Thursday, September 13, 2012

WEATHERED WARDROBES

"Why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow. They don't work hard to make their clothes. But I tell you Solomon with all his wealth wasn't as well clothed as one of them."
~Matthew 6: 28, 29

I watched from our back room as the crew of men tore down the five layers of roof on our old bungalow home. The cloudy skies were an ominous backdrop to the day. Though there was no forecast for rain, I could feel the moisture in the air. And it took me back twenty-five years to another September afternoon...with no roof...and gray skies.

We were newly married, living in a Craftsman home we were quickly growing out of. With my husband's two young sons, and a baby on the way, we began a second story addition to double the square footage. The day our house was roofless, unseasonable clouds blew in. We reasoned it was only a marine layer. Rain in September in our pocket of Southern California was so unlikely. Until we felt the first drop. And then the skies opened up. It didn't just rain. It poured.

The clothes closet was our biggest casualty. But the image of wet clothes didn't worry me. The next day I began pulling out the garments. I was in tears. Two of my silk blouses ~ one red, one blue ~ had sleeves extending the entire width of my wardrobe (don't ask me how!). Every garment was permanently stained with a red or blue streak depending on where in the closet it had resided. And all of it was ruined.

This was my beloved wardrobe. I had spent years meticulously building it before our wedding. Being a former model, my mom had taught me well. She had helped me assemble a collection of beautiful pieces that worked well together. Every season and every occasion was covered, and I treasured all of them. Being pregnant, I couldn't wait to get back to my original size again (it was my first baby ~ I was a bit naive). But now it was gone.

Remembering that experience, my mind wandered to my closet and the clothes that now line it. It is evidence I never recovered from that loss. With four kids in just over two years of marriage, my priorities shifted. I found it much more pleasurable to shop for one of my kids than for myself. I have a collection of tired clothes to prove it! "It's always the badly dressed people who are the most interesting." (Jean Paul Gaultier) If only this was true!

The inflow of fall catalogs beckon me to peek and tempt me to buy. Believe me, my wardrobe could use a hefty makeover. But times are hard for many of us, and a new wardrobe isn't in the budget. Especially with the unexpected expenses we've had the past year with a one hundred year old home...like a new roof.

Unless of course a freak rainstorm should appear while we are still roofless...and wipe out my entire wardrobe once again. One can hope!

"Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important."
~Janet Lane

"People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile."
~Lee Mildon

"If honor be your clothing, the suit will last a lifetime; but if clothing be your honor, it will soon be worn threadbare."
~William Arnot

"Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul."
~Mark Twain
              

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