Perhaps the streets ARE paved with diamonds…

I am traveling in Europe for six months, and I brought one pair of shoes. One. (In fact, “brought” may not be the right choice of words, since they were the very shoes on my feet when I boarded the plane.)

The MS has made the nerves in my feet all wonky, and most shoes cause me to have all sorts of weird sensations. This particular pair, on the other hand, has made my feet happy.

Sadly, I am probably going to have to give them up. Not because they are frumpy – I have long ago given up style for comfort. Not because they are scuffed to within an inch of their lives – that’s never stopped me yet.

But the soles are absolutely shredding.

I don’t blame the shoes. They are Kumfs (now called Ziera Shoes, by the way) and they are fabulously well-made and supportive and comfortable and everything I could want in a shoe. But when you wear them every day and you have one foot that drags on the ground, they tend to wear rapidly… and on one foot more than the other.

We wandered around Brussels yesterday in search of a replacement pair. It had to meet my strict criteria:

  • Has to go with everything, since I don’t want to cart two pairs around;
  • Has to be cushiony and supportive; and
  • Can’t make the foot feel weird.

That last one is pretty subjective, I know.

The wandering led us to a shop marked “orthopédique,” which sounded promising. Using my five words of French and some gesturing, I was turned over to a colleague who spoke a tiny bit of English and was able to direct me to a possible shop. The shop was indeed possible; the shop assistant spoke lovely English; and they had a number of shoes that looked promising.

I turned down a pair that looked like gold lamé, but otherwise I was open to anything I thought I might be able to walk in. After trying on a zillion pairs, I settled on a pair that looks a lot like the old ones, but in grey.

I left the black pair in Brussels when we left this morning.

I don’t know why I get sentimental about things. I’m the girl who cried when I sold my camper van, who reminisces about every item that goes in the Goodwill box (“Oh! I got this stationery in college!”), who clings to items that have absolutely no beauty or utility (I have a plastic sign that says “Fried Zucchini” from my high school job at Carl’s Jr.). I know these shoes are inanimate objects, but they have been my constant companions these past three years and have gotten me through the last two months of travel single-handedly. I am committed to letting things go, however, so I dropped them in the garbage can and then covered them with leftover potatoes, just in case I suffered from any remorse.

So begins the era of the grey shoes. May they be just as trusty as the black ones! (They did give me a blister on my first long walk today, but it was three miles with no socks – all my socks were black, so I left them in Brussels as well and now need to go shopping – and I will cut them a little slack until I break them in.)

One last look at the black shoes (which is really a picture of the view from our apartment window – isn’t it gorgeous?):

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! that our flight was on time and went safely, and that our new landlord picked us up from the airport. That was a very pleasant surprise. He is a charming gentleman who speaks English well and is all helpfulness.
  • I’m lighter! by those black shoes, and also by the entire telescoping handle assembly of the red suitcase. Once Vueling Airlines broke the wheels and axle off the bag, the handle was no longer needed as the darn thing doesn’t roll. I told David to bash it off with a hammer. Why don’t I think to take photos of these sorts of events until after the fact?

13 thoughts on “Perhaps the streets ARE paved with diamonds…

  1. Good luck with breaking in your new gray shoes 🙂 lovely that your new landlord collected you at airport and that he is nice. Enjoy croatia. Q can enjoy kite-flying at the beach 🙂


    1. Would you believe we have not been to the beach yet? We’ve been swimming in our pool every day, though! We’ve been concentrating on homework and family time, which has been lovely.


    1. I must own that you were in my thoughts as I was writing! It is pleasant to know that, for good or ill, there is one who will comprehend my intentions in such a manner.


      1. It warms the very cockles of my heart to know that, though you soujourn some 8,000 miles away, you think upon me as you scribe to the small, moving screen.


  2. I can’t help thinking that anyone who still has a friend zucchini sign from Carl’s Jr. really needs to experience the joy of gold lamé at least one season, and where better than Europe? 🙂

    For then you could walk the various streets and have people say, “She looks very well in gold lamé, and her hair is done up with an elegance to do credit to any education.”

    Still, your elegance of dress and manner will surely elevate the new gray shoes to their rightful place as heir following the death of the most agreeable black ones.


    1. I daresay that others will note a distinct lack in my dress and manner of walking, but I shall strive be a credit to my family wherever I am known. My hair I dare not vouch for; it has attained a degree of unruliness heretofore unknown, and I despair of ever taming it.


  3. Hi Lori – I get weirdly sentimental about things too. And then the next second I’m surprising people with my weirdly pragmatic behavior. But I still miss Dan’s white truck even though it was old and falling apart and HE didn’t think it was a sacrifice at all to trade it up for a nicer vehicle. I mourn a pair of brown suede shoes that were totally NOT frumpy and therefore I wore them on every international business trip ever until they just couldn’t be worn in even business casual anymore.
    say hi to David and Quinland. I’m off to Basel next week, but probably you are nowhere near enough to take a quick train and see you!


    1. Hello and welcome!!! I am so glad that you can commiserate about the sentimentality. It gets crazy for me; I always joke that David told me I could NOT keep the house Quinland was born in, no matter how many memories I had of it, if we were no longer living there. I can tie a memory to just about anything, though, so the danger is always there.

      It seems like you were just in Barcelona – you are covering more ground than we are! If you are making another trip over here before the summer is over, let me know and I will try to make a plan to see you.

      xo – Lori


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