As much as I adore shoes, I prefer not to wear them inside my home. On Guam, when we visited someone, we slipped off our shoes before entering their house. You could tell who was having a fiesta by how many pairs of shoes were outside their door. I had forgotten about that tradition until I returned to the island and attended a friend's party. Everywhere I looked I noticed bare feet.
After the first birthday party I gave for my husband, my mother-in-law commented, "Do you realize you never put on your shoes the entire time?"
I hadn't considered putting on my shoes, but I guess my comfort had made her uncomfortable.
A couple of years later while I was expecting my daughter, my husband and I hosted a dinner party for a few friends. One of our guests asked, "Is Jerry trying to keep you barefooted and pregnant?" Maybe most people expect their hosts to wear shoes. This isn't Guam after all.
So last week when I asked a few friends over for lunch, I considered slipping on my flip-flops. Then I thought, if they're my friends, it won't matter if I wear shoes or not.
It was a nice lunch. We ate chicken soup I'd made from my editor, Christy's recipe. And later finished the meal with I-45 cake. Charlotte shared about the upcoming event with writer Rick Bragg she was helping coordinate. Jenny talked about the writing class she would begin teaching that night. Robin discussed her return to Amarillo. No one mentioned my feet.
I missed my morning writing session because I was cooking and doing some last minute straightening. But I could work later than usual because Jerry had an appointment that night. After my friends left, I walked outside to get the mail before I started to write. When I tried to reopen the storm door, it wouldn't budge. We'd had trouble with the latch sticking the last couple of months, but had neglected to oil it. I looked at my dog, Bronte, on the other side. She is such a smart dog. On command, she can sit, lie down, twirl, walk on her hind legs. She can even play dead when we say, "Bang, Bang!" But she cannot open a door.
Why hadn't I put on my garden clogs before stepping outside the house?
I walked to my neighbor that lives diagonally across the street from us. I knocked at the door and stared down at my toes. At least I'd had a recent pedicure. But I was almost relieved she wasn't home.
Then I went to our next door neighbor's home. Ann answered the door, but I knew right away I'd awakened her. Poor Ann had sinus problems and was taking a nap. She was so groggy she didn't notice my feet. She hunted around in her kitchen drawer and found a knife. And a few minutes later I was able to slide the blade between the door and the casing, unjamming the latch. Thank goodness for napping neighbors with sinus problems.
Inside my home, I dished up some soup and cut a couple of pieces of cake for Ann and Ray. But before taking them over, I propped open the storm door with a watering can and slipped on my clogs.
Here's the recipe I use for I-45 cake. It's the easiest cake in the world to make. I recommend you keep one on hand at all times to payback good deeds from good neighbors. You may want to put on a pair of shoes before delivering some though.
1 Stick of Butter (I guess you could use margarine, but why would you?)
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 8 ounces of cream cheese
1 16 ounce package of powdered sugar
Mix melted butter with cake mix. Mix in two eggs. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan.
Mix softened cream cheese with powdered sugar. Beat in two eggs. Pour on top of cake mixture. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
For a look beyond my block, visit Travis Erwin's My Town Monday