Welcome to 'Barefoot in the 'Burbs.' As you can guess, I'm not crazy about shoes. As a kid, my Mom used to holler at me before I took off out the door, "Karen, put some shoes on!" Flip flops were about the only shoes I embraced during the summer and I once spent nearly an entire summer walking around Christie Lake without shoes. The only cut I experienced that summer was stepping on a clam shell-- in the lake.
The other reason I detest shoes: double-wide feet. As a young child, shoe shopping was a "session after session of horror" for many years, until I discovered shoes with double letters in the sizes. This discovery finally ended the years of stuffing my extra-wide feet into way-too-narrow shoes.
I took up water skiing at the age of nine, so it was only natural that I would ditch the skis and learn to water ski on my bare feet as a teen. My life changed in an instant when I was nineteen. I was attempting to cross the wake and caught a toe-- which sent me cartwheeling on the water. At that moment of impact, I went from hard of hearing to deaf.
Life could have taken a pretty bad turn at that point, but instead, it turned out to be a wonderful blessing in my life. I transferred to Northern Illinois University, which had a co-ed dorm floor filled with deaf and hard of hearing students. I learned American Sign Language and dove into life as a deaf person. Along the way, I met my husband (also deaf) and we now have three deaf and hard of hearing kids.
Twenty six years after becoming deaf, I took up barefoot water skiing again at the age of 44. With the added pounds that I accumulated over the years, I guess the double-wide feet came in handy in holding me up on the water.
With that little introduction, you can see why I chose 'Barefoot in the 'Burbs' for this blog. I'll be sharing bits and pieces of life in the 'burbs as well as the challenges and triumphs of parenting three teens. So come on in, grab some chocolate and kick back a bit.
Oh, and take your shoes off.