I travel to the Midwest a lot. My family lives there; it’s where I grew up. There are no direct flights to Fargo. I’m either flying into Minneapolis and taking a tiny plane from there to Fargo or I connect through Denver. I usually have time to kill between flights. One of my favorite things to do is get my shoes shined. This of course works best in the winter months as I’m often wearing sandals in the summer.
Last Friday I was flying home from Fargo and went through Denver. We were late getting out of Fargo so I quickly found my gate once we landed in Denver. I was relieved to discover the flight to SF was delayed. I headed down the terminal past many gates and came upon airport civilization where there were coffee shops, my favorite Denver independent bookstore, the Tattered Cover, and the shoe shine kiosk. My boots had gotten salt and muck on them from walking around in the snow for several days. Yippee for me, I had time for a boot shine!
My boot shine lady was friendly and we talked about the orange and blue streamers and balloons decorating the gates and stores. The Broncos were playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday. (Yikes, we know how that turned out!) And then I told her how much I appreciated the great job she was doing. We got to talking about boot care. “If you want to avoid these crinkles here, you need to store them well when you’re not wearing them.” She grabbed the leather on the front of them by my ankle to clarify her point. “Most people think they get these wrinkles from wearing them but it’s really from not wearing them. When they’re not wearing them, they try standing them up and they just fall over in the same place all the time,” she said.
One thing I’ve been doing for a while is putting rolled up magazines inside my taller boots. This way they stand up in my closet…until the heater comes on or the cat sneezes and then they fall over. “Store them flat,” she said.
Flat? “Stuff them with newspapers or magazines and make them smooth, especially by the ankles and the toes. Then just lay them down. They’ll be fine!” she said.
On Saturday while I was unpacking my suitcase and doing laundry, I slid open my closet door and inspected my boots. The rolled up magazines were keeping them standing but I looked especially close at the ankle situation. I realized I didn’t have them stuffed enough. I took the newspapers that had piled up while I was gone and started my stuffing project. It’s always a hassle to keep boots balanced standing up and I’m just thrilled to have been given the permission to let them lay down.
So that’s where they’re enjoying these chilly days–lying on the floor of my closet snuggled up together. I have a few wrinkles I can’t do much about so being able to limit the wrinkles in my boots is making me pretty darn happy!