My feet are neked ya’ll!

May 25, 2011

I wear my Carhartt dungarees when I work up in the garden at Can Rigall. I'm known as "the American" round these parts.

You know you’re a southerner when warm night air and barefeet make you feel blessed to the core. I’m utterly content sitting here this eve with my windows wide open and naked feet kicked up on the porch railing. That’s how you say it in French, naked feet. They don’t differentiate between bare, as in exposed to the elements, and naked, as in hee hee you’re naked. Something funny about it to me. Must be genetic. My southern mother always laughed out loud to the Ray Stevens song It’s me again Margaret. If you’ve never heard it, let me explain. Imagine the following lyrics in an exaggerated drawl:

Well there once was a feller named Willard McVane

And he only had just one thought in his brain

Every evening about midnight he’s sneak off alone

And call the same lady on a pay telephone

‘It’s me again, Margaret…

(heavy breathing and goofy laughter)

Hello, is this Margaret?

You don’t know me Margaret, but I know you.’

Well this upset the lady and it gave her the blues

So she called up the polise, said ‘What shall I do?’

The chief of detectives came round to her home

And eavesdropped upon them on her upstairs phone

‘It’s me again Margaret…

(goofy laughter)

Hello, is this Margaret?

Margaret, I know it’s you.


Are you naked?

And so on. In the song they catch the guy and he uses his one and only phone call to phone up guess who?

It’s me again Margaret, are you naked?

Just wouldn’t be so funny if he’d said bare or nude.

Though it feels kind of naughty writing this post with naked feet, the real reason I’m sharing this story is because I got an email from a good and dear friend from Kentucky that read, “The last couple of things that I received from you had attachments that required an ability to understand French. Since I can only understand butchered English, I was at a loss to really understand what was going on.”

Just made me want to defend my status over here, to let you all know that I haven’t turned totally French and forgotten my roots. Though some things are different (like my windows open out on hinges rather than slide up over the top pane and I now know how to tell somebody off in French) I’m still the same me. Okay, I wear scarves now, but I still wear flip flops and only break out the heels under duress. The bottom line is I’m not a holier than thou world traveler. Though I’m writing for a travel magazine and have to keep up appearances on that front, I’m really just a small town Florida woman living in a small town in France. Believe me Kentucky friend, I’m just as baffled as you are on a daily basis. And foreign speakers of English with crazy thick accents often tell me my American is hard to understand!

But though my barefeet are rooted in the southern United States, I’m happy to let them go naked over here for a while. Some of the differences are worth soaking up, like the latitude that lets the sun remain in the sky until 10 p.m. Long summer nights mean you can plan picnics for dinner. Earlier this week I made my regular morning trek up the mountain to the stone lodge where I work. On the edge of the trail I came up on a small group of mouflon, wild mountain sheep with big horns curled back like strange ears. They were like nothing I’d ever seen before and they made my small town self feel even smaller in a big wide world. To call on another Kentuckian, John Prine’s lyrics seem apropos, Ooh baby it’s a big old goofy world.

You can see what those mountain sheep look like here:


One Response to “My feet are neked ya’ll!”

  1. lustintotravel said

    Glad you still have your roots!

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