You’d think I would have learned quite a few lessons about self-preservation in sixty-two years. After all, my accident record reads like an entire season of a television medical show. But although I have been hurt in the past and warned by a doctor and cautioned by my children, one habit remains so, so difficult to give up. I love traipsing around without shoes. First thing I do when I get home is take those things off!
I spent most of my childhood barefooted. Yes, I once stepped on a broken bottle and had to be rushed to the hospital, but that does not count against my habit because I was wading at the edge of the river at the time. And stepping on that nail a few years later would have been painful even if I HAD been wearing shoes. And when I stepped on the barbed wire that had to be painfully removed from my toe I was in a BIG hurry to rescue my little brother from the roof of the barn!! And other than an occasional sticker or thorn or sharp rock, I seldom encountered anything too dangerous around our yard or pastures.
I came by my habit naturally, as you can see in the photo of my mother and her brother. Even in this photo with her friend and sisters I don’t see any shoes! Do you? Perhaps that is why she never insisted that I cover my feet. And my habit must have saved my parents some money! We always got one pair of school shoes at the beginning of the year and wore them until our growing feet became too big to squeeze into them or the holes in the soles became too big to cover with a piece of cardboard. Those thin little leather soles were no match for the running and jumping and puddle wading we did in our shoes!
I quit going barefooted in the yard only about ten years ago when I stepped on a red velvet ant- a wingless wasp affectionately known as a “cow killer” because its sting is so painful. I can attest to that!!!! Nothing else could have put an end to my shoeless joy.
I have rambled on in order to get to the admission that I probably should now give up going barefooted in the house. I was making our salads last night when a movement on the floor caught my eye and I looked down to see a scorpion casually crawling next to my bare foot! Killed it with the fly swatter I keep on top of the refrigerator. Quickly found my slippers! Thanked the Lord for protecting me. Vowed to keep my feet protected from now on…okay, to TRY to keep my feet protected. Once we have a good freeze I’ll probably be safe again won’t I? And Gary says the sting of a scorpion isn’t nearly as bad as that of a red wasp. Old habits are so hard to give up…