“Unshined shoes are the end of civilization.”

Today is warm but cloudy and damp. It rained last night, but I slept through it so I was surprised to see the driveway and the sides of the streets were wet. The high today will be 59˚. I’m rooting for one more degree!

My front garden has shoots a-plenty. I noticed the daffodil bulbs first. There are six of them in the garden beside the walk. This morning I noticed several clumps of croci or crocuses near the driveway. They made my morning.

Because rain is predicted tomorrow, I’m going out to do a few errands today. The dump is not among them. I’m pampering my back so no lifting. The trash bags will have to sit one more day.

Henry has another appointment with his shrink vet. She needs to see him before she’ll continue his medication. I have decided to put a halter on him. This will be halter number three as he chewed through halters one and two while he was wearing them, but that was a while back. I put the newest halter on the floor in the hall where Henry has to walk by it. I’m hoping he’ll learn it is nothing dangerous and something not to be chewed.

Some things used to drive my father crazy. When I was kid, he’d go ballistic if someone left an unrinsed glass on the counter. He’d accuse us of laziness. That never phased us.

My father always spit polished his shoes. He kept the oldest active shoe brush in the world, polish stained small cloths and tins of polish in a drawer by the sink. The polish was in a small round tin with a clip on the side which opened the lid. I remember watching my father polish his shoes. He’d lay some newspaper on the table or on the rug in the living room, spit into the open can of polish, use the cloth to gather the polish then he’d get to polishing. Once the shoes dried, he used the brush to get a high gloss shine on his shoes. When I visited my parents, my father always checked to see if I needed my shoes polished. Sometimes I did, and those shoes never looked better than when they were polished by my father.

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6 Comments on ““Unshined shoes are the end of civilization.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    You might not realize it, but 59°F or 15°C is the temperature at sea level on a standard day. If the barometric pressure in 29.92 in. Hg. then that’s a standard atmosphere day. 🙂

    Last night we had some fierce supercell thunderstorms roll through just west of my house. They dropped tennis ball and baseball size hail along with torrential rains. Part of the evening we were under a tornado watch. Having survived one level 3 tornado was enough of tornadoes for the rest of my life. 🙁

    I rarely shine my shoes because the leather on the ones I wear at work is treated with some kind of waterproofing which doesn’t seem to get dull. I do have a very small version of your father’s set up with a little can of black polish, a foam applicator and a buffing cloth. No brush necessary and little effort required.

    Your father did a semi-spit shine on his shoes. When I was in college I was in the Air Force ROTC for awhile and a real spit shine takes hours. You dip cotton balls in a small amount of water and then apply the polish to the damp cotton ball. Then you rub the cotton ball in small circular motions into the leather. You do this over and over again until you can use the shoe to reflect the image of your face so you could shave. It’s hours of layer apon layer of polish with water on a cotton ball. The black leather will shine like a mirror when done correctly or shine like the top of the Chrysler Building.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Well, I am at sea level so I’ll be happy with the 59˚ even though it is warmer off cape this time of year. We are always late to spring.

      On the news last night, your weather was a topic of conversation and amazement. They reported that storms were coming so close together that some people hadn’t yet cleaned up from the last one. I can’t remember when we last had hail.

      My father never bought the bottled polish with the applicator. He stuck to the cans. He preferred a brush to a buffing cloth. He used the same brush for as long as I can remember.

      He did spit polish, but his process wasn’t any way as complicated as yours. He skipped the cotton balls. I figured he’d been doing his shoes the same way since he was in the service. He enlisted the day he turned 17. He had graduated from high school at 16 but his mother refused to sign for him to enlist young. He couldn’t wait to fight the war.

      • Bob Says:

        When you live in tornado alley big violent thunderstorms are a rite of spring. Here in the United States we set the record for number of tornados globally. The warm moist air flowing northward from the Gulf of Mexico provides the energy for the thunderstorms and the winds aloft from the Rocky Mountains creates the shear in the upper atmosphere that gets the storm cell rotating.

      • katry Says:

        On my evening news, they do air the after effects of tornados and heavy rainstorms. That is the only way I know about your area’s weather.

        Massachusetts averages two tornadoes a year. A miniature tornado alley is in the Berkshires which has the highest concentration of tornadoes. When I was a kid, there was a tornado in Worcester. 94 people were killed, making it the 21st deadliest tornado in the history of the US. It is the worst tornado ever to touch down here.

  2. Rowen Says:

    A really big shoe set. (I’m sure Ed Sullivan would approve.) Nice all around.

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