“Hold Me Clothes and Never Let Go”

I’m not sure why but the other day I thought about this jacket that I use to wear all the time when I was in my twenties, it was brown leather with a seventies style to it, very Donnie Brascoish.  I swear it felt like it was made specifically just for me, I loved it and only got rid of it a couple of years ago.  A brief history about this coat, back in the day my best friend Danny and I would visit the local thrift store on a weekly basis, it was a part of our roommate routine.  We’d both spend hours combing through old vintage clothing hoping to score some new digs, well…new to us at least.  Sifting through racks upon racks meticulously choosing what we liked, there were some hits and even more misses, the harder we looked the more gems we’d find.   One day we were both determined to score what we thought was the pinnacle of all university student thrift shopping and that was the “vintage jacket”.  It was our main objective and it wasn’t going to be easy because at the time retro jackets were a trend (we totally started it by the way).  After trying on what seemed to be every jacket they had for sale and on the verge of giving up there it was, in perfect condition, not a blemish on it and even had all the buttons still intact.  I quickly called dibs and as soon as I put the coat on I knew it was mine, fit like a glove in a very jackety way, best find ever.

(Crazy fact about the coat is that in the inside pocket there was a movie ticket stub that was issued in 1977, the same year as I was born and only 10 days off my birthday.)

Like I mentioned it was just a couple of years ago that I had to say goodbye to the old potential heirloom for it could not just hang there anymore serving no purpose.  Finally the jacket had run its course for any need that I had for it,…it was a very sad day, I said goodbye to an old friend.   I relinquished it back to the realm of thrift store purgatory where someday it might catch the eye of another retro jacket connoisseur and give someone else as much use as it did me.  That coat saw me through some of the best years of my life and when I think about it, it brings back a slew of memories.  I held on to it for as long as I could, I’d try to convince myself over and over that someday I would wear it again, someday, no seriously it still fit.  Who was I kidding?   The jacket made me look like a baby in a two sizes too small sleeper, I was clearly in denial, after a few moments alone with the coat I said a few words and placed the jacket in the goodwill bag then ran to my room crying.  No I didn’t cry, well maybe a little, it was dusty in the room.  No I was actually very happy that I donated the jacket back to where I had gotten it from some years ago, it had gone full circle and who knows where it might turn up next.

I bet as you’re reading this you too can recall some item of clothing that you held on to maybe a smidge too long and well past its closet expiry date.  I remember pairs of sneakers where my pinky toe holes gave away the colour of my socks and ball caps having sweat stain rings but it didn’t matter because of the perfect curved peek.  Looking back at my jacket, that cap and those shoes, it kind of, in a way acts like a synthetic journal quickly flashing up thoughts and memories which are forever attached to them.  There are chapters of my life that can be chronologically profiled with the help of some of my wardrobe, stages of my life that can be cat-walked down a ramp as my voice narrates in the background.  If you were to look through your closet now, is there anything that you just can’t throw away?  Are there items that have stood the test of time because you couldn’t bare parting ways with it or maybe the emotional attachment that it may hold?

Clothing can carry sentimental value for some of us, I still have to this day a dress shirt, t-shirt and suspenders combo that my grandfather use to wear.  It hangs in my closet and from time to time when I’m digging out something on a daily basis to wear I pass it on the hanger and instantly start to think about him.  My grandfather must have had twenty of the same combination of that dress shirt, t-shirt, and suspenders trifecta.  He certainly loved to rock the flannel, and  when I pass by it at the end of my shirt rack each morning I’m glad in this case I held on to the past.  I kept my grandfather’s ensemble because when I look at it, it makes me happy and when I think of him that’s how I picture him and he’s rocking the flannel as only he could.  We get these emotional attachments to the clothes that we wear because quite frankly and as funny as it may seem the clothes has been there with us the whole way.  That one suit we had straight out of college that helped us make it to interview after interview, that dress that has seen itself go from maid of honour duties to a night on the town, how something as simple as what we wore on a certain day can have so many emotions attached to it.

Emotions are one thing but people also care about their identity when we decide to put something on.  Clothing can also become synonymous with who we are, I knew a guy in high school who always wore a ball cap and he just became known for the cap, then there was the parachute pants girl, turtleneck guy…the list goes on.   I’m sure most of you can remember someone based solely on some item of clothing that they wore all the time or maybe there’s someone who you know now.  I was briefly known in political science class as the guy in the green puffy vest, yes I said “puffy”…moment of silence for the  90’s puffy vests .  Ok let’s forget the puffy green vest but my point is that certain clothing can define who we are or who we were.  I grew up playing sports and every time I put on a jersey as a kid it felt like something I would be doing for the rest of my life.   That phase came and went just as many did after, but when I see a jersey now or even get to try one on it takes me right back to the good ol’ high school days where sports consumed my life.  If you take a look at who you are today as compared to whom you were there may be similarities and I’m positive a lot of differences.  How has you’re style changed?  Has it changed at all?  Were you once a t-shirt and jeans guy and now it’s nothing only suits or maybe you’re a girl who wore nothing but black in college but now anything else is the new black.

I hope I was able to make you think a little bit with this post, sometimes when I think about something stuff just pours out.  The jacket meant a lot to me sure, but realistically it was more like a time capsule that took me right back to then and there.  So trust me, go through that closet or clean out your dressers, there may be some stories waiting for you to recreate all over again.  That coat that I bought and the day we spent at the thrift store was a day I will never forget, and a memory like that will always be worth more than the clothes on my back.

 

A change in the air.

It’s the end of the summer of 2016 and already there is a change in the air, there ‘s a certain nip to the breeze, a indication that fall is around the corner.  I took to the bike yesterday and there was a different feel to the evening, it was a good different though for me, I like the fall and a fall in Newfoundland is like no other.  The leaves will soon change, the air smells extra clean, fresh and I seem to get the most inspired.  I can honestly say that the fall is my best time of the year, I just like the look and feel of everything.

The talk of vacations and travel plans start to dwindle and the Christmas chatter begins to make its way into conversations already with the first person to speak of them to be quickly shunned of course.  “It’s too early to talk of those things, didn’t you just get back from summer vacation?”.  That may be the case, but you know yourself that time flies and before you know it.  Just the other day I received my first Christmas party request for a work function, imagine the first of September and I now thinking about gifts.  (Switch topics)

I  took a walk just last night and the air was crisp and clean, it made me think of home and growing up, I thought of school nights spent playing with my friends trying to make the best out of the last days of summer that we had left.  September was upon us and we’d soon be packing book bags and lining up to get the best seat on the bus, dibs back row.  I asked my little nephew Dalton a couple weeks ago about school and before I had the words out of my mouth he goes “don’t even talk about uncle Ash”.  I had to laugh because I’ve been there and there no worst feeling than knowing the sands of the summer hour glass were quickly trickling away, I felt for him.

Speaking of school, my daughter is in town for her first year at university, yup, my little girl is about to start a new chapter in her life and she seems to be taking it all in stride.  She says she’s excited and I know she will be ok but I can only imagine what must be going through her mind.  Ashton, like me, will be coming from a small rural community and I remember it was intimidating to be finally on my own too but I never really felt like I was home sick or never capable of staying the course.  I guess with my friends being around and being that some of them were my room mates I felt a sense of security like there were pieces of home with me.  She will be rooming with a young lady that is also from her graduating class, so at least she will have a little sense of home with her as well. There’s a lot for her to experience and a time for her to start making her way through life, it will be full of obstacles but she is fully capable of taking care of herself.  I can only sit back and watch her become a woman, she will have to learn like we all do, she has a great mind on her shoulders so I confident she’s going to be just fine.  This is just another example of this time of year and the changes it brings with it, the fall is synonymous with beginnings from an academic perspective and this is just her’s, stay tuned.

Now if you not worried about school then maybe talks of the breakdown of patio sets or storing of pleasure boats fill the todo lists conversations. I was talking with a coworker the other day who was taking advantage of this last long weekend of the summer to winterise and lock down her cabin, probably the case for a lot this last hurrah of summer.  I’m sure there are many families tonight sharing the last of the campfire stories and roasting the final spider wiener with the warm season winding down to an end.  I’m glad my family and I had a chance the summer to eat by a fire and take in the beautiful summer night skies, we are lucky to be able to live here.

Nowadays a walk may require a coat, you could very well be rained on more often but this time of year for me is the best, I still like it the most.  Summer is cool but this time of year I tend to write more, I usually pick up reading again or at least have more time for it. Summer is busy, it seems like you always have to be doing something when the weather is good.  Cue September and something as simple a bbq has lost its luster because for the last three months it seems that’s all we’ve been eating, so I’m glad for the change.  Fall is rich in tone, it was my grandfathers favourite season too, he loved it, I remember vividly of the smell of freshly cut trees as he would saw the wood that was needed to fuel the stove for the colds nights to come.  The air would cut through me and the saw dust would get in my boots but there was something about that fragrance of autumn that made you feel good that you were alive, I miss my pop, but that moment makes me smile.

So, wrap your plants, school’s in, and I saw Halloween decorations just two days ago, summer may be over but it’s time to embrace the fall.  What do you like about the fall of the year, any memories come swarming back?, Any projects on your horizon?, leave a remark in the comments below and share.