Day 28 – My Favorite Shoes

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 28 - My Favorite Shoes - Sperry Sneakers - Doodlewash

These are the shoes that took me around while touring southern California, so they were my favorite the last few days, at least. Shown here in a loose 3-color doodlewash, these Sperry Top-Siders were really quite comfortable, which was much appreciated while walking miles through the San Diego Zoo.  These were new shoes which can sometimes be a problem when not broken in properly. Once in Paris, I got far too excited about my new Le Coq Sportif shoes and they caused a lovely blister about 5 miles in. Totally worth it, though, because they looked fabulous. These days, I tend to go for the most comfortable shoe I can possibly find that doesn’t look hideous. Some form of sneaker is usually the shoe du jour, but with some little feature that makes them a little more interesting. My vacation was short and today I was back to “real life” again. Re-entry is always a rather tough proposition and I spent the greater part of the morning just trying to figure out where I was. Fortunately, we’re back home safe now and enjoying a perfectly normal evening, while our dog, Phineas, is passed out on the couch having spent the last few days at “camp.” Though getting away is a wonderful thing indeed, coming home, in a much different way, can often be just as wonderful.

This morning when we picked up Phineas from boarding, the woman behind the counter said, “Oh, I’m going to miss his little yodel.” Philippe and I looked at each other puzzled, as although basenjis are known to produce a little yodeling sound, ours has rarely ever been so vocal. Apparently there was another basenji there during his stay and they were chatting with each other at night. When they retrieved Phineas and returned him to us, he was wildly enthusiastic to see us, something that only happens when we’ve been gone a few days, and making noises as though rambling on about something. We’d never heard him so verbal, yet he seemed happy and excited about something. In the car ride home, he continued to chatter happily as though wanting to tell us about all the things that happened at camp. We, sadly, don’t speak basenji, so most of the description was lost on us, which he quickly realized and then just started to whimper sadly. Deciding to play along, I asked “So, tell us more about what you did at camp!” He brightened and started yammering away again, tail wagging, another thing he never does at home, and stopping every so often with a face bearing a striking resemblance to a smile. Apparently, he had a lovely time as well, but his daddies, ignorant of basenji parlance, will sadly never quite know what thrilling things transpired there.

As I type this, he’s now curled up in a ball on the couch, snoring softly. Dreaming, no doubt, about all the things that happened on vacation. Not long from now, Philippe and I will be doing the same. Well, not curled up in a ball, as it’s been way too long since I’ve last done yoga, but a very similar feeling of contentment. Happy to be home again, and yet still thinking back to the fun adventures enjoyed just yesterday and before. A new intense set of memories that we’ll look back on for years to come. Telling stories based on what we remember as they morph over time to become far more interesting than they probably were. We don’t really lead a very exciting and thrilling life. It’s rare to travel at all, except the yearly trips to visit family. So, moments like these become extra special. Still, home is definitely where we find the most peace and love and so it’s a joy to be back again. There will be more adventures in the future, but for now, we’re just content to have our little trio back together again. But, I know that next summer, as the weather gets warm again, I’ll open my closet and discover a beautiful memory. About that time I spent a lovely few days, not worrying over chores or deadlines, but simply taking a quiet stroll along the beach, in my favorite shoes.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine Blue, and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 28 - My Favorite Shoes - Sperry Sneakers - Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

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22 Comments
  1. lisacihlar 3 months ago

    I think you need another dog for him to talk to!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Totally… lol… they say you’re supposed to have two basenjis. I think that’s why. 😊

  2. Darlene Adkins 3 months ago

    Love it! Your stories are always so heartwarming. I wanted to thank you for offering this wonderful site. Also for the the block of Stonehenge Aqua Hotpress I was fortunate enough win. Happy painting 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Aww thanks so much, Darlene! That makes my heart happy to heart that! 😃💕 And yay to the new paper! Enjoy!!

  3. June Hadaway 3 months ago

    Everything you say comes from the heart. I love that and so enjoy your stories and your wonderful painting of those comfy shoes. It’s always good to come home with such great memories. I am sure Phineas is glad to have you both home with him.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Even if I typically ramble in these posts, I do always try to ramble from the heart! So happy you enjoy them. And yes, Phineas is thrilled to be back home again.

  4. Thomas Blanchard 3 months ago

    Aww poor Phineas doesn’t have anyone to talk to now. You better get the Basenji Rosetta Stone ASAP! Enjoyed your story and your Top-Siders.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Tom! 😃💕 Haha! I would LOVE to take a Basenji Rosetta Stone course. Particularly because they use all images as well. That would be awesome to see! lol

  5. Yvonne Reeder 3 months ago

    Awww Charlie, how lovely to get a catch up of your homecoming. You always make my own forgotten memories of this or that come back to life in one heartbeat of a moment – thank you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      That’s probably the most wonderful compliment I could receive. I hope these little posts are less about me and more about the universally specific memories we all share. Thanks so much, Von! 😃💕

  6. Jennifer McLean 3 months ago

    oh my, I love your description of talking to your puppy almost as much as I love your painting of your shoes. GREAT Perspective charlie. Shoes can be hard as they’re so simple yet the perspective makes them hard. What a great dog story and to encourage him was adorable. Ok, here’s one for you. I had an african grey parrot named Berkley and she used to be out with me in the garden when the horse drawn carriages in Victoria when by. The horses would whinny and Berk learned to do it. One sunny day we were outside and as the horses went by Berk whinnied really loudly and I heard, “was that a HORSE?” from the driver. (we were behind a huge hedge) and I yelled, “No, a parrot!” so every time that driver went by he’d tell the passengers that there was a parrot in that house that whinnies like a horse. Berk would play along if we were outside, I’d tell her Horses, Horses! and she’s whinney away. Hehehe.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Oh my gosh!! That’s such an awesome story!! I LOVE it! Thanks so much for sharing that, Jennifer! 😃💕 Parrots seems so awesome… I’ve always wished I could have one!

      • Jennifer McLean 3 months ago

        I was so shocked that they are so intelligent. Now I realize how arrogant and ignorant I was before Berkley. We are NOT the only smart animals, if only everyone could own a parrot for a year and learn that.

  7. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    Love the shoes and your painting of them!

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 3 months ago

    A very enjoyable post today, your shoes do look comfy. Nothing ever fits me so I just opt for the shoe boxes. I especially like the ones that say, “half off.”

    If you are ever able, maybe you could get a video of Phineas yodeling about doggie camp, and post it here. We’d all love to see him chatting with you.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      hehe… Thanks, Shari! 😃💕 Yeah, as ever, men’s fashion is far simpler and easier to find something totally comfortable. And I thought of the same thing. Next time he’s at camp I’ll ask them to get a video for me!!

  9. Sandra Gilbert 3 months ago

    Although I wear shoes as little as possible, those look comfy. And it sounds like you had a lovely weekend getaway. Yay for you! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra!! 😃💕 My mom HATES shoes… lol… wears them as little as possible as well.

      • photoscientist 3 months ago

        How is it possible for anyone to hate shoes? I practically wear my shoes in bed.

  10. Elizabeth Metz 2 months ago

    I love this post SO HARD.

    (And, from one dog person to another, it’s less about speaking Basenji as it is hearing Glee, which you totally did.)

    Also also: I’m a weirdo who hates shoes, too. But I can acknowledge that good ones are worth their weight in gold. (Smartypants me went on a hike earlier this summer in brand new Tevas. Turns out my smartypants were kind of not so smart, because they were a half size too small, and the blisters? *Legendary*. Like, EPIC. Ow.)

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