Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shoe Trees and Fish

So, as no idea or thought is original... there is nothing new under the sun, neither is my desire to learn more about the poor, unfortunate "soles", if you will, on the side of the road. Check out this link to a guy in Canada (I am assuming) who has a similar dream -


The neatest thing I never knew that I learned about from Luke's site is the existence of shoe trees. 'A what?' you say. A shoe tree - where shoes go when they die. I picture them serving as homes for birds, hideways for squirrels, and catch-alls for whatever else happens along. This amuses me, in a nostalgic sort of way.

When I was a little girl, we were all down at the "crick" (as we called it), having a picnic. As kids do, my brother and cousins were throwing sticks and rocks in the water. Well, I saw those poor little alder twigs floating away into the great unknown and I about freaked out. Of course, I was too small to go in and save them, so I remember just standing on the bank crying. My dad came over to calm me down and told me a story about how the fish love it when sticks float down the river because then they get to play with them and jump over them. Since then, I have been able to inwardly repress the desire to swim after the sticks I see floating down the river, by replaying that story in my mind.

Since I am in the Pacific Northwest, home to vampires, werewolves and possibly the most trees in the United States - oh besides all the ones we have murdered for paper towels - you would think it would be unthinkable that I could go my whole entire life never seeing a shoe tree. But it's true; I had no idea. Maybe it's because we have so many trees around here that we don't get the incredible urge to hang random things on them, unlike those poor people smattered around the rest of the continent with hardly any trees at all. So anyway. I now wish I had had a shoe tree with which to lay my boots to rest, but I suppose a landfill works just as well and isn't considered littering.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The idea...

All too often I have been driving down the road and noticed a shoe... never a pair of shoes, always just the one. I always wonder, "What the heck?" How, praytell, does a shoe just end up on the interstate? It makes no sense.

The hardest thing I have had to do, okay, not really... but one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, is give up and admit a pair of shoes needed to be thrown away. It hurt. A lot.

I've lost the heel on a pair of boots before. They were irreparable. I knew it. I even took them to a shoe doctor, all in vain. He told me the boots needed to be put down. They had lived their life. The intact mate was doomed to go on alone. Best to put them out of their misery together. They remained in my closet for almost a year before I stuffed them in the trash, slammed the lid and forced myself to walk away. I may have shed a tear that day.

Do the people who lose their shoe on the side of the road feel the same way? Was that shoe loved as much as I love mine? Perhaps we will never know. But their story deserves to be told. They deserve a chance to let their mate know where they are. They might be flattened and unrecognizable on the shoulder of the road - but they are out there. Maybe they are even wearable. But how can a shoe go on without their mate?