Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shoo, Shoe

Grade school. May. The prospect of summer break was just around the corner. For farm kids that meant only one thing: NO SHOES!!!! No matter what the weather, the shoes came off and disappeared until Fall. Oh, sure, I had summer sandals for church or I wore my Keds if I worked in the field, but for all intent and purposes summer footwear consisted of bare feet.

Of course, feet had to toughened up, but knowing that we could be shoeless all summer made the transition fast and easy. I could run on gravel as easily as grass, ride my bicycle without our shoes, run across the barnyard, through the woods and along creek without shoes. Barefoot all summer long.

I'd step on bees, in cow pies and a few thistle, yet never once did I revert back to shod feet. I was a country kid. Mom was forever digging splinters out of my dirty feet. Washing mud off the feet and once pulling a nail out of the bottom of one. Bare feet. Ah, nothing better.

Things have not changed so much over the years. My toes are carefree all summer once in awhile captured by open-toed shoes or sandals. Yet when I am home, the shoes come off. In the Fall, socks take over but still I hide the shoes away.

A cultural tradition that has caught on here in the US. When entering a home, guests and residents remove shoes. Personally, I am sure that this tradition was started by a farm kid.

Hm. Fall got here yesterday. I wonder where I put my socks?

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