My Ruby Red Slippers/ …On coming un-glued.


Growing up, I wasn’t a huge “Wizard of Oz” fan… It was nice, we’d all watch it when it came on TV during the holidays, but I was FAR more partial to Mary Martin’s “Peter Pan”. This was most fun, of course, while I sang & danced to each number in front of the TV at my Grandmama’s house…. Always casting myself as Peter or Tigerlilly (or both at the same time), and assigning my cousins the crappy minor roles.  Thankfully, none of them were too scarred by this experience in their childhood; I am the “artsy one” and they all have good jobs and successful lives.

When I got older, I was a rockstar babysitter… I could tame the wildest kids in the neighborhood… the kid who ran naked down the street on the regular? I tamed him. But, I really “settled” in my babysitting career with my sweet Rebecca… I babysat her from the time she was 3 weeks old… she was the flower girl in my wedding, and is now in high school and sang in my choir. As a youngster, she was OBSESSED with the “Wizard of Oz”… and had to watch it DAILY. Thanks to her, I basically have it memorized. I even was willing to sacrifice whatever self-respect I had in high school to dress up as Dorothy at her 4th birthday party… and sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” after taking character pictures…. With kids AND grownups.

However, it wasn’t until 2 years ago I finally got my pair of “ruby slippers”.

Mine? They ARE magic… and I love them.

About 2 years ago, my father’s mother, my Gram, passed away unexpectedly. After the services, my family- parents, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins- were all hanging out at my Gram’s house…. Still just taking it all in. At some point, all the grandchildren were told if there was something we wanted to take, to remember her by, to grab it… If no one else really wanted it, we could keep it. I instantly said, “I WANT HER RED SHOES!”

It was such a strong memory for me- countless trips shopping together- she always wanted/ needed a “new pair of red shoes”. My Gram was a rockstar, but not the kind of lady you’d most likely expect to be strutting in a red shoe… But I swear, she ALWAYS had ATLEAST one pair of red shoes. …and I would know. I was a frequent visitor of her shoe rack as a child.

Everyone in the room was like, “Does Gram even HAVE red shoes?!?”

“Um, duh she does!” I knew EXACTLY where they were… and it was clear no one else wanted them. Magically, like a Cinderella moment in Grand Cayman, THEY FIT ME. It was a sign.

…And I wore them out of the house that day.

….And on the plane home.

…. And I pull them out and wear them whenever I’m having that kind of a day when I might just need a little magic, or I might have wished my Gram was still around for a quick phone call or e-mail or word of encouragement. It’s a game-changer for me… My secret magic… A little pact between her, God, and I that guarantees things are going to go a bit better than expected.

…Basically, on more than one occasion, they’ve kept me from coming unglued. That’s a 100% fact.

That’s a pretty special shoe, if you ask me. I don’t even know of Jimmy Choo’s that can do that.

So, I woke up this morning and could tell I needed a “ruby slipper” day. I felt better already just knowing I was gonna wear them. I pulled out my white pants for the first time this season, picked out a cute grey top, and those beautiful, red, retro-ish shoes…. A perfect pop of color for my outfit and a little magic for my day.  I was out the door, ready to tackle the day.

Things were going great- the “ruby slipper effect” was in full-force! UNTIL I almost tripped in my classroom- twice. Then, I looked down, and saw THIS:

My shoes- My precious, magical “ruby slippers”- my gram shoes, the shoes that keep me from coming unglued…. Well, came unglued. I WAS HORRIFIED!

I was beyond rational thinking… I taught the rest of my class trying not to “walk too much” while racking my brain as to where the nearest Walgreens was… and do they sell Super Glue… and could that fix my magic shoes….

$3.99 and 45 minutes later, while illegally pulled in a handicapped space, I did “shoe CPR”… Super-gluing my left shoe together.  It really wasn’t sticking all that well, and like a bad episode of “ER” in a Lakeview parking lot, I glued and held that shoe together with all my might, literally saying out loud, “Come on! Stick together! You’re NOT dying on me today!”

I WAS GOING TO GLUE THIS SHOE TOGETHER. IT WAS GOING TO STICK… Because this shoe keeps ME from coming unglued. 3M could help a sister out, right?

While not perfect, this is what I ended up with:

Thankfully, it held up for the rest of my day. Clearly, I’m going to have to take my magic shoes in for some shoe surgery, but they aren’t done yet. I am happy to report the super glue hasn’t had any effect on their magic Gram power.  The rest of my day? Fantastic!….Complete with a hug and a bible verse from someone…. And if you knew my Gram, you know that was proof….

Them shoes got some power.

Random of the Day:

…My H.S. Boys’ way of saying they know vocal rest sucks:

I LOVE “my kids”.

(that’s a post coming soon…)


3 responses »

  1. Hey Tara, it’s your cousin, Charlotte – I saw you had a blog on facebook and I figured I would try to read it someday; I’m glad I read this section. It made me tear up and smile all at the same time! Keep on writing, xoxo.

  2. Pingback: Wise Women « Going Up!

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