Summertime on the homestead. Peaches, tomatoes, and bare feet.
As a very small child, I never wore the “high top” shoes that a baby was “supposed to” wear to be orthopedically correct though those were beginning to lose favor even back then. I ran barefoot on our mostly untamed and natural 10 acres in Florida. Whether the weather was a hot summer day or cold frosty morning, I walked barefoot on prickly, pointed pine needle mulch, on the dirt driveway and the uneven, weed covered terrain while dodging snakes and creepy crawlies that hid beneath the tangled brushes. It never occurred to me that I should cover my feet up. For the most part, I went barefoot, even as a small child all dressed up for church! Sometimes I would have sandals on to comply somewhat with proper decorum. But, basically, I was always “shoeless.” For the most part, people were always clueless why I was shoeless which left my dear grandparents wondering about “the wild child.”
It was quite a change when we moved here to Pasadena and we kids would run around barefoot. It was a “piece of cake” and less dangerous but rather strange to plant our feet on the civilized St. Augustine grass and cement sidewalks of Northwest Pasadena. The “city kids” would make fun of us, repeatedly asking me THE question ” Why don’t you put on/wear shoes?” Probably thought to themselves “dang hillbillies.” Throw in braids, barefeet and a bonnet to boot and I know that I was born 100 years too late.
Back in the pioneer days (well, throughout history, for the most part), folks (kids, mostly) didn’t wear shoes to play. In fact, shoes were a luxury and only worn in snowy winter. Children would run barefoot over the countryside and go barefoot even into town. They didn’t have to worry about broken glass like today and, of course, being thrown out of stores and being refused service.
Laura and Tom Sawyer were not only saving money but healthier, too.
Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, published a study titled “Shod Versus Unshod: The Emergence of Forefoot Pathology in Modern Humans?” in the podiatry journal The Foot. The study examined 180 modern humans from three different population groups (Sotho, Zulu, and European), comparing their feet to one another’s, as well as to the feet of 2,000-year-old skeletons. The researchers concluded that, prior to the invention of shoes, people had healthier feet.
In other cultures, like India, shoes traditionally are taken off before entering a house. Visiting India a few years back, I felt right at home with this custom (love to go back one of these days!) We stayed in local homes and loved every minute.
If you, like Laura, like to take off your shoes, care to share about your barefootin’ experiences (especially us city homesteaders)
The big challenge is that on the homestead feet can get mighty dirty. So it’s always a good habit to rinse off your feet a couple times a day. We have a hose right by backdoor (where the outdoor shower is). One can easily rinse off filthy feet before going inside the house.
How to Clean Dirty Feet That are Black Due to Oil & Dirt
Black dirty soles can seem difficult to clean, however, using a few common household items can make cleaning dirty feet a breeze
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