“Best of…” 2005-e

From: D.D.

Subject: Barefoot carpentry!

Date: Oct 2005


Hello all,

Haven’t posted in a few months because my family and I have embarked on a grand adventure this summer — building our own energy-efficient house.

Why has this anything to do with barefooting, you may ask? Well, the first few days of work, helping the excavator with the foundation and building walls for our tool shed, I reluctantly put on sneakers. I thought that being as it was a construction site, I was just asking for trouble to go barefoot… I’d drop boards on my feet, or tools, or step on something pointy (why does my brain come up with these crazy shoddy arguments?).

After a few days of socks and sneakers in sweltery August weather, my feet were practically clawing at my shoes to GET OUT!! So I took the darned things off… and have never looked back. I have been a very happy barefoot carpenter for over 6 weeks now, and haven’t had one single construction related foot injury. (plenty of smashed fingers, though)

What joy to walk atop walls, clinging with your toes; to hold a board in place with a bare foot with you nail it; to confidently lift plywood up onto the roof knowing exactly where your feet are and having complete trust that they will keep you from falling! My brother and I pretty much single-handedly (footedly) covered the second-storey roof with 3/4 inch plywood and tarpaper, relying on our bare feet to stabilize us while scrambling and balancing 25 feet above the ground. Perhaps my dad would be less scared of heights if he took off his shoes… : )

I have gotten some incredulous looks and head-shakings from various sub-contractors that we’re hiring (the plumber, excavator, etc), usually along the lines of “when you’ve been the the construction business as long as I have, you get smarter than that… etc,” but I just smile and wiggle my toes happily. : )

The moral of the story: keep em bare everywhere! Your feet can take you places and do things that even your mind might say “no way” to at first.

Long live the SBL — I have been very much enjoying reading posts on rainy days. What a cool community you all are.



“We’re all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” -Oscar Wilde