I’m so excited to be finally writing a post, my friends, that my mind has just gone blank. I’m serious. Like when you see a friend for the first time in a long while, and you’re waving and waving as your car drives into their yard, but when you finally stop blubbering, and stand back after the big hug, you can’t find anything to say. Because you’ve been gone for too long, and you have so much to say that you don’t know where to start. Until your friend says, as you walk into the house, “I love that sweater.” And you laugh because that’s as good a place to start as anywhere else. What I’m wearing, what she’s wearing, those are universally interesting topics for me and my friends.
So. I’ve been gone a week from the blog. Hope you are all well. I’ve been running the roads, as Mum used to say when we were teenagers. But I’ve been trying to document what I’m wearing as I do it. I’m trying to wear all the clothes in my closet. And being only moderately successful, if I’m honest.
The other day, my walking buddy Linsey and I drove to visit a friend with whom we both worked. Since retirement, she has moved from Ottawa into a beautiful new home about a half hour away. We had a lovely afternoon catching up, sitting in Karen’s screened porch. Ever the gracious hostess she served canapés and a delicious light dessert. I wore my A.L.C. striped silk skirt, my Everlane white tank, flat black sandals, and tied my Theory crochet sweater around my neck.
You know, I admire people like Karen. I somehow never developed good hostess skills. I get yakking and then I always forget something in the fridge or, worse, on the stove. Whenever I hosted book club when we were doing full luncheons I used to sweat buckets for days (and nights) beforehand. Somehow over the years the idea to serve a simple light lunch morphed into feats of culinary expertise with which I could never hope to compete. Not that it was supposed to be a competition. But still. I always hoped to not be an utter failure. I wrote about that stressful spectre looming over me in a book post a couple of years ago. You can read that here if you’re interested. The pandemic saved me from that particular stressful event, if nothing else. Ha.
And speaking of pandemic. I went off for my first in-person doctor’s appointment a week ago. Since it was a showery day, I wore my Frame straight-leg white jeans, my black Vince short-sleeve tee, and my old reversible black and grey-camo Theory windbreaker. I followed up my appointment with some errand running, and a lovely peaceful hour sipping take-out latté and reading my book. I never travel without my book, people. Hence the big bag
Last week I met my buddy Erica in beautiful Almonte for lunch on a patio overlooking the Mississippi River (no not that one). Almonte is almost an hour’s drive away, so I dressed for comfort. These yellow, linen pull-on pants by Theory (similar) are getting out more this summer. I wore them with my white Everlane tank, Stan Smith sneakers, and threw my Theory crochet sweater on again. It appears I am loving the look of my cream sweater with a white tank this summer.
This outfit does not make me look particularly svelte, I realize, especially around the middle. But you know, I’m working on body positivity this summer. I’m thinking that when I get to be eighty, I don’t want to regret not wearing what I wanted to wear in my sixties. I’ve spent too much of my life worrying that I was too skinny, then that I was getting fat. Sheesh. Enough already.
This is what I wore shopping the other day. My Rag and Bone navy and white checked Simone pants, this Eileen Fisher tee with a shirt-tail hem and three-quarter sleeves, my Stan Smith sneakers, and my navy cashmere Vince sweater. I was buying supplies for Hubby’s birthday supper. We had tacos. And chocolate cake. He loves tacos. And chocolate cake. We ate and ate and binge-watched Escape to the Country. Altogether a satisfying birthday for him, and for me. We are quite addicted to Escape to the Country. Hubby likes to throw the odd comment like “dual aspect room” or “character elements” into conversations now. And then we both laugh.
To meet my sister and her son for coffee in Manotick the other morning, I wore my black Everlane tank, flat black Michael Kors sandals, and these new-ish cargo pants from Aritzia. I wasn’t sure if I would like these pants, but I love them. The loose, casual fit, the high waist, and the colour. The only thing I don’t like is the button fly. They have a tab and two buttons at the hem which is really cool. So they hang straight and loose, or kind of pegged like this, depending on which button you use.
It was soooo lovely to see my sister and my nephew. Although I talk to Carolyn almost every day, I haven’t seen her in a couple of months. And then we were masked. And I haven’t seen my nephew since the pandemic started.
Last Saturday was book club day held beside my friend Sue’s pool. We were a small group, but we ate, and chatted about books, and it was so sustaining. The book we read was Crow Winter by Canadian indigenous writer Karen McBride. It’s her first novel and has been really well received. I am a bad book club member; I haven’t finished it yet. But Sue says it has a wonderfully satisfying ending. You can read about Crow Winter here if you’re interested.
For book club, I wore my now ubiquitous black Everlane tank, my flat black sandals, and my DIY white shorts, made from cutting off a pair of NYDJ white jeans. I tied a black sweatshirt around my waist in case I needed a bit of sun coverup, or if we decamped to the air-conditioned living room. I almost always carry or wear a sweater or jacket in the summer. Sometimes I get chilled in air conditioning, sometimes I drape it over my shoulders for sun protection. Besides, I feel a bit naked, or at least unfinished, without a third piece. A “completer piece” as Stacy and Clinton used to say on What Not to Wear. Stacy and Clinton may have given a title to my third piece, but I’ve been wearing them since I was a teenager.
I had the girls over the other night for a hilarious evening on the deck. As suggested by my friend Joanne, we had potluck appetisers for supper. And I provided the dessert. There was lots of food and drink, and even more conversation and laughter.
These are my best buddies from work. Except for Sheri (in the blue skirt) who was my partner in crime around the department heads’ table (she is head of Math at my old school) all of these girls were teachers in my department at one time. Some have moved on to other schools. Some are now retired like me. And even though I haven’t been their department head in years and years, I still feel protective of them. Weird, eh?
What a great bunch of women! Our ages span several decades, and we could provide some lucky researcher with an excellent sampling of what life is like for women after thirty, after forty, fifty, and even after sixty. Some of us have young kids, some grown kids, and some no kids at all. We have a ton of teaching experience among us, and just as many funny classroom stories to share. Or, depending on the year, rants about the state of education.
For our potluck evening on the deck I wore the exact same outfit which I wore to my coffee date earlier in the week. Except I swapped the black sandals for black flip flops. The easier to kick off and go barefoot.
Gosh, we had a wonderful evening. Just being together. As my friend Marina said the next day, it just felt so… normal.
All in all it’s been a wonderful week since I last posted. Despite having something scheduled most days, I’ve managed to squeeze in a walk or a pedal on my exercise bike every day but one. And most afternoons I’ve had time for an hour or two with my book. That is the definition of perfect retirement life as far as I’m concerned. Time for exercise, time for socializing, and still time for lolling. I love to get my workout in early if I’m going out for lunch or to an appointment or shopping. Then I know that when I get home, I’ve an hour or two before supper for a cup of tea and some quality book time.
Yesterday, the day after my deck party, it rained and the wind blew. The air was cool enough for long pants and a sweater. And after a busy week, I was ready for lolling with my book. And maybe even a little napping. Sigh.
I have two more lunches and a dinner with friends, as well as a shopping day, scheduled before we head down east in a couple of weeks. More scope for wearing more of what I own. Or that’s the plan.
Uncharacteristically, I eschewed the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this week. I don’t really need fall clothes. Well, except for boots. And I did not have the heart to throw myself into fall trend research and a wardrobe inventory to enable smart purchases. I much prefer to plan fall outfits when fall is imminent. Besides, without Liz on duty at Nordstrom, shopping there is not nearly as much fun as it was.
Instead, I’m enjoying what I have in my closet. And enjoying finally, finally having somewhere to go to wear what I own.
You know, it’s wonderful to fall asleep at night dreaming of meeting up with friends and family, and dreaming up outfits to wear when I do so. I know that’s shallow. But there you have it.
But I also fall asleep at night thinking of how amazingly lucky I am. Lucky to be healthy, and have good friends, and supportive family, and the opportunity to get together after months and months and pick up right where we left off. I’m looking forward to many more reunions this summer. With family down east. And with old friends.
There may be blubbering, people. In fact, there probably will be blubbering.
P.S. The clothing and book links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a commission. Except for the Aritzia link. Aritzia doesn’t support the Shop Style Collective which is how I make my commission. Too bad because I usually like their clothes. So that Aritzia link is just a courtesy.