The Shining

I'd have called my dad today if I knew where he was. Ok, that sounds bad. If I knew what city he's in this week on his road trip, I'd have given him a quick call. But I just dashed off an email and I'm sure that's good enough for him. It's fine by me. There's enough of him that's with me all the time.

Sometimes, it's the simple pleasures in life that can undo a week's worth of stress. Today, I got to spend a couple hours in one of my favorite pursuits. I got to put a shine on my boots.

They're an old style of Army boot, leather all the way up, sole by BF Goodrich. I got them used at a strip-mall gun shop in Lubbock. They were scuffed, scratched and worn all to hell, but I always did like this style so I tried them on. They fit like they were made for me. I dropped the ten bucks and then made myself wait until I got home to buy all the supplies I'd need to bring them back to their former glory. I must have spent a good ten or twelve hours on them, when I did get the chance. And I do mean GOOD hours.

I had forgotten the simple pleasure of shining. I'd forgotten all about getting lost in the process, of the old-time ritual that goes along with it. Saddle soap, then open the polish tin, light it with a Zippo and wave the flames out, and rub the pitch blackness into the worn leather. Buffing it down, eyes sharp for smudges or missed spots. The finishing brush. All that. Today I got a few hours to myself and spent them on my back porch, just touching them up, adding a new layer of wax. Delightful. Simple pleasure in a skill that's being forgotten.

Of course you know who taught me how. And it's his day. Of all the things he taught me, this was probably the least important, but I've got to say thanks anyway. It's my day too now, I remember as my son is raging against the dying of the daylight. Whatever I don't teach him that's important, life will and in a much harsher fashion. But I wonder what he'll take from his time under my roof that may not be important in life, but will add value to it. Like how old leather, a lighter and parade gloss polish can do wonders for a weary soul.

For the uninitiated, here's a post on how to do it right. And some more thoughts here.

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2 Responses

  1. Nice.

  2. This is beautiful, Dex!

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