OUTDOOR SOLO CHRONICLES

Chaco: The Best Pair of Sandals I Ever Owned

The other day I was going through my closet cleaning out my old clothes and shoes in order to donate the Goodwill Industries. As a shoe fanatic, I scrutinize my shoe donation a wee bit more closely than my clothing.  Hanging on my shoe rack, I found my favorite pair of sandals EVER. Every time I wear those shoes or even look at or touch them, they send a surge of energy through me that borders the paranormal. Alright, I know you are wondering where in the world I am going with this, but I promise this writing is meaningful.  I tend to connect objects with strong emotions or significant events in my life. If you chose to continue reading, you will understand why my first pair of Chaco sandals remains deeply connected to me.

October 21st, 2000 at 7:21 AM, my mother took her last labored breath as she lost her battle to stomach cancer. Prior to her death, I was by her side every single day. One day, my mother insisted I get out of the house for a bit. I was hesitant to leave her side, so she used her sister to coax me into leaving the house for a little bit.

This time, I decided to do as she requested. My aunt even went with me. We went shopping. I had no idea what I wanted to buy or how I could justify buying something as my mother lay at home sick. My aunt took me to an outfitter store in Asheville, NC called Black Dome Mountain Sports. Like I mentioned earlier, I am somewhat of a shoe fanatic. I hustled over to the shoes and looked at the sandals. The first pair of shoes that stood out to me were these bad ass looking Chaco’s with purple and black strapping. I picked out my shoe size and tried them on. OMG! They felt so awesome. Not to mention, my toes looked SUPER cute in them. I thought I have to have these shoes. My aunt encouraged me to get them. She said they looked great. I was all prepared to purchase them and then I saw the price. OMG! OMG! OMG! $95 for a pair of friggin’ sandals!!! Have you lost your flippin’ mind?

Okay, so after I calmed down and took a few pumps on my inhaler; I reluctantly handed the over the cash and walked out with my first pair of Chaco sandals. When I returned home, my mother loved my sandals. She said they were cute and made my toes look cute. Yay!! Chaco made us both smile!!

Fast forward 13 years later, my Chaco’s are still going strong. Someone once asked me why not buy another pair and get rid of those since they are old. Ummm…NO! These sandals have seen me through a lot of emotional and physical roller coasters. They have been more places than “Flat Stanley” and have created a permanent Chaco tan line on my feet. Furthermore, my Chaco sandals have an important connection for me to my mother. Like my mother, Chaco represents endurance and strength which is why I will continue to wear my sandals until they eventually succumb to the elements. Until that day, they will continue to be worn and make toes look super cute! Thanks Chaco!

Mom, I will love you forever. Miss you always.

 

 

~Ericka Heath~

SgtRiverRat (Outdoor Solo)

 

Regional Member Articles