Putting Away Summer


Putting Away Summer


The frost on the picnic table last week told me it’s no longer time to just think about putting away summer.

Part of putting away summer is retiring the sandals, shorts and tank tops and replacing them with sweatshirts, turtlenecks and socks. Switching wardrobes isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Every year for the last several years that middle age spread spreads a little farther over the top of the pants that fit last year, even though I haven’t gained any weight (well, not that much). One positive about winter clothes is their bulk camouflages those bulges.

Another positive aspect of switching wardrobes in these middle years is that I’ve forgotten about some of that stuff and so it’s like getting new clothes without spending any money. My rancher likes the part about not spending any money.

The pile that doesn’t fit goes in the tote designated for the church rummage sale. It would be nice to replace what doesn’t fit with something a little more stylish. The problem there is that while my brain is thinking “Style”, my body is screaming “Comfort!” Alas—I’ll probably never own a pair of black leather pants. When they would have looked good on me, I couldn’t afford them. Now black leather wouldn’t bankrupt me, but it would make me look like one of those aging motorcycle mamas I saw too many of on their way to the Sturgis motorcycle rally. Thankfully, my midlife crisis isn’t that severe.

Ranchers don’t own summer and winter clothes. “Good” shirts and jeans and “everyday” shirts and jeans fill my rancher’s closet. “Good” shirts are fairly new with no holes or stains. “Everyday” shirts were demoted from “good”, or came in a box of castoffs from the city relatives. (He’s the only I guy I know of outside of the Ralph Lauren commercials that checks cows wearing designer shirts.) By fall, his clothes get so full of grease and manure stains, that putting away summer means deciding which are still “everyday” and which are rags. At Christmas, he gets a new supply of good shirts and so the cycle continues.

There isn’t a whole lot more to say about his wardrobe. I suppose the space in this column devoted to his and hers is representative of the closet space in many farm and ranch homes along the 100th Meridian.

September 2003