Zipping along through the Gold Creek Wilderness Study Area in Oregon, Len and I drove past a roadside tree and then looked at looked at each other quizzically. “We’re those shoes?” we asked in unison. “Let’s turn around!”
Pulling off the road, we saw perhaps a hundred pairs of shoes had been slug up into the tree. Almost all of them tennis shoes, most of them nice. Mind you, we’re in the middle of nowhere. Someone would have to drive a long way out here—on purpose.
Click on photo to enlarge
A bit of internet research reveals that slinging shoes over telephone pole lines could mean anything from exuberance at passing a sexual milestone, to gangs marking their territorial boundaries. I also learned that the Southwest has a similar practice of placing boots upside down on fenceposts by the side of a road. And in the military, some soldiers pitch their boots over wires when leaving a post. But I didn’t find a single thing about slinging shoes into a tree. Particularly a tree in the middle of nowhere.
If you’ve pitched your shoes in a similar manner, why?
We took our son out to dinner for his birthday, and after a delicious meal, we asked the waiter if he would take our photograph with my cell phone. When we dropped Evan off at his apartment, he said, “Will you please send me a copy of that photo?” As we pulled away, I sent it to him.
Before we arrived at our house—only a mile away—my cell phone rang. “Mom, did you see the optical illusion?” I had no idea what he was talking about. “Open the photo and look at the straw on the table. It looks like the right side of it is levitating.”
You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t believe everything you think.” Well, don’t believe everything you see, either.
What was your most recent encounter with an illusion?
While discussing the practical use of social media at a monthly meeting with other nonfiction writers, it was suggested that I monetize my blog.
It was also recommended that because Tuesdays with Laurie is high traffic, I should rent this space to others to use as a platform.
I explained that I actually pay an annual fee to keep advertisements off my blog and that I have no intention of being a mouthpiece for services or products.
After they pulled their eyebrows back down from their hairlines, it was clear I stood alone in my thinking.
I have no issues with monetized blogs. In fact, I applaud people who earn income from their posts. It just doesn’t happen to be what Tuesdays with Laurie is about.
When was the last time you stood alone?
We never fail to be awed by the many, beautiful hot air balloons that lift off from Ann Morrison Park over Labor Day weekend at the annual Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic. This year’s event was no exception.
As the air in the balloons gets hotter than the surrounding air, they rise. Walking between the balloons before liftoff, the sound is incredible! In fact, an article in the Idaho Statesman newspaper recommended that attendees leave their dogs at home because the sound—like a herd of fire breathing dragons—can scare them.
Mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, what is it that lifts you up?
Willa isn’t fond of getting in the water—at all. It takes courage even to get her paws wet. So when she stepped out of her comfort zone and into Lake Cascade, we were proud of her and happy for her.
Comfort Zone is defined as “behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk.”
Remember when the training wheels were removed from your bicycle? Or the first time you swam without water wings? Trying new things helps us expand our borders.
When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?
On Mondays, we drop Willa off at The Lodge for day camp. One afternoon when I arrived to pick her up, the sun was at just the right angle, allowing me to capture the sign’s shadow on the wall.
Just as every object casts a shadow, every person casts a shadow—both physically and figuratively:
- Physically, our silhouette against a lighter background.
- Figuratively, our influence.
Our figurative shadow (influence) falls on those around us. Our words and actions affect those in our sphere of influence. In Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth I wrote, “Never underestimate the influence you have on others.”
What kind of shadow do you cast?
On the seventeen mile drive between Darby and Hamilton in Montana, there’s a totem pole carver who does exquisite work. When I stood back to admire his creations, in my mind’s eye, I imagined the “weight” on the shoulders of the “person” on the bottom.
You’ve heard it said—or maybe even said it yourself—“No problem, I’ve got broad shoulders.” Meaning, I have the ability to take criticism, accept responsibility, or carry another person’s burdens.
When people ask about my role as a transformational life coach I respond, “I won’t walk in front you. I won’t walk behind you. I won’t carry you. I will, however, walk beside you.”
How many people are you carrying on your shoulders?