When I look back over my life there are a lot of things I wish I still had. My vintage Atari, because it would fetch a pretty penny on eBay, all the stuff I had in a storage unit when I first got together with my husband, because it was all my “good stuff”, and the jewelry that once disappeared. I was babysitting one night, left my watch with all my rings at the house where I was sitting, and the next morning they offered to leave it in the mailbox for me. By 7:45am it was gone, never to be seen again. My class ring, a few rings my father gave me, and my great-grandmother’s diamond ring were in that collection. I still close my eyes and wish I could somehow find them again. Mainly because I’m a sentimental fool, and I love to collect things. It’s how I hold on to memories.
My Blondie makes fun of me all the time for my “collections.” There are very few things she is sentimental about. But her grandparents gave her this pair of boots for graduation, and ooooh, they were beautiful.
In fact, she wore them we she took off for Nashville. And she had them on the day she met her beau. And they just sort of morphed into her favorite pair of boots.
Then about a year ago, some things disappeared from Blondie’s house. Weird things too, like a toaster and a coffee pot. But among the missing items were several pairs of boots. Including her favorite pair.
The coffee pot and the toaster were easy enough to replace. And sure, she could even get more boots. But these boots, well, her PawPaw is gone now, so she can’t replace the fact that those boots were one of the last things he gave her.
I was devastated when I saw how upset she was. Like I said, she’s not Hector the Collector. So I dug out some pictures of Blondie wearing the boots and I blasted them all over Facebook. I even offered a reward for any information leading us back to these boots.
Days went by. My only comfort was this: we live in a small town. And Blondie’s music is pretty well known in these parts. So, I felt confident that people would notice someone wearing Blondie’s boots and tell us. But days turned into weeks, and weeks became months.
Then the holidays were looming. Blondie and I went to the boot store to get her beau a new wallet for Christmas.
My grandbaby was on cloud nine. She ran from boot to boot saying “Momo, I want these. These are sooo cute.” Each pair was better than the last.
Then, it was like a movie scene. The clouds parted and the sun gazed down on these brown boots with angel wings and she was drawn to them. I swear I heard background music from Air Supply. She dropped everything and picked up those boots and came running to me in slow motion.
“Oh MOMO!” She squealed. “I really love (pronounced LUB) these.” Then she hugged them to her cheek.
She had that Kevin-from-Home-Alone expression of bewilderment on her face.
I looked at the price tag. They were expensive. Like so expensive I’m embarrassed to type a number here. I don’t believe in buying expensive shoes for babies. But these were so much like THE boots.
I had to show them to Blondie, who was still picking the perfect wallet. Immediately, she threw them on the counter. She agreed, sometimes we make exceptions to the rules of common sense.
So just like that, the grandbaby had a pair of Angel Wings.
December brought her little sister into the world, and then a few months later, Blondie found a similar pair of baby boots. I could tell she missed her boots. And although she could buy replicas, it just wouldn’t be the same.
So many times I prayed those boots would pop back up. I made sure to keep my eyes peeled. But like so many things we lose in life, they seemed to be gone, just gone.
Then the strangest thing happened earlier this week. Blondie got home from her gig and she noticed a few things out of place. She told me several times she felt like someone had been in her house.
She couldn’t really put her finger on it- things were just different. Later, she was digging out some baby clothes to pass on and there was a strange bag in her closet.
She took it out, and looked inside.
You’re never gonna believe what she found. As if they were never gone, Blondie’s boots were back!
A little more worn, but no less loved. At this point, it doesn’t even matter who took them. All we can do is thank the good Lord for leading someone to right a wrong.
I’m thinking it took more guts to return them than it took to steal them. And now, as far as I’m concerned, the matter is closed. No need to dwell on it another second, except to say thank you- whoever you are.
This weekend, I had the pleasure of watching my Blondie dress up her babies in their matching boots, and she had hers on too, and it’s like she radiated beauty from within.
I’d say we got the fairy tale ending on this one. Now is anyone else waiting for me to say “these boots are made for walking…”?