Frost season has arrived in Atlanta. The deck is really cold. And, at our house, Charlie Brown and his pumpkin patch friends are hoping against hope to actually make it out of the basement for the festivities this year.
The freezer is well stocked with fabulous butternut squash soup.
And one of the superstore chains is oh, so happy to remind you that you can get same day pick up on costumes.
Clearly, it’s almost Halloween.
Just between us, this particular holiday has never been one of my personal favorites.
It’s grown on me some since my girls came along and there are trick or treat bags to sew and pictures to look forward to, each year more amazing than the last.
The thing that most surprises me, though, is all the people wondering what I’m going to “be” for Halloween.
Here’s the scoop:
I’m going to be a grandmother!
(Not more babies. Just more awareness.)
My “sparkly silver” hair is all set. And a bit wild-looking in a maybe growing out kind of way these days!
All I need is my favorite peachy-orange Oxford cloth shirt covered, as it usually is, with quilt threads and dog hair. Paint spatters are not out of the question.
And, who knows? If it really gets chilly I might even bust out the magical ruby slippers that followed me home from Portland in June.
The whole “costume” question seems to be almost an obsession in our world.
What are we going to “be” in our lives? And how will we communicate that to others? Especially the little ones who are watching us?
It used to be easier for me.
Back in the day, nurses and pastors had pretty specific “costumes” for going about their business. At least it seemed so at the time. Though it got a bit more complicated if you happened to be a “girl” pastor in the south.
For a while, even before Steve Jobs, I flirted with the “uniform” theory. You know. One less thing to think about.
Inevitably, though, I busted out of the box and wound up with a bunch of random “fun” things that never seemed to solve the what-to-wear problem.
Eventually, I read a book that suggested starting to plan a wardrobe with adjectives rather than color swatches.
A concept I understood!
Three descriptive words for what you hope to “say” with a wardrobe.
(Go ahead. I’ll wait.)
The thing that continues to wonder me about the three words I chose, close to 15 years ago, is that they still work for me!
Not that my wardrobe choices are still the same. Or my life, for that matter. But the message still feels true.
Now, just between us, I’ve tried hard to figure out how to tell this story without actually telling you the words I picked. It feels really personal.
It seems, though, that there’s no way around it. Your words will no doubt be different. (That’s the way it’s supposed to work.) Mine were/are:
Wise, Creative, and Refined
Let’s start with a bit of reality! When you live with three Newfoundland dogs, actually looking refined is, at best, a special occasion option.
These days, the meaning that particular adjective has for me falls somewhere between the William Morris notion I mentioned recently of having nothing we do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful and moves on to the old quote by Coco Chanel about getting all dressed and accessorized, then removing one piece.
Both of these ideas inspire me.
Wise and Creative have some more practical applications.
At this point in my journey, Wise reminds me of safe, organic, natural fabrics. Almost nothing that needs to be dry cleaned. Layers of all-season garments. As few shoes as possible.
Creative is all about flexibility and color and imagination, with a few quirky accessories.
I’m loving the environmentally friendly, colorful, decidedly quirky clothes from Gudrun Sjoden these days. It’s like Garanimals for grandmothers!
And, of course, a red thread around my wrist.
This year, I’m going to be me for Halloween.
How about you?