By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

My Keen hiking boots have gone missing and, after several weeks of an intensive search, I've come up empty.
-Our house has been turned inside out with only crawl spaces left to examine.
-Vehicles have been searched top to bottom with only glove compartments left untouched.
-Friends and family members have been called and performed boot searches.
-Hotels have been alerted and maids questioned.
Bugger, blast, and all of that.
My "Keens" have companied, companioned, and carried me through this past year's journey and trekked countless miles with me on my hikes.
 In a league of their own, they boast resilient weathering qualities and are incomparable to other brands. They withstand rugged terrain wonderfully and appear to season themselves in difficult terrain.
They're also expensive with prices reflecting.
Blast ... but I'll miss those boots!
My Keens were exactly, precisely, perfectly worn-in to meet the needs of "my" feet and I miss them already.
To some of you this may sound overly dramatic but to those of you who are willing to invest in a good pair of boots or shoes, you know what a good pair can do for you.
Hmmm ...
 Perhaps, I'll yet come across them in some strange and out of the way place, but I don't think so. I picture them on the feet of a fellow hiker who probably felt like they won a small lottery the day they found them.
Hopefully, they're being enjoyed and treated to a new and milder life journey (ha.)
In the meantime, I'm "booted up" in my aged Cabella's and ready for my next pair of Keens.
Hurrah for the Duluth Trading Post,
they'll be getting my business soon.
Individuals in our lives are sometimes like a good pair of Keens;
they carry, support, and accompany us through rough and rugged terrain,
but appear to be "ours" only for a season.
For reasons unclear and unknown ...
 paths divide, companions separate, and life choices are altered.
While this can be hard and temporarily difficult, we're wise to reflect, rehearse, and appreciate the hours and miles trekked together and the lessons forged and learned together while on the journey.
If you're anything like me, you'll find yourself investing in a fresh new pair of Keens, grateful for a "brand" that you know you'll always return to, and thankful that they were yours to wear on a difficult stretch of the journey.
Because life is like that, shoes are like that, and people are like that.
We learn, we grow, and forever take pieces of one another with us on life's journey.
To Keens and the miles in-between,
may we meet again on the summit.
Until then ...
may new journeys and true comrades forever be ours