Put on your dancing shoes, walk a mile in my shoes, and for goodness’ sake, don’t step on them, especially if they happen to be made of blue suede!  It amazes me how many ways we find to pay homage to the simple shoe.  Sure, they keep your flippers warm and dry, and I’ll be the first to admit that they can change your mood simply by being fabulous every time you look down, but do they really deserve to be celebrated in song, quoted in sayings, and sometimes even given their own rooms in our homes?

Welcome back to The Hollow, where today we continue our running photoblog series “Olde School“.  It always strikes my curiousity when I look at something from long ago.  So many questions flood my imagination.  Who owned them?  What adventures did they have?  What is the story, or stories, that belong to them?  I can’t help feeling that somehow they allow us to reach back and ponder infinite possibilities of a time that now exists only in books and movies and fables handed down through generations of families.  Simple gadgets and bric-a-brac that afford us a tiny snippet of understanding of a very different way of life that come together to show us not just where we’ve been, but more importantly, where we are heading.

So let’s don our most comfortable pair of hiking boots as we take a walk back in time, courtesy of one of our favourite places, the Metchosin Schoolhouse.

Metchosin Schoolhouse - Metchosin, BC, Canada

Metchosin Schoolhouse – Metchosin, BC, Canada

These tiny little Mary-Janes may lack the glitz and glamour of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, and they probably won’t get you to Kansas by tapping the heels, but they are beautiful in the same quiet and understated way of an elderly woman.  Perhaps there are more lines and creases than before, and years of living have left the toes a little scuffed, but look a little deeper and the real beauty starts to emerge.  Those lines were left by tiny feet learning to take their very first steps, the ones that would take them on to the first day of school, walking down the aisle, and whatever dreams they were meant to follow.  Those scuffs, a testament to mastering the tricycle and finding the perfect hiding spot for “Hide and Seek”.  The crooked little soles worn and shaped by years of learning to dance, chasing birds and butterflies, jumping rope and stomping in puddles.  And just when the toes are about to burst through the ends, the well-loved shoes find a new home on the next pair of tiny feet, usually a reluctant little sister.

Metchosin Schoolhouse - Metchosin, BC, Canada

Metchosin Schoolhouse – Metchosin, BC, Canada

Having raised a daughter myself, I can confidently say that no child ever wore these without much complaining.  As intricate and fanciful as they are, they can only mean one thing…the good shoes.  I am convinced that “good clothes” were invented by mothers, for mothers.  Tired of the daily chase to keep constantly kinetic children free of mud, worm slime, chocolate ice cream and other stains that naturally seek out shirts and dresses, they finally got wise and put together just one outfit that would allow them to prove to the world that their child could be tidy and presentable.  Unfortunately, there is not one single place that a child wants to be where chocolate ice cream is blatantly not permitted.  Rigid and uncomfortable, I can almost see the child wearing these, slumped in a church pew or theatre seat, counting the rivets, and the seconds, until the good shoes finally came off.  I offer no apologies to my own daughter however, the world just HAD to see that she could be tidy and presentable.  I guess it’s a mom thing.

Wherever your shoes take you today, I hope it’s filled with love, laughter, and happiness.  And don’t worry if they are a little worn, it just means that you still know how to have fun.  So go out there and play on a swing, dance to the music in the grocery store, stand in a forest and sing as loud as you can, fall in love.  Just make sure you never stop scuffing your shoes.

Thank you so much for taking a few moments out of your busy schedule to spend some time with us at the Hollow today, there is no better day than one filled with good friends and good chatter!

Until next time!

Warmly,

Mrs. Toad




  1. Awesome detail Mrs Toad, well done!

  2. Lovely photos and wonderful read! Oh yes, those “good shoes”…how well I remember them. You’re right, must be a “mom thing”.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comments Laurie, and thank goodness for all of the “mom things”, or we would have nothing to laugh about!

  3. What a great story and photos. The style of the second pair of shoes could be fashionable today in expensive stores.

  4. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Wonderfully written post Mrs Toad and terrific images.

  5. avatar Perry Bailey says:

    Great story and photos, Mrs. Toad!

  6. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Awesome detail and textures in this post Mrs Toad. Terrific write-up too. Both of you have a wonderful way with words.

  7. avatar Jim Denham says:

    What a fantastic post! I could easily see the little girls playing and squirming in both sets of shoes! Really well done Mrs. Toad! I’m sure your little tadpole would accept no apologies either!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thank you Jim, I hope you’re right but I can’t help thinking I wouldn’t have done my job as a mother if I hadn’t given her a few things to giggle about! Thanks for your visit!

  8. avatar ken bello says:

    I also wonder about the history of many of the objects I photograph at the Museum. many of them are early Native American items acquired many years ago. The Schoolhouse looks like a great place to visit and full of photo ops.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Ken, you are a fellow after my own heart! The best part of any artifact is always the fingerprints left behind. The Metchosin Schoolhouse is particularly fun for us as many of the artifacts were owned by families who are still in the area. Thanks so much for your visit!

  9. Mrs Toad… This is awesome work! I love what you’ve captured – more than ‘just’ a photo, but you’ve brought history to these shoes as well. Kudos

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Well thank you very kindly Andrew, and welcome to the Hollow! Mr. Toad is the wizard behind the camera, so I’ll have to pass those kudos along. Thank you for taking the time to leave these kind words, and please do visit more often!

  10. avatar Val says:

    What cute little shoes, oh the stories they would tell if they could talk.

  11. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    I absolutely adore these shoes, particularly the pair in the second image. They tell a story as soon as one sees them. Wonderful write-up and post, as always! Thanks, Mrs. Toad. 🙂