Monday, October 10, 2011

Scuffling through the Leaves

My first-ever job was a part-time job in the junior clothes department at Sears, back when I was in high school. To show you how long ago this was: THREE young women worked in that ONE department. One of us worked the cash register, one of us attended the dressing room, and one of us tidied up the clothes racks and made furtive runs over to the chocolate-and-cheese department to bring back provisions for the others (that was me). It was tons of fun working there, as I remember.

The customers were always interesting, like the teasing man who asked me in all apparent seriousness if we took "federal reserve notes" - I told him I had to go check with the manager to see. Or the man who wanted us to try on a bunch of different outfits so he could see which one would look best on his girlfriend. (Actually, forty years later that seems creepy to me, but at the time it made for a jolly evening of fashion show.) And we also spent an unconscionable amount of time on the Sears phone line talking to our boyfriends.

Still, when October came I wanted to quit my job, because it was cutting into the time I could have been spending scuffling through the autumn leaves. I yearned for the pleasures of that kind of aimless idleness, strolling along through ankle-deep heaps of maple and oak leaves. So quit the job I did.

Over the years "scuffling through the leaves" has become a sort of mantra for me, reminding me of the pleasures I don't want to crowd out of my busy workaday life.

Now it's autumn in Indiana, and fallen leaves are thick everywhere I go. I'm busy busy busy with my job, but luckily I can walk to work at the Prindle Institute through the DePauw Nature Park, and scuffle happily for a full half hour each direction. I get to keep my job and scuffle through the leaves, too. Which is how I like my life best.

1 comment:

  1. I love scuffling through the brightly colored fallen leaves, too! I'm delighted that you signed and signed copies of Oliver Olson, and got to see Mickey with your sister. So richly deserved, Claudia!