Friday, December 28, 2012

The Penny Loafer Story

Every Saturday, we always went to town. The closest town was about 20 miles away, no matter in which direction we traveled. North was the town of Floyd, east was Stuart, south was Mount Airy, and west was Hillsville. To get to Mount Airy or Stuart involved traveling down the mountain, Floyd involved very twisty, narrow roads, so Hillsville is where we typically went for our weekly trips.

So, why did we go to town each week?  The biggest reason was to buy grocery at the IGA or Mick-or-Mack. My mom always visited the beauty shop and I went for piano lessons. We also might make purchases at Nuckolls Drug Store, Gwynn's Department Store, or Gwynn's Hardware.

One Saturday I needed a new pair of shoes, so we visited The Family Shoe Store. It was a shoe paradise!  There were boxes of shoes stacked floor to ceiling, and the ceilings were really high! There were aisles of shoes and boxes of shoes stacked everywhere.  Ahhhh!  The smell of all of that leather!  To this day, anytime that I get a whiff of leather, it whisked me back in time.  I always loved it when I needed a new pair of shoes and I think that my love of shoes today dates back to that time.  I remember looking around at all of the shoes and finally deciding on two or three pairs to try on.  They would get that metal thing to measure my foot and I can remember that it always tickled.

Do you know what this device is called? **

On this particular shoe shopping expedition, I decided that I just HAD to have a pair of penny loafers. They were terribly popular at that time. Since I was an only child, I was around adults more than I was around other children and I had seen many adults wearing penny loafers, so that made me want them that much more.

I was so excited about my shoes that I demanded to wear them home from the store. I remember that when I got home, I was prancing all around the living room showing off my pretty new shoes to daddy.  He was laughing at me and said that they were not real penny loafers until I put pennies in the slot of each shoe. He dug through all of his change until he found two really shiny pennies to give me.

I don't remember what happened later that day, but I was about to get a whipping for doing something that I should not have been doing. If I had to guess, I would be willing to bet that I was asked to do something and I back-talked. (Yes, even as a child, I could be pretty mouthy!) My first reactions when I knew that I was in trouble was always to run! 

At this point, you have to picture our yard in your mind. A little over an acre in size, Highway 58 ran in front of our house. On one side, there was a tall fence that divided our yard from the neighbors. The other two sides were bounded by Tory Creek. Acres and acres of woods were across the creek. I was forbidden to go into the woods.  I guess that mom and dad were afraid that I would slip when crossing the creek and drown.

Back to being in trouble. I was always told that if I ran when I was in trouble, I would get into even more trouble for running.  Well, on this particular day, I was feeling particularly bold, so when daddy got after me to give me that whipping, I ran.  Out of the house and into the backyard.  Straight for the creek. I looked back towards the house and daddy was on his way after me.  Well, I decided that I was going to run into the woods, because I knew that he would have a hard time crossing the creek and finding me in the woods. I need to say at this point that my dad was very unsteady on his feet because he had multiple sclerosis and that was why I knew that if I could only get across the creek, I would be safe from a whipping.  I really don't know what I was thinking, because I was going to have to go back home sooner or later!

Anyway, as daddy got closer, I started crossing the creek, jumping from rock to rock.  He was yelling at me to stop and to not go any further.  By that time, he was really close. I'm sure that you can see what is coming! My foot slipped off of one of the rocks and my foot went right into the creek up to my knee. Then, I lost my balance and stepped into the creek with my other foot. There I was standing knee-deep water. With my new penny loafers. 

Well, due to the original offense of back-talking, then running when a whipping was imminent, trying to go into the woods where I was forbidden to be going, AND ruining a new pair of leather shoes, let's just say that I got a VERY good whipping.

And I deserved every lick!


** Answer:  Brannock Device

Copyright 2012--All Rights Reserved--The Wheel & Distaff by Kimberly Burnette-Dean

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas !

Ah, Christmas Eve! The anticipation, excitement and FUN! Just knowing that SANTA is coming tonight!  What a magical feeling! I think that most of you will agree that once we found out that Santa was not real, quite a bit of the magic went out of Christmas Eve.

I used to always beg mom to let me open JUST one present before Christmas morning. I finally wore her down and she agree to let me open ONE on Christmas Eve. It became a tradition.

On Christmas Day, after we had opened all of our presents, we would cross the highway in front of our house and go to my Grandpa & Grandma Burnette's home and open gifts with them.  Then, we would load up the car and travel 20 miles to my Grandpa & Grandma Vaughn's house where all of my mom's brothers, sisters, and all of my cousins would have a wonderful dinner.  My mom would allow me to take one of my new toys with me to show to my cousins.

I remember going to church on the Sunday morning that was closest to Christmas for the Christmas service. The church would make up little brown bags filled with candy, gum, and oranges to give to all of the kids.  Some years we would have a special nighttime program where the kids would get to participate in acting out the Christmas story. I remember that one year I was an angel and my Grandma Burnette made me a beautiful white dress to wear. My mom made me wings out of cardboard covered in white paper and outlined in silver rope tinsel. My halo was also made from the tinsel. I loved it because I got to stand on a chair so that it would be like I was appearing in the sky.

As tonight approaches, I really cannot help but get a bit depressed. For me, Christmas is always a joyous occasion undershot with a healthy dose of melancholy. I know Santa does not exist, but one part of me still wants to REALLY believe that he does  It just feels like there is SO much magic in the air! (If you want to believe too, you should read The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn.)

I miss my family year round, but at Christmas time, it is especially difficult. This will be my 33rd year without my mom and my 11th without my dad. Even though I have shared the last 12 years with my wonderful and loving husband, there is still a big empty place that wishes to spend another holiday with those who knew me since I was a baby.

My husband and I started a tradition our first Christmas together. We always get a Christmas ornament with our names and the year engraved. There should be fourteen years worth of ornaments on the tree, but the one from 2007 is missing in action. I am pretty certain that it must be in this house SOMEWHERE, but I don't have a clue where! That year, I had the flu and pneumonia on Christmas Day and was admitted to the hospital the day after. I don't remember too much about opening presents or much of anything that year.  The ornament got misplaced and it hasn't been seen since. I just know that one day, I will find it.

Here is this year's ornament:

I hope that you all have a beautiful Christmas. Be sure to hug the people that you love.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Where are the Posts?

Between getting ready for my first ever craft show, fighting off the cold that will just not go away, and the normal craziness that accompanies the holiday season, I must say that I have been very lax about keeping up with my blog posts for the last month. Here is what I have been up to:

Preparing the Yarn

Yarn drying before the show

More yarn drying
Christiansburg Lions Craft Show
I shared a booth with my long time friend, Diane and her sister-in-law, Gail.

My yarn!  :D

Diane & Gail's felted soap and shaving soap

Diane's handmade broomcorn brooms

After the show, I took a small break from spinning and actually worked some more on my shawl that I have been knitting for the last three months. I'm still not finished, but I did make some good progress! For the last week, I have been working on getting more fiber spun into yarn so that I am ready for the Olde Liberty Fibre Faire in Bedford, Virginia on April 13, 2013.

To check out what I currently have for sale click HERE.  You can also click on the tab at the top of my blog page on Spinn Lady Fibers.

This past week I also attended a workshop on needle felting Christmas ornaments. I had made a felted flat flower before, but this was my first 3-dimensional critter. (I can already tell that I am going to have to do some more needle felting!)

Meet Abe! 

Meet Abe!

I had to indulge in one of my other past times too.  Playing around with a photo editing program.

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful . . . "

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Buford "Bobby" Burnette
My wonderful daddy!  
Thank you for all of your love and support. 
You never told me what I should do, but helped me examine all sides of a problem before making my own decision.  
That was invaluable and I can't ever thank you enough.   

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Grandma !


Tressie Lillian Goad Burnette
December 1, 1903-February 15, 2001

Thank you for teaching me so much about life.
I miss you.