The Subject is Shoes!


Finally - size 5 shoes which stay on my feet!


Yes, I know. . . after letting the Blackburn Digest languish for nearly nine months, I reappear with shoes as a subject?!  No, I haven’t lost any (more) of my marbles, and I promise to do an actual  catch-up post in the near future 😉  But today, I Found Shoes!

(Back Story) Being trapped in over-sized (8) &  heavy orthopedic shoes w/thick custom inserts for many years has put any somewhat attractive footwear rather high on my interest list, frankly.  Until my mid-thirties, my shoe size was 5 AA. – somewhat small for balancing  my 5′ 7 1/2″ height and very difficult to find at a reasonable price, but a lot of hunting and a sense of adventure  provided the needed items.  Because  Rheumatoid Arthritis caused severe dislocation of my toes , any pretty/stylish/sassy/sporty shoes have been off-limits for a couple of (a few?) decades – I’ve lost track. A few of those years were spent with braces attached to the shoes and velcroed just below my knees; they helped keep me upright, but did zero as a fashion statement!  I’m not vain, but dressing to the standards my job required (before I retired in 2005) was made very difficult by the no-choice footwear.

In 2008, I was blessed in finding an orthopedic surgeon who’s opinion matched the one I had held for several years; all ten toes needed to be amputated. I walked with far less pain during the early recovery period from that surgery than I had experienced daily for many years!  However, my dreams of ‘attractive shoes’ were dashed when the surgeon informed me I would still need my size 8 clod-hoppers with a toe-cap attached to the custom-made insert 🙁   I have been zipping around our house & yard (and a few over-long conventions) barefoot since then. . . . NOT surgeon approved behavior, but virtually pain free .something pretty.  I’ve found some slippers/moccasins which were amenable to remaining attached to my feet (as opposed to my walking right out of them) . . . apparently, the dislocated little monsters had been serving  some useful purpose after all!  Shoes to leave my house in were more elusive, until today 🙂

I had wine, cat treats and butter on my shopping list and decided to brave the brand new and incredibly  h-u-g-e HEB Plus supermarket which recently opened about 3 miles from Casa Blackburn.  (I think 180,000 sq. ft. was the space quoted in the grand opening announcement!)  Quite an adventure; sparkling clean (of course), lovely wide aisles, a full butcher’s shop and fresh fish market. . . . “specialty shops” (electronics, outdoor furniture, very large plant nursery, toddler-to-adult clothing section, etc.) around the side walls.  Altogether, a very dangerous place to visit; you could walk in looking for Salem bleu cheese and a quart of milk and return to your car with a flat-screen TV and a service for eight of china or enough sun/shade loving trees & plants to completely re- landscape your yard!  It’s a rather overwhelming,  upscale version of a Target or Walmart.

Locating the items on my short shopping list provided lots of walking exercise (and a lantana plant and a potted parsley found their way into my cart), but best of all, they had cute shoes in one of the Seasonal aisles!  Size 5 and laced far enough up the foot to keep them in place – Yay!!!  It’s so cool to look down at my feet and see just a bit of the shoe peeking out beyond the hem of my slacks instead of my usual view of bulky black “boats”.  Hmm – I may need to go back to the ‘mega-market’ tomorrow. . . . . they have this style in blue, too!

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