Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: SHOES

For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?

For links to the prompts I've written on so far this year, please click on The Butterfly Hours tab above.

This month's prompts are sister, shoes, slippers, snow, snowstorm, soccer, soup, stairs, stamp, stepmother.


The shoes of my childhood were mostly plain. I wrote about them in "Shoes," which appears in CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? My mother was quite practical, and we had a large family, so we got what we needed: a pair of athletic shoes and a pair of church shoes.

As a teen I remember wearing white Keds with pretty much everything. My senior year I had a pair of white boots with leather fringe – and I loved them! But boots were only a fall/winter thing, and even that was something of a stretch in Alabama. I probably only wore them three or four months.

the boots were sort of like this
When I think of my “style,” which has been described as bohemian or flow-y or artsy, I think of those white fringed boots. I especially remember wearing them with a pink (flow-y) sleeveless dress that my mother miraculously bought for me at Walt DisneyVillage Marketplace when we were there meeting a friend of hers. It was so unexpected that she would splurge like that on a dress from an overpriced shop... but she did, and I wore that pink dress with the white boots to school every couple of weeks (which was as often as one could get away with repeating an outfit).

One of the many things I learned from my mother-in-law Bobbie was to get the clothes items that you want – sometimes they come from Walmart or thrift stores (for me, not my mother-in-law), sometimes they come from expensive shops. Price shouldn't the primary consideration. (Yes, this shows my privilege.) These days COMFORT is a primary consideration. And while I haven't seen white fringed boots in a long time, I do own a pair of beige cowboy boots that I adore and wear in much the same way I wore those other boots. Mostly, I think, we should wear whatever makes us feel good about ourselves. I'm not sure that's white fringed boots anymore, but it is fun to remember!

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