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Barefoot freedom

One of my favorite feelings as a kid was achieved by walking barefooted through the cool grass in the early morning.
I think for most of my childhood, shoes were simply an accessory wore when you went to town. Otherwise, there was nothing covering the bottoms or the tops of my feet. The bottoms were always a little tender as the transition from cold weather shoes happened but once the soles of the feet were hardened a bit, the only thing that became problematic was crossing blacktop in the heat of the day. You would cross the road like a duck on a bed of tacks exclaiming “Ow, Ow, Ow” for however many steps it took to get through. Then you would stand in the grass until the burn lightened up.
Despite this minor inconvenience, walking barefooted would carry us everywhere we went from neighbors’ homes, on bike rides, to the pool, to the local store, to the creek and the woods and everywhere in between.
Maybe once or twice a week, my mom would call me in from play saying we were going to town and then I would have to remember the last place I put my shoes, take out a fresh shirt and get ready for an afternoon of “lookin’ and feelin’.” This usually meant a little fun along the way, maybe an ice cream sundae from Woolworth’s lunch counter or maybe even an afternoon movie matinee.
If I was lucky enough to have a friend along, to my mother’s chagrin, it could mean a game of hide and seek around the clothing department as she and one of her friends looked through the racks. The games would be short lived as soon as my mother noticed with a promise of discipline if we did not settle down. In most cases we did. However, there were a few times which pushed the envelope and developed a hand-shaped red tattoo on my posterior.
No matter the experience, I cherish those memories of the days when bare feet strengthened my understanding of the world. Each step toughened my soul and took me to so many adventures which fueled my imagination and gave me hope that another adventure was always just a few steps away.
If you are far away from these days, why don’t you take your shoes off in the morning and walk across your back yard in the cool of the morning, or drive to a nearby creek and stick you bare feet in the water as it rushes by. Find that barefooted hopeful youth who once fueled your dreams to uplift your spirit.

The honeysuckle pull

The sweet smell of honeysuckle lightly drifted over the back porch steps as I sit at the top of a thirty-step descent to the ground below. At three-years-old this was a surmountable achievement to navigate these without tumbling to the bottom. And in reality my mother was always watchfully standing by looking through the porch door as she ironed to make sure I did not rush beyond my abilities and go scampering down the steps.

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Needing something you don’t have

Water faucet and refrigerator leaks, garbage disposal freezes from
working, blower motor on heating and air conditioning unit wears out,
dryer timer goes out, and the blinkers on my cars quit.
There is an old saying that says “When it rains, it pours.” I
feel like I have been on a never-ending marathon of late, fixing one
failed system after another.
I simply rise up in the morning wondering what the next adventure
might be that I will have to fulfill.
Thankfully, my folks gave me some great primers on life insisting I
learn the basics about most elementary fixes to household and
automotive problems.
Despite the skills learned and the available information now
available from experts on the web, inevitably, as I progress through
the basic repairs, I have learned one great lesson. There will always
be one more thing that is needed to complete the job.
Whether it’s another tool, or another needed part – because one did
not work or it turns out it was actually something else which was the
problem; I seem to always be ending my efforts, getting into my Ford
Explorer and driving off to the hardware store, being sure to use my
arm signals, to deposit more in the Ace or Junior’s Hardware bank.
Why is that the nature of such experiences? I must have made three
trips just yesterday to only have to return again today still trying
to complete the same project.
I, however, set out this weekend to break the mold. I vaguely
remember my late mother often commenting that my dad spent much of
his time rushing off to buy a tool that he already had but could not
find. A trend that has blessed me as I inherited his tool collection.
But that being beside the point, I really think this time allowed him
to clear his head from a tough fix-it job.
So, this time before I headed off for my hardware fix, I spent some
time going through my many boxes of stored away items to make sure I
didn’t already have what I needed.  Guess what? I didn’t. So back
into my Ford Explorer I went for another adventure scanning the
aisles at the hardware store.
I guess I need to invest some money in hardware stocks. One thing’s
for sure, their profits will be up because of me and all those like
me.

Visitin’

In the past, I concluded that the art of visitin’ is a thing of the past for much of America.

With the onslaught of the pandemic and its various restrictions, I fear that this traditional pastime of folks across the U.S. has now seen its end.

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Visitin’

I am coming to the conclusion that the art of visitin’ is now a thing of the past for much of America.

I can remember as a kid, as dinner time came near, a neighbor or family friend would just happen by and mother and dad would ask them to pull up a chair and mother would set another place at the table.

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