Tucson and Shoes

        For months I had planned to be one of the Authors, at the Tucson Book Event in Tucson, AZ. The shoe thing began when I was packing for my book signing adventure. Because I was not sure what the weather would be ike, I decided to take two pairs of shoes: Beige sandals, in case it was hot, and black pumps, in case it was not. I also packed two different outfits to go with the shoes. Because I would be away from home, for the month following that, probably in cooler weather, I packed a rather large suitcase with sweaters and other suitable clothes.
       The shoes I wore were comfortable, gray loafers which were exactly right for the miles we walked through airports. My Doctor would have been proud of the exercise I accomplished, especially at YVR, from Security all the way to West Jet’s Gate where we boarded for Phoenix. After sitting quite a bit, in the car and visiting in various homes, I needed to walk. There would also be three hours of sitting ahead of us.
       I was glad for my son, Dwayne’s guidance through each area. We checked our bags, then proceeded to security for the ultimate check in, or is that check-up! I was rather surprised when I was required to remove my shoes. In Phoenix, some men were asked to remove their belts holding up their pants! The alarm bells sounded as I went through the scanner and a female attendant was called to perform the pat down. My knee replacement always causes concern in airports.
      When the time came, we boarded the plane and found our seats, 7B an 7C. At the last minute our fellow passenger, 7A arrived and began putting her bag in the overhead compartment. Suddenly I was hit in the head by a shoe which momentarily dazed me. Apparently a loose shoe had escaped from the bag. The lady grabbed my arm and said, “Are you alright?” I answered with, “Yes, I’m alright, it was rather a surprise.” “Oh, it was a surprise to me too!” she said. She settled in to her seat and we prepared for take off.
      Our Steward proceeded to give the usual emergency instructions, in English and in very fluent, French. He continued to talk as he buckled up for take off. I found his humor refreshing compared to the usual attendants just doing their job. At one point he said, “If you have any cares or concerns, keep them to yourself.” He kept everything very lighthearted but was careful to attend to people’s needs. When we landed in Phoenix everyone clapped! One of his parting remarks was, “If we did not meet your expectations, well – lower your expectations.”
      In Phoenix we went through a similar routine; security, walking, finding the luggage, etc. My daughter, Gayle, was waiting for us and after a short drive we were welcomed into the spacious home she and her husband, Steve live in there. We had dinner and a lovely evening with them. Saturday, the day of my book signing, was not hot. In fact it was raining and somewhat cold, so I decided that the best shoes to wear would be the pumps. I realized later, that the shoes I wore didn’t even matter as most people were dressed for comfort, not for looks, but I wanted to look good!
      To make matters worse, I had not worn the beautiful, black pumps for awhile and I had trouble keeping them on as we toured the University campus, in the rain. Gayle helped me navigate around the puddles as we walked around, looking at the various booths which were set up there. When we left, in the afternoon, some authors were busy tarping their books and displays because of the wind and rain. Cold and hungry, we found a beautiful, white and blue, Mexican Restaurant in downtown Tucson, where we enjoyed hot food and drink, brought to us by a very friendly, Mexican waiter.
      The shoes are only a small part of the whole experience, which I will write more about later.

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