I usually kick my shoes off at the back door and shuffle around inside the house, sometimes in my stocking feet, but mostly barefooted. It may come from years of Mom yelling, "Take your shoes off!" as we thundered into the house after we fed the calves.
My grandmothers sometimes made gifts of handmade slippers. "Aren't your feet cold?" they'd both say. "Go put on some socks," or, "Let me see if I have some more of those booties." I'd always cringe – booties!
My mom wasn't of that ilk. Sometimes she'd run out of the house in December without her shoes to feed the horses. She'd move quickly, so as not to get too cold, but when she got back to the house, she'd wipe her feet and then hug her shoulders and say, "Boy, it's cold outside," never once mentioning her bare feet.
So, I guess I come to the unshod thing quite naturally. Out on the Acres, I noticed before the lawn grew in that there was a bit of broken glass, so I don't do a lot of traipsing around out there without shoes. I did do some work in the garden one day without shoes, then several weeks later part of a broken bottle washed up in one of the rows, so I don't do that anymore.
Childhood for us was a barefoot feast. I could run across the top of haystacks or gravel with ease. The only nemesis was the goat-head puncture vine. In patches on our farm they were thick. We tried to keep them at bay but inevitably you'd miss a vine and you'd have to avoid that spot for years.
Mostly we'd just pick one out of our feet and go on, but occasionally you'd end up in a patch of those devils and become immobilized because the act of placing more weight on one foot while you're taking the stickers out of the other was the kind of tortuous pain only found in Medieval dungeons. Just an overall bad situation.
As an adult, I haven't had too many encounters with goat-head stickers and I know my feet have softened up a bit. I'd do the old shoulders up shuffle when I walk gingerly across the decomposed granite in the front yard of my old house as I headed to get the mail.
And, my feet get really cold now I've noticed. Maybe it's the age thing. As these mornings get colder, I slip on a pair of socks before I head into the home office.
I've had a lot of stuff in storage since I moved from a much larger home five years ago. I'm now going through some of those things. This week I found the last batch of booties my grandma made about 15 years ago. So, ok Grandma, now I'll go put them on.