“Don’t go outdoors without your boots!”
These winter words echo across decades.
Actually, this child liked clumping boots. Despite Mom’s belief I would catch 19 diseases, their podiatric force field protected me when stomping ice-covered gutters.
Unfortunately for my parents, their children’s feet grew hourly. While my sister acceded to wearing my hand-me-downs, I drew the line at my brother’s galoshes. However, recycled boots weren’t always an option because we had honed losing winter wear to a fine art.
The positive side: Lack of sufficient winter garb kept us inside warm classrooms at recess. While friends shivered outdoors, I read favorite books.
Some stories featured boots. In Little Women, Jo March’s boots helped her play swashbuckling heroes and villains in homegrown dramas. In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy, a traveling cobbler designed Almanzo Wilder’s first manly pair. Puss in Boots never would have brought his master fame, fortune and a princess if he hadn’t strutted about in that all-powerful footwear.
Still, most boots seemed mundane until go-go boots invaded the fifth grade fashion scene. My ignorant mother refused to buy me white boots amid the muddy slop season.
I whined. I pined. I promised I wouldn’t lose them, not even one.
She wouldn’t budge. So, I languished without the go-go boots every girl owned except me — and Becky Andrews, who wore thigh-high black boots like Nancy Sinatra’s when she sang “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.”
Ten years later, I wore a similar pair that stretched my height well past six feet.
But snow time with my toddlers required mommy boots. My little ones readily wore garage sale Strawberry Shortcake and Ninja Turtles boots, even with PJs. They, too, waded in yucky gutters, despite my warnings.
Years later, they cornered me in a boot discourse similar to my go-go debate with Mom decades before. My children wanted me to spend a gazillion dollars on short-topped “boots” designed to frostbite toes.
When I refused, they left a row of sensible boots to an undisturbed existence in the closet — until I discovered my son’s worked well when I shoveled sidewalks.
I couldn’t wear the tall, black leather boots (my size!) I’d found on sale for five bucks.
I still wear them. I just leave them home when it rains. Or sleets. Or snows. Or. …
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Fess up. Do you wear your boots during yucky weather?