Old shoe

I have a fascination with shoes as objects (the image on the left is a wee painting, just about to scale, that I did many years ago). Not only are shoes interesting in their ‘vessleness’ (they hold our feet), they take on the characteristics of the wearer in a way unlike any other garment with which we clothe ourselves.

The other day Peter and I were running errands and I remarked to him that I thought we had a good life and that I wouldn’t trade places with anyone. Happily, he felt the same way.

You see, my life fits me; just like an old shoe. Broken in, imperfect (my left shoe will always be too large as I must honor the right foot, an entire size larger, when purchasing shoes), but ultimately, comfortable.

That said, merely being comfortable isn’t all there is to a full life.

At the moment we, David, Peter and I, are making some plans that could move us out of our current (and very comfortable) environment.

It began with Peter’s awakening interest in robotics and engineering. He just spent the past two weeks building and programming a robot from a kit. At the age of thirteen, he is already charting a future that would include attendance at a top tier technical university (think MIT). As his parents, we want to do whatever we can to help him realize his dreams, and a solid preparation in science and mathematics is a must. We love his little private school, but it is geared toward the liberal arts, and as a result, Peter now has a very solid background in history and languages.

Some weeks ago I began to look around for an alternative and happened upon a charter school in southern New Hampshire that adheres to the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) approach to education. We began the application process and are currently crossing our fingers that Pete will be accepted. Of course, this will necessitate a move, and we are working on that as well.

Big changes. There will likely be some discomfort in this planned transition but also several potential benefits. For instance, I might be able to reduce my travel time to the hospital to just over an hour, and David would be very close to an airport.

So I’m kind of in Cinderella mode again; looking for a magic slipper that fits all three of us; not just any old shoe.

21 responses to “Old shoe

  1. My left foot? A size smaller. I attribute it to time spent in a leg cast many years ago, tender age of 12, spiral fracture while in a ski lesson!

    Funny how a young mind and the potential for future achievement can trump the need for comfort and familiarity, even while living with. Wishing you a good fit in this next adventure.

    • Stephanie, we are foot twins! It would actually serve us better if we had opposite bigfoot(s) as well as complimentary taste in shoes; then we could trade with each other and our feet would be perfectly shod.

      I am excited about new possibilities and hope it is indeed a good fit.


  2. Linnea, what a beautiful, poinyent message. I have always liked your paintings of shoes. As I remember, you had a whole row of them.

    Yes, always being comfortable isn’t all there is to a full life. I’m frustrated that healing takes so long. I desire my former energy level. Guessing you do too.
    Love, Carolyn

    • Carolyn, I am bummed that your recovery is taking so long. I believe you will get it all back, but it must be discouraging in the meantime.

      Love, Linnea

  3. Linnea, this is exciting! Walking in comfortable shoes to new adventures, is the best path of life. So the year of 2011 will be a transition to new homes for both of us – I like that.
    Love, Anja

    • Anja, we need to ‘talk’. I am eager to hear more about how your plans are coming together, and I will share more with you about mine. Hello to Ingo and Otto.

      Love, Linnea

  4. Pat & Will Plattner

    We hate to think of you moving….and WE don’t even live there anymore!
    But of course you must follow the path that your brainy son is leading you on! Smart and good-looking…that Peter has it all!!!! : )

    • Pat and Will, it won’t be far. I’ve already warned Mary and Raleigh that they may be seeing even more of me, as I will be spending the night when I come (perhaps I will be able to have another glass of wine as well, or a full rather than a half of one of Mary’s martinis). And just another stop for you when you come this way again.

      Love, Linnea

  5. Hi Linnea,
    Have been gone nearly all winter (first to Florida, then to Mexico), but have been reading your blog in my absence. Home now, and feeling great, with a scan this week to see if I’m as good as I feel.

    Your post mentions a STEM school in southern NH…where is it? Tried to google for it, but really didn’t turn up much. As education (esp. of the progressive sort) is my true passion, I want to learn more about it.


    • Marj–good to see you are back but I have to say, you missed the right winter. It is fabulous news that you are feeling great and I wish you a good scan result.

      The school is called The Academy of Science and Design and it is in Merrimack. It has been in existence for only a few years but is in such great demand that they have to hold a lottery for some of the grades. I so hope it all works out, as it sounds like a really great environment for Peter.

      Now that you are back, perhaps we an plan that get-together. Stay well.


      • Actually in town next week, and would love to finally meet in person. Could you email me or call if you’ll be free? I did get to see several teams from The Academy of Science and Design at the Destination Imagination Tournament last weekend…I always think it’s a good sign if a school fields several teams in Creative Problem Solving. Do you have to live in Merrimack in order to enter the lottery? Cause I have a really nice house for sale in Amherst. (Also a school district with a great High School that does a nice job of teaching Math and Science.)

      • Marj–I would love to schedule a get together and I will email you.


  6. Dear Linnea:
    you right shoe will always be too large as you must honour your larger heart.
    I toll my oncologist about my chest discomfort and runny nose, he said maybe is allergies and did nothing. I mentioned the same to my palliative care “angel” doctor and she phoned back saying that I have a lung inflammation and prescribed dexamethasone for 10 days before restarting Alimta.
    I feel normal and so happy on steroids now, probably can win trading with you, but you are right, we are happy living a full life.
    The move idea sounds good for all of you, I don’t know about Buddy, somebody is going to miss the igloo. Any ballet school for you in the new area?

    • Guillermo, you are generous to my heart and it thanks you.

      Shame on your oncologist but thank goodness for palliative care. And to think that some people shun it…Normal and so happy is the desired state; what are we trading for? (whatever, I’m in) Buddy will miss the igloo, but as long as he is fed, walked occasionally and has his people around, he is more than good.

      As for ballet; I tried that once in college. In my tights and leotard I resembled a ballerina; until I approached the bar. Not my forte (how do I make the little accent over the e with my computer?).

      Stay strong and well; spring is coming.

      ( ) ( ) ( )


  7. As a proud and happy owner of several rows of Linnea shoe paintings, I can vouch that they’re wonderful works of art as well as apt metaphors!

  8. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/make-your-own-igloo—and-sleep-in-it/article1935754/ a good winter project for Peter?
    Forget ballet, Stephanie and you will be right and great in a soccer team.
    http://www.onehourprogramming.com/spanish-accents/ for non Spanish keyboards download easy program and hit Caps Lock and vowels together. To disable the program right click the icon and click Disable. ¿ á é í ó ú ñ ü ? Lóvé Yóú

    • Guillermo, I saw that article. Pretty cool! And thanks for the accent tutorial. I will practice.

      ciao, Linnea

  9. Linnea, Worn shoes are fascinating in their resemblance of the wearer. My shoes need treatment, but they can’t be cured by shoe wax only. I’d love to see more of your shoe paintings. Good luck with your future plans. Big changes with big chance of new benefits. I’m sure everything will work out for the best.
    I share the good (= happy & normal) feelings with Guillermo, as I am now taking Dexamethasone for my 30th Alimta treatment. Still going strong and stable.
    Good health and good spirits to everyone! Let’s enjoy the new coming spring 🙂 Paula

  10. Paula:
    Makes very happier to know that Alimta is working for you in your 30th treatment. I did well in my first free trial in Canada in 2009 but the system did not provided anymore and lost 30 pounds trying Tarceva. Now with insurance coverage I am stable in my 10th treatment. In Toronto there is no experience with long term maintenance, please tell me how often are the treatments, any reduction in dose amounts or time? I did it every 3 weeks, 3 days with dexamethasone and dose 800 mg in 100 ml NS, for my 170 pounds weight. Good health and good luck to all, tulips are coming in my garden south side.
    Linnea and Stephamie :
    Your feet too big

    • Hi Guillermo, I have been two years in the clinical trial for Alimta with 3-4 weeks intervals, present dose appr. 780 mg depending on my weight. I have gained appr. 20 pounds during these two years. Alimta is not available as a maintenance treatment in Finland yet, so I have been very lucky to be in the trial. I wish you had not had the break in Alimta, but happy to hear it is working so well for you again. I enjoy reading your comments and wish you many more successful rounds of Alimta.
      Thank you Linnea for your wonderful blog, which touches us all.
      Looking for spring from amidst of snow. Enjoy the tulips, they are coming only in May here.

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