Remember the Dream Coat of Wonder? Don’t worry, nothing has happened to it. I am still very much in love with it, and every so often I’ll peek in at the closet to make sure it’s real and not a figment of my imagination.
That’s happened to me before. I’ll have some sort of weirdly vivid dream about something, and I swear it’s real when it’s actually a figment of my imagination.
I remember one extremely vivid dream I had when I was in first grade. Actually I had two that year — one was a nightmare I had after I watched a movie with my parents in which one of the characters loses a hand on an assembly line. I could have sworn the movie was Gung Ho, but IMDB is telling me that’s a comedy. At any rate, the loss of the hand was so graphic to my six-year-old mind that I immediately left the room and went upstairs to my room, where I read with all the lights blazing until the movie was over. That’s when I had my nightmare, in which I dreamt about the Vietnam War (hey, my dad had me watching the national news every night; I was a well-educated six-year-old), and lots of men were getting really hurt. One in particular was screaming in agony, only he was missing his lips. Why do I remember that scene from a dream twenty-three years later? I have no idea.
The other vivid dream I had was much more tame. I dreamt I was at the playground at school, only it was when school wasn’t in session. We were playing on the wooden playground (my school had two — one wooden and one metal), and there was this one piece of equipment, a tall castle, that really captured my imagination. Come to find out, while the wooden playground did indeed have a castle, it was much, much smaller than in my dream. I remember wandering around the playground during school one day, looking for this large castle, but never finding it.
Vivid dreams, indeed.
Which is why sometimes I need to go back and make sure something is still there. And my Dream Coat of Wonder is still indeed in the closet.
The teensy problem with said coat is that it’s somewhat lightweight. Angela’s mom assured me that was no problem, as she would simply wear warmer layers underneath her lighter-weight jacket when the weather got bad. I forgot I don’t really have warmer layers. I tend to wear cotton t-shirts year-round — short-sleeved in summer, long-sleeved or ¾-sleeved in winter. I have only my absolute favorite sweatshirts left, and those I never wear. Sweaters aren’t really my thing; I hated them when I was in school. Resting my arm on my desk always made my elbow ache from pressing into the weave of the sweater, unless I wore a long-sleeved shirt underneath. I still haven’t gotten over my distaste for them.
And then. We went to the thrift store yesterday. Thrift-storing here isn’t a whole lot of fun, not like it is in southern Virginia where there is a thrift store on every corner. Especially the ones benefiting the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. Those had the absolute best prices on just about everything. A dime for a paperback, a quarter for a shirt. The only problem is they marked everything in grease pencil, even the book covers. I still have yet to clean off the grease pencil off a paperback copy of the King James Bible I bought there once.
Here, we have a chain of stores called Savers, which, I just found out, is the same as Value Village, the thrift store I shopped in Washington. Their website tells me they partner with 120 non-profit groups and share their profits, but to me, it’s not quite the same as shopping at a locally-run thrift store that benefits the charity that owns it. But it’s what we have here, so I’ll go with it.
I found two new pairs of jeans for Miss Gracie, as she is now getting too tall for her 3T-sized jeans, as well as the same copy of Charlotte’s Web I had as a kid. Kurt has been reading chapter books to Grace lately; they’ve already made it through A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. We checked the electronics section as well, with no luck. The first time we went there, we saw an original Nintendo for $5, complete with a copy of Zelda tucked inside. Kurt decided not to pick it up, which he ended up kicking himself for, as my brother later informed him he could probably sell it on eBay for at least $50. Since Mark told us that, we’ve yet to see another Nintendo of any stripe.
Then it was off to the coat department, not that I need one, obviously. But I have been looking for a good wool coat for quite some time, except I didn’t want to pay a gajillion dollars for it. That, and most wool coats have entirely too long sleeves for me. I fell in love with the very first coat I saw, but it was in the Small area. Like I can wear a Small. So I poked around and still didn’t come up with anything. I went back to that very first coat and really looked at it. There was no way this coat was a Small. I looked for a size tag, and sure enough, it was marked 14. Hurray! I tried it on and fell in love all over again. The sleeves!! They are just the right length. Right there was a reason to buy it.
It’s your standard single-breasted pea coat (although Wikipedia is telling me that pea coats are all double-breasted), but instead of being your traditional black, it’s more of a rusty coral color. I’m all about non-conventionality. To top it off, it fits me wonderfully. A woman who was also peeking at coats at the same time told me so. You know it’s got to look really good when a stranger compliments you. And you know, it was $14. I mean, really. How could I not buy it?
Now I have a coat that will keep me warm for the next few weeks until spring really hits her stride here in Rhode Island, and once it warms up a tad (or the wind dies down, take your pick), I will be wearing the Dream Coat of Wonder until the summer heat renders it irrelevant till the fall.