It’s a place to get started.

And it’s about balance. I miss it. So many days, I feel like the world is heaving one direction or the other. If only the scales were weighted evenly, like in a simple shoe purchase.

Back in the summer, my mom would order two pairs of white women’s Keds for me: one for dress, one for play.

Dress Keds went to family reunions. In rural Ohio in the 1960s, there were more relatives than types of potato salad.

My favorite dish was Caramel Bananas:
1 c.   brown sugar
2 T.   all purpose flour
Stir together. Add:
1/2 c.   water
2 T.   butter
1 t.   vanilla
Cook until thickened over medium heat in sauce pan.
[My mom wrote: “5 minutes, softball, cool.” I’m pretty sure that means soft ball stage, as in candy making. We were a big softball family, but that would be ridiculous.]
Slice 6-8 medium bananas in “pennies” when ready to serve. In bowl, pour caramel over bananas and sprinkle with 2 c. chopped salted peanuts (better with the oily kind, not roasted).

Sigh. [Calories galore.]  Anyway, that’s why the dress Keds.

Play Keds were for everything else. They were for hours on a bike, in town, around town, to friends, up and down the cemetery driveway, to the movie theater, to Dublo’s, away from Kiddie Land and the crematorium, out to the reservoir.

Play Keds rarely made it past the Fourth of July. Then your dress Keds became play Keds, and mom grudgingly called Sears & Roebuck for one more pair.

This isn’t about nostalgia, although there will be some history, because I want to write it down for my kids. I wasn’t the parent telling about the old days and now I wonder how to translate what they might want to know about the past.

It’s about balance. It’s about understanding how current culture and the media has begun to control how we react to our surroundings to the point where there isn’t any.

And I like to write. For now, get out your play Keds.