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Dressing for Success

  • Posted on
  • By Hannah Cashman
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Dressing for Success

There are days when all I wish for is just a little breeze. Standing at the checkout clinging to the little circle of shade provided by our now thriving grape umbrella. The sweat drips down my forehead causing my bangs to stick uncomfortably in my eyes. 


This discomfort is only exacerbated by the fact that no matter the temperature, I chose to continue to wear long pants (crazy, I know). On hot summer days, there is very little I have done to dress myself for success, but let me explain…


You see, I have created quite a conundrum for myself. I committed to what I am calling a long-pants summer. Early on in the season, I traded out my raingear for fashionable short sleeves and eventually tank tops. Finding every excuse to switch from practical to stylish with funny oversized graphic T-shirts. 


This earned me a barely golden not quite tan look, which for me is quite the accomplishment. These shirts were always accompanied by longer yoga-style pants. While I had chosen fashion for half of my outfit, the other half remained practical.


The pant choice, to me,  seemed like a no-brainer. They were easy to move in, protected my legs from sticky petunias, and in my experience much easier to wash out once contaminated by the green plant slime. 


This outfit choice has left my body looking like a half-finished piece of artwork. Nicely shaded arms with reflective almost translucent legs that leave me just a little bit insecure in shorts. It is as if the two halves of my body belong to different people. This dichotomy, I find, is very similar to my own house -particularly my garden. 


Like most typical small neighborhood houses, I have a small patch of yard that lines the sidewalk in front of my house separating my front door from the road. 


This patch is currently “clean” as it is awaiting a new hardscape. From the road, the house appears perfectly respectable. Hanging baskets line the front of the house, of course, and a small collection of planters usher guests to the front door. These few well-cared-for plants are the accessories that complete my outfit. This part of my house has benefitted from the gifts of summer. 


Then you have the backyard, in my life example, the pants problem. This area is destined for great things. When my husband and I initially purchased the house we were so excited for all of the possibilities. Oh, the things you can do with a large space! It stood out from the newer builds with at least double the average postage stamp yard space we had seen previously. 


Then, in the following year and a half since purchasing the house, we have been “wearing long pants”. Choosing to clear all of the previous plants and aiming for ease and comfort. It is easier to maintain when there are no plants to water or grass to cut! Now, we admittedly have a barren, pale, landscape that is just a little embarrassing. 


The question now is how to proceed with the issue at hand in both scenarios. As hard as it is to admit, I know if I commit now, I still might have time to update both my fashion choices as well as my backyard. It will not certainly come easy in either case, I am not an icon of fashion by any means. Rather, it will come slowly, and a little at a time. 


Each day, a bit more sun exposure with a pair of shorts and a small task for the backyard. If I am lucky, I will be able to accomplish both at the same time! Big dreams happen that way, or so I have been told. I will start now and let you know how it goes. 


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