Category Archives: shoes

Plant A Seed in a Child’s Mind

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I have a simple philosophy on children of 5 and 6 year old age.  I

believe these sweet little ones go into kindergarten as ‘babies’ and

come out of this period of time as, ‘school kids.’ I have seen both

Marley who attends one elementary school in kindergarten and

my grandson, Micah, who attends another elementary school in

the same level of education grow ‘in leaps and bounds.’

 

Every book their parents or I read to them, suddenly have become

‘brand new’ and they see such interesting new things in them. It is

almost like being ‘re-born.’  When it comes to understanding the

way children are ‘different’ or ‘unique,’ it really helps to watch the

changes first hand. I admit with my ‘pack of three’ being raised

with others I babysat, they were not given as much individual

attention. This becomes apparent when I am typing away the

‘bright’ quotes I can honestly listen to and apply to the six of the

grandchildren.  But, to tell you the truth, the kindergartners have

my full attention.

 

Take a week ago, when my grandson, Micah, was asking me about

my apartment. When did I move there? Why do I have my kitchen

table in the living room? Do I like having to do my laundry in the

laundry room?

 

About a month ago, my granddaughter, Marley was not totally

satisfied with looking at her own photo albums. She had a big

stack of them, since I put the 36 photo albums together each

season, for each individual grandchild. Marley has over 7 albums

to study and check out. She asked me first to look at her Daddy’s

baby photo album and then, moved on to her Aunt Felicia and

her Aunt Carrie’s. I was not asked too many questions, but I saw

her study each photo and it took her over an hour to move on to

ask me her next ‘request.’

 

Finally, she wanted to see my three “wedding dresses’ albums.”

This is how she named them. I told her I have only one photo of

the first wedding dress, so I showed her it. I told her “Aunt Carrie”

has the rest of the first wedding party photos. She is the ‘oldest’

and the only girl from this first marriage, I explained to Marley.

I really felt most of the photographs of her relatives would ‘mean

more to her’ than her brother, Marley’s Daddy.

 

She studied the three wedding dresses intently. She finally asked me

why I married each of my three husbands. I tried to make a ‘joke,’

telling her my patent answer to adults who ask me this question,

“This was my way of being a ‘serial monogamist.'”

For some reason, Marley looked like she really understood this

to be a cynical or sarcastic comment and used her scolding voice

to say,

“Nana, I am asking you a serious question: Why did you get married

more than once?”

 

My answer was a combination of “love” and “hope.” I gave her a

big hug for asking and told her,

“Your Daddy and Mommy will  be like my own parents, they found

the right match and will put effort into keeping their family together

and happy.”

 

When it comes to teaching young children about the variations of

life,  sometimes their lessons may come from viewing children and

families at the beach, grocery store or church. Up until they go to

school, they may think their family unit is just fine. My youngest

daughter asked her Dad years ago to come to special events, but

she found that I was her ‘constant’ and her ‘home.’

 

A valuable book with lessons, which could be a ‘tool’ to open a

discussion about class levels and economic differences has been

recently published.  It is called, “Last Stop on Market Street.”

The author of this delightful book is Matt de la Pena. The

illustrations are created by Christian Robinson.

 

You may already know the lessons held within this book, but it

has a rich diversity of subjects with a little boy who questions

what is around him. There is an element of ‘Life doesn’t seem to

be fair’ to him, in his questions.

 

The subject of why children don’t have as many choices of clothing,

backpacks, coats, shoes and those things are often brought up after

some time spent in kindergarten has passed. This book would help

to give a picture to children of a whole different lifestyle, while it

also is done lovingly and beautifully.

 

There are places which address the subject of what children may

like to have new clothes and other things for their first day of school.

Some ‘Big Box Stores’ have bins where you may purchase glue sticks

for your own child or grandchild, along with tossing some into the

bin. There are places where you can go to get new coats, as well as

other nice new things, ‘vouchers’ for new shoes and backpacks. They

may be held at your county fairgrounds or they could be passed out

at a local charity location. It is nice to hope that each child can start

the school year, with a ‘level playing field,’ so those students who

have less in their household income can still feel ‘pride’ in their

back to school clothes and other accessories.

 

The new book, “Last Stop on Market Street” started a great

discussion with my grandies. They were interested in knowing if

I knew such and such, did this child have the same situation as

the little boy in the book? I think this book would be almost better

to present before they go off to school. It would help for those who

have more than others, to be careful not to judge nor ask too many

questions.

 

I would label this book a ‘break through’ book, one which is rare to

find with a powerful, but gently expressed, understated message.

 

As a boy is leaving church with his grandmother, he sighs in relief,

he feels like going outside is ‘freedom.’ He has probably wriggled

and twitched, feeling confined in the church.  The boy named C.J.

holds his grandmother’s hand while she holds an umbrella over

the top of their heads.

 

The two head off to a bus stop. There is mention of this being

their weekly procedure or routine. Not everyone has a car, a

house or food every day. There is a subtle way of letting the

reader and listener of the story find this out.

 

As he looks out a window of the bus, C.J. sees a friend in a car

with his father.  After the car zips on by the bus, C.J. wonders

aloud,

“Nana, how come we don’t get a car?”

 

Later, he notes a young man listening to a digital music player

and he displays the classical example of  kid’s  ‘I want. . .’ or

wishing for something obviously out of the grandmother’s

budget.

 

Each time his Nana responds with positive words. She makes the

bus ‘come alive’ for C.J. as if it were a ‘dragon.’ She reminds him

of the bus driver’s ‘magic’ trick he plays when they get on the bus.

She mentions that the young man playing a guitar on the bus,

is entertainment enough. A blind man teaches C.J. a lesson on

senses. There are wonderful elements in this book which you

will become enchanted with, too.

 

The colorful illustrations display a myriad of views of the

community on the outside of the bus, as they pass different

sights.

 

The lesson of life being full of excitement without any technical

devices or modern conveniences is not told directly but indirectly

shown through the unfolding tale.

 

As they get off the bus, C.J. wonders why they always have to go

on Sundays to the soup kitchen for their meal. This will help

open a discussion with children or grandchildren.  In this lovely

book, it reminds us that in the “Land of Plenty”  or America, we

may not always have neighbors, friends or people living one

short block over, with as much as we have. There is a sense of

global understanding, in the diversity of characters and culture

in this book.

 

A children’s book reviewer, Julie Danielson, expressed this:

“It’s not often that you see class addressed in picture books in

ways that are subtle and seamless, but in “Last Stop on Market

Street,” the affectionate story of a young boy and his grandmother

does just that.”

 

There is a new Valentine’s Day book to recommend. It is one of the

bunny books by author Jutta Langreuter and illustrated by Stephanie

Dahle.

“There’s No One I Love Like You.”

This German author has a series of “Little Bear” books and there

are a few in her native language, too.  One which looks interesting

and magical in its illustrations with German expressions  is called,

“Frida and die Kleine Waldhexe.”

 

If you have a favorite book for children and wish to include it,

please feel free to tell us about the book and its message, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In “his” shoes

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I was ecstatic! I could give my oldest daughter a nice pair of shoes, either

Fila or Dr. Scholl’s work shoes, and get any pair of either brand for just

one dollar, for myself! Don’t you love BOGO? (Buy one, get one for $1 is

almost as good as free!)

At the beginning of last week, I had purchased a pair of Fila Memory Foam

Utility Work shoes, for her,  at Kohl’s and guess what?

Unfortunately, they lasted only 4 days! While working at her place of

employment, Kroger Warehouse, she wore those poor ‘suckers’ out!  So,

getting my Kohl’s credit card a credit added back on, thanks to the wonderful

Kohl’s return policy, and (sad face here), giving back my $10 Kohl’s bucks

back, we headed over to Meijer’s.

 

Dr. Scholls Company was created by William Matthias Scholl, a podiatrist

from Chicago, Illinois. He started his company in 1906. It is now owned

by the British, who manufacture the United State’s designed foot-wear in

China.

My oldest daughter has money, but like me and other parents out there,

puts her children first.  It is just a plain old ‘fact of life!’  I was, like her,

needing a good pair of shoes. I hadn’t had a new pair for hiking or exercise

shoes, since my good friend, Bill, had given me a ‘forced’ pair!  He had

tricked me into going into a store, looking presumably for himself. This was

over 3 years ago, during the ‘Day Trips’ period of our friendship time.  That

beloved pair of Dr. Scholl’s shoes is made of brown suede leather with pink

edging and pink smooth leather stripes near the heels. Those dear shoes are

starting to fall apart from wear! There are stitches coming out and the nice

comfort ‘support’ system is definitely lacking any ability to pad the ‘bounce’

in my feet.

(By the way, I had one of my 10 photo albums of Bill’s and my trips, over at

the dentist’s office. Since staff were considering a team-building trip. I

recommended going down south on I-71 to a great corner of three states.

Madison, Indiana, Carrollton, Kentucky and Clifty Falls, Indiana, also the

Ohio corner meets up, where you can see the two state’s rivers from near

Carrollton, up on top of a gorgeous overlook. Seeing that confluence of the

two rivers, is an amazing sight! There are regatta races in Madison, so we

were able to see cool speed boats. I would recommend the restaurant at

Butler State Park, (where you can climb to see the confluence of the Ohio

and Kentucky rivers.) It is appropriately named, “Two Rivers.” There are

lovely natural sculptures and artwork in their dining room. You can see out

walls of windows, into the forests of this national park.)

 

Anyway, I need to tell you about my ‘affair’ with Dr. Scholl. I have had

his shoes upon my feet, for many years. As a server from age 15 until into

my forties, I wore his shoes. To help fill in gaps in my economic budget,

I could always serve people and make a small salary and big tips.

I can tell you Dr. Scholl ‘really gets me!’ (And my feet!! ha ha)

My new tan shoes have the adorable name of “Nikki.” They have orange

edges and laces, along with cute little tab things to hold my laces in

place. I cannot wait to walk to the library in them, oh I just did! They

felt so light and I felt so bouncy in them!

This is not a silouquiy on Louis Vuitton shoes, nor is it a rhapsody about

other high heel stiletto’s.  I have not gotten into tall shoes, for several

years. I have 3″ heels that are pulled out of my closet, in their protective

box, dragged out to put on, for forced situations where comfort and its

sister, durability, are not appropriate. The last time I got dressed up

was for going to that place, the LC Pavilion, where my youngest daughter

had to parade down the runway, with the likes of one famous Bachelor

and another wild and friendly Bachelorette. It was a Central Ohio fund-

raising event called, “A Date to Remember.” I believe my idiotic shoes

may have been made by Rampage company. It is definitely youth oriented!

Now, when I was in my twenties, I did not mind the look of Dr. Scholl’s

while I waited tables and served others, at Cedar Point’s Breakers’ Hotel,

the two country clubs, on to the North Olmsted German restaurant where

I wore lederhosen with my Dr. Scholl’s! And at my last job, I wore them

with a brown four star (****) apron at Cracker Barrel.

Dr. Scholl’s “comfort technology,” includes this wonderfully soothing

and cushioning gel pad at the heel.  No ‘heel spurs’ for me, so far!

The gel cushion ‘technology’ includes what they describe as a, “Gel dome,”

to absorb shock and provides cushioning comfort, with adjustable laces

for easy removal of shoes.

Definitely, in my teen years, I had several coworkers try to make fun of me,

using their teasing tactics. They ended up using those insistent singsong

chants!:

“Those Dr. Scholl’s shoes were made for Grandma’s, Robin!”

 

I ignored the intentional ‘jabs,’ and laughingly joked back,

“I haven’t met a grandmother I haven’t loved!”

 

Another job and different episode of teasing I responded by saying,

“My grandmother is quite comfortable in “his” (Dr. Scholl’s) shoes

and so am I!”