Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Unexpected Losses and Shoe Garlands

On Saturday I was going to meet a friend in a far away city for lunch.  She had previously said that I could do a photo shoot with her cat.  So, I took my antihistamine, loaded up my camera backpack, my accessory backpack, and my geocaching/letterboxing backpack into the trunk of my car, put the key in the ignition, turned it, and nothing happened.  The battery was dead.  The car is 5 and a half years old, and that's about how long a battery lasts.  So, that meant having to splurge for a new car battery.  This was yet another unexpected expense while unemployed.  It's always something.  Things that have served us for years without complaint are now suddenly failing us when we can't really afford to replace them.

I moved all of my equipment out of my car trunk and into my husband's car trunk, only to get to my friend's house and find out that her cat had been run over by a car and was no longer available for a photo shoot.  How sad.  She had just relocated from a rural mountain town to Nevada's Biggest Little City, so the traffic must have taken the cat by surprise.  We took a walk in a park near her house and I took pictures of the river, some ponds, geese and ducks.

We searched for one geocache and found it right away, which was amazing for me.  We also came across a shoe tree!

I love shoe trees.  Someone recently cut down one of the most famous and oldest shoe trees in Nevada as a prank, I guess, but no one thought it was funny.  It was just plain vandalism, and it destroyed a work of art and a part of Nevada's history.

The type of person who would do such a thing is an example of the type of people we have moving here.  Mrs. Martyr hit the nail on the head when she said that people who don't have a history with the land don't care about the land.  I wish there were some way we could filter out all the people moving here and turn the jerks away.  Tell them to go back to where they came from.  But I guess that's what prisons are for, if only we could catch the criminals.

It always cracks me up when people from big cities move here and shoot off their mouths about how cool and cultured and educated they are, because they are from Big City X or wherever.  It's clear in their minds that they are better than everyone else.  That's the type of mentality that leads to structures of historical or sentimental significance being vandalized.  Someone moves here from a big city and thinks, "A shoe tree.  That's so stupid.  Only country bumpkins would do something so dumb."

But I'm sure that many of those shoes belonged to travelers who looked forward to seeing a familiar part of their past hanging from that tree each time they pass through.  Many of the shoes probably represented something to someone, perhaps a period of their lives that brought them happiness. 

They actually held a memorial for the shoe tree that had been cut down.  Most people do care about things.  For those who don't, I suggest going back to the body and soul assembly line and requesting a heart.  It doesn't matter how cool, cultured, fashionable and educated you are if you have no respect for other people and what they value.


Stephanie said...

so sad about the cat getting run over. I always worry about animals and roads, sometimes a driver has no warning and can't do anything about it but I wonder if sometimes people are just mean and don't try to get out of the way??

Anyway, the pictures of the shoe tree are very cool and interesting!

Linda said...

I love the shoe tree, too!!! Cool. In my hometown, an old mill/cattle town--which I still live only two hours away from--it was the kids who grew up there who vandalized. We have ancient petroglyphs there--thousands of years old. We used to hike up to see them every so often--and one set, you could ride your horse into. The ones that you could hike up to got vandalized by local teens a couple of times--they actually chipped them away (now a federal crime because the ranchers who owned the spot donated it to the federal govt.) The ones you could horseback into were more hidden, but recently, teens found them, too. I don't understand the spirit of vandalism AT ALL. If you could keep your town small, at least you might be able to self-police it better.

I can't believe the poor luck about the cat. You still did get some great pictures. And, I absolutely agree that when you don't have money--that's when it all falls apart, but doesn't make it any easier. I'll try to send some positive energy your way right now and reverse the cycle!!

Vaquerogirl said...

I know that place!
Too bad about the other shoe tree- around here, shoes in a tree or arcoss a wire means either gang territory or a drug house nearby.

fernvalley01 said...

Never heard of a shoe tree but it looks intersting. Sorry about your friends cat,so sad. Looks like you got some lovely shots on your walk

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Linda - I can see that too. Our local teenagers are all champing at the bit to get out of town and go to college in big cities, because they all think the small town they've grown up in is lame. It's only a matter of time before they mature and appreciate what they had: Clean air, the most beautiful view in the world, people who care about them...

Vaquerogirl - Thanks for the heads up. I'll avoid any neighborhoods with hanging shoes next time I'm a city.

KD said...

I too had never heard of a shoe tree but heard that shoes over the powerline meant a drug purchasing spot. Sad that ignorant folks have to spoil things....

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

That's too bad about the cat and the tree.

I have never heard of a shoe-tree before. I was aware of the gang/drug association, we see that on the Rez. A lot of times there are several pairs of shoes hanging from the highlines around the High School in my home town. Usually means some bully stole someone else's shoes and threw them up there to be mean.

I didn't really appreciate growing up in a small town and after living there again as an adult, I was more than happy to get the heck out of there. Things have changed for the worse there too and it's not because outsiders have moved in. It's just the same people, but seems all the ones worth a hoot have moved away or died and left all the jerks. The county commissioners play favorites, the cops are corrupt and the school system is a joke. Most of the problems stem from our town being so close to a reservation. It's awful.

Chloe said...

That shoe tree is so cool!
Sorry about the cat. (and the car battery) :\ That's awful!!
Lovely photos.

Judi said...

I use the clicker all the time when I ride. I carry my treats in my jacket pocket in the winter. In the summer, I put them in a little treat pouch that hooks up to my belt. My sister gave it to me. She had got it for her dog.

When I give him a treat from the saddle, I just lean over his neck and give to him. He usually turns a little towards me for the treat.

When I used to treat my old horse, Mingo, his neck was so long that he had to bend towards me about halfway so I could reach his mouth. He didn't mind--he loved his treats!

The Lady Philosopher said...

There should be a Right to LIfe for Shoe Trees!
visit me at:

Once Upon an Equine said...

Oh, I'm sorry about your friend's cat. That is very sad.

Nice pictures. I've never seen a shoe tree before. What fun!

I feel the same way about city folk who bad-mouth small towns or country life. I participated in a small town parade a couple years ago and someone from a big city remarked that the parade was stupid and boring because the entries weren't grand, like in the big city she came from. I say those people should move back to their big city.

Rising Rainbow said...

Not good your friend's cat was killed. That really sucks. I always worry about relocating any kind of critter. They need time to adjust just like we do. When we moved here we didn't even let our cats out for weeks since we live so close to a major highway. Wanted them to be sure they got the picture this was our new home.

I've never heard of a shoe tree. I do have a friend who does gardens with old boots, however. A pair of my old boots grace her garden with cut little somethings growing out of them. Always makes me feel connected to both my friend, and her garden. I can imagine how people felt about having their shoe hanging in a tree for the sake of art. Pretty cool!

Those people with superior attitudes always get me. They seem to be the dumbest because they're so closed minded to anything but what they like or believe.

Congrats on the quick score geocaching. That must build your confidence. I guess it's like lytha says, once you get the hang of it, they're much easier to find.

baystatebrumby said...

That is very sad about the cat.
I have never seen a shoe tree! Yours here was the first!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awww, so sad about your friend's kitty leaving this life. I'm sure it was especially difficult for her just moving to someplace new, too.

Such a pretty park you were able to visit. I agree about the city outsiders who move to the country, supposedly because they want that kind of lifestyle and love the country. But once they move in they want it to be just like where they moved from, and usually still work in the city and are always rushing around driving too fast to get back and forth to work, putting their new neighbors and the animals at risk.
Too sad.


Maery Rose said...

I hear you on the city folk that move to the country to get away from the city, then try to turn the country into the city because they want all the conveniences of the city in the country. Shew!

achieve1dream said...

Aww poor cat. :(

I like this "Most people do care about things. For those who don't, I suggest going back to the body and soul assembly line and requesting a heart."

That's sad about the shoe tree. Those are so cool. I can't believe someone would cut it down.

I'm proud to be a country bumpkin. I don't even like living within ten miles of a city, which I am right now. Sigh.