My hiking boots had been caked with mud, but it all nicely dusted off today. I'd taken them on a geocaching expedition with the 4SW Burnaby Cub Pack several weeks ago for spring camp 1, and we encountered some serious mud on the way (but had a great time!) I didn't have time to clean them until today.
Yesterday, I took my Willingdon small (Bible study) group in the small bus down to La Conner, WA to see the tulips at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. We wandered through a tulip field staring at the amazing blooms! What a picture they paint! Unfortunately, the fields had a lot of mud, much like river silt, the kind that gets into everything, so I had to dust and polish these shoes today, as well.
While I was polishing them, I recalled vividly, what it was like when I was little, to get ready for church on a Sunday morning. One of the things we'd do (I can't remember if we did it the night before, or just before heading out) was to polish our shoes. I had black shoes, that required regular polishing, that I'd wear for almost everything.
On Wed of this week, we took the Cubs karting at Ron McLean park. Down a ways from where we were karting, there is a ravine, which is part of the park. I remember playing in that ravine when I was about the same age as the cubs (8-10 years old). I clearly recall trying not to get my black shoes too dirty (or soak them in the creek). I also recall getting my bare legs (I was wearing shorts) into some stinging nettles.
We wore those shoes everywhere, with just a few exceptions. Of course, in the summer when it was warm I didn't wear any shoes or socks at all, and at school, you had to have gym shoes. You could only wear them for gym, so you wore your other shoes at other times. And of course, in really heavy rain, you wore your gumboots, and took them off and walked about in socks in school. I can recall having got a bit of water into my boots, so one of my socks was half soaked, and felt a bit cold as I padded about in the classroom.
The shoes we had were really the same shoes as grownups wore to an office, but in a smaller size. We were expected to dress like miniature grownups.
Funny how times change! Now, the kids have shoes that are specially designed for kids, with lights that flash, and velcro instead of laces, and super heros emblazoned on them!
And, no! I'm not going to say that it was better "way back when". Some things were, some things weren't. In this case, I like it that kids have something specially made for them. And no need to polish, just throw them in the clothes washer!