I am gathering up my clothes to pack for my trip to the state fair. I would probably want to change my outfit each day so I counted 13 days means 13 tops with slacks to match.
I’ll need clothes for hot days or cool days, maybe sunny or rainy days too. I remember many years at the fair I needed clothes for all types of weather, a jacket when it actually turned cold after dark, a rain slip on and umbrella when it rained. Sometimes it was smart to stay inside and just plan to wait because we know Kansas weather can change.
Maybe I’ll need a more dressy top when a special program is on schedule such as the Master Farmer Master Farm, Homemaker Day and I’ll need red,white and blue on Sept. 11. Many years, I have taken more clothes then I needed, so I’m trying to take less.
All the talk about clothes has brought up memories. When I grew up I had to change my clothes when I came home. I put on my everyday clothes and hung up what I’d worn to school or church.
Everyday clothes were older things that were stained, needed repair, nearly worn out and were perfect to do outside chores on the farm or housework inside.
I still do that, a habit I grew up with and taught my family to do the same.
I was a first-born in the family. I didn’t have the chance to wear “hand-me-downs.”
After Jim’s brother married I was so pleased to get hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law. She believed in getting new outfits each year as the season changed since she worked at a bank and wanted to be attractive and in style, until I gained weight and she didn’t.
I didn’t make clothes for myself very often but I did make things for my family. The Singer sewing machine I was so proud of was the first thing we bought after marriage. I mended many rips and tears and patched lots of jeans and overalls.
My youngest brother passed his Sunday best down to my son. He wore these good things in the 4-H style show.
My uncle owned a ladies clothing store and to please my dad, Mom made sure she brought my Easter dress there each year. I don’t really remember how any dress except the pink frilly dress I hated but I had to wear it each Sunday to church with my black patent leather shoes of which I was very proud.
Nowadays it is difficult. We don’t have to spend hours at the ironing board taking the sprinkled clothes out of the freezer to iron. We ironed all shirts, blouses, hankerchiefs, pillow cases and more.
It is no longer embarrassing to shop at a thrift shop and it’s even OK to have holes in your jeans. I’m not sure I like those holy jeans as my granddaughters call them. I’m sure my mother wouldn’t believe it was in style.
Another memory, we girls couldn’t wear slacks or jeans to school. I know I was in junior high school before I was allowed to wear long pants to school. In the cold months long stockings kept our legs warm. Now I don’t wear skirts or dresses at all. My how time has changed.
Now back to getting my suitcase packed is an important job actually. I’m glad T-shirts are in style and even nicer tops don’t have to be ironed. Gotta get things that are color coordinated and wear shirts with 4-H message.
I’m thankful for the things I have to wear and am looking forward to dressing up each day at my 4-H encampment building job. I will enjoy seeing friends I’ve made over the years and all the wonderful people I work with.
If you can make it to the state fair maybe I’ll see you there. The fair is Sept. 7 to 16 in Hutchinson.
Opal Flinn is a frequent contributor to The Hays Daily News