It may sound like a silly topic, but I’ve had almost a lifetime association with oxfords, not always by choice. It all began when I was seven years old.
Our family lived on a farm, in a beautiful valley near a flowing creek. Being an “only” child, my playmates were my dog, Spot, a coop full of chickens, and when he had time, my dad. He worked hard, maintaining a small herd of cows, and growing and harvesting grain crops. The winter of 1947 is well remembered for the record amount of snow that year. We were snowbound in our valley, unable to get to my school, pick up our mail, shop for groceries, or go to church. It was a real treat for me when my dad would take me with him on his horse, on his tractor, or to visit with the neighbors. One morning, he surprised me with the announcement that he and I were going to go tobogganing. There was a great slope behind the barn and chicken house, and Dad and I pulled the toboggan right to the top. He sat on the toboggan and I sat between his legs, and we whizzed down the hill together several times. He kept telling me that I needed to pull the rope to steer the toboggan, so that we could glide between the two buildings and into the yard. Finally, it was my turn to go on my own. The first trip was great, the second one, not so great. I tried with all my strength to steer properly, but I crashed into the back of the chicken coop. I don’t know how my dad got down the hill so fast, trying to catch up to me, but I sure was glad to see him when he picked me up from the snow. My feet and legs hurt so much, and Dad knew that he needed to take me back to the house, and get some help from my Mom. The only doctor that we knew was almost 20 miles from our farm, even if we could get out of the valley. Dad did the best he could, wrapping both feet with bandages made from a bed sheet, cut in strips. My parents didn’t allow me to walk for several weeks, and Mom got a pair of lace-up boots for me to wear when I went back to school. They were awful, and looked like boys boots, but I was given no choice. I don’t remember how long it took to get an order from the Sears catalogue, but when the parcel arrived, I was introduced to my first pair of Oxfords.
We moved to the city the next year; my dad had his fill of farming and bad weather. Even though I tried very hard to persuade my Mom to let me wear some ‘city’ shoes, it wasn’t until my 12th birthday, that I received my first pair of saddle oxford shoes. White leather with navy inserts… they were beautiful! I don’t remember if I ever had a different style of shoe all through my school days, but I do remember looking forward to have my first job so that I could buy my own shoes. But… I was accepted into Nursing School, starting two months after my high school graduation, and nurses need to wear good shoes because of being on their feet for the whole shift. White oxfords, clean and polished, and inspected every day by our instructors or house mother.
I’m now a senior lady, and still walking without assistance. After surviving several fractures (ankles and legs), I am grateful for the one and only pair of shoes that I now own… OXFORDS! I am finally content … comfort over fashion has won my heart!
Tags: Shoes Farm Life Nursing