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On the start of summer…

April 8, 2010

Welcome Summer 2010, originally uploaded by cHeLa.B.

As a child (and this is something I forgot until just recently) I knew summer was on its way when my grandmother took me on our annual trip to Fred Meyer’s to buy a new pair of salt water sandals.  I both chafed at and delighted in this event. My grandmother was particular. I had to get navy, because navy matched more of my summer clothes than black and I was certainly not going to get red, which would clash with my pink clothes.They had to fit a certain way- i.e. they had to actually fit and not be 3 sizes too large as I like to wear my shoes back then (children are strange and myself more so). Can you see where the chafing might come from? Needless to say, I didn’t feel I could adequately express my individuality against the incredible strength of my grandmother’s pragmatism. But the trip wasn’t all repression from the man (or woman, in this case). There was also, of course, the stupendous significance of this trip; a significance that absolutely outweighed all restrictions: summer.

The purchase of saltwater sandals always meant that summer was around the corner, and in the whole of my life there has never been a season I’ve loved more than summer. Summer to me is warmth and happiness. Every aspect of summer life makes my heart lighter: the food, the activities, the long days, the feeling of endlessness; I love it all! Of course, I enjoy and even love aspects of the other seasons. Fall is beautiful and cozy, winter is both reflective and festive, and in spring the world comes alive again (not to mention when my birthday is!); but summer is where it’s at. Except… when it comes to footwear. Well, sandals anyway. For a varying reasons, but to my constant frustration, I have spent the last 15 years being foiled in my hunt for the perfect sandal.

In middle school  and throughout high school I went with whatever was trendy but never quite found the right pair. In college I sort of gave up and either wore flip-flops or tennies. Last year is occurred to me that I should try salties again, but when I went to Fred Meyer’s they were all sold out. I vowed that I wouldn’t miss them again. This week I bought my first pair since I was 7-years-old (est.). I hadn’t anticipated the rush I would get when I put them on my feet. They’re sooo comfortable and only get more so with wear. They look great with dresses, skirts, and ankle jeans (yep, I tried them on with different things when I got home). They were everything I’d imagined… and more.

I had completely forgotten about their seasonal implications and so I was completely unprepared for the giddy rush that came when I put my hands on them. I literally jumped up and down, transported to a younger self. I lost myself in visions of walking the trail to my favorite spots at Sauvie’s Island for beach days this summer (my vision oddly enough included awkwardly lugging a cooler while trying to maintain my hold on Quinn’s leash…why are you so realistic sometimes o’ brain of mine?). I could easily see myself riding my (Ethan’s) bike around town, my shoes strapped securely to my feet but affording the necessary air flow and support. Berry picking, going to the coast, and even short hikes- all of this flashed through my mind in a matter of ecstatic seconds. Again, needless to say, I bought two pairs. You know, just in case (god forbid) something happened to the first… that’s normal, right?

I was sad to see that the color selection, not to mention the stores that carry them at all, has dwindled drastically over our long separation. They only had black and white in adult sizes, and only had fuchsia and navy in addition to those in children’s sizes. What happened to the reds, oranges, yellows, and browns? I know they’re out there somewhere, but I have no idea of where. My usual skill at locating things I want to spend money on has deserted me here. I ended up buying two in black, but I was hoping for the dark brown, yellow, and/or orange.
So, do any of you Portlander’s out there know where I might find these colors? Or, does anyone know of a good website where I might purchase them?

Ultimately, I might try and pick up some fancy/ladylike sandals/wedges/espadrilles to complete my summer footwear, but right now I can’t imagine wearing anything other than my new standbys (unless of course I find them in other colors!!)



What I’m loving:

My friend Andrea’s new blog dedicated solely to books- of the children’s variety!

Colorful/fancy umbrellas like this and this. It is Springtime in the NW after all.

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