The question is inevitable.
The moniker BlueBoots came about recently. Here’s how.
– – – – the + background + story – – – –
Prior to moving to California, I had just gone through 2 pairs of boots, at least. One was a sturdy, more-or-less heavy and clunky Man Boot. At least, I felt like I could probably hurt someone if I needed to with them on, if I could balance well enough to do any damage, that is. They were warm, which was a winning factor, and lined with fur. They were also waterproof near the foot area in particular, for all the kicking around in slushy brown-black puddles that I spend most of my waking, walking time doing.
But, I eventually abandoned the Man Boot because I found myself ice skating and falling one too many times, and as snowstorms turned into snow-rain fall, and snowbanks into rivers, I quickly invested in a pair of rain boots to participate in the Save My Suit Pants mission. My first rain boots saved the season, until they cracked from the temperature changes (which is common in less well-made rubber boots) and began to diffuse cold, murky water onto my once-dry and warm socks.
So, I threw out those rain boots and it was time to move to California.
[Disclaimer – the move West wasn’t as simple as:
1) Abandon Man Boots
2) Throw out Holey Rain Boots
3) Move to California,
…but it did happen in that order!]
– – – – re-acquainted – – – –
After two years of living in sunny California where it nary snows (although…it did enough for a hearty snowball fight while I was at a retreat in Big Bear in November) and nary rains (although…it did, many times, right as I was bidding Cali “goodbye,” enough to flood the street intersections), I surely couldn’t imagine the *snow* piled 5 feet high that might await me in Boston, MA, could I?
Anticipate ice skating down my street as I rush down the corner? No, I couldn’t imagine that either. I would have had to buy ice skates, too, since that’s one kind of shoe I for sure don’t own.
I instead concentrated on moving myself, and numerous brown cardboard boxes, across the country, following the wind that was picking me up and blowing me eaaaaaaastward and didn’t trouble myself with something so trivial as the weather.
After an hour layover in Dallas this past January to break up the dreaded cross-country flight, I poked my head out of the airport briefly and tested the air, finding it to be somewhat warmer than California, which had been quite chilly compared to the norm, and much like my beloved season of Autumn. I reveled in it for a moment, imagining the multi-colored leaves that would have matched such a temperature had I been already on the East Coast to experience it during the season preceding *winter*. I enjoyed a delicious, homemade southwestern chicken soup that was fragrant with the care that went into it’s making, lightly buttered roll, chips, grapes, and cocoa-flavored mochi that a dear friend had prepared in a sack lunch, personally delivered, for my infinitesimally brief visit (what a pleasant and precious memory!) As I headed back into the airport at DFW, I could almost forget that as I moved east, the temperature would drop drastically.
When I touched down late that night at Logan International Airport, retrieved my suitcases and guitar from the conveyor belt and stacked them precariously on an overpriced $3 cart (they used to be $1.25!), managing to make it almost to the curb for pick-up… without any adverse happenstance…CRASH!
My guitar case decided it was too tired to stand up and crashed into a small pile of, you guessed it, snow. The snow was not quite powder, and not quite ice, but it definitely did not cushion the fall and a piece of my case flew across my otherwise full cart and landed somewhere unbeknownst to me. A good stranger called out to me and dropped a piece of guitar case into my palm and I quickly pocketed it, balanced my probably 180 lbs worth of belongings and proceeded, head held high, towards my friend’s car. Almost. I almost made it, but not quite.
Once I was situated in the car, I tried to get myself to believe that I had, in fact, landed in a place that would be home for the next several months, a place at least in which rain and snow and clouds and storm and wintry mix and frigid (so many foreign words!) were a part of the common lexicon for the weather forecaster instead of sunny and temperate and pleasant.
I quickly realized that I had not enough time to prepare myself (and my feet, in particular) before the next storm would arrive, so I resigned myself to trudging about sullenly around town for a week or so with wet and cold feet before I finally had a moment to look into appropriate winter footwear. At the next earliest opportunity, confident in the merits of rain boots, I decided I would purchase another pair, and this time, step up the quality.
After looking in a few places, I was stuck with a quandary of facing as many colors of rain boots as there are Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors. I took pictures, considered, and fretted and tried desperately to suppress my strong instinct to go for the colors that don’t match with anything I own, and was in constant text-consultation with dear friends of mine but alas – I still could not decide.
But as I was trying on easy-to-match gray boots, and conservative black boots, and bold teal-blue boots, I sat on the shoe-bench exhausted in front of so many choices. And, as if this could have been an indicator of the future that my critical choice in boot color would have, two ladies shopping, on two separate occasions came up to me and exclaimed and gushed
…just how much they loved those BLUE BOOTS! YOU SHOULD GET THEM!
I looked up at them, and smiled, and looked down and raised my eyebrows, and asked myself, “Did I really care if my rain boots/snow boots matched the rest of my wardrobe?“
I concluded, No, I didn’t.
I paid, put them on, and walked out of the store, carefree (at least, when it comes to Slush Management).
Since then, I have to note, beyond friends, more strangers have stopped me and smiled: on the street, at the grocery store, at class, and in line at a cafe to tell me how much they love these boots in the past couple of weeks than I’ve ever talked to in a like span of time.
If I can’t say I really like to talk to people who I don’t know, they’re talking to me. Somehow, I think that’s a good change.
As I was over by Copley Library on Sunday afternoon, I was looking down to avoid the free street-ice-skating rinks formed from rain freezing on snow, a homeless man stopped me in front of CVS to ask for spare change and when I regretted that I didn’t have any to give, instead of grumbling and swearing like most do, he smiled and said,
“Nice boots! You wear them well.”
I turned and smiled at him too, “Thanks!”
Smiles can really power a day. Yes, we need the divine power, a divine motor to turn within us to supply us and propel us through the day, but smiles are like the gas power button that some newer hybrid cars have. Divine power is the energy saver option that we want to go with, but sometimes we need a little extra boost to get us over the particularly icy banks that sneak up on us throughout the day.
BlueBoots seem to be bringing cheer and smiles to people, and consequently to me. So, I do hope the little things I share can bring the same to you!