Loose Ends: Dressing for success

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Dolly Viscardi
One could say that living in the White River Valley requires that one dress for success. This is not the kind of success for which city dwellers strive. It is the ability to outfit oneself capably to deal with the unseasonal weather that seems to appear out of nowhere. The key to staying comfortable throughout the day is being good at layering — putting on enough lightweight layers to take on and off every few hours. That is because most folks know what this time between summer and fall requires.
Most of us who are used to these extreme fluctuations don’t think of this brief season as anything but what it truly is — fall. Some sports enthusiasts like to think of these few months as a time of transition, but I do not think of it as a bridge to anything. Although this season in the high country (think Flat Tops Wilderness) begins to look like the beginning of winter, the early snows and the plummeting temperatures are all a part of a full blown fall.
The extremes keep everyone guessing. Conversations regarding the fickle weather have already begun. This year we have had a unusually warm autumn, with highs in the 70s. Noting the big piles of wood that are now stacked outside many homes, one could say that the warm days of summer and fall are almost gone. However it is deceiving, as fall days are often best for outdoor pursuits, hiking and fishing. Now that rifle season has started, it loses its appeal.
The old saying for changing the clocks to Daylight Saving Time comes up while preparing for the long winter — spring forward, fall back. That point of view is from the half-empty school of thought. To be able to make it through the endless days of cold to come, one cannot think of it this way, otherwise it is more like one is falling down into winter.
The overcast days that are more likely to settle in with the chilly weather dictate the type of attire, as well as the attitude. So dressing for seasonal success does require a few more articles of clothing at the ready. Put on in the morning, take off at lunch, put on again in late afternoon, and so it goes.