Mother Nature Gone Glam

By Rose Ann Sinay

Mother Nature Gone Glam

Last week, I pulled out “the bear” – my nubby brown, seasonal sweater decorated with large leaves in brilliant oranges, rusty reds and mustard yellows. Fuzzy squirrel appliqués peek through the piles of leaves along the hemline as if the tiny animals were scavenging acorns for the winter. I’ve had the knitted pullover for at least twenty years, actually, for as far back as I can remember. Since it has only been worn in short spurts and lovingly put away, it still looks in perfect condition.

My (now adult) children groan when I pull it out of the cedar chest with its pungent, I’ve been stored away, smell. If you have walked through an area store in October and happened to notice a strong, woody fragrance, it could have been me. The sweater is big and comfy, and from the back, I probably look like a great grizzly (hence “the bear”).

My daughter tells me it is embarrassing to be seen with me all wrapped up like a billboard advertisement for fall. It’s not fashionable, she says. Of course, she also means all my other sweaters decorated with pumpkins, scarecrows, and apples.

I do remember a time when my son and daughter were young they thought their mom was cool for having such fun, holiday clothes. As children, it was a cue that it was time for Mother Nature’s extraordinary changes to occur.

I tell them my chromatic wardrobe is a celebration of cold crisp air, changing seasons, nature’s magic, and not having to suck my stomach in for the next two or three months. They can’t relate to the last reason; I promise them that this little pleasure will come in time. They don’t know the real joy of covering their bodies in cozy fleece, heavy sweatshirts, long sleeves, denim jeans and turtlenecks. It’s a vacation from the summer nakedness.

It’s what I like to call fall freedom. I can cover up my arms and wave to my heart’s content without worrying about my batwings flapping. No one sees the slightly overgrown stubble on my legs, and those long turtle necks that that gather softly under my chin, hide that small turkey waddle that has (not so) suddenly appeared. I can walk the beach, the bottom of my jeans getting slightly wet (sporting a crust of sand), and not have to think about whether I am bulging in my spandex swimsuit. I just love fall!

I knew it was a little early in the season, but recently there was a day cool enough to bundle up. I took the opportunity to wear “the bear” when I went out to pick up a few items at the store. As I stood in line at the register, behind a mother and her three young children, the oldest came over and shyly asked about the squirrels peaking through the tree limbs, half hidden by leaves.

“Can I touch them?” the little girl asked, running her finger over the puffy decoration.

“Sure,” I said, showing her all the little furry creatures dancing along the edge.

She giggled and called her little brother over to find the hiding squirrels. The baby in the carriage, pointed to the brightly colored leaves, so I leaned over so she could touch them. This is what I remembered, the feeling of wonder and the creation of an invisible demarcation in time. I realized that my old sweater had a purpose other than hiding my bulges and my unbuttoned pants.

I knew what I needed to do. I paid for my purchases and went out into the parking lot to find the family. Unfortunately, they were already gone. Before I could change my mind, I took off the well-loved sweater and looked for the nearest clothes donation box. Maybe a young mother would take it and begin her own fall fantasy adventures with her children.

On the way home, I stopped at a local shop to replace my beloved sweater with a more sophisticated version. I found a multitude of beautiful, solid-colored cardigans in all the rich autumn shades that I love, and thick enough to enable my fall hibernation. I looked longingly at the embellished ones that told a story, but instead, picked up a soft, red button-up and a turtleneck in a winter white.

As I passed the jewelry counter, I saw pendants in all shapes and colors that caught my eye: glittery pumpkins, red and green apples, and tiny fall wreaths that could be pinned on to my new, plain purchases. A little further down the aisle were scarves stamped with a cornucopia of harvest images. I had struck gold.

My daughter was right. It was time to update my clothes, but not my spirit. I bought a pumpkin brooch in every size, wrapped an apple scarf around my neck and went out in to the cold day to embrace the season.

About this writer

  • Rose Ann Sinay Rose Ann Sinay is a freelance writer typing away in sunny North Carolina. Her articles/stories have been published in The Carolinas Today, The Oddville Press and The Brunswick Beacon.

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13 Responses to “Mother Nature Gone Glam”

  1. Colleen says:

    Great story! I think we all had one of those sweaters. You do know you will need to replace it though for the next generation of Sinays.

  2. Rose Ann says:

    LOL, Colleen, I didn’t even think of that. Thanks for reminding me, and thanks for reading my story!

  3. kathy strunk says:

    I too had a fall sweater and it was the height of fashion when the kids were little. It came from a store called Belle Pointe and the suburban housewives in Worthington, Ohio couldn’t wait for their fall outlet sale, lines were out the door! We had one for every season :) Good memories, but I too retired mine. Thanks for the laugh and smiles you gave me today!

    • Rose Ann says:

      So glad it brought back some fond memories. I still miss my sweaters (secretly kept the Rudolph Christmas sweater, complete with red pom-pom nose.) Thanks for reading, Kathy.

  4. Mary says:

    Such a sweet story, Rose Ann. Your grandchild will soon appreciate your seasonal sweaters/outfits. I am going to be keeping my eyes open for “bear” as I shop around town. Thanks for warming my heart with such a nice story.

  5. Kailey Konow says:

    Thanks for (so vididly) bringing that back to life for me but those sweaters (and all the other accessories) are best left in the memory vault! :) XO

  6. Calette Smith says:

    In my closet, anxiously awaiting the holiday season, hangs a beautiful black sweater embellished with Santa’s and fuzzy white beards.
    My grandchildren love it, BUT, my older children laugh out loud and tell me it looks like dead cats! I don’t care, after Thanksgiving I will proudly wear it to town!
    To say the least, Kailey, I loved your sorry and you should have kept your sweater.

    • Rose Ann says:

      I gave those sweaters away before grandchildren. Needless to say, I’m wishing I’d kept a few. I can see another shopping trip in the near future:) Sorry kids! Thanks for reading and commenting, Calette.

  7. your story brought back lots of memories. I had a Christmas sweater with a furry gray kitten on it with a jingle bell collar. My preschool students loved it. I quit wearing it when one of the dads tried to pet the kitty.

  8. Rose Ann says:

    LOL . . . now there’s a story in that! Thanks for reading and commenting, Linda!

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