There are some changes coming this summer, BIG changes and with all these surprises there will be some new voices here at Scribbit.
So I'd like to introduce one of the new contributing writers: Kim from The Mommy Machine who will be sharing her family and adventures on a regular basis as we take things to a new level.
I'll be giving you more information on Kim next week (you'll love her, I promise--I've met her myself so I can make that promise in confidence) but for now you can read her words about our lovely Alaskan foot wear. We called them "clam diggers" when I was a kid and I loved the feeling of standing in a freezing cold spring puddle where the water pressure pushed the boots up against my feet and I could stand there, experiencing the joys of the puddle without the wet.
I need to get myself a pair of these.
I’m knee-deep in spring. The snow is gone, but the muskeg’s soggy and the garden is still muddy, so I keep my trusty pair of rubber boots next to the door, ready at a moment’s notice for tromping around outside. Water-resistant boots aren’t just for little kids jumping in mud puddles; a good rubber boot is the go-to footwear this time of year for Alaskans of all ages.
When I was just a whippersnapper, my dad slipped my feet into my first pair of ugly brown XTRATUFs and carried me onto his fishing boat. Growing up in rainy southeast Alaska, I became accustomed to seeing the men in my family working in and around the water while wearing tall neoprene boots. On weekends, I joined my grandmother, mom, and aunts in sliding our wool-stockinged feet into rubber boots and heading out to the damp wilderness to pick blueberries, low bush cranberries, and salmon berries.
As a teenager working a summer job on the shrimp line at a busy cannery, I stood for hours in my XTRATUFs; thank goodness for my youthful arches, because back then I didn’t know about support hose or Dr. Scholl’s inserts. While I wouldn’t recommend standing in rubber boots for a 12-hour shift, I do suggest donning a pair if you ever get the chance to stroll along some Alaskan shoreline.
Now that I have children of my own, I make sure all my kids wear sturdy rubber boots when we go beachcombing. Fashionable play boots were good enough for toddling about the yard after a rain shower, but when my daughters reached the age to begin hiking independently around the beach, we visited the local gear shed to purchase their first pair of XTRATUFs. The thick brown work boots aren’t pretty, but they’re the best for protecting feet from sharp rocks and cold waves. A fisherman I know once joked, they keep the stink in and the moisture out. Who could ask anything more from a pair of boots?
I don’t care if my feet look fancy, as long as they’re warm and dry. Fortunately, I live in a state where most everyone subscribes to this same philosophy. Fisherman, hunter, gardener, berry picker, beachcomber, mud puddle jumper . . . we’re all united in our appreciation for the durable, dependable, and downright homely rubber boot.
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