A Dead Guys Stuff Shows How to Walk the Walk

A Dead Guys Stuff Shows How to Walk the Walk

My Father’s Boots.


When my dad passed away in 2006, family members each got to pick things from his house and have things from his life’s collections and home. I mindfully choose his work boots.


14 years and several moves later, they hang in my home where I see them almost daily and can gently touch the laces or worn leather to remind me, he is always with me.



I watched him walk and live his life in those boots. As a little girl on the farm, I heard them from my upstairs farmhouse bedroom, thump on the kitchen floor in the morning as he seemed to purposely drop them extra hard to wake us at sunrise.



I heard them thump on the floor after he would come home exhausted from a day’s
work providing for us on the family farm.  I heard them when we moved off the farm after a series of heart attacks, and he continued to work daily to support his family. Those boots always were on his soles, to feed not only us, but to quietly feed our souls in his own way.



Every day. He methodically untied them, set them one by one to the side. Then when he was done for the day, he would drop them by the kitchen bench, and they would land with a loud, tired



The next morning, as the smell of Folgers coffee brewed, WNAX-AM “Your Big Friend in the Midwest “radio station loudly announced the farm markets and local news and the smell of whatever his cast iron frying pan breakfast was that morning filled the house; his boots
waited for his return to face another day.



They carried him through the 1920s, 1930’s, and then they became the boots of a World War II solider. The boots he wore saw the changing times of the world from 1919-2006 carrying him
through it all.


He always purchased boots of quality that would stand the test of time. Their solid build held him through a marriage & creation of a family, and then the loss of his son.

The leather pull on the backs, were tugged on many times with held back words, fears, and tears. The strong leather and soles supported him through making the memories, and the loss of memories, as he laced them up daily through our moms long, drawn out years of dementia and her passing.


He would wear them until they were about worn out before replacing them, alternating them between a pair of work shoes and casual shoes.  A combination of 3 pair of sturdy, faithful shoes & boots were all he needed to carry him through his life.



He wore them while he taught, yelled, or scolded me or while silently let me learn hard lessons.  He wore them fishing to relax, or while he rested in his recliner for a quick nap, or as he held a new grandbaby for the first time, or let the grandchildren play in the garage by his side.


While he suffered from heart disease and then faded too fast from cancer, he wore them to re-live his memories and stories; to teach us lessons and give us final instructions on how to go on with him not in this earthly world.


His walk was not perfect in life.
The boot strings would often break, He would be a lost soul at times, but he would knot them back together and lace it back up to face another day. The hooks would bend and need to be gently pushed back into shape to hold the laces again. The boots were stained and soiled from sweat and tears of his and the others he quietly loved.



The laces that physically held the boots on and together through his life, now spiritually bind us together.  As we move through this Easter with laces that cannot be tied and our connections with loved ones are separated; and the houses of Our Father look much different than any other Easter in our memories, we need to remember that even though we are apart, we are always together.


Leather Boots


May you have a blessed Easter and rejoice, as soon our ties will be reunited with our friends and families and gatherings will happen again.






Potholes and Repairs

Potholes and Repairs

When things are going smoothly and you are thinking you are on the right route thanks to smartphones, Siri & Google Maps, you lose the signal, and the directions are gone. You have a moment of choice words, maybe a small anxiety attack amid six lanes of unknown freeway rush hour traffic, or maybe you are looking down a rural road with nothing in sight for many miles.

No matter how your directions disappear, if your signal comes back or not, you need to be open to finding your way to a destination.

The path you think you want to take may have construction work over the hill or a huge danger ahead warning sign. Possibly even closed for good and no detour.

Art came into my life early, but I went down many other roads first. I really did not have a map and there were no smartphones with Google Maps. I went down the roads of first job, marriage, abusive marriage, divorce, marriage, career, children, then college, art, baby, stay at home mom. Now I have adult children and my road is under construction again, mixed with an unknown future fork in the road. All the days of life are filled with many detours, stop signs, pass with care signs and some great green lights mixed into the trip.

Every one of us travels our own roads, encountering signs, warnings and detours we never imagined we would be driving by. Some end completely. Some have a cautionary slow speed limit that never seems to end. Some are like a racetrack. And then some have bumps, and deep potholes that can do some serious damage.

We all loath potholes. I personally scrunch up my face into a tight mess, close my eyes, clench my butt cheeks, shake my head, grip tightly to the wheel, and send up a quick prayer of “please, please, please let there be no damage” when I hit those big ones you just cannot avoid.

I am always relieved when there is no extra noises, flat tires, or pieces of the vehicle on the curb afterwards. But there are sometimes, those rare occasions, that the unwanted pothole hit does do damage. We cannot just leave the car there in the pothole, we must move over or move on. We find the path to the repair shop to fix the car and put the pothole behind us and we can put the car in drive again.

I have hit a few deep potholes recently in life, I am moved over, I am fixing it and slowly pushing my accelerator. The repairs and gas can be very spendy, and at times I just do not have enough to refill or repair a certain piece right away. It may require shipping and special handling of part you just cannot get in town.  But I am okay with that. My navigation system is coming back online, it is thawing out after this cold spell, and my route to art, rediscovering myself, getting a new battery, and an overhaul is going to get me going to great destinations again.

And find I folks along the way at all the service stations and repair shops. Some have the parts I need, some offer great advice and routes, others feed my body and soul. Then there are a few seasoned travelers that have the off-road maps that get you to those special places. They have traveled the road, been in the ditches, and know how maneuver a few tricky spots, pointing out how to go around a harbor or a mountain. They let you know that sometimes, you need repair people and that the bumpy path leads you to just the right destination at just the right time.

D is for drive.