Change of Season

A change of season always invigorates me especially if it is changing from summer to fall. Although Advent is weeks away, I’m already in prep mode. That means cleaning out closets. The physical weighing, evaluating, maintaining, and purging reinforces my psychological need to step back and take stock of the year and my life.

We packed away our summer clothes and got out our winter clothes last weekend. I have only three linear feet of closet space so half my clothes are stored in the garage at any given time. I don’t find this a burden. I enjoy it. Unpacking clothes is like opening presents. I never remember what I have. This year was especially fun because, after losing more than twenty pounds, I’m able to fit into my 1990s work outfits–all of which are much fancier than my current working-in-the-garden peasant clothes.

I also found it extremely satisfying to pack up the clothes I bought when I was overweight to give to Goodwill. Not that there were many. I resent spending money on clothes. I’ve always reasoned that a dollar spent on clothes is dollar unavailable for purchasing books, so buying clothes has never been much of a priority nor brought me much joy. And when I look at clothes, I usually walk away thinking, “I could make that myself.” even though I haven’t sewn in decades. For the last ten years, buying clothes has been a depressing experience which I put off as much as I could. However, now that I’m back to my former size, I find my interest in clothing and costuming perking up.

The day we cleaned the closets was also the final day of the Settlement House garage sale. I bought a $3 box intending to fill it with clay pots and anything else I could find for the garden. I did. I picked up much more than $3 worth of small clay pots. But I still had a box to fill. So I wandered over to the clothes section and found seven knit tops and sweaters that Iiked. I didn’t care if they fit or if I would like them in the long run. At this point, I’d already gotten my $3 worth and so anything I picked up was essentially free. As it turns out they all fit well. The donors to the charity auction have good taste and donate far more expensive clothes than I normally buy. I like all the clothes I found but nothing matches the pleasure of the bargain.

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