Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Shoes From the Attic

About 3 or 4 years ago, on one of my mother's trips down to Texas to visit us, we were all out running errands; one stop being a shoe store.  One or two of the kids needed some new summer sandals.  Along came Miss Mabel showing me a very pretty pair that she picked out for herself.  I admired them and complimented her on her taste and then mentioned, "I believe I have some shoes at home for you."  To which her shoulders slumped and her face fell as she moaned quite loudly, "Not shoes from the attic!!"   

I tried to stifle my laugh.  My Mom, when I told her  "shoes from the attic" were "nice" hand-me-downs in a bin up in the attic,  tried very hard not to laugh.  The sales lady smiled and walked away.

Poor Miss Mabel.  In her lowly state, she had coined the best phrase ever...."shoes from the attic"  (hand-me-down shoes).

Having three girls at the time, shoes from the attic were not some ancient, worn out, cracked shoes. They were shoes that were neatly packed in a bin up in the attic  in very good condition.  I would keep the good shoes and pass them on from one girl to the next.

I could feel her pain though.  Being one of nine kids, the middle child, and the third daughter in a row, I totally understood the disappointment that sometimes came with having to wear hand-me-downs.  Yet, that is life.  Character building moments!  I never met many girls who were not in that same situation, and many mothers I know today, including many of you, probably have a bin of shoes up in your own attics (or some basement) for your children.

Sadly for my pocketbook, I have found that after a certain age, (puberty), it is pointless to hold onto the shoes.  Their growth spurts are so different from one another; from their heads down to their feet. Yet their excitement for wearing a pair of brand new shoes puts a big smile on my face as I step back and watch them unpack, lace up or strap, (and even take whiff) of those new shoes :)  They are SO appreciative of the new shoes "from the store".

Character building!

~  Patty  ~

11 comments:

  1. I love this post!! I am with you on all of it.
    "Character building moments" is a great line. I will be using that one.

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  2. I love it, shoes from the attic. Ours would be shoes from the storage room. As time passed without baby, I slowly downsized and got rid of things and purged the shoe bin. I still save some here and there but seriously when they are so little I rarely spend a fortune on shoes so many aren't as worth saving. Perhaps it's the thought of lent around the corner and getting rid of all of those 'shoes from the attic' type items, but I feel like I have way too much packed away for 'if' and 'maybe' we ever have another child.

    I will have to keep in mind all of these wonderful character building moments. That they are, for sure.

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    1. I totally agree! I had the three already, so I knew to keep them. After Mabel, I started giving them away. Actually, when we knew we were moving to TX with no basement, I HAD to purge BIG time! I had given all my baby girl clothes away to a friend who was patiently waiting for the completion of their adoption through China. (Their first child.)

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  3. Cute story Patty! Sometimes when we're in a store buying clothes for Anna, Abigail will moan that she doesn't get something new. And sometimes I want to... really really want to get her some new clothes too but then Scott helped her along with it one time and called it "shopping in the bins". He got her all excited one spring when we took the clothes out... piles and piles of clothes her size. Now she's mostly okay with it. ~ I'm finding the same thing with Anna's shoes now. (10 yrs old) They are harder to save for her little sister because they get so much more worn out. There are tons of "shoes from the attic" from toddlerhood to age 10 but now I'm starting to just save the 'church and concert' shoes. Daily shoes just don't last.

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    1. That was a brilliant move on your husband's part!! I do try and purchase them one or two new items for summer and for winter. My mom would do that for me and, to this day, I still remember what a couple of those brand new outfits from J.C.Penney catalog looked like. :)

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  4. We are going to start calling our shoes from the basement, "Shoes from the attic" I think it adds to the beauty of hand me downs...hahah! I never got hand me downs, being the oldest, but always wanted them and wished I'd had an older sister to give me hers. (so funny, huh?)
    I wondered where you Texas people put your bins and well, just extra stuff...Attics, huh? Sounds like a spidery place...kind of like a basement--haha!

    My oldest daughter loves to ask for a "Payless Shoes" gift card for Christmas...she loves shoes. My 2nd oldest, as you said, does not have the same style, so it does not work to save shoes...but I still do.

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    Replies
    1. It creeps me out because I think of the book series Flowers in the Attic! Remember that series? Creepy!

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    2. Ugh....yes...OK, "shoes from the basement" it is. :)

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  5. Hi Patty! I used to buy used shoes at garage sales for my little ones. Why not? They blow through shoes like Kleenex. My son got some spiffy Spiderman shoes at one sale, and he loved them. In his teens, he told me that those shoes 'ruined his feet' because they were used. Um...yeah, whatever.

    Someday they will see the wisdom of the decisions. (Not in their teens!) In the meantime, we saved where we could. Having one girl and one boy, saving shoes wasn't an option. But the clothing and shoe resales? I'm there!!
    Have a good weekend my friend,
    Ceil

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  6. Absolutely adorable. Too cute! I know about "shoes from the attic." As a preacher's kid, mama made our clothes and we wanted "store bought" clothes. I remember getting bags of hand-me-downs from my first cousin who we thought was "rich." I was just as proud of them because they were "store bought." Mama took our shoes to the shoe repair man to be resoled and new buckles put on. We hated the thick soles and big buckles. He used whatever he had! Oh nightmare! Cute post! Enjoyed reading it so much.

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  7. Ha ha ha! We have "shoes from the attic" too!! (and "coats from the attic"...but nobody complains when the cold weather comes and mom suddenly has warm coats for everyone....) ;o) Becky

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