Walking along the Yellow Brick Road, I passed a ridiculously large shoe with a sign near it that said, “For Sale.” I was curious, knocked on the shoe, and an old woman climbed out.
OMG! Are you the old woman who lives in a shoe? The one who had so many children she didn’t know what to do? From the Nursery Rhyme?
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: That’s me. But I’m downsizing. Want to buy a shoe? Make me an offer.
Well, my husband and I are thinking about downsizing, but we’re not ready yet. I mean, we live in a charming, old house, but our kids have grown up and now it’s just the two of us. So much extra space.
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: I know the feeling. Believe it or not, all my kids have grown and left, too. I’m an empty nester.
So, are you thinking of living in a smaller shoe?
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: Maybe a sandal. It would be a lot easier to clean. The only issue is, a sandal isn’t enclosed so I’d have to live in a place where it doesn’t rain a lot. Maybe Costa Rica.
I’m actually struggling with the whole downsizing idea. On one hand, every time I walk down the hall past my son’s room, and then my daughter’s room, I feel so sad. It’s the end of an era. There are so many memories here.
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: I know. I feel the same way. But then I think, all these memories are bringing me down. How great would it feel to let go, start a new chapter in my life in a new home in a new place!
True. But what if we have grandchildren? Wouldn’t it be great to have them over in our big home and tell them they’re in the place where their parents grew up?
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: Yes. But wouldn’t that get old kinda fast?
I guess it might. I mean, last week my son came to visit. Even though we were in our house, I started to realize it was the conversation we were having and the laughs and silliness between us that made it “home.”
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: Right.
And when my daughter comes to visit next week, the gigantic hug I give her at the airport will feel like “home.” I guess “home” is a sensibility. Not a place.
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: WE are home.
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: But here’s my problem. I always thought I’d live out my days as “the old woman who lived in a shoe.” It’s the way the world sees me. I didn’t expect life to go in this direction.
Yeah. It’s painful to change the picture you have in your head.
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: So painful.
But as long as you’re making changes, who says you have to live in a shoe anyway? I mean, you could live in anything. A sock. A hat. Underwear.
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: Hmmm…underwear might be good. Three entrances.
I hadn’t considered that perspective.
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: Wait! Actually, I just got a better idea! I just thought of the greatest place to live ever! It’s got five, narrow rooms and no stairs!
OLD WOMAN IN SHOE: But if I live there, I’ll have to rewrite my rhyme. How’s this?
“There was an old woman
With children to love.
But when they grew up…
She moved to a glove.”