The Genuine Article

Christmas Card

To my husband, Matthew, on his birthday. 

It has been said that you can tell a man by his shoes.

Even my Papa believed in that maxim. A man not to spend money capriciously, he always spent what he called “good money” on his shoes. He always followed that expenditure with a story about his daddy.

“My daddy always bought 3 pairs of shoes at a time. He would wear a different pair each day, so they didn’t show wear as quickly.”

Buying three pairs of shoes at one time may not seem like a stretch today, but in the 1930’s getting three pairs of “good shoes” at $8 to $10 each was quite staggering, especially considering the average 50 cents an hour wage that sawmill foremen made.

Shoes were important because they reflected what kind of man you were… they reflected where you stood in this world… and more importantly, what you stood for.

These shoes my Papa wore were not flashy, but they were practical.

They were not cheap, but well-made.

They were not synthetic, but the genuine article.

You, my dear Matthew, are the genuine article. You are strong and you stand for everything that is good in this world. You serve God and your family with such patient faith.

I think back over all the adventurous places we have stood together, and I look forward to all the new experiences that await us both.

What an honor it is to the be the woman standing next to you.

Let us run [together] with endurance the race that is set before us. –Hebrews 12:1


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