The Winter Migration

It’s time for the winter migration. Not north to south. No, in my case, it’s the jacket migration from the closet to the car (SUV).

It starts with the rain, sometime near the start of autumn. It doesn’t have to actually rain, but just for us to have a good chance of rain. I take my rain jacket and put it in the SUV, just in case. That’s one.

Eventually it cools off, even in central Texas. Usually it’s hot for several long months, very nice one afternoon while I’m in my cubicle, cold the next day and then cold for a several months. I start off with my corduroy overshirt, just to wear while I’m opening the gate when leaving the house. That’s two. The north wind arrives, cooling it off at bit more and I get my fleece-lined denim jacket (no pockets) and wear it for a few days, stashing it in the SUV. Three.

Next to migrate out from the hall closet is the fleece jacket with pockets and gloves, when the gate starts to get cold to the touch when I have to open it at oh-dark-thirty. Four. I definitely want to be wearing gloves to open the cold, metal gate. Each pair of gloves belongs to a specific jacket or coat.

Surprisingly, we actually get a few rainy days in the winter. Cold and rainy. Brrr. I resort to my calf-length lined raincoat for this weather. But I don’t necessarily want to lug it from the parking garage up to the office seven flights in the morning and then back down in the afternoon, so I leave it in my SUV when I get to work. Five. When the real cold weather gets here, I snuggle into my lined non-rain coat and zip it up to the top. Six.

Not all my jackets and coats make it into my SUV. My maroon flannel-lined jacket hangs off of the chair at the kitchen counter all winter, easily accessible for when I take the dogs out. Sometimes my pink and black fleece jacket goes there as well, for the layered effect (for both me and the chair).

This pretty much empties out my closet in the hallway. Oh, there are one or two stragglers, jackets that aren’t nice enough for work and that are too nice to wear around the dogs. (My Denver Broncos jacket got a big slash down the middle of the back when my dog Lulu jumped up on me. No, I don’t think she meant anything by it. She never showed any interested in supporting the Dallas Cowboys or Houston Texans.)

The clue that the jacket migration is complete is when I open the closet door and wonder, “What happened to all my jackets?” It also dawns on me that there’s hardly enough room in my SUV for two bags of groceries. Off I go, collecting my jackets, herding them back into the closet, ready for the next migration.

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