The firefighters had the blaze under control when we got there, which meant we were able to get up close to the flames.
And while fires are dangerous and detrimental, and I’d never encourage someone to start one… I have to admit they’re pretty cool to watch, much less through a zoom lens.
Unfortunately, in my haste to get on the scene and brush off my dusty reporter’s skills, I wore my favorite leopard flats to the scene.
They were super comfortable, and fairly stylish, and I had snagged them for the bargain price of $15 while on our honeymoon in Austin. I could wear them for practically any occassion, and got compliments on them frequently.
But a few hours into my "assignment," several uninhabited acres off a country road weren’t the only things covered in soot.
The unbelievably comfortable, golden leopard flats were now a dingy gunmetal grey, and they wreaked of burnt tires and timber.
My shoes were ruined, really, destroyed.
I guess you could say, they got burned. (I'm awful.)
I left them on my parents’ porch that night, assuming they were now worthless, but hesitant to personally chunk such a sentimental pair of shoes.
But I saw them again a week ago, while riding in my sister's car.
I don’t know how they got there, or how they avoided the trash, but I decided to take them home, just to see what could be done.
In the heat of the moment (pun attended) I'd given up all hope on them being redeemable, but now more soberly-minded, and after hours and hours of unsuccessfully scouring around for similar and affordable shoes, I figured, what the heck.
I might as well see if my flats could be salvaged; I didn't have anything to lose.
So yesterday I threw my dingy, soot-covered shoes in a pillowcase (per random internet instructions) and set them to wash, delicately, in cold water.
My hopes were so low I waited hours after hearing the washer alert me it was done, to finally open the lid and see my shoes’ fate. (This is also why I didn't take "before: pictures. I was sure they were goners.)
I figure they’d either look the same, or utterly destroyed, with faux fur lining everywhere and the leopard spots completely vanished.
But then I pulled them from the now filthy pillow case.
I was astonished!
My old shoes, the ones I was so quick to give up on, were practically good as new.
After letting them air out on top of the dryer, and marveling each time I passed them, I finally slipped them on today.
They even feel the same, as they did before the soot. Cozy like house slippers, but not nearly as embarrassing to wear in public.
They smell fresh. And they look good.
Without any traces of the sad fate they once held. Here they are, back in my footwear collection. Back on my feet, in fact.
They are restored, to their former beauty.
And I am so thankful.
Cause the only thing better than new shoes, is a favorite pair that's good as new.
If I’d have seen this transformation on TV I’d have called it too good to be true.
But because I not only saw the before and after, but took part in it, I know in this case it is true.
The shoes I had deemed a loss, are now back to being my go to flats.
And all they needed was a quick wash.
It’s pretty remarkable isn’t it, how even something that seems beyond repair can be brought back to life?
All it took was a little TLC.
And I think that's what a lot of the "broken" things in this world need.
Just a little tender Love and care.
To restore them.
To make them like new.