Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Enchanted Forest: This Shoe Was Made For Fun

How many children did she have?
(Click pictures to enlarge)

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." ~ Franklin P. Jones
The collection of children's playhouses at our botanical gardens has been up and welcoming kids of all sizes since Father's Day. Today, Labor Day, was the last chance to see these creative and fun play areas. We have visited Jack and the Beanstalk, The Crooked Man, Red Riding Hood's Grandmother, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Old MacDonald's Farm, Alice in Wonderland and The Three Little Pigs. Now we visit the eighth and last playhouse, as well as my personal favorite, The Old Lady Who Lived In A Shoe.

I count twenty... on the mailbox.

This was a wonderful playhouse... or rather, a shoe. The kids have a ladder to get to the loft and the "inside" sliding board and on the other side of the house, a fireman's pole. When we were there the kids were lining up to slide down... I just didn't catch one with the camera. The shingles are perfectly placed and look at those shoe laces... large ropes for the children to climb. I think that this was one of the most ingenious designs and so must everyone else as this was voted "Most Creative".

Ringing the dinner bell

Out front, in full view was an item that all farmhouses in the past had. How else could the farmer's wife call him and all the kids in from the fields? My dad talks about Grandma ringing that big bell outside the old house. With all these kids and a little shoe... I wonder if she had to feed them in shifts?

Now, this is a nice looking house shoe.... rather, a shoe house. Posted by Picasa

The tour of our playhouses is complete. I visited again this past week and they have held up well over the summer, considering the remarkable number of children who have played in them. A few decals on one are peeling and some of the accessories are a bit ragged, but they still have a charm that any child of any age would love. So now, they will be auctioned off and this shoe will end up in a lucky child's back yard.

The large corrugated roof and the bright red window frame are my entry in this week's Ruby Tuesday. And since shoes are made for walking and walking is a legitimate form of transportation... it will be an off the wall entry for Carmi's weekly theme this week.

(end of post)
Carmi's Theme
Ruby Tuesday


Ginny Hartzler said...

I love it! Yes, the rope climbing shoelaces are my favorite, too. You have, indeed, saved the best for last! What is the wooden plaque with the cool images on it hanging under the mailbox? Does it have any meaning, or just a pretty decoration? I will miss the houses...but some really lucky kids will sure be happy!

Linnea said...

How fun and whimsical!

Scarlet said...

I am so in love with this!!! and I know a few children who would be also...

Hootin' Anni said...

Love this!!!!!


Sandra said...

the shoe is my all time favorite of allthe little houses in your post. i always loved the story and this house is shoedorable.

regszikora said...

This is so cool. I would have loved being a kid and seeing this

colleen said...

I would love to visit but sadly I read that it's closing and I don't have any plans to go to Norfolk. I'm reading my 2 year old grandson lots of fairy tales so this is right up our alley right now! I had fun scrolling down and looking at all the photos.    http://looseleafnotes.com

bonnie said...

She has 17 children; I have a print of this <span>Kronheim painting and I counted. I've never liked the poem for obvious reasons, until I saw this version: </span>

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children; she knew just what to do. 
She gave them all hugs and tender, sweet care,
Then sent them to bed with kisses and prayer.

I saw your comment at Vicki's. Is Nyessa in California?

Miss you, Roxanne!