Because Every Solution is Temporary

Today I put socks on the Boy’s feet and then wrapped them in several layers of duct tape. He looked like he was wearing silver ballet slippers, but I didn’t tell him that, I told him they looked like spaceman shoes. His way too small but all that he has runners had been abducted by his daddy; taken against their will in the foot well of the car were they had been abandoned by the barefoot loving boy. This isn’t usually a problem except today we were getting on a bus to ride downtown to buy, of all things, shoes. I’m usually happy to let him run around barefoot where we live, but I’d rather he didn’t encounter city streets unshod, call me crazy.

I’m pleased to report that duct tape shoes seem to keep feet safe. They are however very goofy looking, and not that easy to remove when trying on new shoes. Once we got them off I realized that we had to buy shoes before we left that store, or he’d be walking home barefoot. I hadn’t thought to bring a roll of duct tape with me.

It’s always an adventure taking the bus with my kids. Today, with the boy all covered in mosquito bites from his camping trip looking like he has a case of 5-year-old acne and wearing his cut off shorts and unbuttoned shirt to accent the duct tape shoes, we were an interesting entourage. I like the way we get to know our community and meet people on the bus. We meet far more interesting people this way and have conversations we would otherwise not have had. Of course, the conversation I was having at the stop on our way home caused me to not notice that I was boarding the wrong bus. We went on a little trip through a pretty part of town that I have never seen before. It looked so all American, a baseball diamond, and pretty old houses with flower boxes on the windows set against the mountains in the distance. Well, they call them mountains here, they’re more like large foothills all covered in rocks. I grew up next to the Rockies so I have trouble calling these bumps, however pretty and scenic, mountains.

We got home late; tired and hungry, with spider man sandals and skate shoes that fit. I’m so glad that they make skate shoes wide. The boy has my problem of a very high instep and normal runners don’t fit at all.

This Saturday we go to Palm Springs to scatter the remains of Uncle Gordon. He finally passed last Friday, right after the family gathered to say goodbye one last time. It fascinates me how some people seem to be able to decide when they’re done and then kick the bucket almost at will. I wonder if it’s because they can feel that they’re dying and so tell everyone they’re going to, or if they can decide. Uncle Gordon told everyone to come on Friday, instead of Saturday as planned, and it seems as though he was just waiting to see everyone one last time and then depart. We are going to take the big tram up the to the top of the mountain named after some saint whose name escapes me, and scatter his ashes from the highest point as he requested. Then we are going to go through his things and decide what to keep and what to sell.

It’s so business like in some ways, this process of leaving your body behind. The people left behind have a lot of work to do to deal with everything you’ve accumulated in your passage through this world. In Uncle Gordon’s case it includes several very nice antiques and a baby grand piano that would unfortunately take up my entire living room so my sister in law is keeping it instead. But I am keeping his music collection, because he loved to sit and play through his show tunes at that piano, and no one else wants them.

In a way it makes me think of a bus ride. We sit next to people, and learn a little bit about them, we pass through each other’s lives entering and exiting and connecting along the way. Eventually everyone has to get off and where that door leads we can only know through faith. But hopefully we leave the people still riding a little happier and better because they knew us. Hopefully they will remember us fondly and be a living legacy. Hopefully they’ll take care of our stuff too, since we won’t need it anymore. This life is after all only temporary.

all content © Carrien Blue

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