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The Feeling of New Running Shoes:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

One of my favorite passages from Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine" describes a young boy's experience getting new shoes after a long winter. Enjoy...

“Stop!” cried the old man.

Douglas pulled up and turned.

Mr. Sanderson leaned forward.

“How do they feel?” The boy looked down at his feet deep in the rivers, in the fields of wheat, in the wind that already was rushing him out of the town. He looked up at the old man, his eyes burning, his mouth moving, but no sound came out.

“Antelopes?” said the old man, looking from the boy’s face to his shoes. “Gazelles?”

The boy thought about it, hesitated, and nodded a quick nod. Almost immediately he vanished. He just spun about with a whisper and went off. The door stood empty. The sound of the tennis shoes faded in the jungle heat.

Mr. Sanderson stood in the sun-blazed door, listening. From a long time ago, when he dreamed as a boy, he remembered the sound. Beautiful creatures leaping under the sky, gone through brush, under trees, away, and only the soft echo of their running left behind.

“Antelopes,” said Mr. Sanderson. “Gazelles.”

He bent to pick up the boy’s abandoned winter shoes, heavy with forgotten rains and long-melted snows. Moving out of the blazing sun, walking softly, lightly, slowly, he headed back toward civilization . . .

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTICKET 4/12/2014 10:20AM

    CHRISTINATODAY: No new shoes for me yet :-(
I was just thinking it was spring and how flat my old shoes feel, how without their bounce they no longer live up to the promise of the season, and it reminded me of that passage. Earlier in the chapter, the boy was trying to find the words to convince his father that his winter shoes were no longer adequate. The kid sees the shoes in the store window and tries to convince his father to buy him a pair:

“Dad!” He blurted it out. “Back there in that window, those Cream-Sponge ParaLitefoot Shoes . . .”

His father didn’t even turn. “Suppose you tell me why you need a new pair of sneakers. Can you do that?”

“Well . . .”

It was because they felt the way it feels every summer when you take off your shoes for the first time and run in the grass. They felt like it feels sticking your feet out of the hot covers in wintertime to let the cold wind from the open window blow on them suddenly and you let them stay out a long time until you pull them back in under the
covers again to feel them, like packed snow. The tennis shoes felt like it always feels the first time every year wading in the slow waters of the creek and seeing your feet below, half an inch further downstream, with refraction, than the real part of you above water.

“Dad,” said Douglas, “it’s hard to explain.”

Somehow the people who made tennis shoes knew what boys needed and wanted. They put marshmallows and coiled springs in the soles and they wove the rest out of grasses bleached and fired in the wilderness. Somewhere deep in the soft loam of the shoes the thin hard sinews of the buck deer were hidden. The people that made the
shoes must have watched a lot of winds blow the trees and a lot of rivers going down to the lakes. Whatever it was, it was in the shoes, and it was summer.

Douglas tried to get all this in words. “Yes,” said Father, “but what’s wrong with last year’s sneakers? Why can’t you dig them out of the closet?”

Well, he felt sorry for boys who lived in California where they wore tennis shoes all year and never knew what it was to get winter off your feet, peel off the iron leather shoes all full of snow and rain and run barefoot for a day and then lace on the first new tennis shoes of the season, which was better than barefoot. The magic was always in the new pair of shoes. The magic might die by the first of September, but now in late June there was still plenty of magic, and shoes like these could jump you over trees and rivers and houses. And if you wanted, they could jump you over fences and sidewalks and dogs.

“Don’t you see?” said Douglas. “I just can’t use last year’s pair.”

For last year’s pair were dead inside. They had been fine when he started them out, last year. But by the end of summer, every year, you always found out, you always knew, you couldn’t really jump over rivers and trees and houses in them, and they were dead. But this was a new year, and he felt that this time, with this new pair of shoes, he
could do anything, anything at all.

Comment edited on: 4/12/2014 10:22:06 AM

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LARABY34 4/12/2014 9:06AM

    but then someone steps on them so they are not perfectly white anymore.

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2014TODAY 4/12/2014 6:16AM

    so, did YOU get new shoes?

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SUSANBEAMON 4/12/2014 1:43AM

  been a while since i've read any Bradbury. he did manage to make the feelings real enough.

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Friday Night: Exercise or watch Netflix? Both!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I can't tell you how badly I wanted to just blow off my workout and watch TV all night. If I had done that I would also have made about 5 trips to the kitchen for snacks. Instead, I sucked it up, turned on Netflix in front of the machine instead of the one in front of the couch, got on the treadmill, and burned out 1 hr. 45 minutes of SparkTracker steps. I feel great and will sleep great.

Physically it was the right thing to do, but I also feel good emotionally too. It makes me feel like I have the discipline to do other things better too. Like tomorrow, when I have to do my taxes...
emoticon ...now I'm sad. Better get back on the treadmill.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJEFFERSON23 5/12/2014 8:47PM

  Yes, you can kill two birds with one stone so to speak. I like to watch intense, thought provoking shows while I exercise. It makes me work harder!


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2014TODAY 4/12/2014 2:14AM

Yes, that's the way. Keep getting back on the treadmill whenever you're sad!!! emoticon

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ROXYCARIN 4/12/2014 12:56AM


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Just don't buy it if you shouldn't eat it...

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Went grocery shopping and bought something I shouldn't have, rationalizing that I'd eat it a little bit at a time over several days. Was lying to myself. I'm throwing the rest out right now. Good bye ice cream. Someday when I have the will power we can be friends again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAMROCKY2K 4/7/2014 12:34AM

    I find it's tough to get over the ice cream addiction but only for a couple weeks. I panicked when the first container 1.5 qt was finished.. yet I wasn't panicked when I wasn't eating it but still had it in the freezer. I have now gone 3 days without it in the house and it's getting easier. (hmm.. I did have it on my list. I just might remove it. One bite would bring back that desire.) Good points!! emoticon

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CTICKET 4/6/2014 5:32PM

    KOFEENUT, thanks for the great suggestion. I'm a big fan of single serving sizes. I'll have to see if our local grocery store carries them. Cheers!

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KOFFEENUT 4/6/2014 5:30PM

    My (not-so-secret) weakness is Ben & Jerry's ice cream, which typically come in the 4-serving size. I discovered I don't even have THAT much restraint. Fortunately my store now sells single-serving sizes. Even though they're expensive to buy in the smaller sizes, having only ONE single-serving carton in my house at a time allows me to have a treat while I work on my willpower.

Hang in there - we're doing this one step at a time!

Comment edited on: 4/6/2014 5:30:51 PM

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MAINEALI 4/6/2014 10:09AM

    I'm so glad you said this. As I read things by other people, I'm always yelling in my head: "Just don't buy it!"


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CHUBBY_MOM 4/6/2014 9:08AM

    Grocery shopping is so hard! Way to many temptations! I really think the ice cream yells to get into my cart!

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SHELTER-PETS 4/6/2014 6:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHERYLHURT 4/6/2014 5:18AM

  I can't even keep the stuff in the house!

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I wonder if I get a faster computer if I'll lose more weight?

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Perhaps I can get my SparkPoints even faster with a faster computer, and then I'd lose weight quicker. Then again, perhaps I'm just trying to justify getting a new computer...


Lousy weather = Treadmill + Netflix Marathon!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Gonna log a ton of treadmill mills and cram in as many episodes of House MD as I can today! Going to climb the Spark Activity Tracker Overall Individual Leaderboard and make my family crazy as I brag about it. Here's to going to bed exhausted at the end an active Saturday! Cheers!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERRYMARY42 4/5/2014 7:42PM

    sounds like a plan, enjoy and if you get the bragging rights, well then BRAG emoticon

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TX_WILDHEART 4/5/2014 4:28PM

    giggle... well that's an awesome goal and you have every right to brag. GO FOR IT@

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