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Friday, May 11, 2018

The "Summer Collection"

A 1950's Canadian Indian Residential School story: 

Now it’s May again, and the possum has fully awakened.  Of course, it doesn’t just gradually become spring these days—no! That would be old fashioned; it would be what we've grown to expect after the last 70 years. Instead, we have had a long dry chill here where I live in the literal rump of the NE, followed by 90 degree weather for a few breathless days, causing the everyone, including the cat, to suffer from pollen allergies. Next, it falls back into something like the kind of May oldsters like myself remember: a bit gray, a bit sunny, puffy cumuli that might turn into a sullen deck over the apple blossoms , and a distinct pleasant chill whenever the wind blows.

The result is that I have to start changing my winter clothes collection for my “summer collection.” We’re not talking Turner Classic movies or million bucks athletic garb at this house; I’m speaking with tongue firmly-in-cheek. 

What that graceful word “collection” actually means to me is putting my light colored t-shirts, capris and shorts in the drawers in place of the heavier, darker heavier tees and turtlenecks which have occupied them all winter.
It involves lifting heavy plastic tubs full of shirts in/out of tiny spaces in badly aligned closets, maneuvers that require me to bend and lift and twist.  Either that or getting down on the floor to retrieve a low flat box from under the bed. And we all know the fun of getting up on two legs after we've had to get down on all fours, we who are now in their "Golden Years."

 Willy-Yum watches the human bang, crash and clamber from a safe distance--the hall rug. Here, he settles in, big front paws tucked inward against his chest.

After wiping the dust from the lids, I open the tubs. Inside, there they are, the tees I put away at the end of October last year. 

It’s an ever growing collection, I fear, because I have become attached to each and every one, carefully chosen as they were from catalogs or from artsy websites. There are dinosaur tees, one with Eco-slogans, Wheels of the Year, Calaveras, cats, famous movies, and other famous types, from Alex and Eliza Hamilton and Wolf Mozart and his Stanzi as well as  the many faces of Dr. Who. It’s my down-market version of sartorial elegance, suitable either for bike riding, grocery store, yard work or the gym.

When the task is completed, we’ve got the Possum Perfect summer wardrobe (or is it weird-robe?)   packed into the chest of drawers. I’m all ready now for all the heat and humidity now relentlessly on its way.

~Juliet Waldron

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