“Clothes make the man.”
— William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Blue jeans and cotton tee shirts

Blue jeans and cotton tee shirts

“I’ve had that raincoat for ten or twelve years now.  That’s my coat.  I have one coat and one suit because, for one thing, I find it very difficult to buy clothes at a time like this.  I somehow can’t reconcile it with my vision of a human benefactor, to be buying clothes when people are in such bad shape elsewhere; so I wear out the old things I’ve got.  Also, I can’t find any clothes that represent me.  And clothes are magical, a magical procedure, they really change the way you are in a day.  Any woman knows this, and men have discovered it now.  I mean, clothes are important to us and until I can discover in some clearer way what I am to myself I’ll just keep on wearing my old clothes.”
— Leonard Cohen, from “An Interview with Leonard Cohen,” by Michael Harris, Duel (Canada), Winter 1969

I am most comfortable and most myself in blue jeans and cotton tee shirts.  Interestingly, we girls did not wear blue jeans on the farm when I was growing up.  We wore dresses and jumpers, and in winter we’d wear corduroy pants underneath.  My mother sewed our clothes, and she was a fan of corduroy.  I must have started my love affair with blue jeans when I was in college (bell bottoms were the fashion then).  I feel fortunate that I can wear blue jeans and tee shirts to my current job at the Seattle Public Library.  Today I am wearing a pair of my Dad’s worn Wrangler jeans, which I took back with me after cleaning out his house after his death.

I wear a few favorite pieces of clothing, over and over again, until they literally wear out.  I’ve written before about patching a pair of blue jeans.  I still wear the mended jeans, but for work around the house.  Last week I wore a sleeveless black top that I’ve had for over 25 years. I still wear a pair of black Birkenstocks that I’ve owned for over 20 years.  I guess my wardrobe is the outward manifestation of my frugality (and its shadow side, stinginess?).  I’ve never really been interested in shopping, so I just don’t think about clothes that often.  I find shopping and thinking about clothes a waste of time — time I would prefer to spend on other things, like reading!





Autumn at Lakewold Gardens

October 7, 2011

Patch of tiny cyclamen on the forest floor, Lakewold Gardens

The visual rewards of gardens may be less obvious in fall or winter, but they are still worthy of a visit.  I returned to the Lakewold Gardens this past weekend to see what it had to offer on a gray, damp autumn day.  Here are some photos:

Green canopy of dappled leaves

Cyclamen encircling an old tree

Anemone in bloom

A variation of pale maple leaves

Looking up yielded some of the best sights in the garden

We are seeing a second bloom of crocuses this year (one in spring and again this fall)

For sale in the garden store at Lakewold Gardens

Watercolor sketch of white anemones