By way of talking about our wintry weather this January, in spite of snow falling so gently down I can hardly keep my eyes on my business (it’s like one shake of a snow globe or the WordPress snow), I’m thinking mostly about clothes.
In Anchorage, an annual exhibit of small self-portraits is titled “No Big Heads.” I liked to respond to that call-for-entries – my favorite submittal being “A Small Book of Self-Portraits With Big Head Cold,” but the piece I have in mind dates from 1989. That winter we had six sub-zero weeks, six weeks of days when the temperature didn’t rise over 0° – taxing even for Alaskans.
The layers of clothes on the paper doll I made to mimic what I wore in those sub-zero weeks included outdoor gear, but I actually wear more indoor layers now. Washington houses in general are chillier than Anchorage, and our modern automatic thermostat assumes everyone here goes out to work – and heats middays only minimally.
This fall when I complained about the cold, the roofer told me I didn’t move around enough, and it’s true – I sit in my job. On windy days I abandon the window seat and sit at my desk in front of the computer, feet propped on my old sewing machine underneath.
Multiple layers of wool insulate my days – long underwear tops and bottoms, wool pants, and heavy sweater over lighter sweater. Wool socks, of course, but my feet would still be cold were it not for a suggestion, a happy style I adopted from my young friend in Anchorage.
When I visited in December I found her wearing a pair of chubby boots designated indoor boots – with warm fluffy lining and quiet soles – she called them her slippers. (Style dictates that her cohort of pre-teens wears them without socks.) So her mother kindly sent me a pair (they’re knock-offs and not extravagant). They’re knee high – you might laugh – but it’s a great winter pleasure to prop up those boots and get to work – no matter the weather. Bare toasty feet do feel extravagant when snow falls past my window.
We’ve had it all weather-wise this month: a sufficiency of rain and snow events, and, often, lashings of wind. But in the early morning we can always walk for outdoor time – and somehow the weather’s been perfect for the reflective month of January – true winter – as long as one is well clad – and shod!