We got rain for Fathers Day! A few weeks ago, I complained about the rain, due to the floods. Then we had a heat wave and no rain, right after planting. But we got rain! Mike and I drove out to the produce garden to get some summer squash for the dinner table and there is mud in the rows. Woohoo! Yeah, who would have thought this old city-girl would be thrilled by a little mud!
The corn is tassling too. Strange to see tassles on the short little stalks stunted by the hot, dry conditions. With any luck we’ll have yellow corn for the fourth of July weekend to go with some of our fresh vine-ripened tomatoes and summer squash. One of my sons is getting married that weekend, too. Which reminds me, I need to buy a dress.
That is a small problem for me, with living in the country. I have to drive at least an hour to shop in a ‘real’ store, as the local stores have neither the quality nor the styles I prefer. Most tend to carry sports separates, not semi-formal attire. Frankly, there is another problem. I’ve come to prefer shopping in a hardware store over clothes shopping. I find more bargains and more uses for my purchases than a new outfit hanging on a hanger until an event comes along that requires me to dress up. I wear jeans or shorts mostly on the farm, and jeans with a blazer to school when I feel like looking professional (since I’m a student, I don’t worry about a professional dress code there.) I have a few dresses and suits I’ll use when I substitute teach this fall, but semi formals are not exactly high on the list of priorities right now.
I remember the old days in California, when I would call Nordstroms and ask for my persoanl shopper, mention what I was looking for, then drive over to a dressing room full of about-to-go-on-sale and regular priced clothes in the colors, styles, and size perfect for me. About the closest thing to that sort of service here is the John Deere place where we can call and get parts for our particular equipment in the exact color (green), style (John Deere), and sized to fit. Everything else seems to be a catch-as-catch-can effort, even if the sales people are cordial, friendly, and helpful. They can’t help that choices in stock are limited when the largest town around here is less than 10,000 people. There also seems to be a gap in style availability that they can’t control. The big box store carries clothing geared for high schoolers and old women–and much of that made in China– but I don’t feel that old most of the time and would look silly in the newest range in teenage clothing styles. Another chain store carries clothing mostly made in India or Bangladesh, but the first time an article is washed it loses its dye, its shape, or its sizing. Yet another store carries decent (not great) quality classic styles. Its a new arrival in town. Yet there is no store alterations department and I’m short. Everything is four to six inches too long. Yeah, I kind of miss the old Nordstroms. It’s been so long since I shopped there, though, I wonder if they still have an alterations department. Of course, I would probably have to drive to someplace like Cincinnati to find out.
There used to be fabric stores and more clothing stores in town until the box store moved in. By under-cutting prices, those mom-n-pop stores soon closed their doors, forcing people to shop in the box store. Fabric especially was a box store specialty…until the box store decided to no longer carry fabric. Today, home seamstresses can only make their own clothes if they shop online or travel to another town for their material. Frankly, I am not a seamstress. Anyone could tell if I made my own clothes! And although I do own a sewing machine, a hand-me-down from my mother, who has time on a farm to sew?! I know, I know, some farm wives do great at housekeeping, raising kids, participating in the farm chores, sewing, cooking, being active in the community and all that…I don’t know where they find the time. Believe me, I’ve been looking for that magical clock that adds extra hours and energy to my day. I haven’t found it yet.
I’m thinking I am too lazy to be a farm wife. I want to go shopping, I want to go to the movies, or as Goldie Hahn said in Private Benjamin, “I want to go out to lunch!”
I want to be normal again!
Ah, but we got rain and the rows are muddy, my son is getting married to a beautiful girl, who probably shops at Nordstroms and at places other than the big box store, and I’ll have two more grandsons as part of the package deal. Life as it is, is good.
I still wish I had a personal shopper!
PS I miss you, Daddy.