The weather is lovely; and though I don't want to rush across this bridge from summer to autumn, I can hardly wait for corduroy season. In a few weeks, it will be chilly enough for me to slip into my favorite cords. I have several pairs.
Last season, I went to the mall to buy a new pair. Some of mine were ragged around the hem and worn thin in spots. I was pleasantly surprised to find several stores with various styles and colors on display. As I sorted through the stacks of pants, looking for my size, the teen-aged sales girl said, "Corduroys are coming back in style again."
"That's wonderful!" I exclaimed. My cheeks were doubly pink, equal parts enthusiasm and embarrassment. I never realized they went out of style.
I have loved corduroy for as long as I can remember. My great grandmother stitched a corduroy crazy quilt, pieced lovingly from fragments of overalls and jackets and winter jumpers...all worn by her 12 children and some grandkids, too, I'm sure. Though she made the blanket long before I was born, I spent many nights curled under it on Granny's couch. Its weight meant good dreams, a warm sleep on a cold night, wrapped up in memories.
When I was 12, I convinced my mother to buy me a full-length, burgundy corduroy skirt. I wore it to our family's typically informal Thanksgiving dinner. I loved it.
It was so long, it dragged the ground.
Papaw said, "Why are you all dressed up, girl? Are you going somewhere after?"
"No, Papaw," I explained. "It's brand new. It was in the window at Watson's. It's corduroy."
"I hope you're comfortable in that get-up," Papaw said doubtfully.
I was. The brand new skirt was stiff, and I had to pick off a few dried leaves that had stuck to the hem on my way in; but I still felt pretty, in an old-fashioned way.
And now Fall is here, and the night breeze whispers promises of bonfires and sweaters and pumpkins...and corduroy. How could the fabric of hard work and family and teddy bears and crazy quilts ever go out of style?