Posts Tagged ‘Footwear’

I am going away for just a week and departing over a month from now, but believe it or not, I am packing.

This is ridiculous I know, but THIS time I vow to have the right clothes and accessories with everything kept at a pared down minimum!  It will all mix and match and will fit into my very light, versatile carry-on bag that will also fit into the overhead.

Dressed to impress, and with ultra-lithe grace and beauty, I will be able to easily lift my suitcase to its lofty heights as we board the plane.  No more looking pitiful so the young man behind me will offer to do the lifting.  I am woman after all and I am strong.

Taking into account that my personal body weight may fluctuate (probably upward) anywhere from two to five pounds between now and then, and that my feet will probably swell on-the-go, I am determined to put together the perfect Carry-on that has everything I need to survive a week in comfort, high style and elegance.

Who am I trying to impress anyway?  Well, my family, son, daughter-in-law, brother, sister-in-law, niece and her family, and a very dear friend are all joining us in San Diego for a mini-reunion.

So I am packing now.

This morning. Early.

Over a month in advance!

And as always, I am facing the insanity of indecision.

Why is it that men do not have problems DECIDING?  My husband is so infuriating because he packs the night before departure!  He (literally) throws in two pairs of slacks He wears jeans on the plane and takes only two sets of shoes – one for comfort and one for dress.  He tops it all off with an all-purpose jacket and three or four shirts and he’s good to go.  Aaaargh!

Not me.  I have to be color coordinated and always prepared.

-I did manage this morning to put together a casually elegant, look-how-comfortable-I-really-feel outfit after trying on all my favorite things to the point of exhaustion.

–  But then I agonized over a second, more concentrated ultra elegantly casual  tourist outfit, sporting carefully selected jewelry and accessories. There is a very fine line between casually elegant and elegantly casual by the way.  Anyway, tourists have to walk I guess, so elegant walking shoes are also a must for this second outfit.  Fortunately I found a pair of those, but the outfit itself is still pending.

– Aaaargh –  I also need glamorous evening apparel “in case” we go somewhere elegantly elegant and that requires more elaborate jewelry with a bit of glitz.  That outfit is also still pending.

– And what about cover-ups in case it’s chilly? Haven’t even considered that yet.

– Like Bill, I could try bringing only two pairs of shoes – one on my feet and one in the luggage, but I always wind up with at least one pair on my feet and three, preferably four more for different heights and color and style. The carry-on suitcase is already bulging and getting almost too heavy for me to launch into the overhead.  I will try to keep it to four sets of shoes even though three’s a crowd in a carry-on.

– What about purses?  I would like to bring only one, but what if we do go somewhere elegantly elegant?  My travel purse looks well, utilitarian – Bleh!  That means I need to pack another purse “for dress.”

Ultra Casual Travel Purse

–  A bathing suit is a must of course, and coverup and sandals for the beach.  That could bring things up to five pairs of shoes.

– What about the weather where we are going?  It may be chilly.  I will need long-sleeved tops and short-sleeved tops and jackets and cover-ups.


Now I am already worn out from all this thinking and trying on, and I may not be able to zip the suitcase closed!

Worn Out from Packing

The only positive thing to come out of packing over a month in advance is the exercise!

To be continued…


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Before my husband and I moved to rural Virginia, or “the sticks”, as some people called it, I wore high heels and tailored dresses to work.  In fact, I enjoyed silk dresses for their climate-comfort versatility and timeless style.  Yes, I admit I was rather a stylish and elegant working woman.

So, when I announced our impending move to the sticks, I heard a few guffaws from friends who didn’t want us to go and commented, “You’ll be back.  You won’t like it there.  You will miss wearing high heels and silk dresses in the country!”  This made me dig in my heels (pun intended) even more of course, and I assured them I would always remain my usual elegant self, complete with silk dresses, high style and high heels.

Secretly I had also (romantically) decided to become “Mrs. Mike” – a character in a wonderful book and then film – the story of a girly girl who survived (for love of course) in the wilderness.  I figured – “that’s me, a wilderness lady.  I can be both elegant and tough at the same time.”

And so it went.  Our house was finally built on the red clay dirt of Virginia, and our driveway was paved with chunky, sharp edged black stones.  It was soon apparent that opportunities for elegantly appointed apparel were severely (if not entirely) limited.  And walking in high heels upon a gravel driveway can mean dangerous wobbling.  For even as I conquered balance, I noticed the finish was quickly disappearing from my heels.  Oh yes, the height of the heel lent grace to my stature, but if anyone bothered to look down they would notice the deplorable condition of this poor woman’s shoes!

Then there was the red clay (that would make great bricks).  Thick sticky dirt that becomes thick sticky mud is a deplorable obstacle to high heels.  Think quickmud instead of quicksand and you will have an idea how easy it is for a sharp heel to sink into unsuspected quagmires.  “Thwop” you are sucked in.  And “Thwop” you drag your foot out (hopefully with the shoe still attached).  Is this the same once lovely shoe?  Yuk!

So, as my friends in the civilized world had suggested, I switched to sneakers and jeans. Sneakers do not go well with silk dresses, so the dresses dwindled away as well.   I was consoled that at least my sneakers were brilliant white so I looked, neat, clean and put together in hardware stores.  But, I soon learned that working in the garden for an hour left my sparkling sneakers caked with sticky muck.  And if I didn’t wash my now not-so-brilliant sneakers right away (with a wire brush and in very hot water) they would stay looking forever nasty and smeared, and would not even be appropriate for forays to the hardware store.

Sneakers for Home & Sensible Heels for Special Occasions

Low Heels & Back to Basics

Next, I bought a pair of Wellington boots.  “Wellies” are rubberized boots that can be worn in the rain, maybe in the snow, and yes, in red clay.  My Wellies are always waiting at the back door.  Today I picked tomatoes from Bill’s somewhatextremely weedy garden.  I have a fear of snakes and other critters attacking bare legs as I wade through jungles of weeds and the Wellies come to mid-calf for protection.  An additional benefit is when I forget to take them off.  Yes, they look grungy and they are caked with mud, but they make me feel like a local and that I really belong here as I browse the local hardware store.

My Trusty Wellies

There may be one dress left in my closet now and it is not silk, but a kind of drip-dry thing I drag out for special occasions like funerals or weddings.  And there is at least one pair of my new version of high heels for special occasions.  They are about an inch high but I wobble in them now since I have become attached to the Wellies.

My friends in civilization were correct of course.  I had to give up style, elegance, silk dresses and high heels when we moved here.   And sometimes I do yearn for the old elegant me – but mostly I am content being Mrs. Mike, that not-so-elegant lady thwopping around in the sticky red clay of Virginia.

Today’s high heels are REALLY high!  Imagine these on my gravel drive.  Oh my!

Today’s High Heels

Country Tip for City Dudes:

If you are moving to the country, donate your high heels to charity and buy Wellies.

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