Friday, 31 October 2014

My New Costume

Ghostly encounter of another kind!!!!
 Retirement has meant a lot of transitioning over the last four months - like moving from New York City to Gilligan's Island!  (I just thought - I should have put that in all caps)!  Anyway, I eat differently - better, actually, without the looming monster candy machine in our building that had invaded my brain in May and June!  I wander and travel with abandon - now vineyard monsters haunt my pathways and some say even the bats are special out here in the desert!  I have sought out the spooky and desolate buildings of old, reveling in the photographic opportunities and imagining someday taking some night shots of the imagined ghosts still walking the hallways! 

Scary orchard monster looms up from behind the trees!  Ahhhhh!
All summer, it was HOT and since this is a summer resort town, I gave up on makeup (it melted anyway and how disfiguring is that!)  I wore shorts or capris everyday and switched out my multitude of much beloved weekend t-shirts at whim.  Tourists and locals blend together in summer and anyone can carry off the flip flop look on the beach or on main street.  I  could remain ANONYMOUS - no one would ever know who I really might be!   I felt like I was one of THEM - the friendly aliens hanging out on the patios and art galleries, smiling, sipping wine, and enjoying their romp in the sun. 
Fall approached gently enough and I hung on to my summer look weeks after the tourists went home and the beach was reclaimed by the hardy or slightly insane scattered visitors - the "Married-No-Children" or the "Young-and-Singles."  The locals were too busy getting their children off to school to notice the occasional stranger zipping down their back alley, oohing and ahing at the apples still on the tree.  And then, the temperature dropped.  This was not like the prairies where the scene can go from summer HA! HA! to winter OMG  in 20 minutes - no, it was more like the old "frog in the boiling water experiment" in reverse - such a gradual change you hardly noticed until one day your hands looked like claws, stiff and chapped from the cold.  I switched my morning walks to afternoon strolls and encountered a new crowd of fellow walkers - suspiciously looking like grey-haired clones from another world!
My new look - not quite Crazy Cat Lady!
It became apparent -  I needed a costume change in a hurry!  I searched deeply in the shadowy depths of my wardrobe, knocking down the cobwebs that had grown over the summer and scaring some ghostly dust bunnies out of the corners.  I viewed my "I work in academia not quite BIG corporate" wardrobe taking up half the closet.  Fitted dress pants, multiple sleeveless shells and various jackets and the best of academia look - the cardigan (understated but still professional!).   I pulled out my one pair of jeans most associated with hiking trails and garbage runs.  Then I found my yoga pants and one pair of faded, special-order travel pants that had kept me going throughout Asia.  I could see a Crazy Cat Lady look evolving.  My fear-glazed eyes frantically searched for other alternatives.  Digging with my bare hands through a bottom drawer of odd, assorted pieces, I discovered a new purchase hastily stuffed away after a recent foray to that other land - the USA!  In my hand, I held the stretchy, comfortable-but- not-jogging pants from Style & Co. I had discovered in Bellingham this month.  My new-retiree look was taking shape - or un-shape - depending on where you fall on the fashion spectrum!
An amazing wandering day!  Wait 'til you see my pictures!
I soon resurrected some long sleeved t-shirts that had been buried in a Dracula-like way - worn only in shaded quarters and usually under a sweater or jacket.  I was making headway but still felt a little lumpy without a jacket or cardigan - if you get my drift.  A witch-y cackle erupted as I tripped over the basket of scarves and shawls I had somehow buried in my summer rush to my retirement castle.  Although scarves were kind of my work trademark, I had forsook my shawls as mildly too opera-like to make it to the workplace too often.  Occasionally I had pulled off the look but found myself constantly adjusting them.  Always the seeker of comfort, I wrapped a soft, cashmere-like grey shawl around my shoulders and knew I had found my new retired-person look.  Back from the grave, the shawl evoked as much excitement as a new dress in my old life! 

My costume is complete.  My wardrobe is organized to reflect at a glance my re-birth. Thank you, Dr. Frankenstein!  Scarves and shawls lost their hidden zombie state and took front row status.  I threw back my head and howled -


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