These are my Mizuno shoes.
Rather, they were.
I bought them in 1989 just months before I left my hometown in Michigan and moved to Wisconsin. A trusted volleyball friend highly recommended the brand to me specifically for playing volleyball. They were more expensive than I'd usually spend on a pair of shoes, but he sent me to a store that happened to have them on sale. And if I only wore these shoes for playing volleyball, they'd last me nearly forever.
Turns out "nearly forever" is about twenty-three years.
You can see that I (literally) ran them into the ground.
They traveled with me everywhere. I kept them in the back seat of my car with a pair of knee pads always, because I never knew when I'd stumble across a pick-up volleyball game while visiting relatives or friends in another town. (You'd think this is a little obsessive, but I used them more than once under these circumstances.)
When I spontaniously adopted a kitten and drove home with him running loose in the car, my new little friend eventually curled up in one of the shoes and nodded off to sleep.
Then, after coming down wrong on top of another player's foot several years ago, I realized I wasn't as young as I used to be, and if I sprained an ankle or injured myself on the court, I'd likely not recover as quickly as I might have decades earlier... if ever again.
As a sign of solidarity, my shoes stopped playing, too.
Oh, the Mizunos and I still hung out together. Mostly running errands and working in the garden.
Nice retirement activities for a pair of hard-worn volleyball shoes.
A few weeks ago, I noticed my socks were slightly soggy after a rainy outdoor trek.
My Mizuno shoes had finally worn through.
Aside from the crochet hook I stole from Mom, I can't think of anything else I own that came over from Michigan with me. There might be something, but nothing that I use often enough to be remarkable.
There's no reason to keep a pair of old, worn-out shoes.
Even with nice memories.
So, I took this picture and wrote this homage.
My Mizuno shoes are gone.
But they were really good shoes.