My Shoe’s Got Soul . . .

By Yours Truly

This is who I am. I love to recycle things that have meant something to me. I found these shoes in a thrift store years ago. I fell in love with them because the shoe brand was something like Sam and Jane and they were about the most comfortable shoes I ever had with a soft sole and leather that seemed to breathe. The original shoes were brown, not gold. But one day as I went to get my shoes to go someplace, the sole of one was literally falling off of it. Of course I was heartbroken, but then I had this idea to make a play on words and to give one of the shoes a whole new life, so I came up with this idea.

The “wings” are on a base which is made from the sole of one shoe, and I found the most wonderful colored organiza with a nice stiffness to it that allowed me to cut out the little leaves. The leaves seemed appropriate to me because shoes wouldn’t tend to go up in the air (except for the kids who throw them over the telephone lines). And I remembered in the compass of my soul how much fun it was as a kid (and ok, I confess, as a grownup too) to jump in a pile of leaves). And I had to make her a happy and bright color full of life, for that is how I remembered those old comfy shoes.

It’s so many years later since I made her, “My Shoe’s Got Soul.” She’s still with me, and I imagine that she will still be when I take my last jump into those leaves. And it’s funny because she led me to write a story called “Tenshoes and the Skittyfoot” about ten orphan shoes who live in a trash dump, and every Saturday, the animals up in the meadow above hear “sootspeak” because the dump is putting out ugly smoke and it is mixed with the angry and sad words from the ten orphans arguing because they were just thrown away like they never mattered after living lives with adventure. They were never appreciated for who and what they were, and the dump is a horrible place to live.

The Skittyfoot is a little boy with red (really red) hair who comes to visit the creatures in the meadow every day, and the little boy can talk to them and they to him. They tell him about the Tenshoes, and that they want him to go and rescue the Tenshoes from the ugly dump and bring them up to the meadow where they can live safely. But before they can come up to the meadow, they have to find things and fix themselves up as best as they can. Just because they are orphans doesn’t mean they cannot have pride in themselves.

So the Skittyfoot goes down to the dump, and ultimately gets the tenshoes to clean and fix themselves up, and help each other, which they do. Ultimately they go to the meadow with the Skittyfoot, and the little creatures in the meadow all make them welcome and they will have a forever home where they are loved and treasured.

No, I never published Tenshoes and the Skittyfoot though I guess I could have. Some things just live on in our hearts and in the compass of our souls. I’ve been a sort of orphan too, and it took me awhile, for I didn’t have a Skittyfoot or other orphans like me to help, but I fixed myself up nice and clean (there is not and never has been anything related to drugs or other similar things but a transformation from being a childhood orphan), and now I can make things like “My Shoe’s Got Soul” to help others to feel good about themselves too.

Isn’t it strange how life brings little things into our consciousness to help us learn to grow and to care for ourselves, even if we were a kind of orphan in our younger lives? And using art to fix up an old shoe that brought happiness to a life can be a symbol of that. We don’t have to find fancy things or to do anything special to make it up to the meadow from the dump. The recognition of value in little things is what brings a true transformation to us in our lives. Your life, no matter how small you may think it is, is a miracle. Live it like the true gift it is.


12 thoughts on “My Shoe’s Got Soul . . .

  1. Love what you did to the shoe. It’s so colorful. And I love your story about Tenshoes. Very imaginative. Kids would love it. It’s great when we can recycle something like that and keep it around almost forever even when its original use is finished.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hi Anne.
    Yes, a beautiful story, which I shared with my bloggers, but I’ve one question. What happened to that short story you talked about? Do you still have it in a folder or notebook somewhere? If so why not publish it? submit into an anthology, post it onto your blog, something?
    Curious Patty the Promoter wants to know.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you kindly, Patty. I have it saved in my folders on the computer, but what it needs is a little workover. I think the name Tenshoes is fine, but trying to introduce 10 characters might be too much for children who are little who would be its best audience. I am not sure how to make the ten shoes individual without a little story behind each one and then it seems sort of difficult for them and that they might get lost. I think the name is good, but that is a big thing to try to overcome and yet manage to make them all so that they are real. I will send you the manuscript. I envisioned the skittyfoot being a character – a little boy – perhaps even bare feet, and bright red hair. I have no artist but I think with some work over, it could work. I am pressed for money right now, but perhaps I could work out payments from sales or figure something else out. I will send it to you privately. I trust you completely.

    I also have another children’s story that is called “That Dog, Liver” and it is for older children, but still elementary age (likely younger). It is about an old dog named Sawbuck and his family takes him to the vet and then he hears the doctor telling them that he is old and doesn’t have much longer. There are two little boys, so the family decides to get a second younger dog so that when Sawbuck does pass on, the boys won’t be too miserable, so they adopt another dog. It is a Weimaraner – a young one, and Sawbuck is of course jealous. He looks at the dog, and in his mind, he calls the frisky dog “Liver” because it reminds him of liver, which for some reason, he never liked.

    The family goes on a camping trip, taking the two dogs with them (this is skipping the things of him and Liver getting used to each other but with disrespect from Sawbuck for the younger dog. Anyway, during the trip, the dogs wander out into the forest and the family knows they will come back as Sawbuck is trained to do that and they know if he comes the other dog will come too. It begins to rain, really hard, and the family loads their things up to go home because they know there are flash floods in the area, and they figure out that the dogs will come by the time they are ready to go only they don’t. During the dogs outing, the hard rain and wind causes a dying tree to fall, and it falls on Sawbuck. Liver won’t leave Sawbuck, and he keeps trying to dig under Sawbuck to get him out, but then he hears the family in the forest calling them, and so he runs toward their voices, and they see him and are trying to get him to go with them. But he runs once again toward the forest. Ultimately the father and boys follow him and he leads them to Sawbuck, and the father and boys are able to help get Sawbuck out from under the log. Although he IS wounded with some broken ribs, he is overall ok, and Liver licks his face on the way home and to the doctor. We know in the end of the story that the two dogs will now be forever friends and that the boys and their family love them both equally. Both of the stories have sort of a morale to them because I like to tell them like that. Yes, I need someone who could help to make illustrations. I wonder if there is someone with a disability who could benefit from having his/her name on the front of the book for the illustrations and get payments from the sales of the books? I know I can get my hands on the first story and I am not so sure about the second one.

    And if you are handling it, I need to find a way to help you too. I am not sure right now what I have in the way of moola because I am honestly low income (something most of us are familiar with) but I will help in any ways I can think of. Hugs and blessings, Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne.

      I suggest you contact Claire Plaisted of Plaisted Publishing House.

      Her family helps with her business, and her son did the illustration on my Bubba Tails. Claire is a children’s author, and her daughter does cover design. I’m sure you could work something out with them.

      If I can afford them on my meager $1087 per month I’m betting she could find a way for you to do it.

      Also, I think you could keep the ten toes characters, just make the little back story brief. I think today’s kids are pretty sharp, and they’d be fine with it.

      Talk to claire.


  4. Marvelous post, Anne. Your thinking is spot on, what everyone needs to hear. Yet, it takes many, many years before we fully appreciate life and all that’s important. I love your shoe! Recycling artifacts of memories is terrific!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you kindly, Jennie. I have always had a personal relationship with the things that come my way. Living from thrift stores a good part of my life, I always imagined that everything had a wonderful story and that only the new things didn’t have any. I love trying to discern history’s mysteries and that is what brings joy and a depth of living. Thank you so kindly. I always appreciate anything you write.


    1. Thank you kindly, Eliza. I am the Nancy Drew of Thrift Stores. I love them, and whenever I go into a new town or area, I try to get into the thrift stores. There I can look at the things they have and tell you a lot about the townspeople. There have been a number of archaeologists doing projects involving thrift stores as a way for the newbie archaeologists to sharpen their skills. It is amazing what those stores have to tell. And my “tailgate shopping,” i.e. checking the garbage bins in our park where people often throw away amazing clothes, some even still with price tags on them and this is not a fancy neighborhood at all. Most of us do not have much in the way of money, and I always figure a piece of good clothing can always be washed or cleaned at the dry cleaners if it is really good, and for cheap too, so that is part of my story. I grew up with my mom buying our clothes at thrift stores and also we got bread from the day-old bakery, and got meat on sale all the time in Mexico, right over the border, where it used to be great to shop. Things have changed there as they have here, but still good to an extent.


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