Saturday, September 12, 2009


I like waking up to a rainy Saturday, and this morning came complete with thunder.

Thunder always sent Bunny sashaying into the kitchen to take cover under our tiny kitchen foot stool, which she had determined was the safest place in the house. A small portion of her would be sheltered from a possible building collapse, while the rest of her ample furriness overflowed in several directions. She'd purr under there, and wait for us to feed her cheese. How I miss her.

My volunteer slot at the Garden Club booth for the NABB Street Fair was canceled due to extreme wetness. I suspect the organizers were worried that some of us volunteers would dissolve if we came in contact with water, like the Wicked Witch of the West. No worries about me — I get soaked all the time. For someone who likes rain, I'm ridiculously unprepared for it since my old Barbour coat started leaking. I'm scared to wax it myself (it's a messy job that requires a hair dryer) and too cheap to send it out, plus I don't want to part with it for all those weeks. I have silky black trench coat that's very Belle du Jour, but I recently developed a violent hatred of coats with belts. I can't stand to fuss with them, even though I've sewn the belt to that coat so it can't slink its way out of the loops and try to escape. Which is its only goal in life. I know it's silly to hate belts as much as I do, but there it is. At least I'm saving a fortune by not owning a Burberry. The very idea makes me shudder.

I ordered a zippy black microfiber travel coat from Garnet Hill a month ago and it finally shipped yesterday. I've been hunting for more than two years for an affordable raincoat like this, which promises to fold up into nothing so I can stuff it in my bag or pack it in my one little suitcase on trips. Considering that it was back-ordered until Thanksgiving, I should be happy it's on its way. But all I can think of is how much I needed it yesterday morning, as I slopped around the Brimfield Antiques Show for hours in the rain in a fleece hoodie and muddy flip flops. It wasn't supposed to rain until the late afternoon, so I was clever to have brought an umbrella. Speaking of umbrellas, mine is pathetic. It's a teeny-tiny automatic that fits well in my bag, but likes to furl itself on my head whenever it feels like it.

I also need rubber boots; in warm weather, I'm stuck wearing flip flops, and the soles get slippery on both the tops and the bottoms, which is both hazardous and uncomfortable. Yesterday I had a slick coating of mud and grass on both surfaces of my Reefs. Not pleasant. I've been procrastinating about boots because I can't decide whether to settle for cheap ones or invest in a pair of Hunter or Aigle Wellies. I think they're all ugly, which is one reason why I'm not inspired to shop for them. Boot shopping strikes me as an expensive, boring, inevitably disappointing experience anyway — probably even worse than suffering in wet flip flops. I have the world's most delicate feet and a fussy sense of taste, and almost all "comfort" shoes, sandals, boots, and sneakers either hurt me or offend my sensibilities. I won't wear trainers when I'm not exercising, and I often walk around town for miles, so I'm currently reduced to wearing Reef flip flops in warm weather and a few pairs of low-heeled boots when it's cold. Everything else gives me blisters. So what are the chances I'll find a pair of comfortable, attractive rubber boots? I tried and failed about a year ago, after all. I guess I'll bite the bullet again soon and keep you posted if I find some miraculous footwear.

I've been to Brimfield in the rain before and had fun, even in my leaky Barbour. But I think that very bad weather during several Fair weeks in the past year or so has beaten down the dealers. I saw many of them packing up early in defeat yesterday. The rest of them were in pessimistic moods. I saw lots of empty lanes and whole sections of fields had been abandoned. Some of the remaining tents were so tightly battened down that browsers couldn't get in, even though we could hear a dealer muttering inside.

Bad weather improves one's chances of getting good deals, however, and so I snagged a pair of wildly ostentatious antique brass andirons from an English couple packing their truck to head back to the Hudson River Valley. I bargained them down to $100, which is what they told me they'd paid for them. I'm trying to feel bad about that, without success. I do feel slightly bad because this is our third set of andirons and we only have two fireplaces. But I was soaking wet and they were a really good deal.

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