Today I find them, tucked away in the back of my sock drawer, my last pair of “house shoes.” They are stuffed and sealed in a sandwich bag, my name is written on a piece of masking tape and I immediately smile looking at the handwriting.
I have owned many different pairs of these hand-crocheted slippers. Momma used to let us choose the color, then she would measure our sock feet. Normally, the color would be dark since we would wear them all winter. We heated with coal, so it was a wise choice to keep the colors dark to prevent the ability to show dirt.
I was often told that I was one of the few children that could wear out a pair of these shoes, they were tough and lasted a very long time. The fact that my brother and I would use them for pretend ice skates on linoleum floors, may have contributed to their wear and tear. They were also pretty great for gathering static electricity to be used to “zap” some poor unsuspecting soul. I still cringe thinking of how much it hurt to be on the receiving end–thanks again little brother!
You may wonder why the shoes are in a sandwich bag? We tend to store everything in a sandwich bag or “baggies” as we still call them. This particular pair of shoes was saved so Momma would always have a pattern, something to go by in case she had forgotten the stitching. I have watched her count the “rows” and mentally take note as to whether it were a shell pattern….or if it were considered a double crochet. So, this pair was held back for that purpose for many many years. Anyone that knew her would never question why they happened to be red in color. It was her favorite.
During one of our many long-distance phone conversations, we discussed how cold the weather had gotten. She made a comment about me always having the coldest feet in the winter and said that she hoped I was wearing fuzzy socks! I mentioned that what I really needed was some warm “house shoes.”
Approximately one week later, I received a package from West Virginia…unmistakably, from my Momma in her attempt to keep me warm from 300 miles away.
They came with only one stipulation. “Don’t ever lose these, they are the last pair around here that I was saving to use for a pattern.” I almost felt bad for taking them, but she insisted that she knew I would take care of them and since I no longer had the urge to skate on linoleum floors.. they would probably be around for quite some time in case she ever needed to refer back to them.
There in the back of my sock drawer, the shoes have remained. They are the “last” of them. I often recite a quote that one day, there will be “no more” that people, places, and moments do not last forever. The shoes are the “last” of them, the last of my Momma’s crocheting, the last of homemade anything by her hands.
After looking at the house shoes, I couldn’t bear to return them to the forgotten drawer. I even had a silly thought, pondering if they would work the same way Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers did in The Wizard of Oz? There’s no place like home… There’s no place like home! If only it were that easy. I did, however, come to the conclusion that they were far too special to keep hidden inside of that drawer.
From now on, I think they will be considered my “Christmas Shoes” …. homemade with love….the kind that will last for an eternity. I will start a new tradition of wearing them during the holidays. Maybe I’ll even try making a pair? Thanks again, Momma…..they are just as warm and cozy as I remember! ….and who knows? maybe I can still get a “spark” or two going (ouch!) just for old times sake!
Keep your treasures close to you…but don’t tuck them away for too long…you may forget about them.. and besides, they were meant to be enjoyed!