In the Fall of 1986 I started college at BYU in Provo, Utah. It did not snow in remarkable enough amounts in Washington State for me to have owned all of the essential snow items. So a big part of getting ready for living in Utah was gathering all the winter gear... scarf, hat, mittens, long dress coat, and snow boots were all on my list.
I bought my scarf at the BYU bookstore and it was the best color blue ever and it came with matching gloves in the exact same best color blue ever. I had never owned a matching scarf and gloves before and oh how matching makes me happy. I had this blue scarf and gloves until about 6 years ago when my girls got big enough to borrow from me and promptly lost the gloves at a school somewhere in Lawrence, Kansas. Thankfully the scarf is still residing with me. I wonder if it misses the gloves? I had another set that consisted of a hat and mittens..no scarf. My Grandma who lived in Utah had bought me this set when I started college. This set was very sturdy yet pretty and I also loved it. The mittens from this set have survived simply because of the fact that they are mittens. You see for some reason I did not raise the Baird children to "get" the joy of wearing mittens :) They like their fingers all separated into their own designated spots AKA gloves. But they did manage to lose the hat that matched the mittens. I am still sad about this missing hat. It is the hat that made me a believer in the joy of wearing a hat in the snow.
My awesome Utah Grandma also helped me purchase my dress coat which was black with flecks of red and oh how that coat made all my dreams come true. I have no idea how I ended up thinking I needed a long wool dress coat and how I entangled my Grandma in my plan. I do wish I could remember the story. Did I ask her for it or did she offer? How many coats did I look at before choosing this one? I long for the details. I do remember how I felt when I wore it...that glorious, on top of the world feeling will never disappear :) I remember her taking pictures of me wearing it standing on her driveway in Ogden, Utah. I had never owned anything so beautiful as that coat. As I got married and started being pregnant all the time I ended up despairing and giving the coat away not realizing that someday I would not be pregnant all the time and once again be the right size to fit into that coat.
Before my parents went back to Washington and left me at college I have a memory of us traipsing...yes, traipsing... through the University Mall in Orem looking for snow boots. I wish I could remember the discussions we had and how I ended up with the boots I ended up with. Every single time I have put them on since then I have wondered what compelled me to purchase them? I do not hate them, don't get me wrong I have faithfully worn them but I have never been quite sure how I ended up with pistachio colored snow boots. It is so not like me to have boots this color. They are Colorado brand boots. They are extremely heavy duty. They supported my ankles in a most awesome way so that I could run and run and run in snow after I threw a snowball. They took forever to lace up. They made awesome designs in the snow with the treads on the bottom. I wore them hiking up in the mountains with boys at BYU. I wore them in the snow when my kids were little and because my shoe size is a kids size two all of my girls have worn these snow boots at some time or another. These boots are 26 years old and they have seen Utah snow, Kansas snow, Indiana snow, New Jersey snow, and Massachusetts snow. On Wednesday this week when I was helping my nine year old Natalie lace them up so she could go play in the aforementioned Massachusetts snow one of the shoe laces broke. I stared at it in disbelief. The boots I used to lace up to run out and play in the snow at midnight at BYU were...gasp... mortal. I have no doubt that I will never be able to find pistachio colored shoelaces again.