Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Too Hot for Hopscotch

Do you remember how I like going barefoot?
I remembered today.
Zizza and I were all ready to dart off to the mail box and collect "Lilo and Stitch" which arrived there, thanks to netfilx with the mail today. It was then that I noticed how efficient I'd been earlier in putting my shoes away. Generally, there is a substantial pile of assorted shoes on the floor under the collect-all chair. Not today.
Aside from the half pair of red flops which I know to be under the sofa (don't ask how long it's been there, or how long I've known it's location and left it where it lies) I was shoeless.
Now, when one is trying to sneak off to the mailbox while one's baby is sleeping it is important not to enter the room where said baby rests as this may disrupt the slumber that makes possible your sneak. So you see the tight spot I was in.
That is when a single but very important word,"barefoot" popped into my head.
I stepped onto my back patio to test the heat of the pavement. It felt downright cool so Zizza, the pup, and I set out on our sneaking.
On the way down the street I reveled in the warmth, the roughness, the bliss. "I wish I never had to wear shoes again" I thought. As I turned the corner though, the roughness was starting to wear on my wimpy, always wearing shoes out side, feet. That wear made the heat a little more intense and I had to step quick the rest of the way to the box.
I rolled my weight onto the outside of my feet and rested on the cooler-smoother concrete around the mailbox while I emptied it. Then it was time to return to the asphalt and start walking again. I'm not going to lie, things got a little dicey on the way back. I was relieved to reach the corner of my street again. The short stretch from my street to the mail box has no houses on it, no houses means no shade and that was nearly my undoing.
Back on my street scurrying from shady patch to shady patch, put me in mind of a memory.
It was late in the summer and record breaking hot. I'd watched the weather report on the mid-day news, so I'd known the heat was record breaking. 107 really did seem scorching before I'd experienced 115.
My sister and I along with a pair of our friends (also sisters) challenged our selves to a barefoot walk around the block.
We skipped from shady spot to shady spot, sometimes we even balanced on the beam of shadow cast by the top rail of a chain link fence. When velvety lawns presented themselves, we were only too glad to find rest in the cool, soft verdure. Be reminded though, this was the grip of summer, a record breaking day. Most of the lawns in the neighborhood, suffering from the strain, were rather brownish and pricklyish.
As we approached the last corner of the block we found ourselves in trouble. Our adventure had tested the strength of the calluses we'd been working all summer to build on our foot bottoms and we were facing the longest tree less stretch of side walk yet. A series of drive ways and block fencing bordered the walk on one side. If we'd taken our adventure in the morning hours that fence would have provided shade. Now though, the afternoon sun was casting that delicious darkness in the wrong direction. Wasted in the neighbor's fenced yard.
On the other side of the side walk was what passed as a grassy median strip. We knew though, there were a good deal more prickly weeds to be found there than grass of any kind. I would hesitate to walk there with shoes on, to brave it barefoot was unthinkable.
A very unpleasant few minutes passed by then. I think I must have blocked that part out. I don't really remember the rest. If I had to guess, I'd say we took turns dashing through to the refuge of the biggest tree on the block that beckoned invitingly from the far side of the death strip. Then, I imagine we hopped along the remaining shade spots home where we soaked our feet in the cool puddle left by the leaking spray at the water spickett that worked all day watering mom's garden. (Yes, I know the word is actually "spigot" but I'm having a memory here and it was always a "spickett" in those days)
If we were lucky enough, or sneaky enough we got twin-pops out of the huge chest freezer in the overstuffed garage and indulged our tired spirits by eating two sides each rather than splitting them like we were generally made to do.
You know, I could stand to eat both halves of a twin pop right now, and my scraped up feet sure would like the muddy grass of that spickett puddle.

1 comment:

Ruby Villain said...

I remember the barefoot days of childhood, when my feet were chronically caked in dirt and cracking from running shoeless on pavement all day, every day. I miss those days.