Just the Other Day: Cold Feet

We’ve always had pets in our house. Sometimes having indoor pets requires a little adjustment – or a lot. We have oak floors all through our house, except the kitchen and bathrooms – they have tile floors. We find it’s easier to keep the hard surface floors clean and we prefer their look to carpet. To avoid scratching the hardwood floors, we don’t wear shoes in the house.


Not everyone likes hardwood floors. I’ve heard many people complain, “They’re too cold.” They would say. “I grew up on those cold floors, I like carpeting – it’s warmer on my bare feet.”


Personally, I find our oak floors are usually warm to walk across barefoot, but will admit to telling family and friends, “we are a slippers house” and advising them to bring a pair when they visit. Especially if they are coming in the winter months. The hard floors can be cold in the winter; particularly the tile.


I got up from the couch. Since I was going to bed soon, I opted not to put my slippers on. Besides, I was wearing a pair of thin socks.  I let our dog, June, out the front door to potty. There are wolves and other such critters around our place, so I walked out on the front porch to keep an eye on her. The wooden floor was cold, but not as cold as a concrete porch would be. June did her business, then continued sniffing around the bushes, “Come on Bugs. Let’s go inside.”


I made sure the front door was locked, then strolled across the wood floors to look out the east windows to check the driveway. I don’t know why I do it, but it seems like checking the drive is something I need to do every night. That end of the living room is over our unheated garage and those floors are chilly in the winter.


With the driveway secure, I walked through the dining room and into the three-seasons room. It has quarry tile floors and that room is open below. Those floors get really cold in the winter. I looked out the windows and made sure all was well in the backyard. The sky was clear, so I walked out onto the deck; June accompanied me. The wooden deck boards felt warmer on my feet than the cold floor in the three-seasons room.


I looked up in awe. It was a new moon and stars glittered, twinkled and danced about. The Milky Way was really bright against the dark sky. It’s such a beautiful scene, I could just gaze at the heavens for hours.  I looked for satellites and planets, spotting just a few. Each time I exhaled, a puff of steam came from my mouth and disappeared into the night. I was getting chilly. My socks felt damp, like they were drawing moisture from the deck boards and my feet were getting colder.  I went inside to the kitchen.


The kitchen floor is ceramic tile and most of it is also over the cold garage. I stood on the throw rug at the sink and drew a glass of water. The rug felt good under my cold feet.   As I took a drink, I remembered there was laundry in the washing machine, that I needed to put in the dryer.


The basement floor was ice cold. I wasted no time getting the clean items transferred from one machine to the other. I closed the door, turned the knob, and pushed the button turning the dryer on, then quickly made my way to the steps. “Darn it.” I turned around, went back, opened the dryer and tossed in a couple dryer sheets, then high stepped it across the cold concrete floor to the steps going upstairs. June was waiting for me at the top of the steps.


In the bathroom, I stood in front of the sink, brushing my teeth. Again, the tile floor felt like standing on ice. I shuffled from one foot to the other. “I wished I had remembered to put the laundry in the dryer earlier when I was supposed to.” I told June, “The bathroom throw rugs were in that load.” I chuckled as I spoke to my dog, “I guess I should have put my slippers on when I got up from the couch.” June didn’t laugh. I looked down and she was no longer with me. Apparently, the floors were cold on her paws and she headed for her warm bed.


I walked through the dark bedroom, removed my dirty socks and slipped under the covers.  Melissa had been in bed sleeping for over an hour.  I pulled the covers up tight to my chin, rubbing my left foot vigorously on top of my right, then my right foot over my left. I was trying to warm them the same way one would warm their hands by rubbing them together. When your feet are cold, your whole body feels cold. I shivered and rolled over on my right side and curled up with my back toward her. I was trying to get warm.


I could feel the heat on my wife’s side of the bed and started to scoot a little that way. I wanted to take advantage of the warmth but was careful not to let my cold body come in contact with hers. I rubbed my feet together again then all of the sudden, it happened. Desperate times call for desperate measures.


It was as if my feet started thinking on their own – without me and without using good judgement. They couldn’t resist the warmth. They migrated her way and planted themselves firmly against her warm, bare calf. Ahh… The gratification was short lived. Very short.


The screams were incredible – first hers, then mine as she quickly and forcefully launched my feet and the rest of me, back to my side of the bed. “What are you doing?” She demanded, while pulling away. “You don’t come to bed and stick your freezing cold feet on my leg. What’s the matter with you?”


“You do it to me all the time.” Was my only defense.


“No, I don’t – and besides, that’s different!” She scolded, “My feet are never as cold as yours.” Then she questioned, “What did you do? Stand outside barefoot or something?” I was in no position to argue.


She went back to sleep and I curled up on my side of the bed, rubbing my feet together, still trying to get warm. After a few minutes, my feet, with a mind of their own, thought they had warmed up some and returned to the scene of the crime – this time trying to mingle with her warm feet. “Are you crazy? What’s the matter with you?” She blurted out.


Sensing the impending doom, potential injury and possible loss of limbs, my feet quickly retreated to my side of the bed. I justified their actions, “You said not to touch your leg and I didn’t – I touched your feet.” My defense was weak and I knew it.


She went back to sleep. A few minutes later, I was still rubbing my feet together. They were resting right on the edge of the warm area. I started wondering, “They might be warm enough to try again…but I don’t know about possibly waking her a third time…”