Reusing, Recycling and even Rebooting

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Reusing, Recycling and even Rebooting
Reusing Recycling and Even Rebooting

Not to boast, but I’ve been reusing and recycling for several years now. Like most every one else in these green-conscious, environmental friendly days, I’m doing all I can not to be wasteful. In fact, when we moved to Wilmington two years ago, I asked the real estate broker were there any “green” houses we could look at? He looked at me like I was crazy. I’m not sure if he thought I meant a place to grow plants or a house with green aluminum siding, (puhleeze!). So I explained myself. I guess the term hadn’t quite caught on then, but it sure has now.

In that vein, I’ve just rebooted, or should I say, had the heels of my favorite turquoise-studded, brown-suede boots repaired. That’s because part of the heel fell off recently. After wearing them out and about all morning, I came home; noticing that one of them felt funny. As I walked on the hardwood floor, it was obvious that one boot felt unstable. It even made a strange sound coming from the floor. So I sat down, raised my foot and discovered one entire heel was “gone,” not the sole, but the heel only. Oh, y’all, this is so weird that I just have to explain further. The outline/framework of the heel was still there, (I could even seen itty bitty screws) but there were actual holes where the quarter inch flat part had separated. Strange, but I never saw it come off. Then I walked into my office, and there lay a mess: the dark brown hard plastic heel, about the size of a small coffee cup saucer, sitting in a little pile like someone had hammered it into a million different pieces.

For those of you who’ve read my columns over the past ten-plus years, you know my Dad owned two shoe stores when I was growing up, and we kids all worked in them. So, yes, I’m a shoe addict, shoe freak, shoe fashionista, whatever. I truly don’t buy as many as I used to – who can with this ridiculous economy? But I have my favorites, and some are old, really old. I’ve decided that’s not a bad thing.

Though these particular boots aren’t that old (a couple of years) I figured I must’ve just worn them out, literally. Anyway, the super-odd-unbelievable thing is that not two weeks earlier, when I was in Barnes and Noble, of all places, just before Christmas, I nearly tripped while wearing another pair of shoes – this time, high heels. I looked down to find that the sole of the dressy black heel, left side, from the toe to just where the heel began had come unglued. As I said, I nearly tripped, and then I looked down to discover one shoe bottom flapping in the wind, if you will. Therefore, I could not walk; or at least, I could not lift my foot. Picture this: Me standing (or trying to) in a store that sells my books and has twice hosted book signings for me; and I’m planted to the floor. Talk about embarrassing. I had to slide my left foot and then raise my right foot to move at all. Hubby Russell (Oscar) found me in the Bargain Books and said quite loudly, for everyone to hear, “Ann, why are you walking funny?” Oh, really, men!

But the point is, and I do have one (stay with me here) is that when I went to have my boots re-heeled at the shoe repair shop, I found the most wonderful experience. Upon flinging open the door, I looked around. Suddenly all my senses were engaged. The unmistakable heavy smell of leather; the comforting sight of the almost magician-like cobbler (for their feats are sometimes nothing short of a miracle); the old, heavy Singer sewing machine right there in the “lobby;” the odds and ends of boots, shoes, belts and purses and even new products like Kiwi shoe polish. This all brought back a flood of childhood memories. On one side of the counter were good as new, repaired products, simply waiting for pick up. On the other side was the worn out “help me if you can” pile, waiting for repair. That’s when I realized the shoe repair shop is a great metaphor for life.

As a society, we’re so fast to throw away things that are used, abused, weathered and withered. But you know what? Some of the best things I’ve ever owned or loved have a history and attachment that nothing new can ever replace. That’s probably why I love seeing folks drive super old Mercedes; or, like my neighbor down the street, that darling golden yellow Saab that is nicked and scratched, even rusted in places. I often imagine it’s full of great memories; perhaps it traveled to exotic locations, or even brought a new baby home, or maybe rescued a family during a threatening hurricane. I can just imagine the great roads it’s traveled and the outlandish tales it’s witnessed.

With the current push of resale stores and the trend of wearing vintage apparel being all the rage, I’m sort of glad to know that the so-called new and improved, i.e., shiny, bright and (sometimes) boring, can’t always replace the harmony, comfort and love that comes with something old. This includes not only material things, but human connections, past endeavors and hopeful futures. Along with “Yes we can,” maybe we ought to “Salvage if we can.”

Especially in these hard economic times, that’s a timely lesson, a good reminder, a necessary wake up call that will help us to all take a good, hard look before we throw away the next thing – be it a pair of worn boots, a dated car or a rocky relationship that indeed can be mended.

About this writer

  • Reusing Recycling and Even Rebooting

    Not to boast, but I’ve been reusing and recycling for several years now. Like most every one else in these green-conscious, environmental friendly days, I’m doing all I can not to be wasteful. In fact, when we moved to Wilmington two years ago, I asked the real estate broker were there any “green” houses we could look at? He looked at me like I was crazy. I’m not sure if he thought I meant a place to grow plants or a house with green aluminum siding, (puhleeze!). So I explained myself. I guess the term hadn’t quite caught on then, but it sure has now.

    In that vein, I’ve just rebooted, or should I say, had the heels of my favorite turquoise-studded, brown-suede boots repaired. That’s because part of the heel fell off recently. After wearing them out and about all morning, I came home; noticing that one of them felt funny. As I walked on the hardwood floor, it was obvious that one boot felt unstable. It even made a strange sound coming from the floor. So I sat down, raised my foot and discovered one entire heel was “gone,” not the sole, but the heel only. Oh, y’all, this is so weird that I just have to explain further. The outline/framework of the heel was still there, (I could even seen itty bitty screws) but there were actual holes where the quarter inch flat part had separated. Strange, but I never saw it come off. Then I walked into my office, and there lay a mess: the dark brown hard plastic heel, about the size of a small coffee cup saucer, sitting in a little pile like someone had hammered it into a million different pieces.

    For those of you who’ve read my columns over the past ten-plus years, you know my Dad owned two shoe stores when I was growing up, and we kids all worked in them. So, yes, I’m a shoe addict, shoe freak, shoe fashionista, whatever. I truly don’t buy as many as I used to – who can with this ridiculous economy? But I have my favorites, and some are old, really old. I’ve decided that’s not a bad thing.

    Though these particular boots aren’t that old (a couple of years) I figured I must’ve just worn them out, literally. Anyway, the super-odd-unbelievable thing is that not two weeks earlier, when I was in Barnes and Noble, of all places, just before Christmas, I nearly tripped while wearing another pair of shoes – this time, high heels. I looked down to find that the sole of the dressy black heel, left side, from the toe to just where the heel began had come unglued. As I said, I nearly tripped, and then I looked down to discover one shoe bottom flapping in the wind, if you will. Therefore, I could not walk; or at least, I could not lift my foot. Picture this: Me standing (or trying to) in a store that sells my books and has twice hosted book signings for me; and I’m planted to the floor. Talk about embarrassing. I had to slide my left foot and then raise my right foot to move at all. Hubby Russell (Oscar) found me in the Bargain Books and said quite loudly, for everyone to hear, “Ann, why are you walking funny?” Oh, really, men!

    But the point is, and I do have one (stay with me here) is that when I went to have my boots re-heeled at the shoe repair shop, I found the most wonderful experience. Upon flinging open the door, I looked around. Suddenly all my senses were engaged. The unmistakable heavy smell of leather; the comforting sight of the almost magician-like cobbler (for their feats are sometimes nothing short of a miracle); the old, heavy Singer sewing machine right there in the “lobby;” the odds and ends of boots, shoes, belts and purses and even new products like Kiwi shoe polish. This all brought back a flood of childhood memories. On one side of the counter were good as new, repaired products, simply waiting for pick up. On the other side was the worn out “help me if you can” pile, waiting for repair. That’s when I realized the shoe repair shop is a great metaphor for life.

    As a society, we’re so fast to throw away things that are used, abused, weathered and withered. But you know what? Some of the best things I’ve ever owned or loved have a history and attachment that nothing new can ever replace. That’s probably why I love seeing folks drive super old Mercedes; or, like my neighbor down the street, that darling golden yellow Saab that is nicked and scratched, even rusted in places. I often imagine it’s full of great memories; perhaps it traveled to exotic locations, or even brought a new baby home, or maybe rescued a family during a threatening hurricane. I can just imagine the great roads it’s traveled and the outlandish tales it’s witnessed.

    With the current push of resale stores and the trend of wearing vintage apparel being all the rage, I’m sort of glad to know that the so-called new and improved, i.e., shiny, bright and (sometimes) boring, can’t always replace the harmony, comfort and love that comes with something old. This includes not only material things, but human connections, past endeavors and hopeful futures. Along with “Yes we can,” maybe we ought to “Salvage if we can.”

    Especially in these hard economic times, that’s a timely lesson, a good reminder, a necessary wake up call that will help us to all take a good, hard look before we throw away the next thing – be it a pair of worn boots, a dated car or a rocky relationship that indeed can be mended.

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One Response to “Reusing, Recycling and even Rebooting”

  1. yariza says:

    you are very nice and i love your article way too long sister peace

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