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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: It's closet-shifting time

© Another Day in the Country

For some reason, I’ve put off the inevitable. It’s way past time, according to the weather, for me to be shifting my winter clothes to the spare bedroom closet and bringing forth my summer garb. The correct time to do this swap-out is always a little tenuous. About the time that I relegate all my dark colored sweaters and warm pants to the other closet, it gets cold, and I’m left with crackling chinos and sleeveless tops. But it’s May, folks, and about time that I set myself the task.

It isn’t just the shift! This is the time when one is supposed to evaluate one’s wardrobe for deficiencies. “If you haven’t worn it, give it away,” the axiom goes. “Have I worn this pea-green sweater with the little leather belt business that hits at the wrong spot? No! So out it goes.”

“What about this Hawaiian shirt that’s just a little tight in the sleeves?” I silently evaluate how long I’ve had this shirt. Twenty years and counting. Really! It just gets worn (or moved from one closet to the other) once a year, how taxing can that be on genuine cotton? “I’ll wear it to teach today,” I say to myself. “We’ll see how it feels.”

No decision.

“Ah, the water shoes I bought in Jamaica to climb some tourist attraction, manmade ‘natural’ wonder, waterfall; which I didn’t end up climbing. I’ll use them this summer at Herington Lake; better keep them.

“Where did these pedal pushers come from? I just bought a new pair. Aha! They used to be too tight, but now that I’ve been exercising regularly, they fit! Celebrate! Put them on and wear them today.”

There’s the Birkenstock ankle-strap sandals that I got five years ago in Key West and thought they looked so fashionable. I’ve never been able to wear them long enough to really break them in, What’s the deal with keeping those? They are cute, impractical (if you don’t wear them), expensive, and cute. I put them on and decide to wear them to teach. (You can only imagine the ensemble I have now assembled.)

Just found my DKNY rust-colored ¾-length sleeved sweatshirt with one small stain on the front. I’ve had this shirt for at least 25 years. It’s still good. My daughter was working for DonnaKaran at the time — I’m way too sentimental to throw that out. How often do you find a rust-colored sweat shirt? The stain, (and uh-oh, there’s a little hole) gives it that lived-in look.

There’s the long summer dress I bought in Hawaii, the cotton shift from Cancun, the shoes from my older daughter’s wedding. Shifting between winter and summer is a trip down Memory Lane. “Wow, when did I get this?” I already had it in 1990 when I went to Singapore! I’ve worn it so much in other countries that I call it my ‘missionary clothes’ which means it is comfortable, absorbs sweat and is modest. There’s a small hole in the top and I’m trying to figure out the most unobtrusive way to fix it. For sure, I can’t get rid of that!

“I wonder if Jess would like this top?” I mutter to myself, perusing yet another garment. You can tell that now I’m hedging because giving something to my sister is easier than actually getting rid of it. “Oh, here’s another one she might like — I only wore it once. It’s her color.”

At least a quarter of my closet is taken up with, what I call, my “summer uniform.” The uniform consists of mostly cotton overalls in bright colors with matching t-shirts. You can roll up the pant legs to whatever height suits you, add a warmer or cooler top, wash them endlessly and they come out of the dryer wrinkle-free and ready to go. I got them (or some variation on the theme) at the Smokey Hill River Festival and sadly, for the person who loves to see what’s new each year, they never wear out! I could toss everything else out of my closet and be a happy camper in just these cotton duds — but I don’t.

It’s another day in the country and I’ve started a thrift shop pile on the bedroom floor. So far, there’s one pair of shoes, that make me trip, and that green sweater with the little belt. Surely, I can do better than that!

Last modified May 10, 2012

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