55. Dressing in Layers

          When it’s cold, cold, cold in Saskatchewan I’ve learned to dress in layers.  I’ve also learned it’s important the material of the clothes I wear.  I start with cotton panties; as the shiny, fancy ones are not the smartest either in a hot tropical country or when it’s forty below zero. I then have these tights I have had a long time. When the toes wore out; I cut the feet out of them just above the ankles.

          One time I found these cozy, white underwear similar to men’s but without the fly. They have blue stars on them. I don’t think men would want to wear them but they feel good beneath my slacks and on top of my tights.

          When I took a trip to Columbia and Peru a few years ago; just before I closed my suitcase, I put in a black wool camisole. It was the best thing I did as the temperature in the high places was in the forties and fifties Fahrenheit not the seventies and eighties I was expecting. I wore it nearly every day and last week that camisole came in handy beneath my woollen turtleneck and matching sweater.

          When I was in Peru, I bought these hand knit socks in many shades of beige I can slip on my feet and over my tights and underwear. I cover them with another pair of black socks so I can wear them at work and look color co-ordinated. My black New Balance leather runners keep my feet warm; even though the minus forty-seven celsius with the windchill has them sounding like blocks of wood in the intense cold.

          Before I go out the door; I have a light wind or ski jacket that fits beneath my; to the floor, wool coat, I just received from one of my nieces this winter. I am glad she has such good taste. I put on a toque that covers my neck and forehead; and I have a jockey style felt hat that fits over the toque and has me looking quite fashionable according to my co-workers.

          My warm cloth gloves are on next. I lost them in a small Saskatchewan town once and I wrote the postmaster asking if he would go to the cafe of the town and put them in the self addressed stamped envelope I provided, and mail them back to me. When he did; it made my month if not my year. Then I pull on big, black, leather mitts. By then I feel like I have just dressed a child for wintry outside play and you wonder if the time it takes is worth it as by that time they usually have to go to the bathroom. I am not much different.

          I have two things left to grab. I have a long, wide scarf that is quite beautiful I wrap around my head with only my eyes showing. I sling my bag over my shoulder. It is a big black bag and I can slip in my layers as I disrobe  as I warm up with my walk or when the bus ride is over and I am cozy and warm at work for the day.

                                                          January 29, 2012

-Ellen Sagh
summer:  306 382-5204
winter      480 373-1734
writings:   ellensagh.com

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