Feet

Every laugh at how a random conversation will trigger completely unrelated memories? I was making small talk at the gym the other day after my workout and somehow we got on the subject of feet. My buddy Tom mentioned something about a guy’s feet.1 He shared how much he hated going on dates with guys that don’t take care of their feet. I’m sure it isn’t an over unique fetish but it triggered all kinds of memories from my childhood.

As a child I hated wearing shoes. I grew up in the piney woods and my only impression of shoes wasn’t a positive one. I felt they were a nuisance. I refused to wear them anywhere except school or hunting.2 Naturally, it wasn’t uncommon for the bottom of my feet to be calloused with very thick hard skin. It didn’t matter where I was, if I wasn’t fearful of thorns, I was barefoot. There were no concrete sidewalks for miles and miles and that meant no fear of hot surfaces or burnt feet. I even ran track in high school barefoot. Or, at least I did once my coach noticed I won more races when he let me race w/o shoes.

Of course, as an adult I take decent care of my feet. They stay clean, clipped and overall cared for; gone are the heavy callouses. The soles are now a bit sensitive but I still walk around barefoot on most flat surfaces. I often have to remind myself to wear shoes when running out around the block with Cooper. But that has more to do with not wanting to track debris back onto our new carpet.

Thinking back, it does seem a bit gross but back then I never thought anything of it. I’m sure my buddy Tom would have found me particularly gross. I neglected to share the flood of memories with him. heehee

  1. Apparently had a slight fetish []
  2. Hunting meant going into areas of unfarmed land full of briar patches, thorns, and all manner of sharp objects step on []

Change

Ever have one of those odd moments where you flash back to time in your past w/o any real explanation?

I was standing in my bathroom this morning and had an abrupt flash of a time when I was growing up and still at home in East, TX. I was overcome with a sense of being in two places at once. It was almost as if I could see both scenes overlayed on top of each other. I have no idea what sparked it but it was a bit jarring.

I started thinking about how much my life has changed since then and how very different I live. While I’m by no means wealthy, I lived very different back then. And while there were times I went w/o things I wanted, I can’t remember many times of going w/o things I needed. I grew up very poor in the boonies of East TX. My family moved from Louisiana to Texas when I was young. They actually moved from a small town to an even smaller & very remote town. lol

Looking back at the memory, it felt foreign. I probably don’t need to say my home was very cluttered and somewhat disheveled. lol I’m not making fun just stating fact. I didn’t know any better at time. I thought everyone lived the way we did. My parents weren’t hoarders but they tended to keep a lot of unnecessary stuff. I guess this might be part of how different the memory felt.

It’s funny how life changes around us and we sort of forget how different things can be. People to this day still don’t always believe me when I explain how I grew up. I admit, it sounds almost alien. It was like one step above the TV show, The Beverly Hillbillies.1 People still laugh when I tell them we had a washing machine with a crank. We had an outhouse at one time. We had a “frigadere” specifically for fresh kill before it was skinned and cut up for sale or food. (It sat on the back porch) Our a/c was a giant industrial fan mounted in the ceiling. Our heater was a wood burning stove. We never had cable. We didn’t have a phone.2 Our water was a self-drilled well. The only thing we got from the city was electricity. And that went out every time a thunderstorm came thru, which was often. We grew our own vegetables and slaughtered our own meat. We only bought things we couldn’t readily produce (or didn’t want to). Before my foster mom died, she even made all of our clothes. For me, it was my way of life. I didn’t know different until I got older and discovered people lived in different ways. Not everyone had a separate fridge just for hunting. lol Nor did everyone have their own personal little bear logo stitched on their clothes. (My mom had a logo for each of us.)

I look at my life now and then and it’s literally like two different people. Many of the modern coveniences I’ve come to take for granted were unheard of back then. I mean how did I live before the internet, Google, Netflix, email, smartphones, etc!? Ironically, we did live and we did ok. In some ways, I think it made me more well-rounded. I can say for sure it makes me appreciate the things I do have today more.

  1. prior to their getting rich. lol []
  2. My parents got one at some point after my 18th birthday but before my 22nd one. I had been long gone from home before then. []