Jun 16, 2007

Socks and anniversaries

by Anna Arnett

I haven't seen a new post for several days, and I happen to feel like talking. So. . . .

This week I've become quite excitedly involved in helping set up a sock drive for a very small organization that specializes in providing warmth and dignity to the feet of those in need. I've talked about it on the ANWA email, and even submitted the following filler to the Beehive publication.

"While helping at a food line, Caryn Shoemaker noticed a small, barefoot boy placing one foot over the other, trying to warm his toes in the chilly January weather. She ran to find socks, and the smile on his face, when she knelt to put them on, reminded her of how important feet were in Jesus’ ministry. She contacted a few friends, and a small organization began.

It’s called One Small Step and in almost 6 years, they’ve given out about 100,000 pairs of socks--and a whole bunch of other stuff (particularly underwear and blankets) that has been donated along the way. Back-to-school requests are already coming in, yet most of their sock drive groups are not active in the summer. As Caryn says there’s 'a big sucking noise and nothing in the pipeline.'

They take socks of all kinds and sizes, new or old, or even slightly soiled. They sanitize and pair them, and make pretty bundles of four same-size pair, hopefully one new. Socks with holes just go in the rag pile. Odd socks have already been taken to Mexico and the Philippines. You may contact her at carynshoe@hotmail.com
or donate to 1131 S. Paradise Dr., Gilbert, AZ 85234."

I also wrote a little ditty (whether it should be called a poem or not is debatable) to go on a collection box.


To give to those with chilly toes
Who do not have the cash,
Toss your old sox in the Primary box
Instead of in the trash.

School sox, play sox,
Sox for Sunday best.
Long sox, short sox,
Sport sox, all the rest

New sox, old sox,
But sox without a hole.
Clean sox, soiled sox,
Thousands is our goal.

There is a call for large or small,
Alone, or in a pair.
Your sox, your neighbor’s sox,
Invite your friends to share.

Young or old, shy or bold,
Share a kindly deed.
Stateside, worldwide,
There is always need.

So here’s a box to fill with sox
And bring a great big smile
To some of those with chilly toes
And help make life worthwhile.

I read this to my eldest daughter when I called, and to my delight, she brought a couple of kitchen garbage bags filled with her husband's old socks he no longer wears, but wouldn't throw away, when they came last night to a family get-together. This morning, just for fun, I counted the socks--one hundred one pair folded together and a handful of extras. Leftovers, I presume, from years of Christmas, birthday and Father's Day gifts, as well as 'let's try them' buying. Caryn will be delighted.

I also read the 'poem' to my family, who jokingly downplayed Milan's contribution, but applauded when I tossed the bags in their midst. My husband, who had earlier shed his shoes, reached down and pulled off his socks to donate. All cheered as he handed them to me, but I examined them, poked a finger through a hole in one heel, and said, "Sorry, these won't do. They don't give away socks with holes." He couldn't have provided a better visual aid stimulus.

We had a lovely anniversary day. We hadn't planned a thing until the day before, but ten of us managed to go to the Mesa Temple where we were married sixty-two years ago, June 15, 1945. Then around half of our family--about forty of us--got together for a back-yard barbeque. Since even the evening was hot, except for younger children who preferred the swing set and trampoline, we crowded into the house. The four yapping Chihauhau-mixed dogs had already been banished to a bedroom, because they bark raucuously at every newcomer, annoying the adults and scaring the kids. Food was plentiful and delicious, and the talk loud and continual. I was glad my hearing aids were still upstairs.

Eventually we gravitated to the living room around Charles and, to celebrate the day, sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and other songs we remembered singing together: "You Are My Sunshine," "Mairzydotes," "I Love You a Bushel and a Peck." Mark asked me to sing the song they'd made fun of when they found it in a Japanese hymn book, so I sang, "Oh, I Had Such a Pretty Dream Mama." (I think they were all pretty bored by the time I got through, but I was, nevertheless, delighted that I could remember all four verses, when I haven't thought of it for at least the last ten years. I recall singing it solo in Sunday School when I was a child. Then, I presented the sock plan.

The dogs were let out of the bedroom, and to the surprise of some, didn't even yap at anybody. Apparently, they don't mind anyone who is there when they, the dogs, come in, but no stranger is allowed to enter without full fanfare, and even family must not arrive unannounced.

Couples and small families hugged us goodbye, gathered their things and drifted away, one at a time.

Charles and I were pleased with the day, and survived well. We're even up and going today, but are very happy to do practically nothing but rest. I found myself nodding at my computer, and now and again struggling to keep from falling off the chair. The body doesn't seem to know the difference between stresses; happy-sad, physical-mental, or whatever. But for octogenarians, we're surviving pretty well.


  1. Happy anniversary to you Anna! What a lovely day you had! I am so happy for you! I think the sock drive is wonderful. Your poem is delightful and I'm sure it will motivate the primary children to round up some socks. Now you have me feeling all nostalgic...I think I'll go call my Grandma and tell her I love her.

  2. Happy Anniversary from me, too. What a great day! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    p.s. I wish I had some sox to send.


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