An Unusual Conversation

Yesterday morning my pharmacy texted me to inform me my prescriptions were ready. I called them back, as I wanted to make a change. The staff person answered the phone, wrote down my details and said she would need to call me back later as a car had driven through their store! I told her there was no urgency and to take their time!

Then I found this on social media!

We’re… temporarily closed. (No one was hurt!)

Another staff person texted me in the early evening, saying she didn’t understand the note taken during the “car incident”. She apologized for the confusion! I felt no apologies were necessary. I texted back “Oh, it is not a problem, you all had a pretty bizarre day!” I then clarified what I wanted.

This morning she texted, saying my prescription is ready. I thanked her and added I hoped they were all doing okay today. Her response: “We are doing alright. Appreciate all the support for our team from the community.”

Here’s some takeaways about all of this:

First, I choose to use a local, independent pharmacy. I feel they will approach my care in a more objective way, not based on perpetuating the goals of the big corporation. The two pharmacists would greet me by name when I walked into their store. I am not a “frequent flyer” but they knew me. I end up in social events with one pharmacist as our adult children are friends.

The pharmacist who was the owner sold out to a young pharmacist who had worked there while he was in pharmacy school. The change happened right at the beginning of the pandemic. The former owner continued working there part-time and the one I knew socially, retired.

They only delivered curbside during our initial lock-down. One time the new pharmacist came to my car window to hand off a prescription. I commented on his adorable Mickey Mouse pin and he launched into a story of how much he loves Disney Land. When I said I had never been, he said it was an absolute necessity to go there in my life time. Ever since then, I have adored him.

My husband and I noticed changes: they started advertising on Facebook, they started offering COVID testing, then vaccinations when they arrived. So our sleepy pharmacy turned into a hopping, lots of people coming and going pharmacy. Although we were happy for their thriving business, we missed our laid-back, sleepy store. And missed that we are not greeted by name when we walk in, as there are a bunch of new staff there.

Another change is they now use texts to communicate with us. I had never envisioned texting with my pharmacy, but it works! And it’s not canned, it’s obviously a person texting with me.

Another takeaway: My husband moved to Kansas to marry me. He had never lived in the Midwest, but has lived on both United States coasts extensively. After eleven years, he still marvels at the friendliness of people here. Having lived in the Midwest all of my life, I had no comparison. For me, any exchange with a service person has the potential to be more than perfunctory, and pleasant. For instance, last week I had a delightful conversation with the clerk at the post office, and with a medical tech taking a blood draw. I found out the post office clerk was going to go to a poorly-made movie on purpose, just for the fun of it. The medical tech used to faint around needles and now she’s headed to medical school this summer. How cool is that?

Since the pandemic, my husband is the grocery shopper in our home. He will return from his early morning shopping trip, telling me about his latest conversation with the same store clerk, who always shows up to bag his groceries. When he wasn’t there, my husband inquired after him.

About a month ago my husband learned about the bubble tea phenomenon and that we have four bubble tea stores in our town alone! We went to the one highly rated, which happens to be in the same strip mall as our pharmacy. We enjoyed it so much that we went back a week later. The young owner recognized us and reminded us to use our punch card. I know it’s good business on their part to remember their customers, but I don’t take that for granted. And again, he was friendly and engaging.

There’s things I don’t enjoy about living in Kansas. We have a vocal amount of ultra-conservatives in our state government asserting their copycat legislation of the larger conservative states. But I keep my political views out of casual conversations, and I always have delightful exchanges.

There’s genuine caring going on around here. I like it. My husband is going to go get my prescription today. We know he will have a lovely exchange with the pharmacy staff, and with the bubble tea owner if he stops there as well.

An Accidental Mindfulness Opportunity

It took me a month to realize I had been given this opportunity. At first, I was scared, thinking this meant I was actualizing what our culture purports, that age means being more vulnerable to falls. I soon came to realize that 1)I’m only sixty-five years old which is the young side of old, 2)nothing about me is frail, and 3) I had slipped on stairs when I was thirty-nine years old, which is not old!

What was similar in my falls was I was on slick steps, not wearing proper footwear, and most importantly, not focusing on what I was doing. In my mind I was already down the stairs, doing the next thing. In fact, I fell twice on the carpet-covered steps when I was thirty-nine years old! For the first fall, my friend was within reach and caught my infant propelled out of my arms when I slipped. The second fall only had a laundry basket to slide down the stairs. Both times I injured my tail bone. My antidote after the second slip was to always count the thirteen steps, so I would focus on walking up and down those challenging stairs. I find I still count steps with my grandchildren, whether or not they are learning one to one correspondence! It’s for me!

I no longer live with the thirteen-step carpeted stairs, and now have an enclosed porch of sorts, with three painted cement steps and a landing to reach the screen door and the yard. I had slipped on it eleven years ago and chucked the knock-off crocs that I deemed to be the culprit. And hadn’t fallen since. On February 9th, after this lovely day of a hike that I wrote about here: A Local Adventure in February, I slipped again. I realized I had tracked in some of our walk onto our kitchen rug. I immediately removed the offending shoes and picked up the rug to shake it off outside. When I slipped, stocking-footed, on the cement step, I took all of my fall on my right hand. I felt something happen in my right index finger, and the pain brought tears and whimpering. When I took stock, I could flex my finger without pain, so thought nothing was broken, just over-extended. I didn’t have any other injuries and was relieved I hadn’t injured my tail bone again. I considered going to the doctor, but dismissed it as unnecessary.

When I saw little progress in healing after three weeks, and the swelling and pain persisted, I decided to go to the doctor. She didn’t seem too concerned but showed me how to buddy-tape my index finger to my middle finger for relief. She sent me to the lab for an X-Ray anyway. She was as surprised as me when she called to say I indeed have a small fracture in the middle phalanx of my index finger. I don’t think she has had as much experience treating a one-month-old injury, because she hesitated on a course of treatment. She decided to not do a splint but to continue buddy-taping it when I was going to be active, like doing garden work.

But knowing I had a small fracture in my index finger helped, as I now had an explanation for the ongoing pain and a course of treatment. I needed to stabilize it, not exercise the pain away as it was not a stiff muscle or ligament. I was already favoring the finger, holding it out and using the other three fingers for lifting pans, and other implements. It turned out it hurt the most when I was doing kitchen things. And tying my shoes. And flossing. Okay, it often hurt. I am left-handed, so one would think a break on my right hand wasn’t as much of an issue. But not the case! I found I tend to stabilize something in my left hand and do the action, like opening a lid, with my right hand. To avoid pain, and perhaps further injury, I now get the opportunity to think through and plan actions I do automatically. I found I can now hold the jar with my right hand, and twist the lid with my unharmed left hand, albeit a bit awkwardly. When I was telling my husband about the various challenges he said I could ask him for help. I am not sure why that had not occurred to me. I now sometimes take him up on that offer.

It’s been interesting because this tiny fracture is not acute pain, but an undercurrent of pain, which in the end saps some of my energy. So, yes, sometimes when I am fatigued I ask my husband for help.

I thought I heard the doctor say I could buddy tape the fingers when I needed it. I was with my husband and a couple of friends a few days later, and told them of my surprise little fracture in my finger. I said I wasn’t buddy-taping it because it was uncomfortable and one friend observed that I was a bad patient. That comment startled me, because I tend to see myself as quite the rule-follower! He was right, though, and in discussing my non-compliance with my husband later, I told him I thought it was causing more pain when I buddy-taped my fingers. He suggested I put a spacer in between the fingers prior to taping them together. I remembered I had a toe spacer (for toes to dry after a pedicure), so I cut off one segment and put it in the top part of my finger, where the fracture is. It certainly doesn’t look tidy, and an orthopedic person might be aghast, but it has reduced the pain and increased comfort.

I am now taping them more often. I realized I need to buddy-tape my fingers when I am around my grandchildren, as I am more active and forget to be cautious. And one never knows when they will dive in for a hug!

It’s important for me to understand my injury is due to not paying attention, and to remain confident in continuing to be active. I have seen people be fearful and shrink away from the activity they were engaged in when they had an injury.

Although I would have rather I had been mindful five weeks ago, and not caused a fracture in my finger, I use it to help myself take one movement at a time, one step at a time. Thus the mindfulness, and being very conscious of what and how I am doing my daily tasks. The side effect of this is that life is more enjoyable if I am present for every moment, every seemingly mundane task in front of me. Indeed, the joy is in the now.

Post-script: It didn’t occur to me to read about buddy taping, but here’s a great article about it! “How to Buddy Tape Fingers and Toes”.

Whew! Humans are still needed!

Google photos offered a compilation of pictures I have taken of snow. Since it’s snowing today, I thought it was so appropos. I watched the video, only to discover that Google Photos included our trip to White Sands National Park last October! Really, Google, that’s pure white gypsum sand, not snow! I guess there’s still room for actual human input.

Enjoy “Snow Days”

A Local Adventure in February

Last year at this time, we were in a ten day arctic freeze. I live in Northeastern Kansas, and though cold weather is not unheard of here, that many days in a row of frigid temperatures is very unusual. It started easing up on my birthday (I think it was a high of 10 degrees that day) but I was tired of the extreme cold and resolved I did not want to be in Kansas for my birthday in 2022.

February 2021: when the arctic blast was easing up, we bundled up and headed to our local levee for a much-needed outdoor walk. This is a picture of the boat ramp to the Kansas (or Kaw) River. The blue sky and the white snow remains breathtaking for me.

Well, I am in Kansas for my birthday, and it’s mostly okay. We traveled to New Mexico last October and it was a wonderful trip. The delightful scenery is still staying with me and I don’t want to take on another trip right now after all.

This is a picture of me sliding down a sandy hill at White Sands National Park in Alamagordo, NM.

But part of being home in Kansas in the winter is that I get restless, and want to be outside. Fortunately, we are having mild weather now, which takes less outer-wear to spend time outside. This morning we ended up at Baker Wetland’s for our walk. Being a wetlands, it has several ponds, with marsh and other grasses surrounding the ponds. It’s located on the south end of the city, so one quickly sees countryside. It helps me feel like I have left town, which is pleasing.

Although I wasn’t fast enough to capture it in a picture, a coyote crossed our path today!

This morning we decided to walk on a path in the small wooded area that borders the Wakarusa River. We hadn’t ventured on this path before, and it was a welcome change from our routine walks. But the path may have been best suited for critters. After I took this picture, and continued forward, the path ran out. We decided to walk into the wooded area and find the actual trail which we knew was north of us.

I love the muted colors of winter: the different shades of brown, highlighted with the gentle blue winter sky.

After walking through scratchy underbrush, then in a gulley, which may actually be a creek in summer, we did indeed find the public trail, and happily scampered back on it. This is a picture of the now-shallow Wakarusa River, while walking on the trail and heading back to our car.

I remarked to my husband that I don’t need to take a long trip to have an enjoyable and adventurous time. We can have our local excursions and still get home in time for lunch!

I’m gonna bake my way outta this!

Locally, like a lot of the United States, we have had an enormous increase in people having COVID. We are now fully in the highly transmissible Omicron variant. When my grandson, then granddaughter, then daughter, then son-in-law, became sick two weeks ago, many COVID tests were done, and always tested negative. After two weeks of the grandchildren and my daughter still having upper respiratory struggles, they all saw their doctors again, and my daughter has pneumonia. The grandkids qualified for antibiotics for their upper respiratory infections.

I haven’t provided any childcare because we have learned when I take care of sick grandchildren, I get sick! And it takes me much longer to get well again. We figured out I could play outside with them when the January weather was mild and the kids had the energy to play. I wore a face mask, even outside, because my daughter advised it. When she ended up with pneumonia this week, it hit me that there are many illnesses out there that are also of concern. I had pnemonia at the same age she is now, working and parenting, and remembered how taxing it was. And how concerning pneumonia is, in and of itself! I was grateful the other grandmother volunteered to help with child care, and wanted to help too. But didn’t want to get sick.

I decided to bake healthy goodies for them. When the pandemic started and we went in lock-down mode, my daughter got the idea to set up a mailbox on their front porch railing, so the grandparents could deliver presents. (When I remarked to her that this was such a clever idea, she told me it was inspired from her own childhood! My parents bought a house that had a play house in the back yard, with a mail box. When their grandchildren came to visit, my parents would make “mail” for them. It was usually a piece of gum in an envelope with their names on it. The grandchildren loved it!) I made some mini-muffins, my husband and I both drew pictures, and delivered them to the mail box. The grandchildren were thrilled to check the mail box for deliveries. The youngest dubbed the mini-muffins “Granna Muffins” and the name has stayed. When Dunkin Donuts, came into their repertoire, the donuts won out. But when there’s no Dunkin’s, they still enjoy the Granna Muffins. We have also made them together for fun. (I have learned to pre-measure the nut butter, as it takes me a fair amount of time to wrangle one cup of it!) Or I make a batch and send most of them to their house, and keep some for our house. We still enjoy them too!

These are the Granna muffins. The only change to this recipe is to make them mini-muffins (with mini chocolate chips) instead of muffin sized. Another change: although I enjoy the flavor of almond butter, it is so pricey that I now use peanut butter instead. Here’s the recipe: http://detoxinista/paleodoublechocolatepumpkinmuffins

Since the other grandmother reluctantly gave up chocolate to prevent migraines, I sometimes make a treat for her that sans chocolate. With my husband’s input, I adapted a grain-free pumpkin bar recipe until it’s more like a pumpkin cake. Here’s that recipe: Grain-free Pumpkin Bars

During this sick time, my daughter’s bff had a baby. It’s been a hard reality for her to meet this exciting addition only through video chats. A meal train was set up for the new family, and my daughter reminded me to sign up. For almost being 65 years old, I don’t have a signature entree I like to make for others, so I freeze when meal trains show up. Fifteen years ago I changed to a gluten-free diet, so I quit making my standard casseroles, and don’t think the average person would enjoy my gluten-free meals. But the meal train also allowed for sending snacks. My husband suggested I send over the tried and true granola bars. I started making them for my sister-in-law and her family several years ago when she was ill. Her family loved them and I bought a cake pan to be the revolving granola bar pan for the family. I recently found out from my great-niece her family calls them “Aunt Lorna Granola Bars”. This great-niece is a teenager now, loves to cook, and is making them herself. Here’s my adapted recipe with the original linked in: PB and Honey Granola Bars

By last Friday, I did provide a few hours of care with the youngest, but I still wore a face mask. She’s three years old, has a cough and does not consistently cover her mouth. When her nose was running, I asked her if she could blow her nose into the tissue she was using, and she said “I don’t know how to do that.” Of course, she’s three years old!

She requested we make ice cream, and fortunately there were frozen bananas to use, so we made this recipe: PB Banana Ice Cream. When I left their house, she was snuggled into her other grandmother, watching Frozen for the third time that day. She lited her head up and said “Good-bye Granna. Thanks for the Granna muffins.” Heart melted. Mission completed.

Walking in Winter

I took this picture on our walk on the levee on December 31, 2021. It was a light-jacket kind of day. Not too windy, the winter-muted sun, and an easy, pleasant, 2 mile walk.

This is today, January 8, 2022. We had had a light snow a few days ago, and today is the first day the temperature was above freezing. This picture doesn’t reflect the light mist we were walking in. I had my umbrella, but the mist stayed misty and I didn’t need the umbrella after all.

I got sick Monday evening, so between the inclement weather and not feeling well, today was my first day out for a few days. I am finding the weather doesn’t have to be perfect, even close to perfect! We avoid icy conditions, dress for the cold, and get out there. It indeed, cures what ails ya!

Sign, sign,everywhere a sign!

As the song goes on to say: “Do this, don’t do that; everywhere a sign!”We see them, in bathrooms, and on doors to most establishments. Most are mundane, and may not be read by the average door-opener. There are those, though, that catch your attention. A couple of months ago I saw this one at a local coffee shop, and chuckled. I took a picture, thinking surely others had seen this wording. But my friends on Facebook had not seen it before.

We recently took our first trip since the pandemic started. We used our mini-van to van camp and traveled from eastern Kansas to southeastern New Mexico. That made for quite a few gas station campground stops. I saw some spectacular sites (Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands National Monument) and signage I had never seen before. The internet is going to provide tons better pictures of those sites than the ones I took, but I don’t think you will find these signs on the internets. Well, maybe.

We were traveling from the east part of New Mexico, over the Sacramento Mountains, to get to the other side, obviously. There were no rest stops, and when I saw roadside signage for clean bathrooms, it was this or nothing. I was pretty shocked to see the bathroom was enclosed in the petting zoo area, but too desperate to care. I quickly realized their definition of clean bathrooms did not include the exterior.
And this is the sign provided for my reading pleasure while using their facilities. I was shocked that the ”ladies” needed this instruction. But I figure signs are made out of some prior experience.
This is also the first time I have had to open and close a very heavy gate to get to a bathroom. How about you?
I’m not sure how many people get to the camel, but I did! I think this is a creative way to hope customers will read your sign. I often wonder if the men’s bathrooms have this much signage. I’ll have to ask my husband.
This sign was entertaining while I was doing laundry at our KOA in Alamogordo. Again, the third item was added as someone must had been compelled to wash the clothes they came in. Kinda glad I wasn’t there for that!
I am bummed about the poor picture quality of this one, and hope to return to Oliver Lee State Park to retake it someday. What a perfect illustration, if you know the length of a cow!
This was a fun site for a weary traveler. We were in a gas station in Santa Rosa, NM, which is north of Roswell, NM. And Roswell, I found out, enjoys their alien infamy. I liked their point, though. Just please wash your hands!
But the best signs were at the Three Rivers Petroglyph State Park. Unfortunately I don’t understand what the Ancient Ones
are/were communicating. But I appreciated the honor of visiting them.

Our Summer Walks

I am pretty sure few people think of the state of Kansas when they think of a place of beautiful, breath-taking scenery. But I do. I love the prairie, so it’s not a stretch. I actually love nature and different land and rock formations, so anywhere I go, I am enthralled. As an adult, I live one state away from where I grew up, and both states (Nebraska and Kansas) have beautiful sunrises and sunsets. It didn’t lose any specialness for me when my sister-in-law explained our spectacular views are created with the light filtering through all of the dust in our Midwest air.

I have been sharing some sunrise shots on Facebook, and decided to make a compilation blog of some of my favorite views. Summers in Kansas are hot, and at least in eastern Kansas, exquisitely humid. Since we love our outdoor walks, in the summer we walk before we eat breakfast or meditate. It works, even when the humidity is over 90 percent.

We live a mile away from the Kansas River, which has a levee built on the north side of the river. In-between the levee and the river is a wooded area. There’s a walking trail and a mountain bike trail. We prefer the smooth, gravel trail for ease in walking. On the north side of the levee are homes and farmland. Since I grew up on a farm, watching the crops grow is something I enjoy.

About halfway on our levee walk.
I love the interaction of clouds and sun.
Here in Kansas, we had smoke from wildfires, I believe from Canada.
He thought I needed an action shot! This gives me a smile.
The pylon has become our turning around point of our walk. Sometimes it’s a relief to reach it, and sometimes the walk goes so quickly, it’s surprising to arrive. And sometimes we walk beyond it when we’re feeling spritely.
And sometimes we walk in our neighborhood, which includes crossing railroad tracks. I love the morning sun reflected on the rails.

Long-distance Family Gatherings for the Holidays

My adult children live in the same town I do, for which I am grateful and don’t take for granted. But my daughter is an elementary music teacher, teaching around 350 students a week. And her son is attending kindergarten. Although they are taking pandemic precautions, they have a potentially higher exposure than is comfortable for us. We have agreed we will not be gathering in-person on Thanksgiving Day, which is a first. We do visit them outside, but we do not want to attempt an outdoor Thanksgiving meal. At this point my son will join my husband and I, and we plan to make the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
I am sad to not have the Thanksgiving gathering we have had the last few years. I have enjoyed it as we gathered with my daughter, her family and her in-laws. We split up the menu, and my husband and I made about four sides. I have a couple of favorite recipes: a Vegan gravy for the family vegetarian, which I ironically will use on top of a serving of turkey, and this version of Cranberry Sauce. I highly recommend both!

I have been mentally coaching myself since we made the decision several weeks ago, that I indeed will be okay, even though I am sad we are not gathering together. I will enjoy being with my husband and son, and be grateful we are healthy and able to hang out. And although the meal takes forever to prepare, then devour, there will still be some of the Thanksgiving Day left over. I intend to have some possible things to do to fill some of those moments. Thanksgiving is close enough now to see the extended forecast, which looks favorable for our two-mile walk. This is a guaranteed mood booster for me; I love walking outside with my husband. And a video call with my daughter and her family will fit into the day, I’m sure.

A few days ago, in one of my sad moments, I came up with some ideas of how to connect long-distance with those you love.

Here’s a list:

  1. Do a video call bake-off. Set it up however you want. Make the same thing, and race to see who gets it done first. Or no race, just enjoy baking at the same time, as though you were in the same kitchen. Screen shot the video call, to remember this hopefully unique time in the future.
  2. Some families share what they are thankful for before they eat the Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, write notes to your family members about why your are thankful for them. Mail , email, text, make a video telling them, or do a video call with each other, sharing what you wrote.
  3. Buy candles. Get them to your loved ones, and agree to light them at the same time. Or, video call to light them.
  4. In the same vein of writing why you are thankful for them, write a memory of past gatherings. Or several memories! Again, mail, email, text, video or video call to share those memories.
  5. Make a holiday craft together. Several ideas on how to run this: Make the same thing, and send the crafting material to your loved one. Pick something, like from Pinterest, and see who can make the “best” Pinterest fail. Or pick a craft, with the restriction of only making it from your available crafting stash at home. Video call while making it, or when finished.
  6. Pick a movie to watch, either a new or old one. Each person either writes a review or makes a review via video. Then swap reviews. Or video call and have a Siskel and Ebert type session.

I know there are families who have been living far apart for years and have found ways to connect. Please share them here!

It’s time to put shoes back on!

My husband and I walk or ride our bikes on the local river levee pretty often. It can be a bit long and tedious, especially when walking, but we have plenty of time to observe the fields of farming on one side and the grass and trees on the river side. I rode my bike on the levee trail by myself yesterday.  We hadn’t been there in the last couple of weeks, so hadn’t noticed the corn field changing from it’s pure green stalks to the dying, yellowing stalks.  Which also meant I was surprised to see the last of it being harvested by a corn picker yesterday.  I stopped and took a picture so I could show my husband that one source of conversation was disappearing.

As I paused to capture this image, another image came back to me. It was of the fields of corn from my childhood, and how that impacted my life.  And it did, because my Mom had a rule for her children, well, at least for me, that we couldn’t go barefoot until the ground was warm enough for the corn to be in it, to be planted in the Spring. And shoes had to go back on when the corn came out of the fields in the Fall.

This was a big rule in my childhood and not one I liked. I was always ready to be barefoot long before that corn was ready to be planted. I think it ended up with several conversations about my lack of footwear at the verge of bursting out of the house.

When I was around 10 years old I was at the local grocery store with my mom, when she stopped to chat with a lady I didn’t recognize. Evidently it had been several years since we had seen her, and my mom told me she used to babysit us when I was young.  I didn’t recall ever having a babysitter (can you imagine volunteering to watch nine children?), but when Mom told her which one I was, she asked Mom if she could keep shoes on me yet.  That’s when I knew I was known for being barefoot.

It was tricky terrain to be barefoot on our farm.  Mom had her lawn and decorative flowers on three side of the house, and the fourth side was the scruffy side with a swing set of sorts, the water pump, and real close to the chicken house. All four sides were sticker-free territory.  And of course the beaten down dirt in the front of the house where the cars were parked and joined the driveway.  Sometimes that area had fresh rock, which was a slow trek barefooted, but manageable.  Sometimes it was mired in mud, but that was fun barefoot.

Beyond that perimeter though, was free game for Texas sandburrs, and stickers or several varieties. I would still venture out in those area’s barefooted.  I guess shoes were just too time consuming or confining.  Or both.  I had tough feet as a result, but not tough enough to keep the stickers out.  We sometimes had thongs (they call them flip-flops now), but some thongs were so thin the stickers still poked through.  Their usefulness on a farm was limited, at best. 

One summer day when I was around 12 years old I decided I wanted to go down to the woods barefoot.  I loved the woods, and recalled some soft grass there and no stickers.  I convinced my brother Neil to go to the woods with me, for as much as I loved it, I was scared to go by myself.  Neil, being sensible, wore shoes.  Which turned out to be a great idea as I had not factored in the cow pasture that had to be traversed in order to get to the woods.  It had many patches of stickers, with really no way around them.  After finding myself holding onto Neil’s shoulder to extricate stickers from my feet for the umpteenth time, I finally admitted defeat and turned around for the painful journey back to the yard with no stickers.

When I was around 6 or 7 years old, I remember I saw the pristinely white, shiny snow outside and decided I would walk barefoot in that lovely fluff.  I didn’t get very far when I realized that snow was indeed, very cold on bare feet.  And that perhaps there was some wisdom in wearing shoes after the corn was harvested.

I don’t go barefoot outside so much any more.  A few months ago I saw a chiropractor for some hip issues. She assigned some exercises to strengthen my hips, and my overall stance as well.  Besides the exercises she recommended I walk outside barefoot to get the feedback from my feet to my brain about what I was standing on.  It’s called proprioception. I was so shocked I had actually gotten to the place where I had to be told to go barefoot!  But delighted to hear of its benefits.  

Years ago I had also heard of going outside barefoot and just feeling what you were standing on, to just experience that for a moment, to help feel grounded.  I liked that recommendation, and it takes me back to the many surfaces I walked, skipped, shuffled on as a child.

I am still going to push the edges of Mom’s rule.  The corn may be picked, but I think it’s still warm enough to go barefoot.  Today anyway.

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