When I light the candles on my mother’s brass candlesticks, I am reminded of my childhood city living room, and the snug feeling of sitting on the couch between my parents as my eyes fell heavy and we sat back to watch the candles burn and the shadows flicker across the room’s tall ceiling.

As Greg and I go about our lives in our log home, I can pause and hear the sound of our many mechanical clocks, contentedly keeping track of time as it ticks easily by. I am reminded that my love of clocks flows from my father’s second career as a clockmaker.

I drift back through time and remember walking into his home office, on the second floor of our city home, and watching him lovingly wind the ornate stone clock on his office mantle, just as Greg lovingly tends to our many clocks now.

And every evening as I step outside to check on the chickens and gather their eggs, I slip my feet into my wooden shoes, and I am again reminded of my father. As long as I can remember, he had a pair of Dutch wooden shoes. He wore them to take out the trash or sweep the front stoop. I remember the sound of his steps clacking across the city pavement. He even wore them to take the mail down to the mailbox at the corner of Second Avenue.

I never saw anyone else, in the city or anywhere for that matter, wearing wooden shoes, but my father always exclaimed how perfect they were for brief excursions outside. No matter what the weather, his feet stayed warm and dry. So, the years passed, and one day as Greg and I explored an antique store for forgotten treasures, I saw a pair of old wooden shoes, almost hidden under a chair. I sat down, took off my own shoes and tried them on. They fit perfectly, so I brought them home and placed them by the door.

The next morning after breakfast, as I stepped outside to take out the garbage, I slid them on. After I securely placed the lid back on the metal garbage can and I began to walk across the field toward the chicken coop, I knew that I was somehow walking in my father’s footsteps. The wooden shoes were perfectly right. That was now over 15 years ago, and I have since walked my way through four pairs of wonderful wooden shoes. They have definitely become an integral part of my farm life. If they become muddy, I simply hose them off, and their sides are high enough so that I can easily step through mud puddles or even several inches of snow.

Just yesterday, I slid my feet into my fifth pair of wooden shoes for the very first time. I usually try to have my next pair ready and waiting for use, but this time, my fourth pair wore out before I had found another pair. One evening, as I was walking across the gravel drive, I felt a sharp stone poking through the bottom of the shoe and into my right foot. I sighed, knowing that I had no ready replacement.

For several days, I did my chores in my rubber boots, but they felt too hot and cumbersome. I really was rather distraught, and then it occurred to me to turn to the internet. After only a brief search, I found the perfect pair of shoes. I confess that it was all I could do to not pay the extra money for a speedy delivery, but I was frugal. As I tromped about doing my farm chores in my rubber boots, it occurred to me though that my frugality was giving a real test to my patience, but I sighed, knowing that they were at least on their way.

And then they came. As I slid my feet into them, a broad grin spread across my face. They fit perfectly. My farm feet were home. With great ceremony, I carried my old wooden shoes out to the burn pile, just as I had their predecessors. There is something somehow poetic about placing my old shoes in this pile. In time, we will light it, and my shoes really will become a part of the creek valley where they have walked and worked so well for the past several years.

Perhaps more importantly, though, I know that my father would be very proud to see that his daughter, though gray-haired and older, walking in his footsteps.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at straightcreekvalleyfarm.com.