One day, Dad went out looking for blueberries. He had a spot, where he had picked before. He drove there, parked the car, and pail in hand, found the blue treats hanging ripe on the bushes.
As sunlight trickled through the bushes to the ground while he picked, Dad spied a shoe. Not knowing who might have lost it or where to return it, this good neighbor thought it best to put it in clear view so the owner could see it. The only visible place to put it was the limb of a nearby tree. He tied the laces securely around a branch and went back to picking berries.
Many days, weeks and months passed. But rather than the shoe being found by its owner, other shoes started to adorn that tree. Evidently, others who saw the shoe hanging in the tree thought it a fun custom to contribute work boots, walking shoes and tennis shoes, etc. The tree branches hung low for several years.
At long last the road crew cut the tree down. It must have been judged unsightly. But by then, the custom was so deeply entrenched that shoes began showing up on several other trees on that same stretch of road.
When I go to the cabin and see the Shoe Tree, I remember my dear Dad. Those folks who have put shoes up may not realize it, but they add to a memorial to a gentle, loving man. He is gone now, but I know the tree people gave him a chuckle and they bring me pleasant thoughts of him.