Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 5, 2021
We followed in other’s footsteps and others are following ours

“Over the river and through the woods!”

Those words of the beloved holiday song seemed to be constantly swimming through my heart as I drove East. Not to Grandmother’s house, but to my daughter’s house, so we could share the all-important Christmas holiday. It was a very long drive, but the words seemed to marginalize the ribbon of seemingly never-ending road stretched out as far as my eyes could see, while piercing the horizon of America’s Great Plains. At the time, I thought the horizon would be the only object to be pierced. I was wrong!

Yes. I was wrong. Yet I don’t want you to think I was wrong in a bad way. I just didn’t have any way of knowing how a very small gesture was going to touch my heart almost immediately upon my arrival in Arkansas. 

My daughter living in Arkansas has a room over her garage. That’s where we stay when we visit. So, right after I knocked on the front door, one of my grandsons, Landon, led the way up the bifurcated staircase, as I carried the first suitcase up. Then we both settled down on the foot of the bed so we could chat while petting Merlin, our fluffy, now well-traveled Corgi, just before we picked up a leash in preparation for a walk around the neighborhood in delightfully warm, end of December weather conditions.

Upon our return to the house, Landon carefully reminded me to “take my shoes off.” So, I reached down and released the latch between Merlin’s harness and leash. Then, I stepped out of my shoes, picked them up and climbed the stairs to my room with them in hand. When in the room I placed them near the side of the bed. That way I would know exactly where the shoes were when I wanted to use them again.

“Wait!” Landon exclaimed, just after my shoes touched the floor.

Then, in a flash, he wheeled his whole body around, made a dash to the bedroom door and bolted down the stairs. I stood wondering what I was to wait for. However, it was a fleeting thought as it was but a moment until he bounded back up the stairs and through the door with a smile on his face. My eyes quickly traveled down from his beaming face right to his hands, where they rested on two black objects, one held in each hand. They were his black dress shoes! He’d gone downstairs to select his black shoes because they were the same color as mine.

I watched as he carefully placed his best shoes next to mine, in a line. I was touched. But, he didn’t stop there. When I came back up those stairs the next day I found he’d added another pair of his shoes to the line: A blue sneaker trimmed in green adorned the other side of my shoes. Then the following day I looked down to find a third pair, red high-tops, added to our colorful string of following-shoes.

“Over the river and through the woods!”

The exact words of the beloved holiday song came swimming back through my mind, piercing my heart, as I looked down upon four pairs of neatly lined-up shoes through moistened eyes. Not because I was in my grandmother’s house, though the sight made me think of the many loved ones who walked this same trail of life before me. I was in my daughter’s home to share the all-important Christmas holiday with family. At this moment the words seemed to graphically display the responsibility you and I have to all those who are now following, and will follow, the path we’re walking now. 

We must always remember the following-shoes around us. Others are following our footsteps, standing on the trail imprinted by our shoes.

Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>