Those days on the farm we just another step in forming the person that I am. The shoes and boots were different than the ones I had at Harvard and at McCallie, the Presbyterian military school, that was my high school.
Since we are living on the coast my shoe choice has evolved once again.
In 2006 my feet got introduced to Crocs. As you can see from the picture, I have taken to them like a duck to water. I now have three pairs and have already worn out one pair of dress Crocs.
Sneakers and Birkenstocks have been constants in my life. I didn't wear them much on the farm since there was always something trying to smash your toes, but I had some and probably wore them to town.
In the twenty years that we lived in Roanoke, I wore out a couple of pairs of hiking boots, several pairs of Birkenstocks, and lots of sneakers. A few casual shoes got used up, but I still have some of my best dress shoes, and my favorite suit.
I wonder if I should get rid of the dress shoes and suit. I would rather be dressed for eternity in LL Bean's cargo shorts than a suit with a tie.
On the coast my dress shores are a pair of Sperry Topsiders. I would wear the dress Crocs to church, but my wife objects. I like to take the position that being 59 years old makes me invisible except to people who are about my age. Most of them care more about being comfortable than about fashion dictates.
I have taken to wearing nice polo shirts to church instead of a sports coat. One of the members was joking with me about that the other Sunday, and I told him that I hoped church got out on time since I wanted to go home and get more casual for work. He did a double take.
I explained to him that male Realtors® in our office consider shorts to be our summer uniform and sometimes our winter uniform if the temperatures cooperate. This week he had on a short sleeved dress shirt. I think he is getting with the program.
My white Crocs are my boating shoes. They don't mark the boat, and they are great in the water. My orange Crocs are my around the house shoes. I even do some gardening in them. Sometimes I ride my bike with them, but usually I take time to put on my sneakers.
My sneakers are my walking and shopping shoes. Of course the Birkenstocks are my beach shoes. I keep them in the back of the car for impromptu beach walks.
I actually have a pair of white rubber boots in the garage that I use once in a while when working in the mud behind the dock. There is also an old pair of sneakers that I use to mow the yard. I have given up on my requirement to wear steel toed boots while mowing. There are no hills to slip on down here, and it is hot enough in sneakers.
While I wear all those shoes, my favorite footwear is nothing. I love to go barefooted, and I do around the house and even outside. It was part of growing up in North Carolina. Whether in Lewisville or Mount Airy, I spent time running around barefooted.
Much of the summer we shunned shoes. Certainly there is no better way to enjoy a beach or a nice green yard.
I am personally glad to have left the wingtips behind. They actually remind me far too much of those spit-shined black shoes in military school. My Sperry Topsiders remind me of the soft loafers that I wore in college. I was also glad to leave the farm boots behind when we moved to the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia from our farm in Tay Creek, New Brunswick. Somehow I don't even miss hiking boots these days.
It will be interesting to see if my shoes continue to evolve or if I have finally gotten to a set that will do me for a while.
I'm not planning on changing careers or moving so maybe that will be the case.