I’ve always been intrigued by seeing Amish women spending warm days barefoot, even out in the yard, barn, and on the road. Their children beg to shed their shoes in the spring. I once asked an Amish farmer, who was giving me a tour of his property, if he worried about his grandchildren’s feet as they frolicked without shoes. The bearded gentleman gave me a one-shouldered shrug and shook his head.
A couple days ago, on a sunny afternoon, I strolled across our small patio wearing flip-flops and shorts after I’d added water to our wall fountain. My mind was off in another galaxy, apparently.
Suddenly, I found myself catapulting in slow motion. The toe of one of my flip-flops had caught the edge of our slightly-raised wooden deck and I sprawled forward, helplessly. After landing with a thud, for a moment I couldn’t move. Fortunately, my husband had come home from work early and was in the kitchen. “Help,” I whimpered, and he rushed to my side.
“Do you want to get up?” he asked.
“No.” I tasted blood in my mouth. “Run and get me a mirror.” I shouldn’t admit how vain I am, but my first worry was that I’d broken a tooth, which I hadn’t. Then I glanced around and noticed I’d narrowly missed a metal-rimmed glass table I’ve had for years and years, and several other sharp items. And I was grateful for our wooden deck, softer than cement.
Finally back in the house, I called a consulting nurse. She was extremely thorough because I’d clonked my head. She said I could wait to have my shoulder examined as long as I didn’t have symptoms of a brain concussion. “Stay off the computer,” she warned me. How did she know I wanted to hop on my Mac? She said typing would irritate my shoulder. Today, I’m using my Dragon Dictate voice activated software when possible.
Long story short, no broken bones nor did I tear my rotator cuff. Just a couple of skinned knees, some sore muscles, and a bruised ego. Now, however, I have a dilemma. Do I dare work in the garden wearing flip-flops? In the winter and on rainy days I step into my cumbersome rubber Muck gardening shoes, which I’d just put away. Should I bring them back out? Go barefoot like the Amish?
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Congratulations to last week’s winner of the charming Amish-made tea towel from Lancaster County, Pat C. Thank you to all who left comments!
Thank you, Noah Coleman, for permission to use your father’s marvelous photos.