Tying Shoes

Today during the on-line church service, the children’s ministry teacher started the children’s moment talking about skills we learned to do, but don’t really think about how we do it anymore.  The idiom, “like riding a bike,” was mentioned.  Then she started talking about learning to tie her shoes.

I don’t remember much of the lesson after that because my mind was filled with the memory of childhood traumas.  I suffered much over tying shoes.  Try as they might, mother, father, teachers, friends, etc … no one could teach me the “correct” way to tie a shoe.  You know that way where you make a single loop, wrap the loose end around the loop, and by some magic spell you pull a loop through somewhere and and presto tied shoe.

Even as an adult I don’t get it.

As a kid, I was always derided by adults, and other kids for not being able to learn the proper way.  Oh, I did find away to tie shoes – you just make two loops and tie them together like a granny knot.  It works.  My shoes stay tied, most of the time.  If you look closely at two shoes, one tied the correct way and one tied my way, you’d be hard pressed to tell which method was used to tie the knot.

I managed to grow up, but when it was time to tie my shoes, I always tried to do that in a private place, away from judgmental eyes.  It became a great skill of mine – hiding how I tied my shoes.

While I was researching for this post … yes, I did some research for this post.  The internet is a weird thing and for the life of me I couldn’t exactly remember the “correct” way to tie shoes so I decided to look it up.  I found one website that lists, complete with instructions, for 20 different ways to tie a shoe.

Anyway, the first method listed as the “Standard Shoelace Knot,” and explanation still doesn’t make sense to me.  The second method – second – just want to emphasize that, “second,” is the two loop or “bunny ears” method or exactly the method I’ve been using since age five (or maybe six).  And get this, when you look at the pictures of the two methods, the result is exactly the same final knot.

Take that shoe tier teachers.

Okay, there is a note that done incorrectly the bunny ears method can lead to an “unbalanced granny knot.”  I’ll admit that sometimes I do come across as unbalanced or a least less than stable, but that’s a different post …

Looking at the list of shoelace knots, I find the “Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot” to be interesting and I just might learn that one.  Maybe.

These days I tend to just avoid tying shoes at all.  I mean I am getting older and it’s a long way down to my feet and I fear falling over while attempting to tie a shoe.  When I can I have slip-on shoes or just take my shoes off without untying then and treating them like slip-ons.  Not the best practice as over time it destroys the heal, but it’s how I’ve learn to adapt to my childhood traumas and fears.

But I think it’s time that I faced those fears and say out loud, “Where can I get shoes with velcro straps?”

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Friday Wisdom – Cooking

I went to the grocery store to buy food, but all I found were ingredients.

Did I tell you about the cruel cook? He beat the eggs and whipped the cream.

Just the other day my wife said she was going to fix lunch. I said that I didn’t even know it was broken.

Bakers only give out their recipes on a knead to know basis.

Did you hear about the lawyer who became a sue chef?

I didn’t like the chef at the sea food restaurant – he had a shellfish attitude.

A watched pot never boils, but the unwatched pot can make a heck of a mess on the stove.

I was trying to cook a surprise dinner for my wife, but the fire trucks ruined it.

Why did the cook want to quit? They cut her celery.

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Wednesday Construction – walls and steps

But first, Heather and I did a little drive on Monday to see where the snow is:

On Monday we drove up to see some snow. This is a trailhead near Mt. Rose.

We’re in a bit of a drought here and there hasn’t been any snow at the house for a month.  We had to drive up to the ski areas to find some.  This looks like snow, but there was a lot of ice there too.

We’re in the third week of having a construction crew on-site and looks like they may be here for a day or two next week.  Here’s the current progress:

I’ve ordered the shed that will go on this gravel area. Should be here in March.

They’re almost done. The new retaining walls are in and the stairs are complete.

At the very top of the hill is a little patio where you can see out over north Reno.  Here’s the view around sunset:

The view from the top of our hill. My iPhone camera doesn’t really do the view justice.

This project has been taking a lot of our time so other projects are on a bit of a hold right now.

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Today sunset will finally be after 5:00 pm.  Soon the sun will rise before seven as our planet travels its course around the sun.  The ebb and flow of the days and the constant slow change of our sun.

The lengthening days bring hope.  Slowly we change our habits and adapt.  Now we start to speak of hikes in the hills, car trips to distant places, and sitting on the beach with a picnic lunch.

Contrast with just two short months ago as the days shortened and garden hoses where coiled and put away.  Contrast with the day when the swing seat was pushed into the back of the shed to protect it from the snow.

Desert snow.  Snow in the high desert – a juxtaposition of nature.  Infrequent, but still beautiful as it covers the sand and lizards in that white pure blanket.

Cold hands feel little and struggle to hold the wrench that wants to build – something, anything.

Long nights lead under the safe warmth of the blankets on the bed.  Reading, dreaming and hoping for a new earlier dawn.

Dawn.  Twilight.  Civil, nautical, and astronomical twilight all define that space between darkness and light.  Between lightness and dark.  Those times when the bright noon colors fade to gray and then to black.

The elliptical light tracks my mood.  It was darkening as the old year faded.  Now hope for change, hope for a vaccine, and in my own back yard a construction crew builds the framework for a new world I can build in.

Still, it feels like twilight out there with long shadows and cold biting the air.

Soon the sun will set after six and the shadows shorten as a warming wind brings hope for a spring. 

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