Over the holidays, I went to visit my parents. Mother made a spur of the moment decision to get rid of some clothes she had hung up in the guess room, the room I have taken over as my own for the time being. I watch her pull down each piece of clothing from off their hanger, examined them, told a story about each and then place them in a bag for good-will. As she was throwing them down, I was picking them up and reexamining them. I was making my own pile. I thought of people who would like to wear them, and others I imagined occassions that I could wear myself. If the clothes didn’t fit in my categories, I returned them to my mother’s pile.
Suddenly I bumped into a very large quilted sweater; the one grandparents love to wear. I re-examined the sweater, tried it on, peruse in the mirror, and made a statement, “Mom, I really like this sweater.”
The following day I was wearing the sweater and it was the warmest, most comfortable clothing I had ever worn. When my family was going out that evening, I dressed the sweater with a scarf. Mother asked, “Aren’t you gonna change?”
It was hard to remove something that was so comforable. When it was time to return to my own home, I wore the sweater. A few days ago, I had on the same sweater while out to a friend’s birthday party, and I received compliments. “It suits you.” I have worn the sweater to classes and especially on days when I am lounging around in my apartment.
This sweater is receiving far more compliments that I had anticipated when stealing it out of the good-will pile. Is that how life is sometimes? The best things are free. The things we like most are invaluable.