Memory Lane

It’s All About The Shoes

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I was thinking about that keynote presentation we did for the Florida Prosperity Partnerships' Annual Conference years ago, and how much fun it was to tailor our presentation to the conference theme, The Wizard of Oz.


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What made you think of that? I know they play all the old classics over the holidays. Was the movie on last weekend?


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No, I was wearing the UGG slippers you got me (I love them!) and putting away the new sneakers you just gave me. It reminded me how with you it's always about the shoes. That got me thinking about how you used Dorothy's ruby slippers, and your stiletto heels, to make a point (no pun intended).


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That although we were the keynote speakers, we were not the experts? I merely pointed out the obvious – that the audience was the "boots on the ground".


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Yes, exactly. At the event, it was all the community organizations helping people with financial stability. But now, with everything going on due to the pandemic, "boots on the ground" applies to so many people … healthcare workers, first-responders, community organizations, teachers, parents, the list goes on-and-on.

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Make sure to include scientists and businesses. But, what is your point?


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We all get so wrapped up in our day-to-day life, and the changes that we're having to make, that we sometimes forget there are so many people working to help us all. Including many who are behind-the-scenes, so never are even noticed.


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"We are all in this together" is not just a slogan.


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I know. Unfortunately, the more people say it, the more it just becomes white noise. At that presentation, I could see the difference it made when you acknowledged they were the "boots on the ground". It wasn't that they wanted to be thanked, although we did that, too. They just really appreciated not being taken for granted.


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I call it as I see it.


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Well, although I always make a point to thank the workers at the grocery store, I'm going to make more of an effort to remember to thank all people who are making a difference for being the "boots on the ground". It's the least I can do. Actually, it's the least we can all do.


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Maybe it would be easier to remember if you just remembered … "It is all about the shoes."
Columbia Pictures

It’s Groundhog Day. Again! A day that reminds me of a great movie with a great message (see my thoughts below). Again. And this year, it reminds me that I have great friends. Now, you may wonder, what does that have to do with Groundhog Day? Well, a few years ago, I visited one of my dearest friends when she was living in Woodstock, IL, where the movie, “Groundhog Day” was filmed. Standing in the town square on a snowy night with one of my best friends is a day (well, technically a night) I’d be happy to repeat. Again and again.

Yes, I know that Groundhog Day was last week. But truth be told, on the actual day, I almost forgot that it was Groundhog Day. Until Black, on our morning phone call (we talk almost every morning – sometimes specific Red & Black items, sometimes current events, sometimes just "life") wishes me, "Happy Groundhog Day." Well, these days, every day feels like Groundhog Day, so I thought she was just being sarcastic, which wouldn't be unusual. When I started to reply with something like "yeah, same ole, same ole", I paused, because I realized, it really was Groundhog Day.

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Photo courtesy of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Some things should never be forgotten. That’s why tomorrow’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day was created by the United Nations to mark the unspeakable horror of the Nazi’s genocide of over six million Jews. An event beyond comprehension, which makes us wonder why many U.S. states don’t require students learn about the horrors of the Holocaust. How can we prevent atrocities from happening again if we don’t understand how they happened before? And as we see heartbreaking images from Ukraine, it reminds us of Holocaust images, and that evil will always be evil …

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Shoes. Seemingly endless shoes. That’s all I can think about.


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I know you cannot be talking about my closet.


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Far from it! It’s an image that’s forever burned in my memory. A pile of shoes, each one representing a life lost. Each one a story onto itself. Each one proof of something we should never forget.


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Normally, I would ask you to tell me what you are talking about or accuse you of being overly dramatic. But, not this time.
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New Year’s Eve is one of those nights (Black calls them “forced” celebrations) that often have great expectations attached to it. Many people make a big deal of it, but we prefer a lowkey approach, making the evening “special” by spending it with special people – for Red, her daughters, and for Black, close friends.

Some years it can be a bittersweet celebration (if loved ones have passed or no longer live close to home), but that can remind you of what’s most important.

So, let’s all toast to the promise and hope of a new year … and to champagne and toilet paper.



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New Year's Eve seems like the perfect time to stroll down memory lane, although I'm guessing your memories are much more interesting than mine.


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"Interesting" is a subjective word. Regardless, are you talking about memories in general? Or, New Year's Eve celebrations?


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Actually, it was just a passing comment. But since you've always seemed to make a bigger deal out of New Year's Eve than I have, are there any years that really stand out?


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Truth is the most memorable ones are the ones spent with celebrating with closest friends versus crowds. In fact, I think I have spent more than half of my New Year's Eves with John and Diana. Although, I will never forget bringing in 2000.
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