Monday, August 8, 2016

Cathy's Closet

A good many of my clothes and shoes are hand-me-downs or purchased at secondhand stores. I don't enjoy shopping, mostly because there is a lot to flip through but little that really grabs my eye. On the rare occasions when I find something I like that actually fits properly, I don't worry about the price. If I love it, it's worth any cost because I'll wear the hell out of it — get my money's worth, as the saying goes. Usually when I go shopping, it's with the intention of finding something in particular and as soon as I find it, I'm done.

My friend Cathy, who lives in Saskatoon, is expert at finding clothing and shoes and coats that are well made and affordable, and her closets and dresser drawers are stuffed. Fortunately for me, she goes through all her sartorial possessions regularly and keeps a pile for me. Inevitably when I go visit her, there is a large black garbage bag for me to rummage through. I pick out items I might wear and try them on in her living room, walking down the hallway to look in the full-length mirror on the end wall. Cathy tugs at the fabric and straightens the collars and smooths the hems, like a tailor. I bring home one or two dozen new-to-me tops and jeans and skirts and jackets, and several pairs of shoes. It's better than Christmas.

Back in my own bedroom, I dump them all on the bed and proceed to try them on again. A second fitting, with a glance into the full-length mirror in my room, helps me to separate the keepers from the give-aways more ruthlessly. Will I actually wear this or would I just be keeping it because maybe, I just might, just in case? I love the colours, but the shirt's a bit uncomfortable in the sleeves. It should go. A brown sweater is always handy, but this one doesn't fit quite right. For each item I keep, one item comes out of my closet and goes into a bag to be donated to the secondhand store in town. Every piece I decide not to keep will go into that same bag. This little exercise also inspires me to give away a whole bunch more stuff that I haven't been wearing.

It's during these trying-on phases of the operation that I notice some extra flab around my waist and think, hm, that can't be good. I need to get back in shape if I want to stay healthy. What to do? I've been a slacker for the past few months, not walking regularly, not doing my yoga. If I don't smarten up, what I see in the mirror is only going to get more frightening.

I decide to start walking in the morning as soon as I get out of bed, instead of waiting till later in the day when it may be too warm or I may be too busy, or till after work when I am too lazy or have supper to make or dishes to do, or it's not high summer so it's getting dark and I shouldn't be on the road with a dog.

So that's what I've been doing since Thursday morning. Walk first, come home to coffee and a slice of toast, some yogurt and an orange: a reward for that vigorous slog. On work days I only walk a mile, as I'm anxious to get to the office. But on my days off, I walk two or three miles before returning to my kitchen for breakfast.

Wish me luck, would you, at keeping this up. My Blondi Blathers alter ego at Stubblejumpers Cafe walks to the lake every morning at six o'clock. I think she's got the right idea and it's high time I followed her example. If I can ever make myself get up that early.

Seen on the drive back to Golden Grain Farm with Reta and Carl.

Here's a link for you, Sandy — if we can consider walking in Wadena to be "urban" walking:

By the way, I took three large bags of clothing, some of it Cathy's but most of it mine, to Mallard Industries for their secondhand store. What a good feeling. However, the closet is still too full. Poor old Scott's shirts have been crowded into a third of the length of the rod. What men have to put up with!

 I also put two pairs of sandals into a garbage bag because after 11 years or more, the stitching connecting the leather to the sole has come out and the leather has torn and is not reparable. One pair is the one we girls bought for Aunt Reta after Mom died. We were so grateful to her for coming to care for Mom at the end that we wanted to take her shopping and buy her a wee gift, and sent her home with these. Eventually she couldn’t wear them for some reason and gave them to me. 
The other pair belonged to Mom and they were given to me after she died. Both pairs were Naturalizers; good shoes that I’ve worn a lot in the summers. It was time for them to go, and they had lain for a week on the floor in the porch among a pile of other shoes — one each of several pairs, heaven knows when their matches will turn up - that were going, not to a secondhand store, but to the dump. 
When I put Mom's into the garbage bag, it was with a mournful twinge, a few tears and, to be honest, something that felt like a gentle punch in the stomach.   

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Ralph Goff has left a new comment on your post "Please Stand By": 
Seriously, if the internet quit, I'd probably get a lot more done and not waste so much time doing non essential things. But I would eventually miss not having access to all the information in the world from my laptop. 

I did miss the internet the odd time, but surprisingly a lot less than I expected. It's a change to get used to not having "the world" at your fingertips, but it's nothing I can't live without -- for a few days, anyway. I think if I didn't have it anymore, I'd soon adjust and not miss it at all. Kind of like TV; I'll watch it if it's there, but when it isn't, I know exactly what I'm missing: not much. Lacking internet, I think I'd only miss keeping up with my blogging friends and my emails from Julie, who is such a faithful and interesting letter-writer. 

Lorna has left a new comment on your post "High Density": 
funny how we can remember the stuff that shames us better than the stuff that ought to lift our wings. 

Isn't that so. Which reminds me, I must write about almost being a shoplifter -- even if I am not, it wouldn't surprise me if the two observers were left wondering!

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