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Momma’s happy feet means a happy home

March 4, 2018 GMT

Most people are probably familiar with the expression “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” There’s a lot of truth to this statement in that mothers can set the tone for the entire household.

This same principle applies to how one part of the body can affect the whole. I always say “If Momma’s feet ain’t happy, ain’t none of Momma happy.”

The older I get, the more attention I give to the comfort of my feet. When I dress up I wear the same type of sturdy unattractive shoes my mom and aunts used to wear. The rest of the time I wear my “everyday” tennis shoes or my “dress” tennis shoes.

As kids, we were familiar with uncomfortable shoes because we wore thin rubber thongs when swimming. This type of footwear has been around for thousands of years but they became popular in the U.S. after WW II when soldiers brought them back from Japan. At some point their name got changed to flip flops.

The first time I bought shoes because I thought they were good for my feet was in the 1970′s when my college roommate introduced me to Dr. Scholl’s exercise sandals. They had a wood sole, with a sculpted arch, contour heel and a ridge under the toes. Held on by a single leather strap, the “exercise” came from having to grip and then relax the foot so it wouldn’t slip off as the pain from one’s instep coming down on the edge of the shoe was intense.

From there I went to “earth shoes.” I’m a sucker for a scientific sales pitch and they were easier to keep on one’s feet. Originating in Denmark, these shoes were made so the heel was lower than the toe to replicate the position of one’s foot when walking on sand. I wore these for many years and, if Nebraska had beaches, I would have been great at walking barefoot on them.

About this time, Birkenstocks were introduced in the U.S. These sandals are still sold and often seen on the feet of aging hippies and others in the “peace, love and brown rice” crowd. Their layered insoles are supposedly very comfortable and those who wear them give credence to the theory that comfort trumps style.

All of these shoes are attractive when compared to Crocs which are made of a “foam resin.” They were introduced in the early 21st century as boating shoes. They form to one’s foot and are practical for people who get their shoes dirty and need to hose them off. People who wear them for this reason have apparently never heard of overshoes.

When I was a kid, snow boots had not yet been invented. We each had a pair of overshoes in our current size because we walked to school on a dirt road. Mom accumulated quite a collection by the time we were grown. They closed with a button over which one slipped a loop. They neither “breathed” nor were insulated so one’s feet would sweat or freeze depending on the weather.

My grandparents called them galoshes. Grandpa had a pair of short-topped black ones which fit tightly over his dress shoes which he called “rubbers.” Dad had a short-topped pair shaped to fit cowboy boots.

The rancher’s overshoe is black with four or five buckles. At her bridal shower, Mom gave my sister-in-law a pair of these for dumping the slop, burning papers or going to the mailbox.

My husband thinks people should take off their shoes when they come inside. As long as they look clean. I like to leave mine on. Usually he doesn’t raise a fuss because he knows if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

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Contact Sibyl at sibylspahn@gmail.com