After reading about the multitude of fires in Canada and how dry their forests are, I was about to write a column on how fortunate we are to have received so much rain this year and how much I love the rain. When I mentioned it to Holly, her immediate response was, “No! Everyone is sick of hearing that!” Before I could really process that, she started quoting a zillion social media posts expressing how sick and tired people are of the rain and cold—the gist of which was: When am I going to get to wear my shorts and sandals?
Well, I was a shorts and sandals person for a short time in high school. Then, sometime in college, I lost my sandals for good as I spent more and more time hiking the John Muir trail and less and less time enduring hot weather.
One of my most vivid memories of moving to Colorado is that of driving across the desert on Interstate 15 north of Las Vegas when the theme song from Midnight Cowboy came on the radio. As I remember, the character played by Dustin Hoffman was heading to Florida to the indelible song, “Everybody’s Talkin’.” Of course, the line from that song, “Goin’ where the weather suits my clothes,” implied shorts and sandals. But, heading to Colorado, I turned it around—I was goin’ to where the weather suited my mountain boots and long pants. Sure enough, I found a place to live where wearing blue jeans and hiking boots is common place. Except for Rick, the owner of Tuscany Tavern, the shorts and sandals generally don’t come out until summer, be that June or July.
As decades of living in Evergreen have worn on, I have drifted toward the extreme Alaskan philosophy that there is no bad weather, just bad clothing. So, summer or not, I get nervous not wearing two pairs of socks, long johns, a long sleeved T-shirt and a vest.
All that clothing is really comfortable in refrigerated restaurants (especially in the summer) and you will never find me asking for a blanket on airplanes.
On the flip side, it’s a little embarrassing at my annual physical. The doctor asks me to strip down to my underwear and says he will be back shortly. When he comes back I am still creating a huge pile of clothing on the floor, whereas a normal person would have pulled off their T-shirt, dropped their shorts and been done with it. Then, he always asks why I am wearing two pairs of socks. I guess he is looking for signs of poor circulation.
Then, I have to admit that vacationing with Holly at the beach is quite the conundrum. Of course, I would never lay in the sand wearing long johns under blue jeans and two pairs of socks with hiking boots. But, shorts and sandals sure feels weird for a while. In Hawaii, Holly patiently waited days for me to warm up to wearing anything but long pants and hiking boots.
Even so, you can bet that I was humming “Everybody’s Talkin’” as we boarded the plane to fly back to Colorado.