Anna's hiking boots
I just spent three hours going through Aunt Anna's closet. It took me so long because almost at least one pair out of every eighteen articles of clothing sparks some sort of special memory.
I found 1 of her favorite pairs of shoes for hiking. In my mind, I can still see Aunt Anna sitting on the step outside this house tieing these laces before we set out for a celebratory hike honoring the results of a research grant proposal that we'd both worked on - and received. I wish I could still hear these soles sweetly and solidly crunching the earth to the rhythm of Aunt Anna's stride.
There were 2 other pairs of hiking shoes that she especially loved, but I can't find them. There was always a particular reason Why Aunt Anna wore a given pair. For instance, 1 was good for the forested areas where she would go bird watching, 1 was good for night hikes, and 1 was good for standard trail hikes in the suburbs.
Aunt Anna would rotate her activities (and her associated shoes) to keep a healthy balance in her life. Since the wear and tear multiplied with every additional hike (as well as her expertise in the associated activity), she would usually retire her shoes pretty early. I thought it was a little bit excessive, but I think that maybe she had a point with her shoes and her activities.
And now I'm stuck with that research project - all by myself I guess I will count endangered species in Costa Rica.