Life in the Slow Lane: 'Cold Day, Wool Socks'

What a change. January brought days in the 80s but now that it's late February we're enjoying a stretch of cold, wet weather. Today, the wind is howling, the sky is heavy with thick dark clouds, and it smells like snow.

I wrote that, only to wonder what I mean by "smells like snow." After a moment's consideration, I decided it's not really a smell. Instead, it's a sort of melding of the cold and the wet. It must be something I decided on when I was a child and lived in Minnesota.

Although the day is cold, my feet are warm, because I'm wearing wool socks. Brand new-to-me wool socks. And I have my friend Laurie to thank for them.

Back in the warmth of January I discovered that I had managed to wear holes in all but three pairs of my wool socks. For the record, one of those three isn't exactly a pair--close, but not a true match. I was fine with that. Three pair are enough to make it through Spring, Summer, and Autumn, during which I will most likely be shod in my usual Birkenstocks--they come in narrow sizes. Come November, I'll do the usual and buy eight more pairs of socks to take me through the next Winter and this time I would wear slippers in the house instead of the wool socks, which is how I wore them out.

Back to Laurie and the socks. I'm not sure how the subject of stockings came up, but it did.

"You wear wool socks?" Laurie asked in surprise.

"Only all winter," I told her. "They aren't just warm, they take up the excess space in my winter shoes."

That made her laugh. "Well, that solves the problem of what I'm going to do with all the wool socks I own. I bought them for skiing and hiking in the snow, but I'm not doing that any more. I was thinking about donating them. Guess I'm giving them to you."

I thanked her profusely, then we went on with our conversation, and I forgot about the socks. They appeared last week in a gift bag. You know you're old when wool socks in a gift bag can make your heart go pitter-pat. They're great! Nice and thick and, unlike my socks, none of them are the same. (I tend to buy 3 of a kind of everything. It's just


So, my feet are warm thanks to Laurie and, of course, I'm not wearing my slippers. The only thing that would make this more perfect was if there were a fire in the fireplace. Unfortunately I've done such a good job cleaning up that I no longer know where the matches are and what little firewood I had left has been moved...somewhere. Dang it.

But the place looks really good now that the Great Clean Up is at last complete. With nothing more to be done, it's time to get back to work on the mystery again--one that set on a cold, blustery, drizzly November day. Makes me shiver to think about it.


Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comment submissions may not exceed a 200 word limit, and in order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.