Sunday, November 1, 2009

Farewell, Favorite Garden Shoes


It was a sad day in September when my favorite garden shoes came to the end of their long and useful life. I've owned these flip flops (we used to call them thongs back then) since the seventies! They came along with me when I packed up and moved to Idaho in 1978.



They sat in my closet for many years, and I started seriously wearing them around 1990. If you do the math.....that is nearly 20 years of use!! They were the cheap old firm rubber kind, having nylon straps with a piece of leather sewed unto it. I probably paid a dollar or two for them. I had worn them so long, they had actually formed to my feet....similar to a pair of expensive Birkenstocks. (Which, BTW, I also wear, and have been through several pairs while still wearing these flip flops!) These were soooo comfy to slip on, as I headed out to work in the garden on a summer day. As you can see in the above photo, the toe strap of the left shoe finally gave out, and just below it is the fatal wound that finally brought them to their end.





Look at the bottom of these shoes!! They are worn down to the third stripe of color, the light blue.... completely worn through the black and the medium blue color layers. Here you can see, from the bottom, the fatal wound.... caused by using the shovel while wearing said shoes, a move I now regret, as it shortened their lifespan by who knows how long?






A side view shows just how worn these babies were.... the layers were dinged up, separated and worn down. Not pretty, but as comfortable as an old friend. Farewell, favorite garden shoes....you will be missed!







Shown above are the 'new kids on the block'....a pair of Tevas I forked over 20 bucks for, to replace my old favorites. I chose the ones with a small blue stripe on the side, in memory of the the old pair. I could tell right away that these are not going to last long! They feel soft and mushy on the feet, and just make me miss my old ones all the more. Guess I'll head on over to Ebay where...maybe, just maybe...someone might be selling a pair of sweet vintage seventies flip flops, in black with blue stripes!



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Old friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were the easiest for his feet.

~John Seldon




20 comments:

texasdaisey said...

Oh my they really lasted! I understand being attached to our garden gear. I have an old straw hat that my family begged me not to wear in public. To make it worse it has a big pink flower on it and I love to wear hot pink or lime green crocs. Maybe not stylish but comfy and effective. Hope you find your favorite.
Debbie

Kim and Victoria said...

I had a great pair of thongs like that. My older sister gave them to me after she'd worn them for a while. I also wore mine for about 20 years until they finally wore out. Why is it we can't buy them like that anymore?
Definitely time to put them away, Connie. It's even cold down "south" here.

Susie said...

Well I'd say you got your moneys worth out of them! I'm the same way Connie, I wear things out like that too.

GardenJoy4Me said...

WOW !! Now that is loyalty and absolutely a tribute to how great these garden shoes have been to you : )
You have reminded me that I have to clean up my assorted foam clogs (yes they have lasted two years so far .. next year they will probably fold in) but for now I think I will be good to them .. clean up and put away mission is unfolding ! LOL
I love this post girl !
Joy : )

Nutty Gnome said...

I think we all have a favoutite pair of gardening shoes who's demise causes sadness - but yours have done sterling work and you've certainly had your money's worth out of them! Hope the new ones bed in well :)

Thanks for a great read!

sweet bay said...

Those flip flops had a very long life!

Heather said...

Awww, I love well worn shoes that exceed their life expectancy. You certainly got some use out of those babies!

joey said...

Great post, Connie ... you certainly got your $$$ worth! I hear you since in live flip flops (wearing them now, my favorite old black Tevas ... hate to wear sox, especially inside.) For the garden I have an old pair of clogs :)

Shady Gardener said...

Connie, I know exactly how you feel. I love the end quote! ha. I wear slip-on leather shoes that I've had FOREVER (I think!) for use in heavy-duty gardening. Those shoes have been the best thing imaginable and they're giving way. I lost a band/buckle on one and the stitching in the sole is giving way (causing wet feet!). I really must look for a replacement, but I'm dragging my heels (pun intended!). :-) May November prove to be one of your best months this year!

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Connie~~ I guess it's true that all good things must come to an end. I'm a flip-flopper too and lost count of how many pairs I've loved to death through the years. They just don't make 'em like they used to. So are you going to bury them in the backyard complete with a tomb stone?

Connie said...

Grace - Nope...no burying in the backyard. But if someone has a good idea of how to turn them into garden art, I might consider it. :-)

Roses and Lilacs said...

They look comfy but if I wore flip flops into the garden, I'd bleed to death;) Rose thorns.

I agree with you, it is getting harder to find a comfortable pair of shoes for any purpose.
Marnie

Andrea's Garden said...

I understand that quite well! My old Birkenstocks have been patiently enduring muddy flower beds for a few years now. I pray they will last a long time. You've definetly got your §§ worth. Enjoyed your post - never saw a tribute to thongs before. ;-) Andrea

Cat said...

There is NOTHING like an old worn pair of shoes, Connie, but those were TOO old! I'm glad you've replaced them, darlin'.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

LOL, I think we all have our favorite gardening sandals. Mine are just about as worn as yours.Don't you just hate to see them go ;-)

Lynn said...

Wow, those are some faithful old shoes. I'll bet you really hated to give them up.

O.I.M said...

good luck with your new pair but it's tough to beat your old favourites. My favourite garden boots are worn so thin on the the toes that there's almost no boot there at all. but i love them so and hope they will hang in just a little longer.
irena

mothernaturesgarden said...

I have so many things in my closet that should be removed. Thanks for the reminder. My hubby's birthday is coming up in a few days and I'm getting him some new cowboy boots. Although he didn't wear them often, his boots are thirty years old.

Antigonum Cajan said...

I see they certainly had about
one hundred thousand miles.

Beth said...

wow, you really got alot of great use out of them!