Saturday, November 17, 2007

Johnny Appleseed

While I'm arghing over foot issues and how I'm going to shower, I remembered this:

American folktales were big in my childhood. It was one of the items in our curriculum that my mother was good at and reinforced at home. Fables. We learned about Babe the Big Blue Ox and John Henry and, was it Coyote Bill? Yeah, Wild Bill Hicock, raised by the coyotes the same way I was raised by cats.

But my favorite was Johnny Appleseed. He walked barefoot across the United States planting apple trees. He had callouses on his feet so thick that he couldn't feel the cold or heat and walked across snow and the desert.

Of course, thinking back with my history, it's no wonder he was my hero - a person so calloused nothing could hurt him as he accomplished his life's mission.

The danger of such stories is this - from that moment forward I was determined to get big and calloused. I walked barefoot as much as possible. It'd built up my immunity to the snow walking barefoot through it, minutes turning to hours. This went on for a long time. By highschool I walked home barefoot. R. thought I was nuts. There was snow/slush on the ground and I was in my big winter boots. But, as hand me downs, they were too big. So I just took them off and walked those 5-10 blocks home through the snow in just my socks.

Of course, I have frostbite on my ankle. It never goes away. Now, whenever it gets cold that spot pops up again and burns. The area permanently damaged. But, I still have some good callouses on the bottom of my feet and the heels.


Amel's Realm said...

WOW!!! I never heard about Johnny Appleseed. This is such an interesting post, Vic!'s always tough to go to shower when a part of our body can't be wet. :-((((

You know, you're good at analysing yourself!

Ouch, I'm sorry to hear about your ankle! I hope it never gets too cold in NY!

Rachelle said...

That was one of my favorite stories as a kid.
I remember watching it on filmstrip at school every year.
Now I have it on video :))
Glad to hear your foot is doing well!

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

I never herd that story before.
Granny's feet got so caol walkin home larst winter that now, if they get cold, they hert. Weer goin to get her sum ov those big, kwilty slippers at Crissmoss. That way, wen she gets home, she can put them on kwik!

Cold paws ar a terrabol thing to suffer.

Grayum is arskin Santa fer soks this Crismoss. I'm not, but heez a much older Bear.

Sendin hugs to your toze.


Amel's Realm said...

Hi again, Vic!!!

Hope you feel better and better every single day. It's SO dark here already from 3.30 pm. I'm craving for some chocolate-filled buns. Maybe I should make some soon he he he...OK, talk to you later again!


Maddy said...

Barefoot always gets my vote. I'm just becoming familiar with that tale now my children are in AMerican school.

CHEWY said...

Johnny Appleseed! I was born in NY State, so I know the story well.

I go barefoot all spring, summer and fall. In the house and up and down the street. Not outside in winter... nope.

Oh! Rachelle would have to mention filmstrips. That dates us.

Victorya said...

Ugh! this has knocked me out more than I thought it would!

I remember filmstrips too though, so no worries. Johnny Appleseed, Wild Bill Hickock, Molly Pitcher, all those heroes instilled in us Americans.

Thanks for the well wishes! I go for my check-up tomorrow, hopefully I'll feel better.

Amel's Realm said...

Hi, Vic!

Recovery does take time, eh? Well, hope the check-up turns out OK and you're feeling better today! ;-D

Michelle said...

I had this book of American folk tales as a kid. I loved Blue the Bull.

Your shoe story reminded me of my gran. As a kid her guardians (she was an orphan, kind of) wouldn't spend money on her. They got women's shoes from the salvation, cut off the high heels, and gave them to her to go to school in. They got holes real fast and my gran used to stuff them with newspaper in winter.

I also wanted to give you an award. :-)