Autumn Meadow and My Shoes

If I were a painter I think the scraggly poplar at the left quarter of the frame would have been left out of this scene.  I’m not sure.  Perhaps the poplar counter-balances the rooftop on the right.  I don’t know.  Anyway, I’m not a painter — I’m a cell phone camera guy — and I think this picture turned out nicely.   

I took this photo in Lake Elmo at Sunfish Lake Park.  It is a good place for putting my head in order and I do it when I need it.  Unfortunately, that seems to be taking up a lot of time.  You can’t say with complete certainty that you won’t run into a client while wandering the trails, but I can’t lie about it…that hasn’t happened yet.

It has been a great year for wild grapes though.  I have been nibbling at these for a few days now.  They are starting the shrivel and a lot of the flavor is turning bitter, but I still like to eat them.  I’ll take a small cluster of shriveled grapes and drop them near another fence row or something similar hoping the seeds germinate elsewhere.  They are quite good, even in off years.

We had a trellis of Concord Grapes at home when I was a kid.  Those grapes were much superior to the wild grapes I find now, but the wild grapes bring back nice memories.  For the real thing there are clusters of Concord Grapes high in a trellis at Noerenberg Gardens on Lake Minnetonka.  I don’t get that way very often this time of the year anymore.  Sneaking over there early in on a crisp autumn day and grabbing a few grapes — I hope it is allowed or at least tolerated — packs a lot of nostalgia.  I liked a grape or two before leaving for school in the morning.  Was a private treat and made the idea of spending the day indoors with Mrs. Gee a bit more tolerable.

It occurred to me that I hadn’t taken a picture of my shoes in a while.  So here you go.  Sturdy Shell Cordovan leather, but not enough ankle support for spontaneous trips through woods and fields.  I’m looking for dress boots.  I’ve found some.  They are not cheap.  Shell cordovan has increased in price significantly and it wasn’t cheap to begin with.

My favorite find in shell cordovan boots come in at $795.  That might be pushing it, but shell cordovan can hardly be considered a luxury; it is too damn substantial and practical for that.  You seriously get what you pay for in this leather.  Outlasts regular old cowhide many times over.  I found a pair in regular old cowhide boots, by the way, for $340.  Boots that pull double-duty for dress and play is what I’m after.

You can’t see my socks here.  And that’s a good thing.  I’m big about socks.  In fact it is time to link to my post about the Sock Market.  These are dark days.  Politically the country is a mess and frankly too many of us are beholden to an austere ideology that really hasn’t much historical muscle behind it.  Dull times ahead.  You are invited to scroll down through my posts for more facts about this.

But back to socks.  I have been forced to ration the wearing of my better socks.  Each year I lose the use of more and more due to wear and moths.  Ah yes…there was a time when stores carried bountiful quality.  A guy could get thick, pleasing wool and cashmere socks in a rich array of patterns and practical colors.  Now?  Well, there’s the cheap crap from guys like Ralph Lauren that do the trick for a season or so…but they lack panache of really fine quality socks.  Even Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus suffer from a lack of hefty luxury in the sock department.  You can find some good ones — pricey — at Orvis and I have to put in a plug for fabulous SmartWool products (really, check out SmartWool), but otherwise…since our social and economic order began to decline, the common guy hasn’t been able to buy a decent pair of socks and no one seems to notice or care.  I do!

I’m still looking for my passion, by the way…and I just don’t think socks will be the right fit.


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