to polish my future wife’s shoes and boots”.
It works like this: I bake some cookies or fresh bread, sew on a shirt button or iron a few of his dress shirts. Then I set my shoes, boots or sandals out. Then I ask nicely & by the way, there are some molasses cookies for you on the counter. …….as if by magic, scuff marks disappear, the edge is black again and it feels like I am slipping on a brand new pair of shined shoes. It’s a beautiful dance, really.
side note: I am pretty sure that Mr. Right’s First Sgt. didn’t offer fresh-baked cookies while the boot polishing was underway. ha
Yesterday, I noticed my sneakers were looking a bit tired and in need of a little attention. So in honor of my ongoing, month of September, be kinder to myself, project……here is what I did.
Took out the laces & washed them. . Next I used a damp, Mr. Clean “magic” eraser (read that as extremely crushed, ground up small bits of glass embedded in a white piece of material, shaped like a sponge ) on the rubber parts of the shoe. Up next, I noticed the soft cushy insoles that I had put inside were looking rather, um…….unsightly. Yes, I have a habit of going barefoot and then just slipping on my shoes and dashing off to the store. No other way to describe it, the insoles were yucky looking.
I took out the insoles, sprinkled baking soda inside the shoes and let them sit in the sunshine while I worked on the next step.
I chose a cute piece of scrap fabric, ironed on a piece of wonder under (makes fabric have a glue backing), traced the insole pattern, cut out and iron it on.
Tapped out the baking soda, re-laced and put my refreshed insoles back inside.
Oh gosh, I am so dang tickled. I love looking at my “brand new” sneakers! No one really knows, except me, well and now you 😉
…and just like that, I got another star on the calendar.
In this together, friends.