09 September 2009

dreaming of umbrellas

Where I come from, a lot of people simply don't use umbrellas, despite the rainy climate. In Portland, small children and older adults are free to use umbrellas, but for people my age, an umbrella is a sign of weakness. "Tourists use umbrellas!" I have scoffed more than once.

Then I moved to BC. Umbrellas aren't for tourists and children here. Lots of people use them. And with the first glorious rains of the season beginning, I was tempted to buy one. Just a small, inexpensive, compact umbrella. I woke up this morning to the sound of rain and the chill of fall coming in through my window. I dozed off briefly and even dreamed about umbrellas.

Last year, I got soaked more than once riding my bike to school or standing at the bus stop. And I managed to catch pneumonia. I'd like to avoid that this year. My raincoat only keeps out so much of the wet and tends to direct all the water it collects onto my trousers. Knitting with wet wool while waiting for the bus stop is also a problem. It's much harder to knit, and felting is a possibility.

So on my way to the bus stop today, I bought a red umbrella (if you're going to get an umbrella, it should be in a favourite colour, after all) for six dollars. The bus shelters at the bus centre were pretty much full, so I leaned against my favourite stone post there, put up my umbrella, and pulled out my knitting. Between the magenta and green wool, the lime green of my raincoat, indigo blue of my hat and mitts, and the red of the umbrella, I was almost a rainbow.

It's a little inconvenient, carrying an umbrella, but it was well worth the trouble today. I would have been soaked several times over without it, despite the raincoat. As it was, I arrived home only slightly damp.

I was one of many people carrying umbrellas. I saw black umbrellas, navy blue ones, red ones like mine, blue and yellow ones, black and white ones, and even a green one edged with a white ruffle.

Fall is most definitely on its way. Rain, clouds, cool mist. Umbrellas. Mitts. Warm socks. Hot tea is now appropriate, rather than eccentric. I came home this afternoon, shook out my umbrella and hung it up to dry, put the kettle on, switched to drier socks, and picked up a hat I'm knitting a lining for and sat down to listen to an episode of Cast-On with a shawl wrapped around my shoulders. It felt very cosy.

And today, I was cold. So I put on a sweater.

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