I seem to say it often and I’m known to say it loud–I am not a Winter type… nor do I embrace sweater-weather and crisp cold nights (the only crisp I like is of the apple variety).
I know this because I gave the North woods a good shot by living in Maine over 7 years, experiencing minus 40-degree temps with snow above my knees, followed by a long overdue mud-season, they call Spring, ushered in by consummate clouds of black flies looking for blood! Let me tell you, after a few years, it became harder and harder to appreciate the view.
Being a clothing aficionado, it didn’t take long to grow tired of LL Bean and the like. There’s only so much you can do with flannel and down. And what about those snow-mobile suits–were they made by women-haters? Have you ever tried to find a place to relieve yourself on the tundra of a frozen lake only to find you have to practically undress to do it? When it’s subzero, that’s not funny (unless you survive it and live to describe it later–in a blog, that is).
I did wear those cutesy leg-warmers and tights were “in” back then too. Remember those knee high suede fringed boots? (I first saw them worn by one of the musicians in the group Chicago). Yep, I had those. And I accessorized with ear muffs, fleece caps and an arsenal of mittens and gloves, for every occasion. (To be fair, I was titillated by silk long underwear–which serves me still.) And underneath all those layers were wild sox, to feed my kitsch-craving–but the inner layer was rarely revealed because it was too darned cold! Ah, but that’s when you’d bring out the brandy–and commiserate the cold away.
There’s nothing like the baby blue of those clear, cloudless skies. Is it the cold or the view that takes your breath away? White has more sparkle there. The trees–crisp white birch and towering lush evergreens–provide texture, color and visual relief in an otherwise undisturbed canvas. Snowshoes come in handy–I’m proud to say I mastered them while pregnant!
But back to the clothes… There are many weavers and artistisons on that island and they work all Winter long (emphasis on long), to supply the boutique shops and craft fairs with textiles and art for the Summertime tourists– 10,000 strong. The locals barter amongst themselves and so I was the recipient of many of those splendors. From bunny and goat, to loom for weaving then transformed with natural dyes and creative endeavor to make the finished product– a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Now that kind of clothing interested me!
Maybe that cold clime is where I developed my fascination with jackets and coats. I must say that I have more of those than I do common sense, sometimes. I’m attracted to long ones, short ones, pink and lime green ones. I have jackets that look best with pants and others that particularly show off skirts. When confronted with temperatures that cause me angst, I resort to my coat closet and find something that suits my fancy.
Yeah, there’s the silver lining. I knew if I wrote long enough, I’d find one regarding Winter’s long freeze.