Anna’s Red Shoes: The Little Girl in Louisville, Part 2

28 10 2008

When Anna was a baby we did not have very much money, and we depended often on the goodwill of others to give us clothes for our children.  We had the good fortune to have some relatives and close friends who had older children and who had very good taste in clothes.  So we always had nice clothes for our children.  We tried to pass on the clothing to others when our children outgrew them and today there are Indonesian children running around Salatiga and Semarang who are the beneficiaries of the generosity of our family and friends.  In fact, as Samuel got bigger, his clothes got passed on to some adults, too.

On one occasion in Louisville when the children were young there was a lot of clothing that had been given by someone at our church.  Mixed in the clothing were some costume items.  Anna found a pair of red, sparkly shoes that fit her perfectly.  She brought them home and Anna’s red shoes became the only ones she would wear for some time until she outgrew them.  I remember hearing from her Sunday School teacher the first week that Anna came to church with her red shoes on.  She was so proud of her new shoes and wanted everyone to see them.  Soon everyone knew Anna as the girl with the red shoes.  An artist friend of ours at church later wrote and illustrated a book about each of our children and Anna’s book was called Anna and Her Red Shoes.

The red shoes marked the beginning of Anna’s life-long fascination with wearing costumes and playing “dress-up”.  As she grew older the dress-up always tended towards playing the elegant woman.  Sometimes she would be a queen or a princess, but the overarching theme was that of sophistication, poise, and elegance.

On our last Christmas together we came to the United States and spent the holiday with my family in California.  One day Timberley and Anna got together with my mother and planned a tea party.  They all found hats and scarves and sat on the back porch drinking tea and eating snacks.  The men were not allowed to attend so we went and did other things together, but I can just picture Anna, Timberley, and my mother sitting on the back porch, in very cold weather, drinking their tea and chatting all the while in a very distinct British accent.  This was Anna in her world.  One of the most beautiful pictures we have of Anna was taken that day.  She wore a big feather boa she borrowed from my mother and a ridiculous orange hat.  And she is absolutely stunning beneath it all.


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2 responses

29 10 2008
Lisa Chambers

Yes she was indeed stunningly beautiful

29 10 2008
Sharon

Breathtaking….

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