Beloved Junkque

A Loved Pair, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

“What is this?” I said.

In preparation for a bout of vacuuming, I had moved aside a mound of shoes that sat near the front door. The shoes were worn to the point of there being gaping holes and major fraying.

Brady was standing near. “Those are Cole’s, and he loves them.”

Well, they didn’t look lovable to me, and I knew Cole had better shoes for he had been wearing some, but I did recall he had asked me earlier where were his brown shoes. Now, as I stood with the ragged tennies in my control, I had an urge to toss them into the nearest trash can. But I restrained my eager hand, not being savvy to the entire situation, and certainly not wanting to spoil someone’s “love affair.”

Ever had anything you knew was past its prime that you just couldn’t bear to discard? A car, a skirt, a pair of trousers, a toy…?

When we were still pastoring in Rialto, we drove a 1974 Continental that gave us excellent service, but finally it was worn out and looking shabby. I’m never one to want to be buying cars, and it was probably me who encouraged us to keep hanging on to that big silver relic. Finally, though, someone handed in a tithe envelope with a note that read, “For Sister Buxton a new car!”

When Andrew was little, he had a tricycle–the kind with no pedals that you push with your feet, and he adored that thing. Once either his dad or I tossed it into the trash, for he was bigger now and had a pedal tricycle. But he spied it sticking from a garbage can, and rescued the treasure before the trash truck arrived.

One of my boys–I think it was either Steve or Andrew–went through a time of wearing an abysmal hat. It was a hideous thing and I itched to help it disappear.

What is it that causes us to hang onto things long after their period of usefulness has expired? Perhaps such items are in a unique way a source of comfort. They’re known, they’re tried, they’ve passed the test of time. They work.

Cole must have arrived home with his beloved shoes, for I haven’t seen them around here anywhere, and I don’t think I threw them away. πŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “Beloved Junkque

  1. When my son Kyle (now age 22) was little he had a stuffed “duckie”, about 6 inches tall. He rubbed it for comfort so often and for so long, that almost all it’s “feathers” are gone. πŸ™‚
    I still have it.

    Remember the Velveteen Rabbit.


  2. Esther

    I think the “hanging on to things” is mostly because of the memories that are attached to them. Also, it is the comfort. One of my grandsons (not saying which one) had a “blankie” way past the age most kids discard theirs. It got down to only 4 square inches in size but he still hung on to it. I think it has finally turned to dust. HA! Anyway, I know I have several things that I just can’t part with even though I don’t have any use for them. Just part of our human nature.
    The shoes are precious. I hope Cole keeps them always.

    One of the grandsons who hung onto his blanket for a very long time, so that finally it was merely a scrap now has a “tag.” It’s really a red tee shirt–with a tag attached which he fondles. He is so sweet, and once when Ella was crying, he took his “tag” and poked it to her for comfort.


  3. dean

    some day I would like to know….. how can I recall things 30 years ago… and forget something I said yesterday? go figure

    Hate to be the one to carry the news, my dear man, but what you describe is the way of the aging brain. (I’m ducking!)


  4. dean

    Was that car silver?? I recall the cb handle “Silver Parson”!! Those tennis shoes sure look familiar. I bet they fit right, and are very comfortable. I have always feared new shoes. It takes a while to break them in. But I am often fearful of change. Peace

    Yes, Dean. The car was silver, and during the CB days that indeed was Jerry’s handle, and it came from the color of the car, I suppose.

    If I thought those shoes would fit you, I would try to get them away from Cole and send them to you for a belated birthday gift.


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