On Thursday, I will be winging my way to New York for Christmas. I’ll be joined there by Francisca, the young lady from Chile who was a student in one of my original English classes there.
Here in Albuquerque today, it was 61º and sunny. I went out wearing a light jacket and a scarf and discovered that I didn’t need either of them.
In New York, it’s 31º and snowing at the moment. Last week, I started thinking about packing for the trip. The winter coat that I have here is a long, black, dressy wool coat. It doesn’t button all the way up. It’s heavy. Hard to pack. Cumbersome to wear on a plane. Not as warm as I will need for freezing temperatures.
I survived winters in Chile wearing a wool “car” coat. I withstood last winter in Edinburgh, Scotland, wearing a short puffy “down” coat with a hood, a parka.
Like Hansel and Gretel with their breadcrumbs, I’ve left coats scattered around the world. The wool car coat is stored in a Chilean friend’s closet. Likewise, the Scottish puffy coat is in Leith, waiting to be retrieved next time I’m in Scotland.
Maybe like Hansel and Gretel, that’s the point of leaving something behind. I want to be able to find my way back to those places.
For now, that leaves me without a practical winter coat for a place like New York with temps in the 30’s and precipitation. What to do?
I decided to go on the hunt for a parka and some galoshes, too. I wanted old-fashioned galoshes that fit over your shoes, the kind I hated as a kid because they were hard to get on and off.
These days, I don’t care if they’re hard to put on and take off as long as they keep my feet dry, but I can’t find any. Apparently, they’re out of vogue and have been replaced by heavy plastic rainboots, which I can’t wear because of my funky feet and wonky knees, so I’ve scoured online stores for old school galoshes. I’ve had no luck. If I find a pair, they’re sold out or not available in my size.
As for the coat, I went to a chain department store and found racks and racks of puffy coats. I started with XL, extra large, and worked my way up toward 1 and 2X, alarmed that I might not be able to find one that fit. I know that I’m not a waif, but I wonder where truly extra, extra “luscious” women shop. Not at this store.
I found the coat pictured here. It will be going with me to New York and I’m expecting to be toasty warm, except for my feet which may be two blocks of ice, unless I happen to find the galoshes.
I’ll be taking part of my 13-item wardrobe, and when the trip is over, who knows? I may leave behind my newly purchased puffy coat.
It won’t be needed here in Albuquerque and it could be left in New York, like breadcrumbs, as a promise of my return.