Monday, July 11, 2016

Psychic Boots For Dancing and Prancing

Bowling for storms...

God is upstairs bowling quite noisily having spectacular strikes that send long low incredible rumbles as the pins fall and scatter.

His heavy bowling ball rolls down the alley with a deep loud bass as if his balls are bigger than anyone else on the team.

My fearless dog has turned in a shivering wimp that needs constant reassurance and comforting. I have music playing when suddenly "The Theme From Jaws" comes on the speakers.

How ironic.


What are the odds?

Back in 1995 I was in northern California in Humbolt County on a temporary assignment. I had just been through two back to back damaging hurricanes (Luis and Marilyn) in the Virgin Islands. Business had come to a complete standstill. One of my former sailing students, an older gent with several businesses on the west coast offered me a unique temporary position and a reprieve from storms and hurricanes.

I packed a small carry on bag then flew four thousand miles to a different world. I had no idea how absolutely cold it could get when the Pacific winds rolled in. My Birkenstock sandals were no match. One day my very busy friend took me to lunch then took me to a mall to buy some "warm shoes".

As we entered the mall, I smelled leather. My nose quickly found the western boot shop. Ironically, the first pair of cowboy boots I slipped on fit wonderful. My feet were instantly warm. The boots were beautiful. I tossed my Birtkenstock sandals in the boot box, paid for my purchase  and proudly stalked out of the store with toasty warm feet.

My friend who abhors shopping, was delighted. He said he couldn't believe we were in and out of the mall in under 10 minutes. I told him I didn't want to waste his time for offering to do such a noble act. We had a good laugh.

I wore those boots everyday for 5 months, then I went home to the Virgin Islands. I was able to repair my sailboat and get back in business.

For fun I would often wear those leather boots with a sarong as a dress to visit beach bars. It always got a great laugh, especially since I loved to dance. Where folks often called me "the sarong lady" or "sarong girl" I was now called "the boot lady" or "the cowgirl". The tropics are a great place to acquire assorted nicknames.

Matter of fact, one time my brother flew down to sail with me. We went to several islands in two different countries. On every island my nickname was something different. He thought this was hilarious. He asked me if anyone knew my real name and I laughed and said "Only customs and immigration!"

It was true enough too. I can still hear his laughter. I miss him. Rest in peace my dear departed sibling.

In those days, sometimes when lounging around the cockpit of my sailboat in a busy Caribbean anchorage, I would slip on the cowboy boots and prop my feet up. People would point and giggle at the crazy lady in a bikini and cowboy boots.

Ah those were the days. I savor those memories of time well wasted. Um, well lived!

I wore those boots up until 2006 when I shattered my leg. After healing none of my shoes fit correctly. I would try to wear the cowboy boots and an hour later I would be in agony. So sad for me. I was oh so fond of those boots. For some strange reason those boots followed me back to America and traveled with me on my motorhome until 2014. Once in awhile I would put them on but I could barely walk a mile in them, the torture was just too much. My right foot is forever different. One day in 2014 I was seriously purging the motorhome and I was camped at a marina that had a nice community room with a table for items you could donate, swap, trade and so on.

I put my boots there (yes, a tear in my eye!) with a note stuck inside of them, that they were circa 1995, had walked the planet in numerous countries and quite a few states and that I hoped they would bring the new owner as much fun and comfort as they brought me all these years.

The next day the boots were gone and it was time for me to shuffle along, so I never got to see who was wearing them. Later someone told me I could have auctioned them on Ebay as "vintage" but live and learn.

Over the years my friend in California occasionally calls me up to see what I am up to next.  Matter of fact, at some point he flew down to the islands for a visit and I greeted him at the open air breezy airport, wearing my boots and a sarong. We still chat by phone even though we are miles apart. Sometimes he asks me if I still wear those cowboy boots.

Speed forward... we had not spoke in a few months. Recently I went grocery shopping and saw a billboard for a western store "Booty Brothers" that advertised leather boots. I went to investigate.

Oh... the wonderful aroma of leather.

The jovial salesman kept pulling boots off the shelf every time I slowed down to study a pair. My mind was wondering back to that cold day in northern California in 1995 when I bought my last pair of boots. Finally I was about to try on the very first pair, when my phone rang.

I said "Excuse me, I am waiting to get a camp reservation." The selected boots were patiently waiting on the floor.

This is the first time I have shopped for cowboy boots since my friend took me shopping in 1995.

I answered the phone.

It was not the campground returning my call.

It was my friend in California. I told him I was in a store full of cowboy boots and was about to try on the first pair. He roared with laughter claiming he had suddenly had an urge to call me. We giggled like children while the salesman stared at me curiously.

Now what are the odds that my friend would call at that very moment?

Perhaps some friendships cross mystical ethereal boundaries for which there is no ready explanation.

Life is goof.

Thanks to digital photography, sentimental items can be captured as a graphic memory.

cowboy boots

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