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Clean Pair of Jeans

Garden Jeans

This morning I got out a clean pair of blue jeans and put them on. I’d been wearing the last pair since election day and it was time to get them laundered.

I keep a few pair of “nice” jeans, which means they have no known defects, fit well, and are suitable for outings into society. Currently, these are Levi’s brand, although it varied through the years. To avoid constantly laundering them, I wear nice jeans a few days around the house after an excursion. There are three pair of nice jeans in the closet.

Jeans that fit loosely and have been damaged or have holes worn in them are used when I’m working outdoors or in the garage. These are “garden” jeans. They get pretty dirty from kneeling on the ground and are usually good to wear for several days before laundering. Mostly these came from my time before the pandemic when I wore them to work at the home, farm and auto supply store. I don’t mind if these jeans wear out or get damaged on a tool or fence post. When they get unwearable, I launder them and recycle the denim.

Jeans between nice and garden are those deteriorated enough from being nice and are suitable to wear around the house. This everyday use doesn’t have a special name, yet most of my jeans fall in this category. They take the workload off the nice jeans and eventually will be converted to garden use. I purchased a pair or two of these when we lived in Indiana in the early 1990s. Good jeans last a long time.

One conversation I had with Father was about “work” clothes compared to clothes worn around the house. He felt his best clothing should be worn to drive forklift in the meat packing plant, with inferior or damaged garments used at home. He was trying to get out of the packing plant to become a chiropractor and believed his appearance in public mattered. He died wearing his work clothes while driving a forklift into an elevator. Having driven a forklift in the same packing plant after he died, the work didn’t seem too public, warranting the best clothing. His discussions about it likely led me to my present organization of blue jeans.

Now that the midterms are over it is time to get to work. I spent the days after the election hanging around the house, reading, writing and cooking. I want to say I was thinking about the election yet that’s not accurate. It was more like recovering from the losses. On Sunday I didn’t leave the house at all.

It’s time to turn the page and get to work. For that, a clean pair of jeans is just what we need to get started.

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