(Essays)

Journey Through My Shoes

Look Ma, No TV

Journey Through My Shoes

by

Susan Marie Davniero

My life has been a shoe-in on the path of life. Walk this walk. It all began when I was learning to walk in my first baby shoes. As I stepped out of them growing up, Mom had one of the baby shoes bronzed. Today, it's a heavyweight, standing guard as a doorstop for a stubborn closet door that won't stay closed.

I learned to lace up my white Ked rubber sole sneakers Mom brought at Grants Department Store. As a little girl I walked proudly on Easter Sunday, showing off my shiny black patent leather new shoes worn with white lace trim ankle socks.

I took the steps to learn in brown collegiate school penny saver loafers that never seemed to have a penny in the flap. When it rained, my sisters and I would mosey over to our hall closet for our red plastic galoshes that always seemed too big, but our feet did stay dry nevertheless.

Summertime was the time for flip-flops decked out for the beach; the flip-flops seemed to separate my big toe from the rest. I worried my feet would stay that way. As I grew older, I changed summer shoes to leather sandals to match my swinging leather shoulder-length pocketbook, in pace with my teens clique.

I remember when my older sister went on vacation to Italy. Being young and single, she brought European leather boots in Italy, that she later regretted after marriage, looking for a classier Italian souvenir more in stride with home.

When I started dating and striding to appear taller, I hiked up my inches wearing platform shoes. I could then lookup to all the tall guys that asked me out. It seemed platform shoes fit my walking style, but spike heels lost me my composure. I even wore my white platform shoes marching up the aisle on my wedding day, as an alternative for the more appropriate fancy high heels, fearful I would fall as I walked down the aisle. The wedding gown hid the platform shoes, except when I stepped from the limo, reaching for my Dad's hand as we prepared to walk down the aisle.

Platforms may have fallen out of style, but my marriage remains in place. Years later, my wedding platforms don't walk anywhere, stored in the back of my bedroom closet.

I moved on slipping into black pumps, well traveled on my adult journey in comfort and content. I don't need to bronze shoes to remember, sneak up in the race wearing sneakers, show off fancy patent leather shoes, follow the crowd in penny savers or sandals, and don't care to appear taller, even though my husband is 6 feet tall. Today I have to step up to be myself.

Essentially, we all walk the pathway of life in the shoes we choose, sharing our own life's journey, just in different shoes. The shoes of one's past tell the story of one's life — if only the tongue of the shoe could really talk.

Our footprints during our journey through life leave an imprint of where we have been to where we are going. Yet, with or without shoes, even barefoot, we never walk alone.

The Lord said that once I decided to follow Him, He'd walk with me all the way. But I mentioned noticing that during the most troublesome times in my life, there was only one set of footprints. The Lord replied, "During your times of trial and suffering, when you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."


White Platform Shoes worn on wedding day.
Susan Marie Davniero with Dad, Gerard Fischetti

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Look Ma, No TV

by

Susan Marie Davniero

I found that turning off TV is a healthy lifestyle — I know because I'm living it. Yet, this time, the choice was not mine. By chance, during our home improvements, my husband and I moved out temporarily while my kitchen was renovated. We didn't take the cable TV box with us deciding against it, as disconnecting and installing elsewhere could result in loss of our special plan. Without cable hookup, no TV works, so for the time being, we live without a TV.

Living without a TV is the new normal for us and reminds us this is not our home. We will be back home soon enough, but during this time our life has changed channels, so to speak. My hubby's not loving it, as Bob is a big sports fan missing his Mets ballgames. It seems radio days are here again, when my husband and I turn on our radio's favorite stations; FAM Sports, WHLI AM, 1010 News and Family Radio.

Reading newspapers, books and doing crossword puzzles has become our leisure. And conversation has turned up its volume as we talk more.

Shutting off the TV has become a blessing in disguise. I was a TV junkie, living by my kitchen TV, cooking and eating while watching TV, and losing sleep. The TV blocked my energy to be free to live life to the fullest. Life is not a spectator sport. Without wasting time in front of TV spacing out, I have found time in my day to get everything done; family, computer, reading, balancing checkbook, chores, hobby writing and drawing, shopping, church, library, fairs and all the summer fun!

For me, TV watching is like chocolate cake — it's something that I once enjoyed that I don't enjoy anymore. It was too much of a good thing that stole my time. No more a TV junkie. TV doesn't own me anymore. And my husband is no longer a couch potato. We're both in better shape and growing closer with this time together. It's a new world. Life is not a spectator sport. I learned to live life, not watch it. Essentially, turning off the TV, turned into a better, healthier lifestyle for me.



Susan and husband, Robert Davniero

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Susan Marie Davniero

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