Every time it snows heavily, I think of the mille-soled cotton boots that my mother made when I was a child.
It was a very thick cotton boot: the sole, layers of cotton and linen sewn together with dense stitches; The upper is a cotton cloth stuffed with thick cotton. Once you put it on, you no longer have to worry about freezing your feet.
In this era, many people may not have seen mille-soled cotton boots. Occasionally, you will see mille-soled cotton shoes in shops such as the old Beijing cloth shoes.
Mille-soled cotton boots are particularly thick, and when you wear them for the first time, you need to use a lot of strength, and after wearing them for a few days, they slowly fit.
In order to fit and warm up, every year my mother would make new cotton boots.
When I was a child, every time I wore new cotton boots, I had to sit on a chair with armrests, and my two hands tightly grasped the armrests of the chair and stretched out my bare feet to my mother.
My mother was half-kneeling in front of the chair, holding a freshly made cotton boot in both hands, stretching open the mouth of the shoe, and shouting while putting it my foot: “Baby pedal hard!” ”
Once, my mother was so tired and sweaty that I almost knocked over my chair, and my heels still couldn’t get in!
My mother slapped me on the foot: “Bring out the crying!” ”
I hurriedly pedaled again and finally put it on.
When my sister wore it, I couldn’t follow up behind my feet, and I shouted: “This requires a slap from my mother!” I put it on with a slap from my mother! ”
My sister glared at me, and my mother was angry: “You’re doing it!” The baby can kick on you, but you can’t! Mom slapped her foot on the slap, and her sister followed after snorting.
As soon as the cotton boots are on your feet, you will never freeze your feet in winter! However, it also means losing the opportunity to play in the snow!
My mother told me, “Don’t go to the snow!” As soon as the snow is inserted, the cotton boots are wet! It’s not warm! ”
My mother sat in the house with a thousand layers of bottom, and I stood at the door itching to look at the white snow, and did not dare to go out.
As soon as my mother went to the stove to cook, she hurried out, guessed the wheel prints on the snow, and then quietly ran back to the house, raised the soles of her feet to see, and found that they were not wet! Therefore, wherever there is a lot of snow, you will step on it, step on various patterns, and have fun.
When my mother finished cooking, she burst out: “Come back!” ”
Xiong Zheng went back in high spirits and raised his feet to show his mother: “Look, this is not wet!” ”
When it was time to eat, the inside of the cotton boots gradually became warm, and a trace of coolness crept into the soles of the feet.
The mother took the brazier: “Put your feet on it and bake, bake it for a while and it will dry.” ”
That kind of brazier is filled with the embers of sparks after cooking in a waste iron basin, and the embers are vainly covered with a layer of dry wheat straw residue or sawdust, which can be hot for half a day.
I put my feet on the narrow edge of the basin and roasted, and after a while my legs were tired, and the soles of my boots were still cold. I put both feet directly into the brazier, and soon my feet were warm. Raise your foot and look at the brazier again, there are two deep footprints inside, and the fire has been extinguished.
The mother came in and said, “Put out the fire again!” While calling his father to fill another pot.
My father said that when he was a child, his family was very poor, and his grandfather and brothers only had a pair of pants and a torn cotton jacket, and whoever went out wore it, and those who did not go out would sit on the kang and cover their shame with a torn quilt.
Go to school in winter, also barefoot.
I shivered: “How do you walk then?” ”
The father said: “Take a wooden shovel with you, shovel the snow, expose the ground, and take a step.” ”
By the time our brothers and sisters arrived, although they lacked material life, they were already able to eat, wear and warm. New shoes are available all year round, and as soon as my mother returns from the fields, she is at the bottom of the mille-feuille.
The shoes made by my mother look good and fit well. Each of my shoes is embroidered.
Once a picker walking through the streets entered the village, and saw that my friends had bought rice candy to eat, and some had exchanged family eggs for thin sugar, and I stood by and swallowed saliva and watched.
The picker glanced at the embroidered shoes on my feet and said, “Your shoes can be exchanged for two rice candies!” ”
I was overjoyed and took off my shoes and gave it to him! I have been wearing this shoe for a few months, and the sole has been worn thin.
Eating rice candy, I went home barefoot.
When she got home, my mother asked, “What about shoes?” I said, “Change food.” ”
My mother immediately took out scissors, cloth and mille-feuille and made me another pair of shoes overnight.
The mille-feuille sole that must be used to make shoes is available at home for many years. I still remember that in the cabinets of the side room, there were often mille-feuille bottoms of various sizes.
I’ve seen my mother do mille-feuille, which is a very tedious and time-consuming project.
On a clear noon day, the mother took out clean and worn-out clothes and cut them into pieces of cloth of the same size with scissors; Use a comb to straighten the sun-dried linen skin neatly; Then use flour to make a large bowl of paste.
Then, brush clean the bluestone slab, put a layer of cloth, brush a layer of paste, spread a layer of linen, put another layer of cloth, brush another layer of paste, put another layer of linen … And so on and so on until on the bluestone slab, a thick mixed board of old cloth and linen is brushed.
After the sun exposure, in the evening, the mother who returned from work in the field took the thick mixed board from the bluestone slab, put it in the house, and then put it on the bluestone slab the next day to expose it.
After many days of exposure, it finally dried out.
The father sharpened the scissors, and the mother turned out the precious paper shoe pattern from the box, put it on the mixing board, used sharpened clods, along the outline of the shoe pattern, traced the sole on the mixed board, and then picked up the sharp scissors, “click, click, click…”, and the soles of various sizes were cut.
It’s just beginning.
These soles are then sewn tightly on self-spun cotton; Then the self-spun cotton thread is twisted and tightened over and over again with twisting, and the two strands are combined into one, and then twisted and tightened, and then closed… Until those thin cotton threads become a sturdy white string the thickness of a toothpick.
From then on, after tea and dinner, under the kerosene lamp, my mother was at the bottom of the Naqian Layer!
I saw that she threaded the white rope into a large needle, and then pierced the thick sole of the old cloth and linen one by one, and the stitches were densely and evenly sewn on the thick sole.
When I was a child, I used to marvel at my mother’s hands: cracked, rough, how did you penetrate the thick sole?
It was this stitch by stitch that my mother sewed the shoes and clothes of our family of more than a dozen throughout the year.
My mother was one of the many hardworking and simple rural women of that era.
With their hard work and versatility, they supported half of the sky, and together with men, they found a well-fed, clothed and warm life for the whole family.