On the May 24 weekend in 2010, I found myself driving along Hwy 45–a short cut my way to Haliburton to visit family. As I drove past the “Kinmount Shoe Trees” I said to my mum, “I NEED to take a photo of this!”… So I pulled over her car… and I stopped to take some photos of the “Kinmount Shoe Trees”. I blogged about it HERE.
(I re-looked at my photos and re-edited some of them… and some of them that might not have made the blog originally)
I’m glad I trusted my instinct, seized the moments and took some photos…because the shoe trees have been taken down. You can read about that on the Kinmount website. It was kind of neat to see on this page that they had linked to my ‘original’ post about the Kinmount Shoe Trees. Thanks for the link love!
I guess the local city councilman felt they were ‘ugly’ and a ‘hazard’ along this ‘highway’ because people were always stopping alongside the road to add shoes or take photos. (on the day that I stopped I didn’t even see a car along the road for a good 20mins!) I suppose those are very real reasons why to stop a tradition..but those excuses fall a bit ‘flat’…seems kind of harsh to take down something that is WELL known in your community! Why not embrace the art-sculpture…and ask the if anyone in the community could help pick up garbage etc… why distroy something that won’t be there for the next generation? I suppose they were thinking that the tourists don’t need to see crazy shoes on a tree–that’s not what they leave the city for!
Through all of this I finally got my answer WHY the trees actually started along HWY 45… it is my hope that some of the ‘left-over’ shoelaces find their way to a new home and a new tree!
When I read about the trees being gone…I was sad. A memory from from when I was a kid was gone, something I remember driving past as a kid wondering how all those shoes got there…and now it’s gone. It got me thinking…
People might think that I deal fairly well with change. I admit for someone that has lived in 2 provinces, 1 territory, another country, and countless numbers of cities & towns in the last 13 years…I do deal fairly well with change. I’ve learned to adapt…but I have a secret that helps me adapt. It’s the ability to come back to my ‘home-away-from-home’ that is also known as Haliburton. Although sometimes these homecomings can be a bit bitter sweet. Part of me still imagines that EVERYTHING will be the SAME when I return as it was when I left. I left the Fall of 1998…I was a few months shy of my 19th birthday, excited to embark on my first adventures at university. My mum was moving at the same time to another city… so I never got to return frequently on my university breaks-I ended up visiting my mum in the new city. Sure I always managed to have a few visits at the Summer cottage, but it wasn’t the same as if you mum still lived in your home town. I was so excited 3 summers ago when she got a job back in Haliburton and moved back! That meant I did have a residence when I returned to Haliburton. But I will always be connected to Haliburton, you see I have family connections in Haliburton that go deep… and I’ve talked about the ‘family’ cottages on Haliburton Lake before.
Part of the reason I can travel is that I have my back-up my ‘home-away-from-home’ its a role Haliburton has always played for me and hopefully will always exist. Because of this I have branched out and created homes for myself wherever I happen to be living! But when I return to my ‘home-away-from-home’ sometimes I get sad when I see small changes around town.Or walk down the main street and say “Hi” to someone that doesn’t recognize me. I also wonder what changes I’ll see when I return for Christmas in a few short weeks. I know that changes have to happen…heck in the 13 years since I’ve not lived in Haliburton left I’ve changed as a person and grown–so only fitting should the town change too. I know places evolve and get better. But this process is so hard for me, when I come back and notice that something’s different…a building has been left to decay…or a building has been gutted, parking lots have changed the IN and the OUT…(and I still can’t remember what the ‘new’ way is…). I wish things could just STAND STILL and be just like it use to be!
Maybe part of me is worried that someday I’ll come back to my ‘home-away-from-home’ and I won’t recognize it…and it won’t recognize me…I’ll just be another summer tourist walking the main street, being talked about the ‘locals’!