Wearing the Green

St. Patrick’s Day is here and it’s time to wear green… scarves, that is! Get ready because I have a lot of green scarves. Although I don’t know of any Irish ancestry on either side, I have green eyes, a May birthday (emeralds!), was married at Emerald Valley Ranch, have a strawberry blond child, and can’t wait to visit the Emerald Isle, so I feel fully entitled to wear green on 3/17 or any day.

My mother just sent me this delightful book called “How to Tie a Scarf: 33 Styles” and I decided to experiment a bit. Here is the book and the Copenhagen style with my “rain forest tapestry” scarf:

I got this next scarf in Wabasha, a little town on the Mississippi River, at a church’s Christmas bazaar. I believe it was $8.00 – I just couldn’t pass it up! I love the ombré-green patches and generous fringe.

And now for a literary interlude – a “linterlude?” One of my very favorite authors of all time is Lucy Maude Montgomery, who wrote Anne of Green Gables, and also one of my favorite books, the beautiful romance The Blue Castle. My thoughtful husband bought me this scarf, which has a passage from Anne of Green Gables written on it. Incidentally, Anne and her red hair would look amazing in it.

My new scarf book encourages wearing scarves all year, changing style depending on the weather. Here is a light infinity scarf with some pleasant shading paired with a SLEEVELESS (!!!) shirt. My arms almost fell off from the chill, but I survived thanks to my insulated neck. I believe I got the scarf from a friend who was purging her closet.

My love for scarves has rubbed off; as you can see below, my daughter wears her new St. Patty’s scarf everywhere. Here we are for the St. Patrick’s Day dinner at church, where we enjoyed coddle, Irish soda bread and home-brewed root beer. Here’s to green beer, cabbage, family, and friends – Happy St. Patty’s Day!

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I’ve Got the Blues(carves)

If you’re reading this from almost anywhere else in the country you may be wondering – “Why are you still talking about scarves?” Because it’s still winter here, friends! At Bible study, we were talking about the winter blues… we are ready for it to be done already. If you have Season Affective Disorder, this has been a particularly challenging year.

At least it is getting warmer! Personally I prefer about 20 and above. This is a picture from when it was colder than that and I wore my “serious coat.” Full-length, Lands End… a bit like wearing a sleeping bag. The perfect time to wear my “shades of blue” scarf, another recycle from a friend. I love the delicate texture and the playful pom poms on the end . And as you can see, I have a little scarf buddy, wearing a scarf my grandma gave me.

We are in the liturgical season of Lent and I gave up Facebook. For the first few days I kept scrolling through my screen, looking for that familiar blue app. It is amazing how much time I spent on Facebook! Certainly I miss the connectedness with far-away friends, but I am enjoying the ability to be more present.

Back to scarves… I can’t remember where I got this giant comfortable scarf but I love it. It is perfect for wearing into work with my scrubs on a cold day.

Blue is everywhere at work. In fact, there is a particular shade we call “Mayo blue” used for signs and posters. When I worked in the hospital I wore baby scrubs; now in outpatient I wear royal blue. Blue is a great scrub color since it is fairly gender-neutral and most people look good in it. (Some would day everyone looks equally bad in it but I disagree.)

Today I am thankful for another blue – blue skies. I got to wear my “spring coat” today. The snow softens to slush on the roads. The days lengthen and the sun is warm. Yesterday we went cross country skiing for the first time this year and nobody felt cold.

Pastel spring peeps

quietly from a snow-laced

tree.

Monochromatic in Minnesota

Since we moved to Minnesota ten years ago, every winter has been different. Some we remember for the snow until May, or bitter cold at Halloween; some were so snow-light that we couldn’t ski. This one will be remembered for the unending snow. I was thinking “I’d love to curl up by the fire, drink cocoa and read The Long Winter… but I’m too busy shoveling.”

Fortunately I love snow. I love how it resets the world like a blank page. I love the different kinds of snow, the light dry fine snow, the dense blizzard snow, the crystalline sugar snow. It reminds me of my grandmother-in-law who loved to watch it snow. Now that she’s in heaven, I think of her fondly whenever I look out and see it falling.

This winter faked us out. One day we were playing on the playground:

And then it started snowing and never stopped. Every 2-3 days, a little snow, or a lot, or a blizzard.

So yes, Minnesota has been more monochromatic than many years. White snow, dark trees, gray sky.

Gray like the ashes of Ash Wednesday. This blog began as a Lenten exercise many years ago. If Lent were a color don’t you think it would be gray? The somber music, the recognition of our sinfulness.

I once thought gray was boring but I have warmed up. Gray and silver are the color of experience, of something precious. They gray clouds cover the blue sky but for a time. Gray clouds yield rainbows.

Here are a couple gray scarves I acquired from friends who were purging their wardrobes. This was prerfecf for a chic Chik fil a drive through date (drive through because small kids and Minnesota weather!)

I mentioned that some scarves are soft, some rub you the wrong way… this one below is beautiful but abrasive. I love it anyway 🙂

So as we approach the season of Lent, preparing for the joy of Easter, I am reveling in all things gray. I am ready to give up Facebook for 40 days (I think). I am ready to focus.

I often don’t wear scarves because it bothers me when things don’t match. The scarf below went with a hat that matched and has now been lost forever. It is the softest snuggliest scarf so I thought I would pair it with this fantastic sweater that my parents brought me from Peru. If you look closely you can see the llamas!

It’s OK when things don’t match exactly. It’s OK to enjoy these shades of gray. It’s OK not to enjoy them… this too will pass.

Before we know it the buds will be on the trees, and the green grass will be poking through the snow. I pray that you enjoy this solemn season of Lent in anticipation of the joy of Easter.