Barefootin’ It (Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop)

The tornado siren was wailing, and I had bare feet.

Back then, my feet were small, smooth and soft — baby feet. Baby feet, yet tough feet. We spent all summer running around outside in our bare feet. My big toe has a long, white scar across the top from when I rode my bike with bare feet. My parents enacted a new rule that day: No bike riding with bare feet. The hot sun would make the blacktop roads bubble with tar. We would run across the road on tiptoes, as quickly as we could, but our feet would still get marked. My sister and I would sit in the bathtub, scrubbing those black tar circles on our bare feet in vain. Once my sister stepped on a bee in her bare feet, and the bee did not care for being stepped on. He left his stinger as a little souvenir in her foot that day.

It was summertime in Des Moines, Iowa, and so I had bare feet. My sister and I were with my aunt when the sirens began their urgent warning. My aunt grabbed my sister with her left hand, me with her right, and we began to ran. It wasn’t raining, but the sky was that terrible yellow-greenish color. I looked down at my feet, and saw mud squish between my toes as I ran through a mud puddle. We made it to the neighbor’s basement, the threat of a tornado passed, and summer continued.

That memory of mud surrounding my big toe is clear in my memory, but the other details are foggy. Did my aunt live in her apartment back then? Were we closer to the neighbor’s house? Where were my parents?

My feet are bigger now, cracked and rough and calloused; toughened by years of running around in my bare feet. I look with envy at my daughters’ feet. Small, smooth, and soft — baby feet.

Mama's Losin' It


AM or PM?

It’s late. Late for me. My brain starts to shut down at half past bedtime — that is, half past my daughters’ bedtime. By the time they are in bed, which isn’t really that late at all, I feel fried. Kaput. Ready for bed myself.

And yet, that’s the best time to blog. Not really the best time–just the only time I have some peace and quiet and time to myself.

My favorite time to blog, if I had a choice, would be in the morning. In the morning, I’m energetic. Ready to go and full of ideas. Not too early, mind you. For about a week, I was getting up around 6:00 and blogging before the girls were up. The timing was perfect. I usually had about 45 minutes before I heard the first stirrings. But then at least one of the girls…not always the same girl, mind you…started waking up at 6:00 and ruining my writing time.

One writer I know wakes up at 4:00 to write; I don’t think I’m ready to do that yet.

And then once the girls are up, we’re off and running. Breakfast, shower (for me), getting the three of us ready to walk out the door. Sometimes I manage to get a little blogging in, but it usually doesn’t work out that way.

Right now, I’m dragging. I’m in a fog. I’m ready be a couch potato. And yet here I sit, trying to drum up the creativity for another blog post. I haven’t published a post since Monday, and I feel like I need to write.

That feeling is fading fast. I’m going to change into my flannel pj’s, sip that hot cup of chamomile tea that’s waiting for me, and watch my recording of The Good Wife. This is all you’re getting out of me tonight.

It’s exactly 8:43 p.m.

What’s the best time for you?