The Old Woman and the walking shoes

*This is a repost of an earlier entry to keep The Old Woman in our thoughts as she starts on her road to recovery.

Some of my dearest memories of The Old Woman are of our walks. As a kid, I would walk everywhere with The Old Woman, along with my little sister. The Old Woman had never learned to drive, and she always had to either, walk, or have The Old Man take her places. I used to have many hellish dreams that The Old Woman was driving and I was in the car. Usually, the car was spinning out of control and we were about to die.

In my hometown, every Thursday night in the summer months, downtown would be filled with local farmers selling the fruits of their labor. I seem to recall that we would always buy either apples or strawberries; I'm a little fuzzy after all these years. But, the one pure truth, precious memory, or whatever chemical process that got emblazoned into my brain that I will carry with me until the day that I die, is the taste of the french fries and gravy we would get at the little diner up the street from the farmer's market. I'm pretty sure it was called Freddy's Diner. At any rate, if you have never had french fries with gravy, it is one of the things that should be on your bucket list.

The Old Woman loved to walk. She would walk for miles, mostly pushing copious amounts of children in strollers in the early days of course. I can remember one cold October night walking clear across town and eating dinner at Friendly's. She would walk to her various clothing stores and visit all of her friends who worked there. The Old Woman would walk to visit her mother and even though, it was hard for her to hang out in the apartment building with all of those old people, she would still go.

Now that time has passed and The Old Woman has aged, surgery has repaired some of the ravages of time. The seemingly endless walks have faded into memory. But I certainly believe that The Old Woman will be remembered by many in my home town, not by the amount of jewelry she wore or her funky two-toned hair, but by the shear pride that she showed when she was walking with her children.

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