Oh, What Shall I Wear?

Oh, what shall I wear (that doesn’t make me look like a dork)?

I have photos of all my most memorable hikes. Most of them were taken by me so I am not in them (before selfies) but the ones I am in are always a little embarrassing. Some people look really cool when they’re hiking (and that is SO important) but me, not so much. I just don’t look like I know what I’m doing.

This hike might be different, although I’m not going to bet on it. I’ve had time to prepare and get some real hiking clothes. I justify it more on the practical side so I don’t appear totally vain and superficial. The right hiking clothes do make a difference in comfort, and I have listened to people talk about comfort a lot.

I’ve already shown you about the weather extremes that are possible in May (in post E) so you know that layering on top is going to be important. I also value things that breathe, dry quickly, and are stretchy to allow me to move. I love pants with good pockets, that will not look dirty even if I wear them all three days, and are somewhat water resistant. With these things in mind here is my list.

  • 2 short sleeve T shirts
  • 1 long sleeve T shirt
  • 1 fleece pullover
  • 1 rain jacket (which I might leave behind if the forecast is for no rain)
  • 1 pair convertible pants/shorts
  • 1 pair long pants
  • Socks and underwear
  • Brimmed hat and bandanna
  • Warm hat and gloves

I already wrote about my hiking boots and socks, but I’ll also take along a pair of lightweight camp shoes to give my boots a rest at night.

Actually, I am going to look like a dork on this hike too, because I found this awesome hat that I can also wear all summer in Wisconsin. It will keep the giant mosquitoes and deer flies off my head because it has a bug net that I can lower for ultimate protection.

Front and back selfie – my awesome bug hat.

Another useful purchase for this hike was a set of gaiters. These attach to my boots and come up to my knee to keep my pants and legs clean and dry, and keep debris out of my boots. They are easy to put on and comfortable to wear. I’ve already tried them out – they are good in the snow, an added bonus.


So, what do you think? Am I ready? (ready to look “not cool” in this year’s pictures too?)

I’m dressed.

Hangers, lots of them.

“So, I’m telling you don’t worry about your life, what you’re going to eat or drink next, about your latest aches and pains, about what you will wear. Is a meal the most important thing in your life? Is what you wear more important than the body you put it on?”  Jesus in Matthew 6:25

No, I thought. What I wear has become much less an issue since moving to the deep freeze (Wisconsin). The desire to look a certain way when seen, doesn’t know what to do with itself when I’m hardly ever seen anywhere. When I’m seen, I’m pretty much always wearing my coat.

I often go to Walmart but you know I’m not going to worry about looking good there. I’d rather blend in.

Even at church, where my childhood habit of wearing my Sunday best ought to kick in, I’m more often in my flannel shirt uniform. People who walk or drive long distances to get somewhere in freezing weather have to think about dressing to prevent hypothermia if their car breaks down or if there’s a stiff wind. I’m trying to remember the last time I saw a woman in a dress.

It’s a nice closet, and much better than squeezing into the one in our bedroom, with the husband’s things.

My clothes were a major part of what I packed to move up here. There were boxes of winter things, some of which had not seen much action in thirty years of Florida weather. I decided the large double closet in the garage was the most logical place for my things – it’s handy, right outside the kitchen door and only a few steps from our bedroom. I had to buy hangers, lots of them. Most everything fits there. It’s a little weird, but not a problem if I plan ahead.

But now that winter is here, and we’re keeping the garage at a lower temperature, I’m opting not to go out there as often. I have found that I can wear the same clothes for days at a time if I’m careful. My big accomplishment this week is going five days in the same pair of jeans. In a previous life this would have been wrong on several levels, but not here, not now. Don’t judge. Seattle daughter would be happy to know that her blue sweater gift is on it’s fourth day too.

Did you know that washing clothing unnecessarily is creating a cloth fiber plague in our water and air? It’s true. I read it on the internet. Even fish caught in the ocean have cloth fibers in their flesh, and we eat that. Yuk. So I’m not washing my clothes either. Well, not as often. If I can’t see the dirt, they’re not dirty. Try it. Saves on detergent too.

That whole section in Matthew 6 says a lot about clothes and worry and I’m taking it to heart. I’m just sayin’ – there’s no sense in running after things that God has already given me plenty of.

Is unfashion a word? Did I make that up?

On Clothes

I have an opinion on almost everything. Not that it matters…

Clothes do not “make the man” as some like to think. You have to know who you are before you put them on or you are in trouble. This I have learned from experience.

Down here in the sauna of the United States, I change clothes, a lot. It would be exhausting and take up way too much time to have to worry about looking good in what I wear. I settle for acceptable in a modest and functional way.

I accept the fact that clothing is fickle. It can look pleasing from one angle and totally embarrassing from another. It can fit well on one wearing and then not fit at all after one of us changes sizes. It can look soooo good in the picture, on someone else, and then be a completely different garment on me. I don’t know how it happens but it does.

I won’t say what I was planning to do in this outfit, but you see what I mean?

I was looking this morning for something to wear while riding my bike outside. I wanted sun exposure and to be cool temperature-wise so my choice of knit shorts and tank top was a practical one. I put my helmet on and looked in the mirror. There I was, just like in countless pictures of myself biking, hiking, kayaking, whatever – looking decidedly awkward, gangly and a bit on the nerdy side. A real fashion plate. I regret that this is the case, but as I said, I’m not letting clothes define me. Function and protection are some major strong points of clothing, and shoes also, which is why I have almost completely given up on high heeled shoes. They are health hazards in so many ways. I’ve seen those models on the runways, nearly killing themselves…

I’m not against looking good. I even give that a shot from time to time, and it’s a lot of fun when it happens. However, I’ve also learned that the illusion of looking good is a real thing. For instance, having a great time dancing at a friend’s wedding only lasts until I see pictures of said evening and me in my finery. Who is that woman?

It’s been interesting to see how my clothing philosophy rubs off on my daughters. Pretty much not at all. There are occasions when they ask me what I think about what they are planning to wear but I’m always way too confused to tell them, and they end up wearing what they want to anyway. My opinion has a very poor track record. I think that they both would admit to clothes presenting them with some degree of a problem in their life (Why do I have so many? Where do I store them all? Why is my dry cleaning bill so high? Etc…) and that is where my bottom line comes in. Clothing should not be making life any more difficult than it already is.

Clothes should not be a problem, unless, of course, you don’t have any. That’s a problem, but it’s solved fairly easily. Do you know that there is a glut of clothing in the world? Do you realize that most of the stuff we donate to Goodwill ends up in the landfill? It’s alarming, really. But if you have clothing, don’t stress out over it. Wear it, take care of it and keep it clean. Smile and be kind no matter what you’re wearing and hope that’s what people remember most about you. And you will occasionally look good – it happens to all of us. Just sayin’…

Side note: Does anyone want a nearly new pair of Lands End board shorts, size 16W, in black? I found them last night when we were walking along the street. I think they blew off someone’s boat. It’s really easy to find clothing around here.

Random Thoughts at 34,000 Feet (Up)

This is going to be a long flight and I’m bored already. Oh how I wish I had not forgotten the crochet hook. My plan for four hours of waiting was to crochet more of the bookmarks for my Cambodian kids. I have a big ball of thread and no implement.  Since I wasn’t going to read my book, it is in the suitcase in the bin over my head. I’m not getting up to dig it out – too much trouble.

No needlework, no book, that leaves eating and sleeping.  I know better than to think there will be much to eat on this domestic flight.  No one eats any more on domestic flights.  Well, I was wrong, here come the peanuts, all 21 of them (I counted). That shaved a minute and a half off the flight time. I know better than to think I’m going to fall asleep with the baby being loud behind me, and the person coughing all the time somewhere back there.  I must not breathe their air.   

It’s hard to sit straight in these seats for very long. I twist and look out the window until my neck hurts. All the scenery is pretty far away. Oh, but there is a big river, If I had to guess, I’d say Mississippi.  Maybe we’re getting close to Minnesota. 

Trying to make myself sit straight again. Suddenly aware of how many times and places I do sit crooked. Like in my car, always leaning to the right, away from the door. I think my bones and muscles have adapted to poor posture. Need to pay more attention to that.  They’ve done something to make these seats harder.  It’s punishment for going economy class.  For that we all get punished, and someone has already done the puzzle in the airplane magazine.  They are trying to make me go crazy. 

Clouds look like popcorn. Mmmm…. popcorn. Butter. I’m thirsty.

More male flight attendants than female on this flight, kind of interesting. And the guys are doing all the refreshment service in the cabin. The lady must have gotten the first class cabin. Wonder if I’ll ever ride first class?  In my dreams…  What have they done to make guys want to be flight attendants?  Maybe it’s because they let them be comedians and make you tube videos.  Guys love that.

It is so noisy in here. There were a bunch of announcements and I hope they weren’t important because the engines drowned out the words. I didn’t catch a one of them.  I want some noise cancelling headphones.

I can see the top six inches of head of nearly everyone in the plane, from the back. Head tops are curly, straight, bald, that one needs a color touch up, grey, white, baseball cap. I can tell which women have gotten professional cuts – they have actual styles.  I try to guess how old everyone is based on the back of their head.  

Woman across the aisle has an outfit that looks severely odd. I’m trying not to stare. Lime green ankle length dress with a straight skirt and what looks like a three foot long hood hanging down the back. Looks high fashion, matches her jewelry and haircut. She’s spent some money somewhere but I wonder if she’s comfortable.  That shiny white box is her purse?!  She is so “Project Runway”.  Thankful for my comfortable clothes.

Chocolate. Nice lady next to me gave me a Hershey kiss. She’s going to her grandson’s wedding. She asked me where I was going. We are aware of the opposite prevailing emotions behind a wedding and a memorial service, but acknowledge that we are both going to be seeing a lot of family.  She says that is going to be good.  So do I. 

What on earth am I going to do with my mind for the next two hours? Aaarrraaghh! (silently) Look through my purse for the tenth time for that stupid crochet hook. 

Wonder if the husband made it out of Tampa and back home safely.  Worry about him.  Worry about him driving my car.  Hope he doesn’t crash the car. 

Thinking about my car some more. Can hardly believe that we got 5 people and four sets of luggage in LC (little car). It’s a good thing the ride to the airport was only 50 minutes. I guess I’m getting more used to, and more appreciative of that car. It definitely has some good technology and gets good gas mileage. I’m getting used to putting my “stuff” in the back seat, getting used to the awkward drink holder that I can never get my cup out of, getting used to taking the husband’s phone out of the cubby he always tries to put it in so that I can move the gear shift, getting used to the way I have to climb up and out of my seat, getting used to waiting five minutes while the husband gets out of his seat.  

What time is it? Are we there yet? Oh gosh, 45 more minutes….

I can tell we are in the midwest. The land is all divided up into regular sized squares, none of those irregular lines around the geography of the south. Every once in a while, where the roads intersect, there is a conglomerate of buildings, a town. There’s that big river again, with a barge. Has to be the Mississippi. Every inch of land is some kind of field – so many different shades of green and brown and once in a while a yellow one. The cloud shadows are so obvious from up here.  The early settlers would turn over in their graves if they could see this land being so covered with farms and houses.  And they would never believe that I would be seeing it from the sky. I don’t believe I’m seeing it from the sky.  Hope the plane doesn’t crash.

Can hardly wait to get a crochet hook and make up for all this wasted time. Must go to Walmart as soon as I get to Hayward. Wonder if I’ll ever live in Hayward again. That would be kind of full circle, no it’s more like a double circle. I started there and left, came back to start our family and left again, and to return would be the second homecoming. Two circles. I never would have dreamed there would be a Walmart in Grandma’s back yard – never in a million years. Wish she could see it.  Wish the early settlers could see a Walmart.  They wouldn’t believe it. 

Engine speed is changing now and I can feel us moving to a lower altitude. Such a difference in noise level. We must be getting close to Minneapolis and I am so glad. My neck is really stiff now. Have to move and stretch soon or I’m going to self destruct. So glad this isn’t a 16 hour flight to South Korea. Hope the plane doesn’t crash. 

Ooops. Forgot my sunglasses. Oh well, Wisconsin in the fall – the sun might not shine the whole time I’m there. The lady in the lime green outfit just stood up. The dress has ruching up the sides and all kinds of chiffon draping and fluttery things in the front. Never seen anything like it. Can’t believe she wanted to wear that on the plane. What was she thinking? We are definitely pointing down now.  Hope the plane doesn’t crash.