August 20, 2016: Barefoot in the Summer

Enjoying a summer rain shower in bare feet
We went to the zoo yesterday. Although cloudy and overcast, the crowds were low and many of the exhibits new to us. Garrett had warned of impending rain throughout our excursion.

Our local weatherman was right. As we walked out of the Orangutan Forest, the sprinkles began.

Quickly moving on to our last stop, the indoor Kingdoms of the Night, the sprinkles turned into a light shower and our collective pace quickened as we sought shelter. Garrett guided us to the nearest Kingdom door, which was clearly marked 'Exit'.

Our entourage of me, sons (Ben and Jake), and cousin (Stefano) followed Garrett's lead toward the exit doors.

"We can't go in through the exit!" was my immediate response.

Garrett likely predicted my comment with his own response of questioning why I ALWAYS had to follow the rules. My further argument of how an exhibit walked through backwards would likely not have the same enjoyment of following protocol convinced our crew to take the additional walk in the rain to the proper entrance.

I was proven right on the enjoyment factor of going through the Kingdom the 'right' way. I was wrong on finishing at a door that was far from our parked vehicle. By this time the rain had progressed to a pour.

Assessing the situation, the guys put their cell phones in my big purse and made a run for it. I looked down at my flip flops and made my own executive decision. They were tossed in the bag as well and I followed suit, venturing through the rain in my bare feet.

It was glorious.

Running through the parking lot like kids, the boys were racing and all of us were laughing as we sought shelter. I felt like I was ten again, chasing my brothers while running through the refreshment of a summer shower.

Those were the days.

Although our summer days as kids weren't always filled with zoos and city excursions, we knew how to make our own fun and find adventures in our everyday life. And through these adventures, I would ditch my shoes whenever possible. I loved walking barefoot. My dad did not agree with my little summer pleasure, as he would constantly require my footwear to be placed back on my feet for protection.

"Put your shoes on. You'll step on something and get Lockjaw."

I was told awful stories of people who carelessly walked barefoot, stepping on shards of metal and developing this painful ailment. My dad would tell me stories of how an infection would take over their system and their muscles would stop moving. Walking barefoot = stepping on things = disorder of locked body movement. The possibility of this should have been enough to keep my smiley face Keds on my feet.

But it wasn't.

I would walk barefoot around town whenever given the opportunity. As long as the pavement wasn't too hot and I wasn't within my dad's eyesight, the shoes were off. A rainy day or summer night were the perfect respite for a child who preferred to be barefoot. Puddles with rain drops on exposed toes and warm pavement on the soles of the feet with complimenting moonlight made for the perfect walks home.

I just knew to put my shoes back on about a half a block from home, just in case Dad was outside. Technically I felt I wasn't breaking a rule, as there were no official signs posted on not walking barefoot in our little town of Remsen. The lifeguards told us to get out of the water each hour so they scan the pool for bodies, which I followed without hesitation. But they never announced over the loudspeakers that we were to put on our shoes when leaving.

Technically I was not breaking a rule, just not following my dad's sound advice. I took my chances and felt a little edgy in the process.

Now I am a grown adult and should know better, right?

Not a chance. Given any opportunity to dispose of my shoes under the proper weather conditions, I am all in. Summer is made for bare feet.

And I am happy to report no Lockjaw to date.

(some zoo pix pre-rain)


  1. If you keep your tetanus shot updated, walk barefoot unafraid. Lockjaw does kill but the booster shot lasts a goodly time and is given in almost every instance of foot meets sharp object in American emergency rooms.


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