Come around the first of May, or when school was out – off came our shoes, and they didn’t go back on until school began again in September, except on Sundays when we went to Sunday school and church.
Do you remember how good the cool grass felt on your feet in the morning when you went out in the yard, or how good the cool sand soothed your toes?
Now, there is a difference between sand and dirt. We had both in our yard along with the grass and clover. I preferred the sand and still do – so I guess that is why four generations of the Harrises, go to Destin, FL every summer – to wiggle our toes in the sand.
The sand would get so hot on a sunny day you had to wet it to walk very far on it. You could do lots of things with dirt. You could play “Hop Scotch” because the marks would stay in the dirt. Also you could mark off a square and one would make zeros and the other x’x and you could cross each other out. I think the most fun was to find some wet dirt and dig out a hole with your toes and cover them with the mud and let it set for a few minutes and gently slip your foot out, and it would make a “toad frog house”. I never found a frog in one, but who knows, they could have gone in at night and out the next day.
I don’t know if kids go barefoot now or not. I’m not in contact with many unless they are in the stores and most of them have on “tennis” shoes – that’s what they used to be called – think maybe they are called athletic shoes now. They even wear boots in summer – or those things that hang between your two front toes. In fact, I don’t see too many kids outside these days. Guess there are too many video games, TV and other stuff. But if you haven’t gotten out in the dirt, grass and sand – you will never know how wonderful things like simply going barefoot can be. But beware of the bees in the clover. I always managed to step on one and get stung – but my Dad would just put tobacco juice or snuff juice on it and the swelling would go down. Really sanitary, wasn’t it? But that was back in the good old days.
School is about to begin again, so if any of you kids have been going barefoot – get those shoes “broke in” as we would say.
Hope you had a “Happy Barefoot Summer”.