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Posts Tagged ‘Dress’

I have just returned from a trip down “memory lane” with my friend, Kate of CoffeeKatBlog who wrote Things About My Youth.

We sort of grew up during the same era and many of Kate’s memories are mine.

Her funny, delightful post reminded me of a poem I wrote a long time ago about a girl in a photograph.

Who is that girl in the photograph,

the one with the spark of youth

dressed for a prom in a silken gown

with a faraway look of hope?

Who is that girl in the photograph,

the one with the faraway dream,

dressed in her best to celebrate?

I think she may have been me.

I remember that dress in the photograph

and the boy who was just as scared,

that soft starry night of the senior prom,

I remember the night clear and fair.

But who is that girl in the photograph?

She seems someone else I once knew,

the child I was, growing up and out

in a world that was changing too.

And onward time marched in quick-step

When a different boy called her wife

while the glowing girl in the photograph

stayed young and full of life.

The seasons passed and the years ticked on

while the picture stayed the same,

through challenges of work and home

and a son making Mom her name.

Running and running the years went by.

Now a grandma looks to the past

at an image of hope for an unknown life –

the young girl in the photograph.

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Who is that girl in the photograph,

the one with the spark of youth

dressed for a prom in a silken gown

with a faraway look of hope?

Who is that girl in the photograph,

the one with the faraway dream,

dressed in her best to celebrate?

I think she may have been me.

I remember that dress in the photograph

and the boy who was just as scared,

that soft starry night of the senior prom,

I remember the night clear and fair.

But who is that girl in the photograph?

She seems someone else I once knew,

the child I was, growing up and out

in a world that was changing too.

And onward time marched in quick-step

When a different boy called her wife

while the glowing girl in the photograph

stayed young and full of life.

The seasons passed and the years ticked on

while the picture stayed the same,

through challenges of work and home

and a son making Mom her name.

Running and running the years went by.

Now a grandma looks to the past

at an image of hope for an unknown life –

the young girl in the photograph.

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Before my husband and I moved to rural Virginia, or “the sticks”, as some people called it, I wore high heels and tailored dresses to work.  In fact, I enjoyed silk dresses for their climate-comfort versatility and timeless style.  Yes, I admit I was rather a stylish and elegant working woman.

So, when I announced our impending move to the sticks, I heard a few guffaws from friends who didn’t want us to go and commented, “You’ll be back.  You won’t like it there.  You will miss wearing high heels and silk dresses in the country!”  This made me dig in my heels (pun intended) even more of course, and I assured them I would always remain my usual elegant self, complete with silk dresses, high style and high heels.

Secretly I had also (romantically) decided to become “Mrs. Mike” – a character in a wonderful book and then film – the story of a girly girl who survived (for love of course) in the wilderness.  I figured – “that’s me, a wilderness lady.  I can be both elegant and tough at the same time.”

And so it went.  Our house was finally built on the red clay dirt of Virginia, and our driveway was paved with chunky, sharp edged black stones.  It was soon apparent that opportunities for elegantly appointed apparel were severely (if not entirely) limited.  And walking in high heels upon a gravel driveway can mean dangerous wobbling.  For even as I conquered balance, I noticed the finish was quickly disappearing from my heels.  Oh yes, the height of the heel lent grace to my stature, but if anyone bothered to look down they would notice the deplorable condition of this poor woman’s shoes!

Then there was the red clay (that would make great bricks).  Thick sticky dirt that becomes thick sticky mud is a deplorable obstacle to high heels.  Think quickmud instead of quicksand and you will have an idea how easy it is for a sharp heel to sink into unsuspected quagmires.  “Thwop” you are sucked in.  And “Thwop” you drag your foot out (hopefully with the shoe still attached).  Is this the same once lovely shoe?  Yuk!

So, as my friends in the civilized world had suggested, I switched to sneakers and jeans. Sneakers do not go well with silk dresses, so the dresses dwindled away as well.   I was consoled that at least my sneakers were brilliant white so I looked, neat, clean and put together in hardware stores.  But, I soon learned that working in the garden for an hour left my sparkling sneakers caked with sticky muck.  And if I didn’t wash my now not-so-brilliant sneakers right away (with a wire brush and in very hot water) they would stay looking forever nasty and smeared, and would not even be appropriate for forays to the hardware store.

Sneakers for Home & Sensible Heels for Special Occasions

Low Heels & Back to Basics

Next, I bought a pair of Wellington boots.  “Wellies” are rubberized boots that can be worn in the rain, maybe in the snow, and yes, in red clay.  My Wellies are always waiting at the back door.  Today I picked tomatoes from Bill’s somewhatextremely weedy garden.  I have a fear of snakes and other critters attacking bare legs as I wade through jungles of weeds and the Wellies come to mid-calf for protection.  An additional benefit is when I forget to take them off.  Yes, they look grungy and they are caked with mud, but they make me feel like a local and that I really belong here as I browse the local hardware store.

My Trusty Wellies

There may be one dress left in my closet now and it is not silk, but a kind of drip-dry thing I drag out for special occasions like funerals or weddings.  And there is at least one pair of my new version of high heels for special occasions.  They are about an inch high but I wobble in them now since I have become attached to the Wellies.

My friends in civilization were correct of course.  I had to give up style, elegance, silk dresses and high heels when we moved here.   And sometimes I do yearn for the old elegant me – but mostly I am content being Mrs. Mike, that not-so-elegant lady thwopping around in the sticky red clay of Virginia.

Today’s high heels are REALLY high!  Imagine these on my gravel drive.  Oh my!

Today’s High Heels

Country Tip for City Dudes:

If you are moving to the country, donate your high heels to charity and buy Wellies.

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