When I was organizing some old files, I found some pictures of a friend of mine. I wrote about him a few years ago. I bet his extended family is still living close by.
I've trashed more tennis shoes by just thinking I'm going to go outside and pull a few weeds. Before I know it, I've been yanking weeds for an hour and when I look down, I see that I've ruined another pair of tennis shoes.
Tennis shoes go through my personal shoe cycle. A brand new pair is treated with a lot of respect, like Sunday church shoes when I was a kid. As soon as they start showing some wear, they advance to every day tennis shoes. When those shoes start to look like they've been through a kid's summer vacation, I move them into my gardening shoe category. When the "tennies" are totally trashed from gardening they become mulch shoes. Mulch shoes are only good for one wear and I mulch once or twice a year. Once you wear tennis shoes in a round of mulching, they are covered with wood chips and they are finished.
I started keeping my gardening tennis shoes outside on the back stoop so I wouldn't track dirt in the house. Today when I put on my tennis shoes and did my normal routine of shaking and banging them together, dirt and a lizard fell out. (Little lizards/geckos are common here in Florida. They eat bugs, are cute and are very friendly.)
So I put on my tennis shoes, anxious to get started in the garden, but then I remembered something I needed to check in my email. So I made a quick stop at my computer, and as I was replying to an email, I felt something moving in my shoe. My first thought was that the shoes must have gotten wet and the inside support was breaking apart. But when I felt more movement, instantly one of the basic rules I learned when I first moved to Florida, stirred up my adrenaline: "If you think you feel something crawling on your body, it probably is!"
Panicked, you've never seen a woman rip off a tennis shoe so fast in your life, and I handed it to my husband. He's in charge of bugs, and any creepy thing I can't identify. He banged the tennis shoe and a second lizard appeared. But no amount of whacking my shoes together would chase that lizard out. Apparently she'd set up housekeeping and was determined to stand her ground. It was probably her spouse that I chased out earlier. I didn't want to break up a happy home, so those tennis shoes will be skipping the mulch cycle and I put out a welcome mat for my new neighbors instead.
To see a photo of my lizard's new home, click here.
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.