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Archive for July 10th, 2009

A Big Sale in Lansing, MI

Friday, July 10th, 2009

My friend Rae is an amazing woman. She is 26 years old and she runs a lovely, eastside yarn shop, Rae’s Yarn Boutique. She is half my age, but when I get stuck with a knitting problem, she can always help me through it. She is kind and talented, and I am grateful that she is my friend (and my boss, several days a week).

Not only that, she purchased the building where the shop currently is located, about a year and a half ago. I may never be that together, at any age.

When she bought the building, the seller made false statements about the roof. This roof is so inaccessible it pretty much needs a cherry picker or a helicopter to access it, and is a flat roof on an early-1900’s brick commercial building. It needs regular tending.

So, now the roof leaks when it rains. And Rae is having a “When it Rains, it Pours… in the Shop” sale to bring in the cashflow it will take to repair it. It looks like all of the yarn and spinning/felting fiber is at least 10% off, and some of it is 20% or 40% off.

And she has some amazing deals on spinning wheels! It is unusual to see a sale on wheels, so if you are thinking of getting one and are in the area, I highly recommend you check it out.

Rae posted a blog entry to detail the specifics. I will be at the shop at least a few hours Friday, but the sale is Friday through Sunday. Hours Friday are 11-6, Saturday 11-5, Sunday 11-3.

A Letting Go Experience

Friday, July 10th, 2009


I find it interesting that all of us have moments that could be a rite of passage, but they do not always overlap. For example, most of us leave our parents’ homes, though it may be at different ages, for any of a multitude of reasons. I could go on…

Some of my friends have found it a large hurdle to let go of their childrens’ baby clothes. I don’t mean holding on to a christening gown or special handmade sweater, I mean the daily things that support raising a baby like sleepwear and tee shirts. There is something of a commitment involved in that sort of letting go, and some find it difficult.

I did not have children, and therefore did not experience that particular heart-tug. However, I discovered my own version of this letting go/commitment dilemma this last few weeks.

My Recent House-Emptying Project

I have determined to pare down my belongings in the entire house, one room/area at a time, to things I actually use or which hold sentimental value. I am also redefining sentimental value so that it does not include as many clothes.

suitgoodbye20.jpgI had a rack full of skirts pull out of the wall it was screwed into (with nobody standing anywhere near it), because I had so many skirts hanging on it. Then last weekend even after I’d given away a lot of clothing, another clothing rack became overburdened and folded up from imbalance. I do love clothing; all alone on a hanger it can be an artform… and combining items on a body is the arform I call “costuming.”

Some clothing items which were once favorites, remain sentimental in my mind long after they do not fill any other need in my life. I have joked before that I need to put things away for a while and let them “age” before I can give them away. This is not far from the truth.

The Story of THE SUIT

Well, a few weeks ago I gave away 5 suits and/or high-quality wool blazers. That was hard enough. I tossed one cream linen jacket last week because it did not age well in the closet, thus could not be donated.

But this week I found it very, very hard to let go of THE SUIT. This suit I visited in the store over and over before finally purchasing, for an incredibly pricey $200 back in 1985.

It was funky at the time, with shoulder pads when they were just sneaking into fashion for women. It was also made of an incredibly high quality worsted wool gabardine in navy blue.

It was tunic length and double-breasted. It had a looser-fitting torso than had been popular (this was not long after Lady Di had married Prince Charles, when suit jackets were shorter and fit closely to the body).

The skirt was longer than others of the time, and straight rather than pleated at the waistband. These days it looks like a normal navy suit, but at the time I had seen nothing like it.

I loved this suit. It made me feel modern, well-dressed and prosperous. I would tuck a colorful silk hankie in the breast pocket and feel like a million bucks.

I have always loved good wool, and this may well be the best wool fabric I have ever owned. It was a standard Navy blue… but the quality was wonderful.

My “New” Life and its Reality

I have been self-employed for 10 years. For all of those 10 years I have not needed or even chosen to wear a suit. I found a dry cleaning tag attached, dated 1998. It’s clear there is no use for this suit in my life now or in the forseeable future.

But it was very hard to let go. For one thing, I remember what a struggle it was to come up with $200 to buy it, even though it clearly paid for itself over the years.

I also think in the past, I figured that this was my “interview suit” whenever I might find myself wanting a job-job again. It was my ticket out, my exit ramp if I felt a need to bolt for the door out of any particular work situation. However, I’m pretty darned sure I do not want any job any more, that would require me to wear this sort of clothing.

The Plan, The Letting Go

I learned years ago that if I was having trouble letting go of something, I could take a photo, keep the photo and let go of the something. So yesterday, that was what I did. I took this photo of THE SUIT with my last business suit dress (hanging behind it) on my almost-new purple porch… then made a drop off at the charity resale shop.

I hope someone who needs a good interview suit is as delighted with this find, as I was. I surely did get my money’s worth out of it for the 13 years I actually did wear it.

I guess I made it through the quite-unexpected life transition there. I can not help but wonder what will be my next one.

A Question

Have you felt a similar pull in your own life? Did it come about when throwing/giving something away? I find it fascinating to see how symbolic some fabric can become, to me. Anybody want to share in the comments?