Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Death of Galoshes

Overshoes. Rain boots. Hm. I typed galoshes into Google to see if I could find any current pictures of galoshes only to find that when I pulled up each site that was listed for galoshes, I found only overshoes or rain boots. Hm...again.

I have very fond memories of galoshes. One of my favorite Little  Golden Books that I loved as a child is called Little Galoshes. I had a pair of those wonderful galoshes just like the little boy on the cover of the book. Mom would pull the rubber boots up over my shoes then pull each metal buckle over to latch them tight. When I got older, I got to latch them myself. I must have buckled them a million times just to play with the buckles. After a cold day of playing in the snow, Mom would pull of the galoshes along with my shoes and socks. My toes were cold, but my galoshes kept them dry.

I know that my grandkids will never know the thrill of wearing galoshes. In fact, the word itself will probably be lost to the past. I still like to say the word. "Galoshes". Just rolls off the tongue. It's one of the words that was part of the past, as are words like couch, wash (laundry), butcher knife, automobile, pop, covers (blankets), curlers, bobby pins, etc. Words come and go. Our dictionary gets larger by a few words each year. The old words gets lost among the most commonly used and memories of those things seem to fade as well. If you love to write about the past, be it fact or fiction, those old words are like a soothing balm that calls to memory or plants a piece of history into the future. Kids now wear boots without shoes. There are less mud puddles to splash in with shiny black galoshes because there are fewer gravel driveways.

My old Golden books will get read to my grandchildren. They will hear the words, and I will explain the words they won't understand. My history of old rubber galoshes will be handed down. I just might try to find an old buckle to show my grandchildren the fun I had as a little girl. I'd gladly run through puddles again or shuffle my feet through the snow. I'd love once more to have Mom pull off my snowy coat, hat and scarf. My cheeks would be red. My toes would be cold, but my heart would be warm.

I mourn the death of galoshes. I'd gladly lose a sock and a shoe to the depths of an old, black, rubbery boot.

No comments: