The wooden shoes were nearly black with age. My grandmother said they had belonged to her grandmother's mother, and to the ancestor who lived on the barge that was poled along the coastal waterways and finally tied up near Swap Point on the Barnegat Bay. I couldn't imagine a grown up with feet so small. I had a pair of my own which were painted a bright yellow and I loved squelching up and down the muddy garden rows.
On Christmas eve the shoes would be placed on the front porch and filled with carrots for Santa's reindeer.