Tulips & Wooden Shoes – They go together

By Carol / April 29, 2011 /

When I see tulips, I can’t help but think of wooden shoes. So when these two red tulips opened today, I went in search of de klompen.  

‘De klompen,’ as the Dutch call wooden shoes, keep walking into my life. I wrote for the May/June Iowan about the Dutch in Orange City who give demonstrations in how to make these iconic foot gear during their tulip festival in May. During my research, I also learned that Pella holds the Guinness World Record for the most people dancing in wooden shoes. On May 8, 2010, 2,605 people gathered in the Pellacity square and danced in wooden shoes for 6 minutes and 15 seconds.

I visited the Netherlands nearly 40 years ago. There, I watched a craftsman shape shoes from blocks of wood, and I did the touristy thing – I bought wooden shoes. A pair for myself and a pair for my son who was only a toddler at the time.

Wooden shoes are not the most logical gift when you have but one suitcase, but I just had to. Holland, tulips, and wooden shoes. They go together.

The souvenirs of many trips have long gone the way of Goodwill donation bins. But not my wooden shoes. Wooden shoes were ‘green’ before green was a fad. Wooden shoes were comfortable before Birkenstocks became my shoes of choice.

My son has long outgrown his wooden shoes, but mine still fit. I’m wearing them as I type and look at my red tulips and think about things that are meant to be together.

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