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.
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.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. 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!