Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer Clothes and Winter Clothes

Here in New England, we have seasons, and between seasons and sometimes it's cold when it should be hot.  This means clothing issues. 

When we moved into this house, we had a moderate-sized cedar closet built, which stores out-of-season clothing, luggage and travel items.  No more moth balls!  For several weeks, I have been in the process of putting winter clothing away and getting summer stuff out.  Why do I never hear anyone complain about this task?  It's terrible.  Six closets are involved as well as some underbed boxes and a cedar chest.   Winter scarves, summer scarves.  Winter socks (farewell my lovely Smart Wool socks).  Hats:  away goes winter and out come the straw hats and the visors and the cute baseball caps.  Wool sweaters are machine washed on a special cycle and dried on the guest bed, saving $50-$60.  All the wool stuff is cleaned before putting away.  When I worked and had money, I just bundled everything up and had it cleaned and stored for the season.  No more.  

So this whole business takes weeks of puttering, laundering, cleaning, sorting, making decisions (is this worth keeping for yet another season?)  You have to realize we have a few items that have been around for  30+ years.  New Englanders are a frugal bunch.   I still have clothes to take to a resale shop, now that there's two in our area, one high-end and one "regular."  Of course I always buy something when I go in. 

Last year I ditched a favorite pair of summer shoes because they were totally worn out and disreputable and now I wish I would have done "just one more summer."  I have a dress, a lovely Rodier cotton dress that I bought for a big trip to Europe in 1982.  Still have it.  $50 reduced from $100.  Rodier doesn't seem to be around anymore, like Jaeger.  The dress has a tiny cigarette hole when from I still smoked.  I'll wear it to Burning Man if I go, and otherwise it will be ready for a costume party this fall.  Some stuff is worth hanging onto forever.  Yup. 

So the great clothing exchange is also a trip down memory lane.  And now, it's time to iron that white cotton shirt that's been sitting at the bottom of the ironing basket since October.  Boy, winter went by quickly this year.  I only wore my sheepskin coat once, which means it wasn't that cold.  Clothes hold memories, and sometimes I put stuff I used to wear on one of my heroines, like the chamois-skin top with beads and feathers.  It was so cool back in the day. 

Time to turn on the iron and get that shirt back in the closet.  I need the tablecloth for an up-coming dinner party.  Have cool new napkins from Crate and Barrel.  Even the ironing basket has memories. 

When we were newly-weds, back when God was a boy, my husband had an old pair of chamois-colored shoes that just became uglier and more-worn-out.  I pitched them, and have never heard the end of it.  "My favorite shoes."
So it goes. 

Happy Memorial Day.  I'm making enchiladas verdes with chicken tonight.  Hope the weather improves enough to grill tomorrow.  Go Red Sox!
Burning Man is where many old clothes go to die



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