Last week was a difficult week for me.
I spent pretty much the ENTIRE week crying...and working through the very complicated logistics of some very important things.
Bottom line: It looks as though my ten-year, delightful run of being a homeschooling mother is coming to an end, and that my boys will be entering school this fall. I have not blogged lately because I am not yet strong enough emotionally to talk about this, and it's been the one and ONLY topic in my life for a long while now. And I'm not even exaggerating about the large amounts of crying that I have been doing lately.
So, yesterday I begged my sweet husband to please, please take me somewhere pretty. I didn't care where. And he was more than happy to oblige.
On our way to Somewhere Pretty, we detoured somewhere else in honor of Shannon & Dave, or Mr. & Mrs. Crazy Footwear (Cyberbones). Remember back when Dave lost his mind and then lost his mind again and then Shannon lost her mind? Yeah, well, so do we. Because, honestly, who wouldn't?
But before we get to that, let me just say the following: I am NOT a girly-girl. I've actually struggled a lot with trying to become more "girly" as the years go by. I've only recently (in the last year or two) cared if the shoes I'm wearing aren't hideously ugly (for two years I actually wore nothing but hand-me-down tennis shoes left over from my then-eight-year-old-son, after he both wore them out AND outgrew them!), and only about a year ago did I paint my toenails for the first time EVER.
But I know that guys appreciate girly things, so if my handsome husband has to eat at the same buffet day in and day out for a lifetime, the least the buffet can do is try to look cute. You know?
Ever since reading about Shannon & Dave's footwear, James has been seriously interested in getting a pair of those shoes. So we went to a local store and tried some on.
DUDE. Getting this things onto your feet is HARD.
You have to pull and tug...
...and you have to position each and every toe into its little toe-sleeve.
Sleeveing each toe is a serious undertaking.
I would possibly equate the entire process with putting on panty hose. When you're sweaty. Because the shoe sort of sticks to your skin and is very clingy and tricky to pull up easily. Plus, your toes do NOT want to naturally slide into their little toe sleeves.
The end result looks somewhat Alienish in nature.
James walked around in this shoe for a while, getting a feel for it. Which meant, of course, that I JUST HAD to try one on, too.
And so I did.
And I sat, and took a picture (for posterity and the world, etc.) and thought primly to myself, "Good heavens, Shannon, these things are UGLY."
And I stripped the thing off my foot (no small undertaking; they're like putting on and taking off second skins) and stuffed it back in its box... and that was the end of it for me.
James, on the other hand, walked thoughtfully around in his pair and has since ordered them in black.
Well, that's fine and good for James, I told myself. He'll look cute wearing whatever shoes his heart desires, but I wouldn't be caught DEAD in those things. And we moved on with our day.
The Beautiful Place that James took me was to Turkey Run Park.
Beautiful, indeed! We got out of our car. We were surrounded by trees. There's a gorgeous, scenic trail leading town to the Potomac. Lovely! Gorgeous!!
And also... Rocky. And steep.
And all of a sudden, the cute, high-heeled sandals, jeans skirt and pedicure just Weren't Cutting It.
I can totally do this, I thought. So I wore the wrong shoes for this sort of hiking/trail thing? So what?
And I started delicately picking my way through the trail.
Okay, so. The useless, pointless, high-heeled sandals came off almost immediately.
Because when you're walking on pebbles, rocks and branches, bare feet are FAR superior to high-heeled sandals.
And my thoughts started drifting back to... the rugged shoes I had so haughtily scorned earlier that afternoon.
Huh, I thought to myself. Those toe-sleeve things would be looking pretty attractive right about now!
High heeled sandals just... really don't help when you're hiking a rocky trail.
But I made it! And I didn't even get hurt. Okay, I didn't really get VERY hurt.
And the Potomac River was so gorgeous. It was worth the barefoot walk over rocks, stones, and tree roots.
Out in the middle of the river, there were huge boulders:
A feast for the eyes and the camera!
There was even a very large snake swimming by. It stopped and rested a bit on a big rock:
Score 1 for me: I didn't freak out, even though it was swimming around close to us. Because I'm down with snakes. I used to own about 12. Though, of course, none of the ones I owned were venomous, as I believe that this one was. Because I like, you know, being alive and all.
Standing around near the water, being barefooted wasn't half bad. The rocks were cool to the touch and the whole experience was very earthy and pleasant.
But that was, of course, before the climb back UP the trail to the car.
James volunteered to carry my useless, high-heeled sandals during the steep climb back up to the car. And my camera bag. Because that's what chivalrous gentlemen do.
And I eventually made it! Bare feet and all. But very, very humbled. And sorta kinda wishing I'd been wearing a certain pair of no-longer-considered-ugly shoes that I had tried on earlier that day!
And then God sent another kind of Shoe my way.
A "Song Shoe."
(Because that's how you pronounce this cute little guy's name in Mandarin Chinese):
Song Shoe! (Actually: songshu)
He came down out of the tree in which he was hanging upside-down and posed for me.
Getting these pictures of him was quite a treat!
So, Shannon? YOU WIN. Because you know how to properly attire yourself for hikes, and I have now shown that I certainly DON'T. But let the record further reflect that I would WAY prefer to be barefoot around venomous serpents than correctly clothed on a LIVE MILITARY FIRING RANGE.