Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winter Church Attire

As I listened to the scraping of the plows last night, I thought of how we dressed in years past for church. Rarely, did you see pants on women or girls. I wore snow pants under my dress or skirt. We donned our boots, while carrying our shoes in a paper bag. Sometimes the ladies had a clear heavy plastic boot they wore over their high heels. The men wore galoshes over their dress shoes.
The coat room had four folding chairs back to back by two. Everyone took their turn to sit on these chairs to change their foot wear. Gloves and scarves were stuffed in sleeves of coats as they hung on hangers. Hats settled on the shelf above the rack. The coat room became a place to visit and catch up, because it took us so long to change outer wear to church wear.
If the snow was wet or we had rain, rain bonnets dried on separate hangers. Women had their hair styled the day before or Friday for the weekend. My mother-in-law still has hers done on Thursday. If a woman didn't go to a hair dresser, she did her own, by setting it either all day on Saturday or slept in the curlers all night. She used Dip-pity-Doo, sometimes sitting under a bonnet hair dryer for an hour. And lots and lots of hair spray.That work and style had to last a week. My neighbor used blue spray on her gray hair. I remember seeing the can, especially for hair.
As we barely make it to church on time now a days, I'm glad to wear my silk long underwear, sweater and pants with boots that I don't exchange for high heels. David will probably never be asked to be a pall bearer again. At his grandmother's funeral in the early 70's, he said all those dress shoes on a snowy hill made carrying that casket rather dicey, as he and his cousins slipped and slid gripping grandma.
Sometimes, I wrestle with how styles have evolved to almost too casual. Still, I'm thinking in the winter, it's warm to stay dressed. Maybe safer for pall bearers, too.
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