Harriet’s gym shoes began to disintegrate at exercise on Friday. Small chunks just fell on the floor. Friends recognized what happened before we did and handed some of the scraps to us, with comments about the age of the shoes. . . and us. Well, we had two days to replace the shoes, before the next class. Harriet really didn’t want to shop, but reluctantly agreed.
What a hassle for me, a man trying to find shoes for a woman, in a store with no help in sight. If one considers size, style, brands, color, and price, there were overwhelming options. A friendly customer helped me because I couldn’t read the details on the boxes. I picked out one that I thought might work. Without a shoehorn, it took all my best effort to get it on her foot. I was exhausted.
I searched further. Same results. I finally walked to the cashier and asked if someone could help. A woman introduced herself and said the “shoe person” was out to lunch, but she would try. That took another twenty unproductive minutes before the “shoe person” finally arrived.
Harriet was not at her best. Her answers were “I don’t know” or “it doesn’t make any difference to me”. About an hour later, she agreed to go with a pair: Black, Size 8.5, New Balance brand, Medium width, “Training” shoes. Whew!
When we reached the cashier, she informed us that in the box were two shoes for the right foot.
The moral of the story: If at 95, you want to buy new shoes for your wife, aged 96, you need a well-tempered sense of humor.
(We returned them. A pair of veteran SAS shoes has been drafted. They just may last as long as we do)
About the author: Richard Smith, Minister, and Community Leader
Richard and Harriet Smith have been part of the Florence, Oregon community for the past thirty years and live at Shorewood Senior Living. Mr. Smith has been involved in countless projects, businesses, and groups.
His mother taught him that if you have leadership ability it will be discovered. There is no need to push yourself into it or brag about yourself. Mr. Smith believes there is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.
Mr. Smith attended Yale University where he met his wife. They were both attending the Divinity school there. He is a retired Presbyterian minister and has been married to his sweetheart for 68 years. They say, “Life is good basically – we both agree on that.”
In 1992 Mr. Smith was nominated for the First Citizen award for Florence in recognition for his work and contribution to the many groups and businesses.
If you are an elder adult or know an elder adult who has a story to share, please contact Jean Garboden at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 503-851-8668. The voices of the elder generation can make us laugh, inspire us, and inform us! We want (and we need) to hear from you!