Sacks of discarded clothes: 1985, 1991, 1998, 2004, etc. All into heavy back bags and carted out to give to charity or family or whoever wants or might need them. Sacks of unusable clothes. How much STUFF can one person accumulate???
Winter tires. Insulation. When will this heat start working in the building? Winter jackets and coats. Scarves and gloves. And shouldn't I keep just one summer outfit in case? No. No! Out, away, packed, gone, banished, binned, burned, donated - get thee hence.
The ritual of the change in seasons, which happens twice a year in my home, involves the painful decisions about those items of clothes which I have not worn in decades but have not the heart to throw out. Two times in a year they are transferred from one bag to the other: maybe they will fit me next year. Maybe they will come back into fashion. And, of course, all of the clothes which should have been vanquished a long time ago must be pondered as well. Wide lapels, skinny ties, straight leg jeans, big collars, electric blue: did I ever wear this?
When I was a child, we used to do the biggest changeover in the spring, leading up to the Great Garage Sale. The Sale forced to pick out and throw out and place a price of five cents on a priceless Led Zeppelin t-shirt. Although this was fun for kids, I can imagine the red-faced humiliation for the parents when people would browse by snickering and pointing at the ridiculous things accumulated in the house.
Like they had no fashion skeletons in their closets....
The winter conversion was always a little more melancholy. Wintering up meant the end of summer, back to school, no more playing all day long. Away went the uniforms of fun and out came the blue serge and grey flannel.
And now, we can sit and wait for the snow. The winterization is complete, done hurriedly after the temperature dropped from 30 to 3 in a day and a half. We sit in parkas and wool socks, in turtle necks and corduroy. The heat has come on in the building finally. In a week or two the clocks will change again and plunge us into winter darkness.
And the weather? Bright and summery on the way back: 25 degrees.