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Surviving The Wacky Weather And Shopping Seasons


I need to put together a shopping calendar. A visit to my nearby retail mega super maxi store has left me scratching my head and feeling out of sync.


We are currently in Fool’s Spring at the time of this writing. These are the days in the Midwest when the sun comes out, and pleasant temperatures deceive the gullible into thinking winter is over. A few crocuses even crack the momentarily thawed ground. (These are the Red Shirted Ensigns of spring flowers, in that, just like the Star Trek cliché, they will die quickly.) Fool’s Spring is also marked by the aroma of sump pumps overflowing due to rapid snow melt. It’s lovely, really.

Mother and daughter shopping together

But soon, Second Winter will freeze the kneecaps of those same gullible folks who busted out the shorts and flip-flops. It will have you wishing you lived anywhere but here as fast as you can say, “I think we’re through the worst of it.” Most Midwesterners and all Canadians know that the weather will lie several more times before the actual season of spring. We know for certain that Second Winter, Liar’s Spring, or Spring of Deception are mere precursors to Third Winter and Mud Season. 


This brings me back to why I ventured into the nearby retail mega super maxi store. I need a new coat to weather the final six months of spring.


I am not persnickety about my wardrobe. Lockdown and middle age have changed my view of fashion. Also, my dog sheds like he’s being paid for it. Thus, I’m not trendy or a fashion-forward dresser. My two styling tips are to keep a lint roller in the car and let go of your high school hairdo. Those are it.

Window shopping

I purchased my current coat at the retail mega super maxi store. It’s warm, it’s easy to pack, and it has one other essential element—it’s black. I don’t want a new coat. But there’s a hole in this one. I’ve tried to repair it. I have patched the hole and even glued it shut, but it has sprung a leak. No matter what I do, down stuffing floofs out of the ever-expanding hole.


Imagine the scene my neighbors must witness. A trail of dog hair and feathers wafts around me as I walk the dog. I’m also probably carrying a bag of doggy doo. Lovely. So yes, it’s time to replace the coat because this is getting ridiculous, and my neighbors deserve better.


I hoped the retail mega super maxi store would still carry this coat or something similar. No such luck. Not only do they not have coats, but I may also be too late to procure a swimsuit. And like the list of seasons above, the stuff on the racks has little to do with our actual season.

Young girl Thrift shopping

I was naïve to think I could buy a coat at a retail mega super maxi store when it’s cold. There needs to be some sort of practical guide, so I can plan ahead to get a coat for next winter. Based on my field studies, here’s my revised retail shopping calendar.


In January, stock up on Valentine’s candy and shamrocks. It’s vital to be ready for St. Patrick’s Day way in advance. In February, grab stuff for the Fourth of July and a swimsuit. In meteorological spring, get those school supplies. When summer hits, purchase all the stuff needed to deck the halls. The best chance for me to replace my coat will be in July. But I’ll have to act fast, because by August, it’s time for pumpkin-spiced latte and flannel pajamas.


It’s too late for me this year. Expect me to trail feathers well into summer. Sorry, neighbors.