And, just like that, vacation is over. Well, tomorrow is the last day of my vacation. But, we’re home now and it feels like…like responsibility just punched me in the mouth and is now mocking me, ready for me to punch back.
So, as we hiked the roughly six miles we hiked on Saturday, I noticed that my left shoe felt funny. Funny as in, it felt like it was vibrating every time I took a step on pavement. A lot of our hiking took place on the Battlefield Proper (shall we say), so I really didn’t notice it that often–only when scampering down a road. I checked it for wildlife or gum jammed on the bottom. Nothing. The Hubs checked. Nothing. Okay, so it’s just me being weird. Like that’s a first.
Yesterday we really only had two main hiking goals: Walk the field where Pickett’s Charge took place and walk part of the first day’s battlefield. Awesome! So, the day began with me getting pissed off because my hair got caught in a tree (don’t ask) and ruined a perfectly good hairstyle. But, we hiked to the site of house and barn that was burned during the battle, which was pretty darn cool, and that improved my mood.
If you’ve seen the movie Gettysburg, you may recall the scene of Pickett’s Charge, where all the Confederate troops march into Union fire. And, if you haven’t seen the movie Gettysburg, let me be the first to tell you Pickett’s Charge was a failure. Anyway, I’m bringing this up because the field where the charge took place is colossal. As you walk, you notice the topography of the ground is rolling; if you were watching the Confederates advance, you think they disappeared as they marched down into a low point and then see them again as the crossed the swell. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to march across that field during the battle. You would feel alone, but as you looked back, you would see lines and lines of your comrades marching with you. The Hubs, who was in the Army, says seeing everyone marching with you would help push you forward, even when everything inside you is telling you to turn around.
After The Toddler was born in 2010, The Hubs and I went to Gettysburg (because that’s obviously what we do) and that was when I first walked Pickett’s Charge. As we walked towards the Emmitsburg Pike (towards the “copse of trees” and the Pennsylvania Monument), I briefly looked up towards the road. I noticed this…I don’t know, it’s hard to describe, gray figure crossing the path in front of us, somewhat near the road. The figure looked directly at us as it crossed and then, once it reached the other side of the path, I lost site of it when it entered the field of wheat? Weeds? Whatever it was. When we got up to the road a few seconds later, I looked into the field. There was no one there. I said to The Hubs, “Did you see that person?” He said, “What person?” I said, “That person who just walked in front of us.” And no, he didn’t see anything. He could rationalize it as the person either a) got into a car and drove away or b) ran across the road and high tailed it up the hill. I find option B implausible, as I looked all around us and there wasn’t anyone standing nearby who, in that time frame, would have been able to cross that amount of distance that fast. So, that’s my ghost story, my “happened in the middle of the day” ghost story. I don’t know if it was a ghost or not, but I definitely cannot explain what I saw.
So anyway, after our hike across the field, we wandered down the road where Pickett’s men had been prior to starting the charge. And I noticed, as I walked, the sole of my shoe felt…floppy. It’s best described as feeling like a swimming flipper, just wiggly and kind of pulling my foot down. When I bent over to check my shoe, I realized that the entire sole of the shoe was about the peel off.
And I panicked.
The Hubs assured me that I would not have to walk back across the field barefoot and explained the sole is just for traction. “Well it’s a darn good thing I didn’t lose it while we were hiking yesterday!” I said.
“I guess I could carry you if you want.” <—insert awww here. He really is going for The Husband of the Year award, I swear!
So, off came my sole. Right there. Right in the middle of the road. And I will tell you what, I was darn sad about it. I mean, come on, I got those sneakers in high school! There were like, approximately sixteen years old. Yes, I got my moneys worth. Or rather my parents did, since I was like, fourteen when they bought them for me.
And then, after the sole fell off….the shoe basically began to slowly disintegrate. First the S on the heel (for Sketchers) popped off. Then I noticed the front of the shoe was crumbling.
And after all this happened, dummy here forgot to change her shoes before getting out of the car and starting yet another hike. “Oh, it will be fine,” I rationalized, hopping out of the car like I had on a brand new pair of shoes. We hiked up Barlow’s Knoll, wandered around an almshouse cemetery, and then headed back to the car–and kept walking! We walked to the end of some random road. Then, as we turned to go back to the car….that familiar floppy feeling hit my right foot.
Then the sole of my right shoe peeled off.
Oh well, what better way to go than to be thrown away in Gettysburg. The soles, that is. The shoes are in the kitchen right now, because I still can’t bear to part with them. I mean, they’re functional. Sort of.