ESCANABA - The happy purple Crocs came to live at our house in early June.
In my younger days, we had sandals or Flip-Flops for summer footgear.
Today, kids of all ages from 2 to 102 wear a plastic shoe called a Croc. Crocs are made of incredible lightweight molded plastic. Their ventilation ports (neat holes) breath and help water and beach sand slip in and out.
Cushy soft, like walking on clouds, and durable enough to wear on woodland hikes, Crocs mean fun.
Crocs are worn by men and women, boys and girls. They are available in many colors.
On the bottom of two skinny 10-year-old legs, purple Crocs found a good home. Full of pep and zip, and get up and go, energized with the enthusiasm of summer, the girl and the shoes were a perfect match.
In the early part of summer when the grass was wet and the garden was new, the Crocs tiptoed through. Long grass and garden soil could be a sticky mess, but a few blasts from the garden hose and the Crocs and feet are squeaky clean.
The happy purple Crocs danced around my backyard. They helped plant a raised bed garden. They helped water the flowers.
The purple Crocs slipped into a backyard tent and read Ga Hoole books by the dozens. As the days got hotter, the purple Crocs read in the shade and rested by the fan.
The summer of 2012 was the hottest ever recorded, so no socks - just Crocs - even for church, picnics and parties.
The purple Crocs smiled with joy when the girl took them right along with her into Little Bay de Noc swimming on so many evenings.
The wet limestone on the river and the fishing holes were cool places that the purple-footed girl frequented too.
Silent like modern day moccasins, the purple Crocs snuck right up to sleeping fawns. They spent hours in the beauty of the wildflowers and the wild berries.
On hundreds of miles of dog walks, peppier than even the puppies, the purple Croc'd girl traveled.
Smiles and giggles, sleepovers and camp outs are what girls and purple Crocs are about. Soon cocoons turn to butterflies and tall sunflowers bloom. The purple Crocs take the girl to the Fair. For a moment or two the Crocs are replaced by dress shoes when the family attends an out-of-town wedding.
But then it's pool time and the purple Crocs and the girl go on their happy way.
If my daughter's Crocs could talk, I wonder what they would say about the fireworks on the 5th of July, the horseback riding on Labor Day weekend or ride in the glass elevator?
I wonder how many miles she has on her favorite purple footwear?
Now it's time to put on socks and school shoes and hopefully it will feel like fall weather. But don't ever put the purple, vibrant, care free, days of summer too far away. Crocs may be just plastic but they absorb fun memories. Walk in the rain. Let the water and earth squish between your toes. Be young and be purple no matter what age you are!
Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong resident of North Escanaba. Her folksy columns appear each Friday in Lifestyles.