Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blue Ice And Wind

The end of February was bitterly cold, so I searched my closet for outfits that long underwear could be worn beneath without adding much bulk, since my work commute from northwest Baltimore County, Maryland, to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. requires walking outside at both ends of the trip as well as standing on an elevated outdoor platform to await a subway train.  I found the perfect foil in a pair of super-wide belled jeans that were custom made for me from a pair I loved that disintegrated shortly after I bought them (see Hanging By A Thread).  

Besides, I was eager to have another excuse to wear this adorable sweater by My Collection, with its icy blue stripes and unusual muff-style front pocket.  The super-wide, three-quarter length Dolman sleeves complemented my wide bellbottoms and make the piece even more atypical, connected the way they are to the side seams of the sweater clear down to the hem.  This could have made the top a bit awkward to wear, since raising one’s arms means the entire sweater rises up.  However, the fabulous color variegation in the yarn, from gray to light blue to navy, makes it easy to layer the unique pullover with a variety of long-sleeve Tees.  On this day I chose a gray, ribbed knit Tee by Faded Glory, which allowed me to raise and lower my arms at will without worry about exposing myself to the harsh winter elements.

This fabulous sweater was a recent gift from Joyce, the mother of my best friend, Kari.  Joyce sent me the top in a box of gently-used clothing she no longer wore.  I was thrilled to get everything in the box, but this sweater really called out to me because of its extraordinary design.
Robinson's department store in Pasadena, California,
was a frequent destination of my mother and
grandmother when I was growing up

I pulled comfortable booties by Pink & Pepper over thick ski socks and played up the gray in the sweater by covering my head with an heirloom mink pillbox hat by Miss Alice that my grandmother bought at J.W. Robinson’s Department store in Pasadena, California, in the 1950s (I still have the hat box it came in!), and added my grandmother’s dangly earrings -- gray pearls that I long ago converted to pierced from old-fashioned screw-backs.

After one of my black walnut trees
snapped clear in half during a
powerful wind and ice storm in
mid-February, workers from
JamesPickett's Tree Service cut it down
The severe winter ice and wind storm that swept across the eastern half of the country in mid-February wreaked mercifully little havoc on my two acres.  I lost power several times through the course of the storm’s worst 60 mile-per-hour winds and had many large limbs from broken trees to drag cross my property into piles that eventually reached far over my head.  One walnut tree, however, broke literally in half. I didn’t feel comfortable about climbing so far up into the tree by myself with a Sawzall, so I called the owner of my trusty tree service, James Pickett.  It took almost two weeks for the company to clear out their post-storm emergency tree removal work before they could get to me.  But on this frigid day at the end of the month, as I was embarking on my chilly commute to the District of Columbia, the owner’s son and a couple of helpers arrived to make short work of the shattered tree and carry away all the broken branches in my two gigantic piles. 

Let the winds howl.  I was warm and comfy in my ice-blue sweater and giant bellbottoms all the way to work and back!

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